Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

Ireland v Australia, only ODI, Clontarf

They had a dream

The biggest day of the Irish cricket season arrives, and nearly becomes the most memorable one for its fans

Jim Gallagher

Comments: 3 | Text size: A | A
Ireland celebrate as Shane Watson departs early, Ireland v Australia, Only ODI, Dublin, June 17, 2010
Ireland had the Aussies worried © Associated Press
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The game
This was the big game of the Irish summer. Matches with Full Members are few and far between - when we get them, we need to prove that our team can compete, and that we can support them.

Player watch
The Australian players who fielded in front of us - Nathan Hauritz, Ryan Harris and Clint McKay - were brilliant. Anybody who asked for an autograph got one, and the players' sense of humour and ability to engage with the crowd ensured that we all enjoyed the day.

Shot of the day
Not one shot, more an approach by the Ireland opening batsmen. They had already bowled and fielded like champions and needed to bat like champions too. In the first 12 overs, Ireland scored at seven an over. We dared to dream…

Crowd meter
Since it was the biggest occasion of the cricket season, the stands were obviously packed. We sang, we cheered, many dressed up. Despite the unseasonal weather (hot sun, SPF50 required) we had our fair share of cavemen, sailors and crocodiles.

Fielding moment
Early in the day, one of the Australian batsmen was rude enough to slap one into the bar queue down by the nets' end. As the ball arrived, several hands raised to catch it. It sailed past many senior cricketers and was grassed. Mind you, not a drop was spilt.

Overall
This is just me, but I reckon the Aussies were worried. Imagine you're an Irish cricket fan. Imagine you get to watch, in amazing sunshine, your team compete with the world champions. Imagine you get to see this surrounded by your friends, all shouting for Ireland. Imagine that we could have beaten them. Statistically, at one point, we should have. Possibly, we could have. Imagine… one day. We're incredibly proud of our team. Clontarf is a wonderful venue and the members rose to the challenge of putting on such an important match wonderfully.

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Jim Gallagher is older than he feels, and wishes he was a better cricketer than he is. He plays when he can, and umpires regularly. Attending Ireland matches is one of his favourite activities.

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Comments: 3 
Posted by theswami on (June 21, 2010, 14:10 GMT)

Middle-order collapses & mid-life crises .... damn ....... The Irish frustration is universal .......

Posted by CricInformer288 on (June 20, 2010, 6:37 GMT)

Yeah Atleast they gave a tough time to mighty Aussies, and they showed that they have the talents and guts to compete against the top tier teams in the rankings

Posted by Vivek.Bhandari on (June 19, 2010, 5:17 GMT)

Hey Jim...wonderful first-hand description of the match...and it's just the experience that was the big difference between the two sides...n it's no shame in losing to the Aussies...I'm sure that Ireland will be a force to reckon with in the coming times...if only, they could stop their players from getting lured to the English offers...:-/

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