|Under 19 World Cup Qualifier: Ireland, July-August 2011|
Ross the hero as Scotland defeat Ireland
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
ANOTHER Ireland Under 19 World Cup qualifier and another last over finish but this time the hosts came out on the losing side.
Peter Ross, with an undefeated 60 from 71 balls saw Scotland to their revised victory target of 206 in 40 overs off the penultimate ball. The Scots needed just four off the last 10 balls with four wickets left but George Dockrell (3-29) and Graeme McCarter each took a wicket in their final over and in the end they did in singles with two just wickets standing.
The Ireland innings was dominated by Jason van der Merweís 96 off 114 balls with 11 fours and a six, the Ireland No 3 coming to the middle at the end of the first over and staying until the 44th. Andy McBrine was dropped twice on his way to 53 as Ireland enjoyed their steadiest start of the tournament, losing only three wickets in the first 40 overs.
It allowed Ireland to score 145 from the last 20 overs and 84 off the last 10 with Adam Coughlan again impressing with an unbeaten 36 from 28 balls. He was promoted to No 6 but it is still too low for the North County batsman.
Shane Getkate played his first game of the tournament and although he didnít bowl, his 23 from 19 balls maintained Irelandís late momentum. But for rain interrupting Scotlandís innings at 106 for three off 24 overs, it might have been enough.
With every Ireland game being decided in the last two balls, this defeat leaves them level with five other teams on two wins each, but with the worst run rate they are in the last qualifying position with three teams just one win behind them.
But although qualification for the finals in Australia next year should be a formality this team will want to emulate their predecessors and progress as winners.
Their consolation after this defeat is that they have played probably three of their toughest opponents first up. The remaining six matches should be easier, starting against Kenya at Rathmines today.