Ireland 8 wickets away from third ICC Intercontinental Cup final

This just in from our roving, occasional, cricket correspondent, esmereldavillalobos.

“Not sure if anyone’s interested anymore given their poor performances during a (very wet) summer and the current shenanigans at the IFA but Ireland’s cricketers have nearly pulled off the unlikely and made it to the final of the cup again. After a nailbiting win by 8 runs in Namibia 10 days ago Ireland needed to win the 1st innings against Kenya for bonus points and win the match to proceed to the final and meet the Namibians again. The Irish batsmen made a mammoth 1st innings score with 3 centurions and then proceeded to skittle the Kenyans 1st time around and enforce the follow on. Victory should follow tomorrow and then the final where the Irish will be going for a hat-trick of wins!”

Last year’s win over Canada was noted here. And the current ICC points table is here. A word of caution, though. If Kenya manage to hold out for a draw tomorrow, the final day of the match, they’ll go to the final instead. Update Ireland win by an innings and 65 runs. Final against Namibia Oct 30-Nov 3 at Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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    Why are cricket and rugby ONLY played by Protestant state schools? What are the cricket and rugby authorities in the North of Ireland doing to ensure that these sports are cross community and open to all? ALL I have heard these last few weeks are demands to know “what the GAA is doing to reach out to Unionists?”. I have NEVER heard the media ask what these British/Unionist sports are doing to reach out to Nationalists! It probably doesn’t suit the Unionist media agenda to even raise this but I for one am pissed off at the rotten, stinking, hypocrisy that goes on in relation to it.

  • Donnacha

    FFS, it’s only a game. And it’s not confined to Protestant schools all over. There’s a thriving local cricket competition in North Wexford.

    (And the codeword below is “run”. Nice.)

  • LURIG,

    It’s a while since we had that conversation. Cricket only has a sectarian base in Northern Ireland, and much less so in the north west than the east. North Dublin is a cricketing hotspot in the Republic.

    I knew some exceptions amongst the people I grew up with, but that was mostly to do with the individual family traditions they grew up with. By the time most Catholics got the bug for rugby or cricket, their Protestant mates had already been playing it at school for a few years. And Soccer and Gaelic skills don’t transfer easily to the rigid team formations of rugby or the open-ended pyschological torture that is cricket.

    That said, and going on past experience of this conversation, there are more than a few Republican cricket heads amongst Slugger’s readers. I think St Pat’s in Dungannon played rugby at one time. Oh, and we did play three competitive games of rugby at school. I say competitive, but they were anything but. We got hammered each time, by kids who were two and three years younger than us.

    And *that* said, well done Ireland! Better late than never! Keep her lit!

  • RepublicanStones

    Could be worse…could be baseball !

  • pat

    Shenanigans at the IFA, What’s new.

    I suppose Mr Wells forced the religious dinosaurs to ‘sort of’ allow Sunday football.

    Although i don’t think even Saatchi & Saatchi could do anything to change the perseption of a unionist/loyalist dominated support, especially after watching last weekend’s match.

    Rule Britannia, God Save The Queen, Union Flags, No surrender chants, The Famine song, GSTQ banners etc…….. It was more like an England game ten years ago.

  • esmereldavillalobos


    Why are cricket and rugby ONLY played by Protestant state schools?

    That is a great question, why don’t we try and get an answer from the CCMS? I’m only interested in the sport really; if you want to play, seek it out, you will be made most welcome. Trust me, with a minority sport enthusiam is much more important then talent (something I’ve played on for years!) or tradition . Take the sectarian bunfight elsewhere please.


    Baseball gets a bad press but I saw two great games in Oakland and LA about 18 months ago (it helped that the Yankees got beaten by the A’s in a thriller!) and the food and ‘refreshments’ are excellent. A Red Sox/Dodgers World Series should be interesting with Boston coming out on top I fancy.

    To get back to the topic though (thanks, Pete!) Trent Johnston has four wickets as the Kenyans are 181/5, still trailing by 210 with 73 overs left in the day – fat lady doing her exercises!

