We don't like cricket, we love it!
Ireland had qualified for the 2007 World Cup:
Having being placed in a group with the West Indies, Zimbabwe and arguably the favourite's to win the tournament in Pakistan. Not much was expected of the Irish side. This wasn't going to be the case for this Associate side. While also having to facing the difficult sides they were to face, this was also Ireland's debut in the World Cup,
As Ireland's first game came against Zimbabwe, whilst being sent into bat first. The nerves were on show for Ireland as wickets were falling in regular intervals. However Jeremy Bray showed a strong hand when he produced a stunning 115(139), which gave Ireland a competitive 221/9
With Zimbabwe seeming in cruise control at 128/3, they were to lose a vital wicket of opener Sibanda. Which appeared to cause some worry in their ranks, as they then managed to lose 6 more wickets for only 93 runs. Which left them all out for 221 and Ireland somehow managed to tie the game.
Despite that marvellous result, Ireland still needed to overcome Pakistan. Whilst many of you who believe in superstition would have thought Ireland were destined to win. While the neutrals, experts and most likely Pakistan thought the result was a formality.
Having won the toss on a green wicket, whilst playing the game on St.Patrick's Day and sending a side wearing green into bat first. Some might feel this just might have been Ireland's day.
Ireland had given even the most pessimistic and skeptic of fans, reason to believe and remain positive. As Ireland had first managed to bowl Pakistan out, while restricting them to a paltry 132.
Ireland had begun to show more nerves as many wickets were falling. Although once again Ireland had another hero, this time it was Niall O'Brien(wk). He managed to score 72(106) to hold the innings together. With his brother Kevin seeing the side home, along side Trent Johnston(c).
With that monumental victory it had created arguably the greatest sporting upset of all time.
While all of this was brilliant for Irish cricket, they had now to face another challenge. Having done the impossible and beating Pakistan, they had now qualified for the Super 8's.
With many of the supposed experts having thought Ireland would be found out at this level. Giving Ireland no chance of doing well and saying we didn't deserve our spot in the Super 8's. Ireland had done what every other side had achieved, by gaining the points needed to gain entry to this stage and they warranted their spot. Ireland were prepared to refute their claims.
Despite giving England a shock, having run them close but eventually losing out by 48 runs. Many people felt we were showing reasons why we shouldn't have qualified for this stage.
With some not so close loses to South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia. Many other sides, would have dropped their heads and given up. However much about this side is to be admired. They would have another game, this time against Bangladesh.
Ireland won the toss and decided to bat, with this being the performance where it all came together. With gutsy opener Porterfield leading from the front with a strong 85(136). With Kevin O'Brien also adding a vital 48(44) to help propel the Irish total to 243/7
While many would have expected Bangladesh to chase this competitive total down. This wasn't to be the case, as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. With only two of their batsmen achieving scores in the 30's.
Which resulted in Ireland bowling Bangladesh out for 169, giving Ireland a 74 run victory.
This was quite a performance by the Irish side throughout the World Cup. Where they went into the competition as easy beats, underdogs, also-rans. Nobody expected much from the Irish side, they had expected an early exit from Ireland. However nobody gave that script to Ireland, as they provided their own brand of cricket.
People would admire the passion and grit they would show in their performances. Having competed on the cricket field, with world class fielding. Showing a determination that couldn't be matched by many, if any at all.
This wouldn't be the last of the Irish cricket odyssey, they would continue to compete at all levels.
What was meant to be a few weeks in the Caribbean was nicely summed up by the Captain, Trent Johnston.
''They laughed at me! There I was in Dub Airport, struggling with my luggage... mates were laughing at me because I had 3 bags. 'Just you wait' I told them 'I've packed for 7 weeks not 3!''