IRELAND proved they were comfortably the third best team at the Women’s T20 World Cup qualifying tournament yesterday with victory over Papua New Guinea but it was not enough to make next year’s finals in Australia.

Only the winning semi-finalists were guaranteed a finals berth and defeat by Bangladesh on Thursday condemned the young Ireland squad to yesterday’s third/fourth place play-off.

Eimear Richardson took 3-9 and Kim Garth 2-15 as PNG were restricted to 85-8 and Rebecca Stokell, opening the batting, in her first game of the tournament, and Garth scored 26 not out and 29 respectively – both at exactly a run-a-ball – as Ireland reached their target at the start of the 12th over, with the help of 16 wides.

The tournament ends the interim appointment as head coach of Ed Joyce and now Cricket Ireland must now decide on a permanent successor to Aaron Hamilton who was replaced after Ireland lost eight successive T20 internationals.