Ireland capture Under-13 title
Ireland's domination of European youth tournaments continued as they captured the Under-13 title in Denmark this week.
They edged home against Scotland in a thrilling contest by just one wicket in the final decider. They opened the competition with a convincing seven-wicket win over Netherlands thanks to a fine bowling performance from Ross Adair and George McKinley. The pair each picked up three wickets to dismiss Netherlands for 104. Tyrone Kane and Jordan Magee also got among the wickets.
That total proved little obstacle to Ireland as they lost just the three wickets - David Barr top-scoring with 50, while Matthew Clarke, the wicketkeeper, made a composed 20.
Determined batting from Denmark saw them post a respectable 154 for 6 in the next game, with Saad Ahmed (45) and Basit Javed (38) playing neatly. Adair was again their main performer with the ball, taking 3 for 31. Ben Wylie, the captain, secured the win with a chanceless 71 not out.
The deciding fixture with Scotland was going to plan when four wickets from McKinley reduced Scotland to to 80 for 7. But a fine rearguard action from Johnny Perrium (31), and Nicky Farrar (27), saw them score 141 for 9.
In reply Ireland were well placed at 60 for 1, but Andrew Umeed hit back with four wickets to reduce them to 132 for 9. The nervous last pair of George Adair and McKinley got the Irish over the finishing line much to their obvious delight. The Scots will rue the concession of 41 extras - 38 of which were wides, which proved the decisive factor in the outcome.
"I'd like to congratulate the entire squad and support staff on another fantastic achievement. To win the title for an 8th consecutive year is a truly remarkable feat,” Tom Prior, the Irish Cricket Union president said.
Ireland have a chance to complete a second consecutive clean sweep of the European Championships, having won all six tournaments last season, and having won four of the five so far in 2007. The Under-17s are currently in action in Dundee, where they play Scotland in the final fixture on Sunday and Monday in a two-day fixture.
Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo