SPAIN NARROWLY LOSE TO IRELAND
Not to be outdone by the heroics of the National team in the West Indies the Ireland Under 15 side came to La Manga and did a professional job in defeating a spirited Spanish side in two weekend fixtures.
Sat 10th March Ireland 193 for 6 Spain 143 for 6 40 overs Spain lost by 50 runs
Ireland batting first made a steady start to their innings putting on 81 for the first wicket after some very good bowling by the Spanish opening bowlers. Ireland's strength in batting showed as all the middle order produced partnerships and worked together to reach the respectable score of 193 for 6 .The pick of the Spanish bowlers was Ben Girling who took 2 wickets for 22 runs.
Spain lost an early wicket in their reply but moved the score briskly on, before at 43 for 1 the untimely run out of Matt Winter changed the face of the game. Spain lost some impetus and their next 5 wickets went tumbling for 38 runs leaving them struggling on 81 for 7.
Spanish supporters were given some hope of an unlikely victory with a brave batting display by Tom Foster and Sam Eadington who put on a partnership of 60 before Ireland managed the breakthrough that effectively sealed the game.Spain finished with a respectable score of 143 for 8 off their 40 overs falling 50 runs short of the classy Irish side.
Sun 11th Mar 20/20 Match Spain 96 for 8Ireland 127 for 6 Spain lost by 31 runs
Irelandagain batting first produced a solid batting performance putting on 127 in their 20 overs, although the Spanish side gave an indifferent fielding performance that giftedIreland another 30 runs which over the course of the game proved to be crucial.
Spain lost early wickets but a fine performance by Matt Winter scoring 55 from only 45 balls helpedSpainto the respectable total of 96 for 8, just 31 runs short of the total posted by Ireland.Spain'sinexperience in this format of cricket alongside their fielding just put the victory they desperately wanted out of grasp.
Encouragement should be taken fromSpain’s performances over the two days because they showed they continue to improve and that they can be competitive against even the stronger cricket nations in Europe.The fact Ireland were able to bring 5 coaches for two Under 15 games shows the strength of the oppositions resources and commitment to cricket.
Positives were taken from both games and the weaknesses exposed will be worked on dilligently by the coaches in coming weeks to ensure the Spanish team will continue their upward curve and be a force for all teams when the International Junior tournament arrives on Spanish soil in August.