|European Under 17 (Division 1) Championship: Northern Ireland, July-August 2009|
Ireland roar back to thrash the Dutch at Downpatrick
They might have needed the help of Duckworth-Lewis to beat both the rain and the Netherlands at Downpatrick today, but there was nothing fortuitous about Ireland's nine-wickets victory, the comprehensive nature of which will surely put to bed the gremlins evidenced in Monday's match against Guernsey.
With Shane Getkate claiming four wickets and George Dockrell three, the Netherlands had been restricted to a paltry 89, almost half of which came from Dutch captain Dennis Coster, whose stoically unbeaten 44 (109 balls, three fours) was the only thing that stood between his team and abject humiliation.
At the other end from Coster, however, repeatedly poor shot selection, a general absence of foot movement and sound catching from the Irish - especially Eoghan Conway in the gully - ensured that no partnership lasted longer than 33 minutes. Moreover, when the end came, it was quick: Getkate perfectly exhibited how to bowl at the tail, hitting the stumps with successive balls.
To their credit, the Dutch refused to give in and Paul van Meekeren would bowl one of the better opening spells seen so far in the tourrnament, albeit for no reward. Indeed, had Ryan Hunter been held at mid-wicket - when barely into double figures - the brittleness which the Irish top order had evidenced in Bangor might well have resurfaced.
As it was, Hunter survived; and though he would eventually fall to a waist-high full toss helped around the corner to square-leg, his 31 - laced with four boundaries, the best of which was a screaming drive on the up through point - had all but done the job.
Eventually, the rain which had threatened did arrive, and when it persisted both captains and the umpires shook on the result as determined by Duckworth-Lewis (at that stage, Ireland were as many as 46 runs ahead of the 'par score') and much to the relief of the Downpatrick groundstaff time was called.