Thursday, June 22, 2017


Irish cricket has received a tremendous boost after receiving confirmation from ICC of their successful application to be awarded Full Membership and Test status.

The historic decision was taken at the ICC Conference at the Oval in London today where both Ireland and Afghanistan were confirmed as the 11th and 12th Full Member countries in the top echelons of world cricket.

The news was welcomed by Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom, who along with his team has worked tirelessly over the past decade for Ireland’s elevation.
“It’s fantastic news for all involved with Irish cricket and I’d like to thank ICC and the members for the positive outcome,” said a clearly delighted Deutrom. “It’s obviously a great fillip for the game in Ireland, where we are striving to make Ireland not only a major nation in cricket, but also to make cricket a major mainstream sport in the country.
“Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport and it’s what we’ve all been aiming for. The players have been very clear in their stated objective of wanting to play at the very highest level of the game and it’s clearly a momentous day that we will be able to do that in the very near future,” added Deutrom.
“The sport has grown substantially since 2007, with participation levels quadrupling in that time. With the increased profile and revenue streams that will come with achieving Full Membership, this can only get even better as we invest in the sport throughout the country.
“I’d like to thank all those involved with Irish cricket for their drive, enthusiasm and energy over the years which has made this journey an ultimately successful one. We are all justifiably very proud today, but we see this not as the end of the road, but just the first step in taking our wonderful sport further and higher in the years ahead.”

Ireland captain William Porterfield is relishing the opportunity to lead Ireland in a Test match, which he admits would be ‘a bit special’. “It’s wonderful news for all of Irish cricket, with all the players already talking about playing in a Test match for the first time,” said Porterfield.
“We’ve all played in World Cups and achieved some memorable results along the way, but to play in a Test would be a bit special. You dream as a youngster growing up of playing at the highest level and for me the opportunity to lead Ireland in their first Test match would be an incredible experience.”

Cricket Ireland Chairman Ross McCollum outlined the next steps and the immediate future for Irish cricket.
“We are sincerely grateful to the ICC and its members for giving us this honour. It is a recognition of the quality of our teams over the years, male and female, of our talented administration, and of the strength of our domestic and club structures"

Sunday, June 11, 2017


The aftermath of Conservative leader Teresa May's foolhardy decision to call an election back-fired spectacularly with the loss of nearly 30 seats.

Instead of resigning this Thatcheresque PM has turned to the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland with its 10 seats for help in forming a new government in the UK.

Desperation politics many will call it and that is true as relying on Arlene Foster's DUP will demand the strengthening of the Union between Britain and Northern Ireland in return for sharing power with May in the UK.

Sinn Fein will rant and rave at this grave development, but without using their 7 elected MP's at Westminster, there is very little that can be done without their input, apart from bleating at the Government in Dail Eireann.

The Power-Sharing Agreement in Stormont is effectively at an end as the DUP can now tell Teresa May and the Conservatives that they do not wish to remain in Government with Sinn Fein.

So a period of inertia will remain in Ulster without the calming influence of the deceased Martin McGuinness to keep the Provo's quiet. Worrying times ahead.

Monday, June 5, 2017


The Republic of Ireland were deserved winners of this friendly contest in Dublin on Sunday evening against a top team from the America's in Uruguay.

Goals from Jonathan Walters, Cyrus Christie and James McClean gave Republic of Ireland a 3-1 win over the Uruguayans
after Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani limped off in Dublin.
Uruguay were already operating without Luis Suarez and Diego Godin, and Oscar Tabarez's experimental line-up was unsettled by the early withdrawal of Cavani who decided he was unable to continue shortly after a collision with Kevin Long.

Ireland were good value for taking the lead before the half-hour mark, when Walters finished superbly from 20 yards, but the Stoke forward went from hero to villain in first-half stoppage time when, after Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez headed an equaliser,
Walters hit the crossbar from close range with the goal gaping.

There was an element of fortune about the hosts' second goal when a cross-cum-shot from Derby County full-back Christie skidded low into the corner.

But victory was sealed emphatically on the break by substitute McClean 13 minutes from time.

It meant Martin O'Neill's men bounced back impressively from losing by the same scoreline against Mexico two days ago (with an inexperienced line-up that night) and they enjoyed a timely confidence boost ahead of their final World Cup qualifier of the season against Austria next Sunday at 5:00pm.

Visiting goalkeeper Esteban Conde was making his international debut at 34 and saved well as Uruguay waited to introduce Middlesbrough's Cristhian Stuani as Cavani's replacement, palming behind from Robbie Brady. But Conde was in no man's land as he flapped at the resulting corner, with Shane Duffy just unable to find the decisive touch.

Uruguay were struggling for fluency without their attacking focal point and fell behind in the 27th minute.

Walters collected a pass from Stoke team-mate Glenn Whelan and, with the help of some hesitant defending on the edge of the Uruguay box, Ireland's captain lashed a brilliant shot into the top corner.

Martin Caceres headed a 34th-minute corner against the bar for the South Americans and Ireland did not heed that set-piece warning,
with goalkeeper Darren Randolph venturing errantly from his line before Gimenez's effort looped in.

Walters should have restored the hosts' lead in first-half stoppage time but fired against the bar from two yards after Brady's cross left him with the goal at his mercy, the ball bouncing up as he hit it. 

Thankfully for the experienced forward, he would not have to dwell on the miss for too long as right-back Christie cut inside Caceres and clipped a left-footed effort into the far corner.

Stuani fell foul of the Ireland offside trap when he netted midway through the half, while Gimenez was denied a second when he again towered above the home defence but saw Randolph's half-time replacement Keiren Westwood save brilliantly to his left.

Uruguay must hope to muster more enthusiasm for their midweek trip to Italy than they showed here and Gimenez endured a more forgettable involvement in the 77th minute, diving in desperately
but he was unable to halt McClean on the end of Daryl Murphy's thoughball, with the West Brom winger streaming clear to lash home across Conde to seal a very good victory for Ireland.