Ben Foakes stood tall to get England over the line along with Tom Curran after 19-year-old Josh Little tore through the England top order.
After a delayed start, Eoin Morgan put Ireland into bat in wet and cold conditions In Dublin with conditions reduced to 45 overs.
Each team featured three debutants with Dawid Malan, Ben Foakes and the much anticipated Jofra Archer making their first ODI appearances for England
For Ireland it was Lorcan Tucker, Mark Adair and 19-year-old Josh Little’s first outing in the olive green.
Ireland got off to a steady start before the captain William Porterfield departed for 33 (44). Wickets then began to fall at regular intervals as the Irish top order couldn’t settle amidst good bowling from Liam Plunkett and Tom Curran.
A late surge by Adair saw Ireland push a bit as he hit two good sixes off Curran before being undone by a great yorker from Archer. George Dockrell chipped in with a gritty 24 off 42 deliveries as Ireland were bowled out for 198 in 43.1 overs.
Plunkett and Curran were the pick of the bowlers as they finished with 4-35 in seven overs and 3-35 in eight overs respectively.
England got off to a good enough start as James Vince and Malan put on 31 runs before Vince departed. Joe Root didn’t last long as he went for just seven before Josh Little opened his international account with the prized scalp of Morgan as a terrific short ball caught the England captain out.
Ireland were visibly uplifted after the Morgan wicket and some great work in the field saw Malan and Denly dismissed in a short space of time to have England reeling at 66/5.
Foakes then knuckled down with Willey before the latter was caught by Little off the bowling of Adair.
Curran then joined Foakes at 101/6 and the two put on a gritty 98 run partnership to win the game.
Things could of been very different though as Foakes was trapped LBW with the score at 137 but the on field decision was not out and Ireland opted not to go upstairs with replays showing that Foakes would have been out.
Foakes, however, never looked back as he grabbed a fifty on debut ending on 57 (73) whilst Curran made a big statement for a World Cup place as he followed up his great bowling with a well-played 43.
Little capped off a great debut as he finished with figures of 4-40 in eight overs
It was a great overall performance for Ireland who, despite falling at the final hurdle, gave England a big fright and the soon to be hosts of the Cricket World Cup will leave Dublin with a little bit more doubt in their ability than when they had arrived.