Ireland claim Twenty20 title


Ireland followed up their victory in the 50 over Senior Women’s European Championships by winning the inaugural Twenty20 event at Rathmines.

They defeated The Netherlands in the title decider, chasing down what could have been a challenging Dutch total of 115 for 6, to win by nine wickets with 6.3 overs to spare.

Clare Shillington hit an unbeaten 58 from 49 balls, striking eight fours and a six. The Netherlands were made to pay for dropping her of the very first ball of the Irish innings, which could have changed the complexion of the tie completely.

Shillington played some lovely strokes, being particularly strong through the covers and square of the wicket initially, before favouring the square leg and midwicket regions later in her innings.

Isobel Joyce and Shillington put on a rapid 56 in six overs, with Joyce making a rapid 35 from just 18 balls. She hit three fours and two consecutive sixes over deep midwicket off Annemarie Tanke, who finished with 0 for 30 from her two overs, suffering from that missed opportunity.

Once Joyce went, caught at short midwicket pulling Mandy Kornet, Shillington grasped the mantle and dominated a stand of 60 in seven overs with Cecelia Joyce whose share was just an unbeaten seven.

Kornet (1-17 off 4), was the only Dutch bowler to escape the carnage, bowling with great accuracy and determination, albeit in a losing cause.

In the Netherlands total of 115 for 6, the main partnerships was 60 between Marijn Nijman (29*), and Miranda Veringmeier (27), for the fifth wicket, taking their side from a precarious 53 for 4 to 113 for 5.

The pair played some powerful strokes, particularly down the ground, and both ran very well putting the Irish fielders under pressure.

They were given good support by Annemarie Tanke (20), and Violet Wattenberg (15). The pick of the Irish bowlers were Amy Kenealy (2-19), and Eimear Richardson (2-20).

In the first match of the day, The Netherlands ran out 38 run winners over Scotland.
Batting first they racked up a total of 138 for 7 in their 20 overs, with six of their top seven batters reaching double figures.

Catherine Odoulf top scored with 33, and she was well supported by Marijn Nijman (22), Mandy Kornet (19*), with Alarda Mol and Violet Wattenberg making 16.

Scotland bowled reasonably well, but the early start obviously didn’t agree with their fielders, who turned in what can only be called a sloppy performance.

Fiona Urquhart (2-22), and Abbi Aitken (2-23) were the most successful of the Scottish attack.

Scotland were never in serious contention in the run chase, as Kari Anderson (34) ploughed a lonely furrow. She faced 52 balls, and struck just the one boundary. None of the other Scottish batters managed to reach double figures, and their final total of 100 was down mainly to Anderson and the generosity of the Dutch attack, who bowled 28 wides.

The exception to the wayward bowling was Marloes Braart who didn’t concede a single extra and had the excellent analysis of 3 for 13. The other wicket takers were Annemarie Tanke (1-21), and Evelien Gerrits (1-22).

The game between Ireland and Scotland resulted in a comprehensive 86 run win for the hosts.

Their total of 148 for 2 was based around yet another fine batting display from the top order. The Joyce sisters were the heaviest scorers – Isobel top scoring with 46 from 42 balls, and Cecelia making an undefeated 35 at exactly a run a ball.

Clare Shillington (26) shared an opening stand of 66 with Isobel Joyce, before being bowled by 16 year old Lynne Dickson, who had the honour of capturing the first Irish wicket of the week.

Dickson (2-20), followed that up by having Isobel Joyce brilliantly caught behind by Lorna Jack. That was to the end of the Scottish success, as Eimear Richardson (31*) shared an unbroken stand of 62 with Cecelia Joyce.
Scotland made little attempt to chase the Irish score, creeping to 62 for 7 in the allotted overs, with only Kari Anderson trying to force the pace. She hit three fours in an over from Ciara Metcalfe on her way to 16 in rapid time.

Her demise, caught behind by Valmai Gee off Metcalfe saw Scotland opt for batting out the overs, getting in some match practice. Leigh Kasperek made 9 before being run out, and no-one else threatened to hit the ball.

Amy Kenealy took three wickets in quick succession to finish with 3 for 15, while Ciara Metcalfe bounced back superbly from the Anderson onslaught to finish with two for 16.

At the presentation ceremony after the games, Eimear Richardson of Ireland was named Player of the Tournament, while The Netherlands collected the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award.