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Match Report
Derek Scott

After an interval of many years an MCC team was again playing in Dublin. Captained by CD McIver the visitors had six Blues, McIver himself, Day, Sinclair, Enthoven, White and Bennett. Of the Irish team selected for this match Pollock and Walton cried off and were replaced by Colthurst and Hall.

AP Kelly won the toss and sent the MCC in to bat. The policy justified itself because six wickets fell for 109. Then a heavy shower caused a 45 minute stoppage and made the wicket much easier. Another wicket fell on the resumption but then Masterman and Huband came together and added 68 for the eighth wicket and the total eventually reached 224. Bennett and Swalwell opened the innings and scored easily. Kidd went on to bowl when the score was 20 and 17 runs later he bowled Bennett for 13 and Swalwell soon followed, being caught at mid-on. At lunch the score was 83-3. Enthoven and Day continuing the innings brought the score to 106 before Enthoven was bowled by Kidd and at 109 Day was splendidly taken behind the wicket off the same bowler. Lambert had Sinclair lbw before the rain came at 109-6. McIver was stumped on the resumption and then the Masterman-Huband stand ensued and it was only eventually broken by a brilliant one-handed caught-and-bowled by Bookman over his head. This was Day's wicket and Masterman eventually made 42 after an hour's batting. White, at number 11, made 20 and the total reached 224 in 3 hours. At one period Lambert bowled 26 successive overs and eventually took 3-61 in 35 overs. The fielding was very smart.

The last hour was disasterous for the Irishman. Bookman was out first ball, bowled by Enthoven, and he was quickly followed by Finlay Jackson, Robinson and Heaslip and when the end came there was only 36 on the board for four wickets. The crowd on this first day was the largest to watch a cricket match in Dublin for a long number of years.

The second day saw another big crowd and an Irish recovery which left the visitors with only a 28 run lead on first innings. There had been rain in the night and as a result the wicket was dead slow and the outfield sodden. Kidd and AP Kelly resumed their innings and batted well. Kidd hit Masterman for two sixes and soon his 50 went up out of a total of 98. At 104, however, Kelly was bowled after a stand of 75 scored in 90 minutes. Five runs later there was a tragic run-out with Kidd as its victim, following a misunderstanding with Lambert. His 57 in 105 minutes saved his side from collapse. Hall was caught in the slips and at lunch the score was 129-7. A shower delayed the resumption for 15 minutes and then, with only 18 more added, Lambert was well caught by Sinclair at cover. GN Kelly and McCausland resisted stubbornly and put on 33 for the last wicket before McCausland fell to White.

MCC had 110 minutes to bat and in that time collected 128 for the loss of five wickets. Bennett was run out by Robinson from mid-off at 25 and at 51 Swalwell was lbw to Lambert for 30. Armitage and Enthoven then attacked the bowling to put on 66 for the third wicket. 100 went up in 90 minutes. At 117 Armitage was stumped. Sinclair was lbw for 0, and with the last ball of the day Heaslip bowled Enthoven.

The third day produced an exceptionally fine performance by Ireland who managed to draw the game and given time would probably have won it. It was a stiff uphill fight all day and at one point defeat seemed inevitable. The five remaining MCC wickets fell in 90 minutes for 81 runs. Masterman and Day added 52 for the eighth wicket, Day being very attractive in his stay of a little over an hour for 49. Ireland required 238 runs to win and in 15 minutes two wickets were down from 9 runs. Robinson and Jackson were both bowled by White. The lunch score was 25-2. Bookman and Kidd stayed together until the score reached 66 when Kidd fell to a fine ball from Masterman. Bookman continued to bat freely but was lbw at 106 after a well-played half-century scored in 110 minutes. Another wicket, the sixth, fell at 118 and AP Kelly was unfortunate to be run out at the same total. Hall did not remain long and at 135-8 the position looked hopeless. Colthurst joined Lambert and together they saved the match. For the last 80 minutes the pair batted with the utmost confidence and were actually within 25 runs of victory when stumps were drawn. Lambert defended at first but later drove freely while Colthurst batted admirably right from the start.

College Park, Dublin