  • fin

    first and foremost has anyone found a internet radio station broadcasting the game, its going to be a nailbiter and text just doesn’t do it for me.

    and its a shame we only field our best team when the domestic season is over, in true Irish fashion these guys are giant killers on their day and deserve a lot more support from the Irish people and the state bodies, more support would mean the talent of people like Joyce pulling sticking with his country.

    as for the reaching out rubbish, if the deputy first minister can be a fan, why can’t other republicans
    Come on the Leprechaun’s

  • FIN

    and its looking good, 193 for 5 at lunch and Kenya are just about into their tailenders

  • Best of look to the Irish Cricket team.
    For those who think cricket is for wimps try facing a fast bowler in full flight or fielding at silly mid on or silly point
    Can anyone remember Mike Gattings double blackeyes recieved from the Aussies a few years back

  • fin

    306 for 7, 3 wickets left, the Irish are closing in on another final…….

    black eyes are onething blinding but when you see a fielder go down holding his groin you can feel his pain.

    regarding other posts,many top kickers such as jonny wilkinson are coached by gaa football coaches, and I think there is enough crossover between hurley and cricket for Ireland to produce even better players in the future. Yes England will still nick the best…..but one day…..

  • fin

    Pete, btw, Ireland qualified for next years 20/20 world cup this summer, so it wasn’t all that bad

  • esmereldavillalobos


    After another cuticle chewer, Ireland prevail despite some heroic lower order resistance by Kenya to win by an innings and 65 runs with 6 overs and 2 balls remaining – they do not like making it easy do they?! Regan West and Andre Botha’s medium pace did the damage in the end to clean up the tail and another final beckons. Not sure where the final will be played next month (surely somewhere in South Africa?) but Ireland will surely start as favourites.


    I think it was the late, great Malcolm Marshall who rearranged Gatt’s features on a tour to the Windies in the 80’s (I think Marshall found bits of Gatting’s nasal cartilage still embedded in the ball, perhaps apocryphal but a good story none the less) – the lesson being when batting with a helmet, use a grille!

  • “What are the cricket and rugby authorities in the North of Ireland doing to ensure that these sports are cross community and open to all?”

    What, like going into the Bogside, stripping the local yoof of their hoodies and shoving a nice white wooly sweater over their heads?

    Unless you can state cases where catholics were *refused* memberships in such clubs?


    My point was not about having a go at cricket OR rugby which I have watched for decades BUT the hypocrisy that goes on in relation to sport in NI. After the All Ireland final we had the usual Unionist post mortem and point scoring about the GAA. The media, as usual, fed on this with glee BUT not a word is ever published about those sports played by state schools. When Ireland had that success in the cricket World Cup I didn’t recall the frenzy as to why Northern Catholics don’t play it OR when Ulster play at Ravenhill. In sporting terms I just want a level playing field, so to say.

  • esmereldavilllobos
    Thanks for further information on Gatting.

    It was amazing how Malcom Marshall could bowl so fast in his hayday with him being not so big as most fast bowlers.

    To the poster that mentioned skills from one sport transfering to another the fielding skills of hurlers would be usefull on the cricket field.

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks for the heads-up, esme.

    And glad to see that your optimism wasn’t mis-placed too.

    “Phew”, indeed. ;o)


    Yes, I believe I did note that.

  • abucs

    Pakistan must be shaking in their boots !! :o)

  • esmereldavillalobos

    I’ll just keep updating on this thread for the moment – ah, the lonely life of an Ireland cricket fan 😉

    The international tri-series in Kenya between the bottom 3 in the ODI rankings continues (Ireland are ranked 10th at present, behind Bangladesh but ahead of both Kenya and Zimbabwe). The Irish got thumped yesterday by Zimbabwe after a dodgy opening bowling performance by Connell & Rankin and a pretty abject batting performance all round.

    With the morrow comes a new day and a comprehensive victory over the hosts by 86 runs. The less heralded brother O’Brien, big-hitting Kevin made the difference with a belligerent 83 off 52 balls after a top order wobble gave the Kenyans early supremacy. Surely a full time county contract awaits Kevin after a big hundred in the intercontinental cup last week and an ODI average now over 30 with the bat. In the field, a much more consistent performance with the ball proved too much for a deteriorating Kenyan side whose innings subsided meekly at the end.

    2 more round robin games next week with the final on Saturday – improvement is required with bat and ball against Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Quick update – both Ireland’s games in the tri-series were abandoned without a ball being bowled due to nasty weather and a sodden outfield in Nairobi. Bottom line is now this: if there is no result in the match between Kenya and Zimbabwe tomorrow (abandoned/tie), Ireland are out due to an inferior net-run rate (don’t ask!); if there is a result, Ireland make the final against the winners of that match. With the weather forecast for tomorrow mixed it looks like the team will be dropping a few ranking points.