Ireland v England: a sporting rivalry

As our cricket side prepare to face the English in Bangalore in the morning, we take a look back at a handful of sporting clashes between the two countries.

A line-out during the historic Ireland-England game at Croke Park in 2007.
A line-out during the historic Ireland-England game at Croke Park in 2007.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

IRELAND’S CRICKET STARS will take the field in Bangalore tomorrow morning (9am Irish time) against a familiar enemy.

England, the game’s aristocrats, will welcome our rag-tag bunch to the crease before the sides –  with players from countries like South Africa, New Zealand and elsewhere – resume one of the sport’s oldest rivalries.

So to get us in the mood for yet another scrap with the Auld Enemy, here’s five past clashes:

1. Ireland v England, Six Nations 2007, Croke Park

On the day that Croke Park fell silent for God Save the Queen, the result was an after-thought. But what an after-thought.

Ireland crushed Martin Johnson’s side on a day of high emotion in Drumcondra with Shane Horgan fielding Gaelic football-style  for a memorable try in the corner. The chariots will swing low in Dublin next week, it should be noted.

2. Ireland v England, Italia ’90

We’ll hope for a better game than this tomorrow morning but we’d take a similar result. (TheScore will liveblog the entire match if you’re stuck at our desk for the morning)

Kevin Sheedy struck a crucial equaliser in Cagliari after Gary Lineker had opened the scoring. (3.5ominutes in for Sheedy goal)

3. Dennis Taylor v Steve Davis, World Snooker Championship 1985, The Crucible

If Ireland’s motley crew are the underdogs against the polished professionals tomorrow, they might draw inspiration from this famous win.

Then three-time world champion and reigning Number One Steve Davis stormed into a 8-0 lead at the start of the second session of play. But the Tyrone man dug deep to bring the tournament down to an historic “black ball” finale.

4. Ireland v England, Euro ’88, Stuttgart

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Two years before the draw in Italy, Ray Houghton stuck the ball in the English net at the European Championships.

I literally can’t believe Ray Houghton agreed to this Phoenix from the Flames.

5. Steve Collins v Chris Eubank, Millstreet, 1994

The Celtic Warrior beat the unbeaten Chris Eubank in the Co Cork venue to win the WBO middleweight belt on points.

He went on to defend the title seven times- including another meeting with the Brighton man – and two memorable clashes with ‘the Dark Destroyer’ Nigel Benn.

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