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Ireland U19s reach World stage after edging a thrilling finale

 

By Ian Callender

Ireland will be playing in the Under-19 World Cup finals in New Zealand early next year after beating Scotland by five runs in an incredible final qualifying game in Jersey.

In the winner-take-all match, captain Harry Tector hit 55 but the next highest score was eight as Ireland were bowled out for 108 to leave the bowlers with a huge task. But once again they were up to it with Coleraine's Varun Chopra starting the startling collapse which saw Scotland, comfortably placed at 94-5, lose their last five wickets for nine runs. Senior international Josh Little took the final wicket to start the wild celebrations.

Scores: Grainville: Ireland 108 (47.4 overs, H Tector 55; O Brown 4-15) Scotland 103 (34.5 overs, R Johnston 30; A Cawley 3-21, J Little 3-23, M Neville 2-12). Ireland U19s won by five runs.

Meanwhile, seven of the Ireland Wolves side are in action over the next three days in Comber (11am) when the Northern Knights take on the North West Warriors in the Inter-provincial Championship.

With the Ireland team to face the Netherlands in the Intercontinental Cup in Malahide being selected this evening, today is the last chance for the players to push their claim or confirm their place in the squad.

Craig Young should be a certainty for the international and will be keen to return to action after missing out on the second innings in the Wolves game last week with a recurrence of an elbow injury.

Nathan Smith took five wickets in the first innings and was the most impressive bowler on view at Southgate, while James Shannon and James McCollum are the Knights batsmen closest to a place on the Ireland team.

The Warriors are again without Niall O'Brien, this time with a shoulder problem, and with Ricky-Lee Dougherty also unavailable, Andrew Austin will keep wicket.

Knights: J Shannon (capt), C Dougherty, G Kidd, G McCarter, J McCollum, R McKinley, J Magowan, J Mulder, L Nelson, Nat Smith, Nik Smith, G Thompson.

Warriors: A McBrine (capt), R Allen, A Austin, D Barr, I Butt, A Gillespie, S Lazars, D Rankin, D Scanlon, J Thompson, S Thompson, C Young.

Belfast Telegraph

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