Northern Ireland news

Simon Coveney and his granny see Ireland stun England on day one of first cricket Test

Ireland celebrating success against England, and left, Tánaiste Simon Coveney at the match with his grandmother

THE tanáiste and his 100-year-old granny were among the crowds of cricket fans who saw Ireland stun world champions England in their first Test match meeting.

Ireland got off to a stunning start, with England bowled out for just 85 before lunch yesterday in the first innings at Lord's.

Less than a fortnight after Dubliner Eoin Morgan captained England to victory in the World Cup, the English test side faltered under pressure from Ireland's fast bowlers.

Ireland have only ever played Test cricket twice before.

England's batting collapse prompted a flurry of jokes online, with some drawing parallels with Brexit and the formal appointment of new British prime minster Boris Johnson.

Among the crowds at the 'home of cricket' was tanáiste Simon Coveney and his grandmother, who was celebrating her own century.

Sharing a photo with his grandmother raising a glass, he wrote on Twitter: "Now there's a happy face!

"My grandmother is 100 this week, she's a big cricket fan and we have brought her to Lord's to see the first ever Ireland/England Test. And what a start by ??@Irelandcricket?."

Ireland bowler Tim Murtagh took five of England's wickets.

The English-born 38-year-old took his wickets for just 13 runs, the best bowling on the first morning at Lord's since 1896.

He plays domestic cricket for Middlesex and is a team-mate of Eoin Morgan.

In reply, Ireland were 207 all out – a first innings lead of 122 runs.

Although the World Cup is based on one-day matches – a different form of the sport to Test cricket – England were expected to comfortably beat their Irish rivals.

Ireland were beaten by Pakistan in their first match in May last year. The side was also beaten by Afghanistan in March this year.

Reacting to England's first innings yesterday, one cricket fan tweeted: "England have never in history lost a cricket Test match to an EU member. Now that Boris is PM, England – freshly crowned world champions – are being thrashed by Ireland. Symbolic?"

Another joked: "I'm blaming this all on Boris. We used to be – apart from a slight hiccup against the Dutch – the best team in Europe #RevokeArticle50."

Ulster Unionist MLA John Stewart was among those to praise Ireland's performance.

"Given how far @Irelandcricket has come in recent times, today was always going to be an emotional and significant day. But to see the team performing like this is awe-inspiring," he tweeted.

"Still early days but couldn't wish for a chance to beat England at Lords #BackingGreen #Cricket."

Ireland have beaten England before in one-day cricket. The Irish side claimed victory in a World Cup match in Bangalore in 2011.

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