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Simmons issues rallying call to Irish fans

IRELAND coach Phil Simmons and opening bowler Tim Murtagh have urged Irish fans to 'be part of the ten thousand' supporters expected to pack out Malahide for the game against England next May.

Middlesex seamer Murtagh is hoping Ireland can overthrow the 'old enemy' when they meet again in Dublin on May 8th 2015.

Speaking at the official launch of the Ireland v England ODI at Malahide Castle, Murtagh concedes the Irish blew a glorious chance when the sides met last year.

Chasing 270, Murtagh took 3 for 33 to reduce the visitors to 48 for 4 before unbeaten centuries from Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara led England to the six wicket win.

"There was undoubtedly a feeling in the camp that we missed out on a great opportunity to record another famous win. They were definitely reeling, and there was such an incredible atmosphere with the 10,000 capacity crowd roaring us on.

"Unfortunately the pitch settled down and once the shine went off the new ball, batting became a lot easier. It was my best bowling display in an Irish shirt but it was deflating that we couldn't seal the win.

"Malahide is a fantastic setting and with the capacity crowd creating such a carnival atmosphere, it certainly was a day to remember even if the result didn't go our way."

While the forthcoming World Cup campaign is foremost in Ireland coach Phil Simmons' thoughts, he admits that the squad always relish a clash with their neighbours across the Irish Sea.

"Ireland against England in any sport is always a hard-fought battle and the clash on May 8th will be no different.

"There's something in the Irish psyche that always motivates them against England.

"The fixture certainly captivated the imagination of the Irish public the last time with the record crowd of ten thousand which contributed to such a magnificent occasion. With the glorious weather and the enthusiasm of the crowd it was more reminiscent of a West Indian match than an Irish one!"

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