Despite the valiant efforts of captain Kevin Stoute, St Michael Merchants fell short as Christ Church Dolphins narrowly defeated them by nine runs to win the 2013 UWI-C.O. Williams Inter Parish Cricket League Tournament on Sunday night at the 3Ws Oval. The Merchants, chasing a target of 152 runs for victory, lost openers Rashidi Boucher and Jamar Yarde cheaply to be tottering on 11-2, before a well-organized partnership of 89 between Stoute, who topscored with 73 and Craigg St Hill, who got 38 swung the pendulum back in their favour. However, once the troublesome partnership was broken with St Hill being bowled by Carlos Brathwaite and Stoute caught by wicketkeeper Shai Hope off spinner Roston Chase, the innings lost momentum and went into rapid decline. The Merchants also suffered three crucial run-outs toward the end. Stoute, who batted masterfully, struck four fours and three sixes in a knock that lasted just 49 balls. St Hill (30 balls, 2 sixes) lent solid support as both batsmen entertained the sizeable crowd with attractive stroke play. Earlier, Christ Church Dolphins, who won the toss, reached 151 for 6 off the allotted 20 overs. Brothers Kyle and Shai Hope each made 31 and they got good support from Nekoli Parris (27), Jarad GIlkes (25 not out) and skipper Carlos Brathwaite (18). Pacer Andre Evelyn, 2 for 33 off four overs, was the most successful bowler for the Merchants. For their efforts, Christ Church pocketed $4 000 while St Michael Merchants collected $2 000. Attention now switches to the Champions Trophy Competition which started last night with St Lucy Pirates taking on St Andrew Rhythm. The Merchants and St John Crusaders clash tonight while the winners will meet in the final on Thursday. Friday has been set aside as the reserve day for the final. All matches commence at 7 p.m.