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Ireland defeat Netherlands to secure promotion

A quite brilliant hundred from Clare Shillington - her first in international cricket - secured a 133 run for Ireland against Netherlands, and with it promotion to Division Two of the ECB County Championships.

Shillington smashed 107 from 106 balls (12 fours) as Ireland posted a competitive 215 all out in the winner takes all fixture at East Grimstead.

Having won the toss and batted, Shillington raced to her half century from just 37 balls, sharing in an opening stand of 95 with Cecelia Joyce (32 ) in just 14 overs.

Ireland suffered a slight wobble in mid innings, but with Shillington in control a total in exceess of 200 was always likely.

She found a willing partner in Melissa Scott-Hayward who made 18 in a stand of 41, and Louise McCarthy hit a breezy 12 as Ireland finished on 215 all out in 44.5 overs.

Clare Crewdson (4-40), Leonie Bennett (2-30), and Esther De Lange (2-54) were the most successful of the Dutch attack.

McCarthy and Kim Garth then reduced the Dutch reply to tatters as they slumped to 31 for 5, including the crucial wicket of Australian Clare Crewdson for 12.

Wicket-keeper Heather Siegers top scored with 23 as the Dutch eventually made just 82 in 26.1 overs.

Louise McCarthy (4-23), Kim Garth (3-11), and Elena Tice (3-22) shared the wickets in the resounding victory.

Ireland now swap places with The Netherlands in the second division of the County Championships.

The win caps a superb season for the Irish Women who went through their English campaign unbeaten, and in addition secured the European T20 Championships.

There will be no resting on their laurels though for the Irish as coaches Jeremy Bray and Nigel Pyne declared: "Planning for promotion from Division Two starts tomorrow morning!"

Irish skipper Isobel Joyce was in ebullient mood after the win stating:" We're delighted to finish the season on such a high. Promotion was one of our targets this season and we've achieved it so emphatically.

"I'm very happy for Clare Shillington that she put in such a big performance in a huge match and that our bowlers backed her up."