Dutch down Guernsey by six wickets on last day
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.
Netherlands defeated Guernsey by 6 wickets at Rugby School today, claiming fourth place in the championship as a result.
With Guernsey having chosen to bat first at the toss, Nairn Guilbert top-scored for the islanders from the opener's slot, making 36 from 73 balls. However, he was the only batsman to pass 30 as Guernsey collapsed from 75-2 to 140 all out. It could have been worse, too: Daniel Rice made 27 from number nine, striking five boundaries, to rescue Guernsey from 90-7.
There were a number of fine bowling performances from the Dutch. Kerten Nana picked up 3-26, Davi van Slobbe returned the stunning figures of 8-1-15-4 and at one stage was on a hat-trick, while Tushar Sharma and Pieter de Graaff were miserly with their economy rates.
Guernsey, to their credit, came out all guns blazing in the field, taking two early wickets to set up the prospect of a close finish. An imposing partnership of 84 between Tushar Sharma (44) and Bas de Leede (45*), however, took the game away from them.
While the Dutch lost Sharma and another wicket before reaching their target, the runs were knocked off with more than 25 overs to spare, victory sealed by the impressive De Leede.
Although failing to repeat their triumph of 2012, the Dutch played some good cricket this week, losing very narrowly to eventual champions Ireland. Guernsey, meanwhile, can be proud of the efforts of the youngest and least experienced squad at the tournament.
Ireland v Scotland at Rugby School, Ground 2.
Ireland won by 8 wickets
Scotland won the toss and elected to bat
Scotland 126 (40 overs)
F Tucker 5-29, B White 3-5
Ireland 131-2 (41.3 overs)
C Currie 43*, F Tucker 41
Netherlands v Guernsey at Rugby School, Ground 1.
Netherlands won by 6 wickets
Guernsey won the toss and elected to bat
Guernsey 140 (48.3 overs)
N Guilbert 36, D van Slobbe 4-15, K Nana 3-26
Netherlands 142-4 (24.1 overs)
B de Leed 45*, T Sharma 44
ICC European U15 Division 1 table (as of August 18):