Victory for the Irish as the weather rules again
Blessed as we are with another glorious Irish summer, it came as no surprise to anyone with half an eye on the forecast that the weather all but ruined the final day of the tournament.
At Osborne Park, the title decider between Ireland and Scotland was abandoned in the late afternoon without a ball bowled. Nearby Shaw's Bridge had seen more than sixty overs of league cricket, even with a later starting time, but leaks in the covers had left the pitch at Osborne saturated and intermittent showers put paid to any possibility of starting.
Not that the Irish would have minded, of course: anything other than a comprehensive defeat would have given them the title, and they can now celebrate - deservedly - a third consecutive championship success.
Things weren't much better at Bready - soon, surely to become an international ground - where persistent drizzle allowed the Netherlands and Guernsey only eleven overs of play. In that time the Dutch had progressed to 50 for 2, Sverre Loggers making 27 and Matthew Renouf - now the tournament's leading wicket-taker - and Matt Breban sharing the wickets.
Taking one point each from the abandoned match, Guernsey finish in a more than creditable fourth place, with the Dutch one behind in fifth.
At Coleraine, though, mainly thanks to the intervention of Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, we did have a result as Jersey beat Denmark by 156 runs under the 'par score' regulation.
Denmark might regret having asked Jersey to bat as the Islanders racked up what must be a tournament record total of 391 for 4, their batsmen tucking in and punishing the generous lengths and widths they were offered with a merciless impunity.
Jersey skipper Ben Stevens was chiefly responsible for the carnage, pillaging a mammoth 162 (115 balls; fifteen fours; five sixes). And notwithstanding the volume of Stevens's runs, what impressed most of all was their quality. Indeed, one would struggle to recall an ungainly hoick or an escape through the slips for there were more straight sixes, sumptuous cover drives and nonchalant flicks over the leg-side boundary than any of the Danish bowlers will care to remember.
And Stevens was not alone: Aidan McGuire (53) and Dan McAviney (34) gave Jersey a rapid start, Corne Bodenstein (44 from 26 balls) was set for a century of his own before he fell victim - again - to a careless pull shot, while Tim de la Haye bludgeoned an unbeaten 48 in the final overs.
391 for 4, then, but with the skyline suggesting more the apocalypse than the first day of August, victory was far from assured. The only thing that guaranteed the win was the speed with which James Faudemer and Ben Beeley got through their ten over spells to get the neccesary twenty overs in: all it took was 55 minutes, an even more remarkable statistic given the 25 wides they contrived to concede.
Despite the massive margin of victory, Jersey will still finish in third - Scotland's run rate remains slightly superior - but this has been yet another impressive tournament for the Channel Islanders who should no longer be perceived as 'punching above their weight'.