'Play-off' loss costly for U-19s
Ireland will have to qualify for the next U-19 World Cup after narrowly failing to beat the West Indies in the first round of the Plate tournament in Lincoln, New Zealand - a defeat that ensures the Boys in Green with finish below the other ICC full members.
In what was effectively a play-off to avoid the 2020 preliminary rounds, Ireland posted a defendable 278-8, thanks Neil Rock's top score of 91 from 101 balls and 69 from skipper Harry Tector, but the West Indies chased down the target with four wickets and 10 balls to spare.
Ireland are favourites to finish 13th as they battle on against the lesser lights of Papua New Guinea, Kenya and Namibia to decide the lower rankings.
However, the ICC has decided each of its five regions will send a qualifier to the next U-19 finals so one full member has to miss out.
Meanwhile, a 13-strong squad will fly to Harare next month as Ireland's women take on Zimbabwe in eight white-ball games. Mary Waldron, of Malahide, will lead the side in three ODIs before captain Kim Garth joins the team for a T20 series, at the end of her Big Bash contract in Sydney.