CECELIA JOYCE scored a half century as Ireland beat The Netherlands by 32 runs in their European T20 opener at Rugby.

The Irish - playing in their 200th international match - got off to the worst possible start as their most capped player Clare Shillington (126) was bowled off the first ball of the match.

Cecelia Joyce and Mary Waldron then shared a productive second wicket partnership of 91, dominated by Joyce.

The Merrion star hit 58 from 51 balls (6 fours), while Waldron proved the perfect foil making 29 from 39 balls.

Isobel Joyce (13) and Laura Delany (10) added late runs as Ireland finished on 132 for 5.

The Dutch chase started in similar vein to the Irish, as Miranda Veringmeier was bowled second ball by Louise McCarthy (1-18).

Esther De Lange batted through the 20 overs to finish on 53 from 69 balls (3 fours) as the Dutch made no attempt to chase the target, simply opting for respectability and improving their run rate.

The Irish attack bowled tidily as The Netherlands finished 32 runs adrift on 100 for 4.

Ireland are back in action tomorrow morning (WED) when they take on Scotland at 10:30am.

If she plays, Kim Garth will win her 50th cap for Ireland.


Ireland's most capped players

  1. Clare Shillington (126)
  2. Isobel Joyce (115)
  3. Cecelia Joyce (88)
  4. Miriam Grealey (80)
  5. Catriona Begga (66)
  6. Eimear Richardson (64)
  7. Melissa Scott-Hayward (62)
  8. Anne Linehan (61)
  9. Barbara McDonald (60)
  10. Louise McCarthy (58)
  11. Mary Waldron (57)
  12. Laura Delany (56)
  13. Ciara Metcalfe (55)
  14. Heather Whelan (51)
  15. Kim Garth (49)