Ireland pip Scotland to U15 Championship

19 Aug

Scotland 126 (40 overs), F Tucker 5-29, B White 3-5, lost to Ireland 131-2 (41.3 overs) C Currie 43*, F Tucker 41 by 8 wickets [Scorecard] 

Ireland defeated arch-rivals Scotland by 8 wickets at Rugby School today and in the process reclaimed the European U15 Division 1 Championship, a title the Irish last won in 2007.

Scottish skipper Shujaa Khan batted first, having won the toss, and despite losing Angus Hunton and Ryan Johnston to the Irish new-ball attack of Rory Anders and Ryan MacBeth, Khan himself (27 from 73 balls) and Albert Culley (45 from 67) made good progress for the Scots.

The introduction of leg-spinning duo Fiachra Tucker and Ben White, however, changed the face of the match and effectively delivered the championship for Ireland. They claimed the combined figures of 14-3-34-8 to reduce the Scots from 82-2 to 126 all out.

Tucker removed both Khan and Culley before the Scottish hundred had been reached, and the lower order was blown away by the spin twins.

Such was the Irish over rate and the speed with which the Scottish innings was wrapped up, Ireland faced twenty-one overs before the lunch interval. In that time, the target was almost halved. Andrew Delany was dismissed by Hughes Gillin, but Tucker and Colin Currie took the score to 57-1.

After lunch, the Irish marched on. Tucker eventually fell for a well-made 41, holing out to mid-off, but Stephen Doheny (who ended unbeaten on 23) joined Currie and, between, them, they chased down the remaining runs. 

Safety was the watchword; few risks were taken, but with the championship at stake, it was understandable. Certainly, the Scots bowled tightly; and, who knows, had Currie not been bowled off a no ball, things might have become closer.

The victory finally came in the 42nd over when Currie, moving on to 43, launched a maximum over square-leg. It was a fitting way to crown the new champions.

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