Ireland collected their first wooden spoon in the Triple Crown as they lost to England by 36 runs at Malahide yesterday. Perhaps it was the residual shock of the narrow loss to the Scots on Tuesday but from an early stage the Irish side did not look to have the self-belief to contain the visitors or later chase their total of 173.
That was, in fact, quite a good score as the match had been reduced to 43 overs-a-side because overnight rain had seeped under the covers at one end of the pitch. Containment became difficult after Ryan Eagleson took some punishment in his 50th cap match and Dwayne McGerrigle had to retire after five overs with recurring shin splints discomfort.
None of the Irish team suggested that they would get a firm grip on the English Bowling and Peter Davy, 20, Barry Archer, 20, and Ed Joyce, 18, at one stage or another promised to deliver but without succeeding.
Not surprisingly, the selectors were grim faced when they went into a huddle later for a preliminary meeting on the squad to take on South Africa "A" in less than two weeks. Good performances in the final inter-provincial series on Sunday will be vital to several players' chances.
Overnight rain delayed the start of yesterday's Triple Crown match at Malahide, reducing it to 43 overs each, and, by the end, England's 36 run victory resulted in Ireland's first whitewash in this tournament.
Crucial to England's success was the 62-run seven-wicket stand by Dave Clark and David Pennett. Matt Dwyer, with three for 17 off nine overs, was Ireland's best bowler.
It soon became clear that the home team were never going to get the runs needed for victory. Dwayne McGerrigle, coming in with the score on 90 for seven, displayed the sort of elan notably absent among too many of his colleagues. He hit two sixes and a four from successive balls.