The Irish women's team qualified for their first world tournament since 2005 in the most dramatic fashion at Claremont Road as they secured a two-run victory over the Netherlands to take the last spot at next year's IC Women's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
The match went down to the last ball, with the Dutch needing a boundary to pip Ireland to qualification, but Ireland held their nerve as Marloes Braat ran a single before being run out going for an impossible second as Kim Garth returned the ball to wicket-keeper Mary Waldron to take off the bails and set off incredible celebrations at YMCA's ground.
There was a huge amount of relief mixed in as the Dutch ran the home side so close, and indeed could easily have upset the party thanks to a wonderful knock from Helmien Rambaldo, who finished unbeaten on 58 from 54 balls as they Dutch just fell short of a winning target of 137.
Ireland skipper Isobel Joyce played a huge part in the success, carrying her bat for an unbeaten 72 from 64 balls as they closed on 136 for five from their 20 overs having been put in to bat following a delayed start.
Garth completed a great tournament, sharing an 80-run stand for the second wicket with Joyce with a run a ball knock of 31, but Ireland failed to accelerate in the latter overs once the 17-year-old Pembroke player departed in the 14th.
Garth's Pembroke team-mate Louise McCarthy did strike in her second over to remove the dangerous Miranda Veringmeier for three, but a succession of strong partnerships brought the Dutch to the final two overs requiring 24 runs.
A dozen came off the penultimate one bowled by Isobel Joyce, but Laura Delany held her nerve and didn't concede a boundary to get her side home by the skin of their teeth.
"We got out of jail", admitted Ireland coach Jeremy Bray. "To be honest we didn't deserve to win it, Holland have improved a lot and they played better than us today.
“130-140 is just not a good enough score, we need to aim for 150-160 against these teams. And we bowled poorly too.
“It’s great to be in the World Cup, but we’ve a lot of work to do, and a few changes to make.”
The Irish men’s team play their qualification tournament for next year’s World Twenty20 in the United Arab Emirates in November.
ICC WOMEN’S WORLD TWENTY20 QUALIFIER THIRD PLACED PLAY-OFF
(at Claremont Road): The Netherlands won the toss and fielded.
C Shillington c Veringmeier b Braat 6
I Joyce not out 72
K Garth lbw b Bennett 31
C Joyce c Rambaldo b Mariska Kornet 8
M Waldron run out (Veringmeier) 3
L Delany c&b Braat 6
M Scott-Hayward not out 0
Extras (b1, lb3, w6) 10
Total (for 5 wkts, 20 ovs) 136
Did not bat: E Richardson, L McCarthy, E Tice, L O'Reilly.
Fall of wickets 1-7, 2-87, 3-98, 4-109, 5-132.
Bowling: D Braat 4-0-24-2; M Kornet 3-0-30-1; E de Lange 4-0-29-0; L Bennett 4-0-18-1 ; S Bruning 3-0-14-0; L Klokgieters 2-0-17-0.
M Veringmeier b McCarthy 3
H Rambaldo not out 58
T van der Gun c C Joyce b Garth 20
H Siegers run out (O'Reilly) 29
M Braat run out (Garth) 12
Extras (b1, lb2, w9) 12
Total (for 4 wkts, 20 ovs) 134
Did not bat: E de Lange, L Klokgieters, M Kornet, LK Bennett, S Bruning, D Hannema.
Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-40, 3-93, 4-134.
Bowling: L McCarthy 3-0-14-1; E Richardson 4-0-26-0; K Garth 2-0-14-1; M Scott-Hayward 2-0-14-0; E Tice 1-0-7-0; L Delany 4-0-28-0; I Joyce 4-0-28-0.
Ireland won by 2 runs and qualify for 2014 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.