TEENAGERS Georgina Dempsey and Amy Hunter went toe-to-toe with Australia in Clontarf yesterday before Ireland conceded defeat to the world champions by 153 runs in the second  Women’s ODI Challenge.

Seam bowler Dempsey, an 18-year-old Dubliner, rocked the Aussie top order with two wickets in two balls, including skipper Alyssa Healy, after Orla Prendergast had made the initial breakthrough.

The visitors recovered well from 58-3 before Dempsey returned to remove top scorer Ellyse Perry for 91, and a further wicket gave her career-best figures of 4-54 as Australia posted an imposing 321-7.

“As a bowling unit we definitely created opportunities with Georgina doing incredibly well to take four wickets,” said skipper Laura Delany. 

“One thing for us to work on is to reduce the number of boundary balls we bowl. We had plenty of dots but also too many loose deliveries and that's an area we’ll focus on for the next game.”

Former Ireland international Kim Garth opened the bowling for Australia and had opener Leah Paul lbw for five before Gaby Lewis and Hunter added 89 for the second wicket.

After Lewis fell for 37, Hunter went to her half-century from 60 balls, including two sixes, but didn’t add to it and from 130-3 the Ireland reply subsided to 168-9, with Mary Waldron injured and unable to bat.

Delany was full of praise for Hunter, who is fulfilling the promise she showed when becoming the youngest player in the world to score an ODI century, against Zimbabwe last year, when she was only 16.

“Amy is definitely growing in confidence,” Delany said. “It's brilliant to see her developing, and that gives us confidence in the middle order. She batted exceptionally well.”

The final game of the series is on Friday at Clontarf.