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Match Report
Derek Scott

After one of the most interesting and exciting representative matches of recent years, the West Indians were defeated by 60 runs with only four minutes to spare. This was the first defeat inflicted on the touring team and the Irish honours must go to George McVeagh for his brilliant not out century and to Dixon for his tireless bowling in both innings. Of the originally selected team James Macdonald cried off and was replaced by EN Seymour.

The first day produced a keen struggle with Ireland getting to 173 in three hours. As the tourists had done well in England the game attracted a large crowd although the visiting side was not at full strength. The captain, RK Nunes, G Challenor and L Constantine were all omitted. Griffith bowled Bookman with his second ball and when TJ Macdonald had made 11 and was shaping well he too was bowled. Ganly came next and with Robinson made the best stand of the innings, 60. When Joe Small came back on Robinson was caught at short leg for a very valuable 31. Heaslip helped Ganly to put 100 up but at this figure 3 wickets fell without a run being scored. Ganly fell to Small, lbw for 43. Kelly was bowled by the same bowler without scoring, and Heaslip was caught off Griffith's bowling. Jameson then came to his side's rescue with a brightly hit 45 not out made in an hour. Dixon, who only made four, helped to put on 33 for the last wicket.

The West Indians, with the exception of FR Martin and EL Bartlett, who added 44 for the third wicket, never looked like settling down. Ireland fielded very well and when play ended for the day the visitors were 100-6, Martin being 39 not out. At the close of the second day Ireland had a very strong grip on the game. They had dismissed the West Indians for 142 and were themselves 281-9, a lead of 312. In the morning the left-handed Martin continued to bat well until yorked by Jameson for 56. He had given a restrained display, batting for three hours in all. Jameson also took a magnificent caught and bowled to dispose of Neblett and with Seymour taking two wickets, Ireland led by 31 runs on first innings.

Robinson and Bookman increased this lead to 70 before the former was bowled by Scott. Bookman and Ganly both batted well but six wickets were down for only 92 runs, the work of Small and Scott. At this critical stage Heaslip and McVeagh came together and by confident attacking cricket added 81 runs before Heaslip played across a ball from Small and was bowled for 44. Thornton came in and another fine partnership ensued for the eighth wicket. This pair put on 106 despite a rapidly changing attack. After 90 minutes Thornton was taken behind the wicket, having made 37. Play ended after one more run had been added and the brilliant McVeagh was 85 not out.

On the last morning Dixon, the number 11, not only kept his end up while McVeagh completed his century, but also scored 19 of the 40 runs added for the last wicket. McVeagh had given a great display of sound safe batting and, apart from one or two shots played dangerously through the slips, this display was quite free from blemish. He hit 10 fours and batted for 3 hours. The West Indians had 305 minutes to get 352 and, at one stage, were 213-2. Roach and Fernandes made 117 for the first wicket in spite of tight bowling and sharp fielding. Then McVeagh again entered upon the scene. He brilliantly caught Roach on the leg boundary after this pair had made 71 in 90 minutes. 11 runs later Hill was lbw to Jameson but Fernandes found a useful partner in Bartlett who stayed to make 54 and added 85 before being caught at third-man. At this stage the West Indians has still to get 139 with seven wickets in hand. After tea, however, the game underwent a remarkable change, four wickets falling for 14 runs in 30 minutes. Fernandes was one of the victims and with his dismissal for 71 in 3 hours went the chief hope of the visitors. The last three wickets defended stubbornly but when Griffith joined Small for the 10th wicket 40 minutes remained. Victory seemed to be slipping away from the Irishmen as minute followed minute and the vital wicket did not fall. Then, with four minutes to go, Griffith mishit Dixon and was caught at cover, giving McVeagh his fourth catch of the innings, all of them brilliant. It was a great win and gave Irish cricket a fillip it greatly needed.

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