Isobel Joyce produced a Player of the Match performance
Joyce leads her young Irish side into the finals of the ICC World Twenty20, which will be held next April in Bangladesh.
Joyce scored an unbeaten 72 from 64 balls (6 fours) as Ireland posted 136 for 5 in the rain delayed encounter at YMCA.
The Irish skipper shared a crucial 80 run second wicket partnership with 17 year-old Kim Garth which laid the foundations for an impressive Irish batting performance on a slowish outfield following heavy rain.
Garth made a run a ball 31, but her dismissal saw Ireland fail to push on in the final overs, when a total of 150 looked to be within their grasp.
The Dutch women were always in contention in their reply, inspired by an excellent innings from Helmien Rambaldo. She made an unbeaten 58 from 54 balls (3 fours) and looked to be steering her team to the third qualification slot.
The game turned in Ireland’s favour thanks to two pieces of inspirational fielding. Firstly, Cecelia Joyce held a steepling catch on the boundary to remove the dangerous Tessa van der Gunn (20), and crucially, 13 year-old Lucy O’Reilly ran out Heather Siegers (29) to put Ireland back on top.
The Netherlands needed a boundary from the final ball but managed just a single as Ireland prevailed by just two runs – Laura Delany holding her nerve in those final anxious deliveries.
A fantastic game of cricket and a super advert for the Women’s game, played in front of a large crowd at YMCA, who deserve special praise for hosting the game in such trying and difficult conditions.
Women’s World Cricket Twenty20 Qualifiers 3rd-4th place play-off
At Claremont Road, YMCA
Ireland 136-5 (20 overs, Isobel Joyce 72*, Kim Garth 31, Marloes Braat 2-24) beat Netherlands 134-4 (Helmien Rambaldo 58*, Heather Siegers 29, Tessa van der Gun 20) by two runs.