Euro-bound Ireland starlets are getting into the Zone
The senior squad are not the only Ireland team involved in World Cup qualifying this month - the Under-19s head off to Jersey next week for the European Championships, which double up as the qualifying tournament for the world finals in Bangladesh next year.
Six of the 14-man squad, including Waringstown's Adam Dennison and James Mitchell, are from Northern Ireland and all were involved yesterday when they beat Isle of Man at Carrickfergus in the first of two warm-up games; the second is tomorrow at Belmont against the Ireland U17s (10.30am).
Donemana's William and Gary McClintock made identical scores of 57 but were upstaged by William's opening partner Sonny Cott, the son of former Boomtown Rat Gerry Cott, who scored 115, from 122 balls with 12 fours.
Ireland totalled 298 for seven in their 50 overs and defended it with three wickets for Merrion left armer Tom Stanton, two each for Rory Anders and leg spinner Fiachra Tucker and one for Strabane's Aaron Gillespie before William McClintock finished the match; the visitors ending on 219 for 9 after 41.1 overs.
In the Euros, which start on July 11, Ireland will play Jersey, Scotland and the Netherlands twice with the winners of the round-robin going through to the finals and the runners-up going into a repechage tournament.
e CIVIL Service North went one better than last year and won the Graham Cup with a six wickets win over Ballymena at Seapark.
Last year's beaten finalists made no mistake with steady batting taking them to their victory target of 98.
Scores: Ballymena 97 (29.1 overs, J McClean 31, C Purse 20; J Gibbons 4-13, J Pollard 3-10) Civil Service North 98-4 (23.4 overs, P Morrow 25, J Pollard 25, M Foster 22). CSN won by 6 wickets.