IF there was any doubt that James McCollum and PJ Moor would walk out together to open the batting in the Test match at Lord’s on Thursday they were dispelled yesterday by a record breaking partnership in Chelmsford.

PJ Moor, who has yet to reach 20 in a Test match, hit 118 and James McCollum reached his century with the six which won the three-day game against Essex by 10 wickets, the partnership 232, beating the previous best opening stand in first class cricket of 202 between Jeremy Bray and William Porterfield in the 2007 Intercontinental Cup Final at Leicester in 2007.

A generous declaration helped with Ireland given 50 overs to get the runs, although Mark Adair Curtis Campher, guesting for Essex conceded only 39 runs in their 11 overs. Both batsmen however took a liking to George Dockrell whose nine overs went for 62.

The downside was the Ireland bowling, unable to prevent the county side scoring at will to set up the declaration, the last 17 overs disappearing for 145 runs. Andy McBrine, Ireland’s front line spinner conceded seven runs an over but on the positive side, Graham Hume finished with three for 39 from 13 overs, while Craig Young although wicketless in nine overs, appeared to prove his fitness and should be the third seamer at Lord’s.

Elsewhere yesterday, North West teams made their exit from their Irish Cup, all eight knocked out in the first round. Ardmore lost by 37 runs to Cork County and Carrickfergus beat Donemana by six wickets.

Meanwhile, Dragons won their third game of the season, hanging on by one run to beat Typhoons at Eglinton with Bready’s Alana Dalzell the last over heroine, restricting Mary Waldron and Sarah Forbes to six runs.