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Edwards the difference as England beat Ireland

Ireland's women cricketers turned in a brave performance against world champions England at Loughborough on Saturday, before losing by 51 runs.

English skipper Charlotte Edwards proved the difference between the two sides as she carried her bat scoring 72 from 61 deliveries (8 fours).

The only other contributor of note was Arran Brindle (29) in the England total of 136 for 4.

The Irish bowlers stuck to their task well, with Kim Garth the pick taking 1 for 21 in her four over spell which included a maiden.

The other wicket takers were Laura Cullen (1-10), Laura Delany (1-22), and Isobel Joyce (1-25).

Ireland in reply were always up against the run rate despite an opening stand of 47 in 10 overs between Clare Shillington (29), and Cecelia Joyce (16).

The English spinners put the brakes on any hope of a second half acceleration as the Irish finished on 85-5 in their 20 overs.

The triumvirate of Danni Wyatt (2-12), Laura Marsh (1-10), and Holly Colvin (1-12) all proved difficult to score against as the hoped for Irish charge never materialised.

Still, there was much to be admired about the young Irish side against such an imposing side as England which will them confidence for the remainder of the season.