Ireland 123-3 (Stirling 55, Balbirnie 32, Stevens 2-20) beat Jersey 122 (Gough 42, Stirling 3-16, Mooney 3-20) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Paul Stirling's incisive spell was followed by a John Mooney hat-trick at the end of the first innings as Ireland quelled a Jersey threat to seal their spot in the 2016 World T20. Ireland's qualification was also helped by losses to Papua New Guinea and Namibia. PNG, Namibia and Hong Kong finished on seven points to confirm their place in the playoffs next week.
Stirling claimed 3 for 16 before bashing a swift half-century in the chase, which was sealed with 20 balls to spare, while Jersey's knockout stage hopes were extinguished with the loss.
Jersey were 88 for 1 in 13 overs after being sent in as captain Peter Gough and Sussex academy batsman Jonty Jenner put on a 46-run stand before Stirling sparked the visitors' slide with the wicket of Jenner. However, replays showed that Jenner was struck outside the line of off stump on his attempted sweep.
Jersey were still in with a chance though at 102 for 2 in 15 overs with Gough still at the crease, but Stirling and Alex Cusack continued to keep Jersey off balance and the last eight wickets fell for just 16 runs. Stirling hadn't bowled since the tournament opener against Namibia, but his spell shifted momentum back in favour of Ireland as he induced Cornelis Bodenstein to loft to long-off before another ill-advised sweep accounted for Anthony Kay.
Cusack opened the bowling and was hit hard in his first two overs - going for 18 runs, but came back in the 17th to end Gough's scratchy innings for 42 as he mistimed a slog over midwicket that was well taken by Stuart Poynter backpedaling from edge of the circle. He struck again four balls later, teaming up with Poynter at cover to get the right-handed Nat Watkins for 1 before snatching his third in the 19th over as Corey Bisson lofted to Stuart Thompson at long-off.
Mooney reinforced his position as the tournament's leading wicket-taker, moving to 14 in six games by wiping out the tail with a series of slower balls in the final over. Charles Perchard was done in by a yorker out of the back of the hand off an attempted paddle scoop. Kevin O'Brien claimed a skier on the next ball to remove Ben Kynman before George Dockrell settled at deep square leg to catch Ben Stevens and give Mooney his hat-trick.
With Niall O'Brien still nursing a knee injury and unlikely to take any further part in the tournament, William Porterfield moved himself back up to open with Stirling for the first time in the tournament. The previous five opening partnerships - a mix of Stirling, O'Brien and Andy Balbirnie - amounted to a total of 27 runs, but the reunification of Ireland's prolific opening duo from the last few years had its desired effect, adding 44 runs in just 4.5 overs.
Jersey's fielding, which had been impressive all tournament, let them down as Porterfield did survive a straightforward chance at slip in the first over. Stirling also could have been caught off a slash to third man on 35, but Nat Watkins opted to let the ball fall in front of him to prevent a boundary which left the bowler Kynman bemused.
Porterfield added 17 to his tournament tally of 186, including a huge six that clanged off an oak tree beyond the deep square leg boundary but fell trying to repeat the shot off the following ball from Kay and was caught by Bodenstein running in from deep midwicket. Stirling added another 47 for the second wicket with Balbirnie and brought up his fifty off 34 balls, his first of the tournament, before being caught in the deep by Jenner off Stevens' left-arm spin.
The only other wicket to fall was Kevin O'Brien, leg before after missing a sweep to Stevens. Balbirnie and Gary Wilson took Ireland the rest of the way in an unbeaten 21-run stand. Balbirnie hit the winning single through the off side on the fourth ball of the 17th over to finish 32 not out while Wilson ended unbeaten on 11.