Ireland storm past Canada
IRELAND managed to beat Hurricane Earl as well as Canada in Toronto yesterday by knocking off the 52 runs they needed to stay in contention for the InterContinental Cup either side of a long rain delay.
Fifth-wicket pair Andrew White and John Mooney had reduced the victory target to 28 in the first 6.2 overs of the morning but then had to wait until late afternoon to finish off a six-wicket win after a weather front associated with the hurricane washed out nearly six hours of playing time.
A maximum haul of 20 points means the defending champions will move into second place on the IC Cup qualifying ladder with an outright victory over Zimbabwe in Harare later this month.
Apart from White's century, Ireland will also have been buoyed this week by a return to form with the bat from fit-again Andre Botha and an Irish record of nine catches by rookie wicketkeeper Rory McCann.
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Two tries in each half enabled defending champions Leinster to beat Connacht 24-14 in the U-20 inter-pros at the Sportsground last night. Leinster led 12-6 at the end of a poor opening half.
Hooker David Doyle finished a pushover try after 21 minutes after Connacht centre Niall Kenneally had put the home side ahead five minutes earlier. Flanker Patrick Dix broke off a ruck to get Leinster's second try after 26 minutes, with Gearoid McDonald adding the points before Kenneally got his second penalty for Connacht.
The second half was of a higher quality but while Kenneally reduced the deficit with a third penalty after 59 minutes, Connacht were unable to turn good possession into scores. Leinster soon overpowered their opponents and tries from Cathal Marsh and Eoin Joyce settled the issue.
Meanwhile, Ulster got their U-20 campaign off to a winning start with a deserved 20-15 victory over Munster at the Mardyke.
Munster took an early lead with two penalties from JJ Hanrahan, but a try by Stephen Irvine put the visitors ahead. Hanrahan restored Munster's lead with a third penalty but on the stroke of half-time Ulster were awarded a penalty try which Jackson converted for a 14-9 lead.
Munster's only reply in the second half were two Hanrahan penalties, but out half Paddy Jackson ensured victory for Ulster with two kicks of his own.
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Ireland finished equal fifth in the Nations Cup won by Belgium at Gijon in Spain yesterday.
Capt David O'Brien produced the only Irish clear in the opening round with Mo Chroi. Both Shane Breen (Carmena Z) and Cian O'Connor (Splendor) picked up eight faults and Dermott Lennon (Hallmark Elite) left one fence on the floor.
O'Connor's horse was foot-perfect second time out, and the Irish total of 20 faults left them on level pegging with Saudi Arabia.
Britain, France and Canada jointly filled the runner-up spot with 16 faults apiece and the Belgians won through with a total of 12.
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