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Barry Chambers

Former captain Trent Johnston returned the best ever bowling figures by an Irish player in one day internationals - his 5 for 14 surpassing the 4-19 achieved by Andre Botha against Kenya last year. It could have been even better for the veteran all-rounder - he had figures of 5 for 3 at one stage, and had Gary Wilson held on to a difficult chance at deep midwicket offered when Bhatti was on 0, Johnston's return would have been 6 for 3, and Canada would have been even deeper in the mire.

Canada had raced off to a flying start after being inserted by Porterfield, with Geoff Barnett crashing Boyd Rankin for a six and a four in his opening over. He and Ashif Mulla had added 36 in 6 overs, before Peter Connell had Barnett caught behind for 19. Rizwan Cheema and Mulla continued to attack, taking the total to 61 for 1 in the 9th over. Enter Trent Johnston, badly hampered by a hamstring tear, but you wouldn't have known it by the way he ripped through the Canadian top order, dismissing Mulla, Billcliff. Cheema, Bagai and Dhaniram in quick succession to leave the Canadians in dire straits at 88 for 6.

Johnston wasn't finished with the action, as he trotted down to fine leg to receive treatment on his hamstring, he was perfectly positioned to receive a mistimed Sander Jyoti hook shot, off Boyd Rankin, who came back well after a poor start. Bhatti top scored with 46 from 75 balls, and shared partnerships of 39 with Baidwan (14), and 54 with Chohan (26) which allowed the Canadians to reach semi respectability at 185 all out. Their innings ended quite chaotically with Ireland getting two run outs in successive balls, Regan West and William Porterfield the successful fielders.

A feature of this tournament has been the brilliance of Ireland's fielding, and those two run outs brought their number in the competition to twelve overall. A total of 185 was never going to be enough to challenge a powerful Irish batting line up, on an excellent track and fast outfield and so it proved.

Porterfield and Wilson mixed caution with occasional powerful cuts and drives, and the dangerous Canadian attack of Bhatti and Osinde, which had troubled Ireland in the Groups stages, were soon tamed. The pair added 89 in 24.1 overs, before Wilson, on 38, attempted an ill judged reverse sweep, only finding the safe hands of Ian Billcliff. That was to be the only success for Canada, as the assured Niall O'Brien joined Porterfield, and in 18.2 overs, they shared a stand of 99, with little alarms along the way.

O'Brien (38*), was content to play second fiddle to his skipper, who grew increasingly aggressive as the win neared. In total he stroked 13 boundaries in his undefeated 104 from 133 balls, as Ireland passed their target with 7.3 overs to spare.

Speaking afterwards, a jubilant Johnston said of his heroic display with the ball: "Yeah, I was hopping in and trying to get the ball in the right areas. A couple of their guys hit it in the air and it was one of those days when everything goes right. "I tore my left hamstring in a warm-up match before the tournament - and it's been a nightmare. It's really hard to concentrate when you think you could snap it at any time." Johnston paid tribute to an all-round team performance. He said: "The opening bowlers Peter Connell and Boyd Rankin have done a great job for us throughout, and William Porterfield has been the Player of the Tournament by a mile."

That view was not shared by the decision makers at ICC who opted for the Dutch fast bowler Edgar Schiferli, who was the leading wicket taker, claiming 24 scalps. That was enough to pip Porterfield who scored 515 runs at 57.22. That was the only downside on an otherwise excellent day for the Irish, who once again confirmed their dominance at Associates level. They've added this prestigious trophy to their treble of Intercontinental Cups, and last season's European Championships.

Now Irish fans can welcome home the champions as they begin their Friends Provident campaign against Worcestershire at Stormont on Sunday, before competing on the World stage at the Twenty20 World Cup in June.

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