RA Fitzgerald was unable to manage the I Zingari team, as he usually did. His invited deputy, AL Smith, had also to decline. They were both in fact getting married. The Hon. Edward Chandos Liegh took over. Leigh did not play in this game but had done so in the first ever game in 1859 and again in 1860 and 61. Leigh was brother-in-law of RA Fitzgerald and uncle of HDG Levenson-Gower. He was president of MCC in 1887, the 100th anniversary of MCC and Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Year. Only three of the I Zingari team had played against Ireland before. They were Capt. L Denne, RAH Mitchell and FH Norman. Most notable among the newcomers were WM Rose, a slow round arm bowler, who took 16 wickets in the game - in fact his only game against Ireland; Captain H Marshall, a brother of F Marshall who played for Ireland in 1856; HN Tennant was born in Tasmania and this was the first of his three games against Ireland; EW Tritton was a splendid opening batsman who had played for Eton and then for Oxford in 1864-67 being captain in 1866 following RAH Mitchell; CF Buller was 21 years of age and one of the finest batsmen of his day. He played for Harrow and Middlesex and had a perfect style. He was an army man and the handsomest the cricket field had known. In later years his weight increased and he retired from top class cricket at 31. Various scandals ruined his private life.
Ireland introduced two notable players in PF Casey and CE Stelfox. Casey was a brother of TJS Casey and of GD Casey and between 1867 and 1873 played 7 times for Ireland. CE Stelfox was a northerner and would have been an automatic choice for a number of years if he were available. In fact he only played three times.
This was the sixth game between the teams and Ireland was easily beaten - their 4th defeat. Rose's slow bowling was too much for Ireland's batsmen who seldom got practice against this type of bowling - in fact they were inclined to scoff at it. Ireland had to contend with bad light on the first evening and against sleet on the second day, but even so scores of 87 and 76 were very bad. They might have been worse if illness had not prevented the Rev. O Mordaunt (another slow bowler) from assisting I Zingari. However, this was a very strong I Zingari team and they were undefeated throughout the tour.
Hood, the Vice Regal groundsman, had prepared a splendid wicket. The weeds of previous years were gone and it was the best wicket seen at Vice Regal. In the afternoon 4,000 people watched the game - such a crowd had never watched cricket in Ireland before, and almost all could be seated. The day was fine but the ground was a little dead after recent rain when JP Mahaffy and PJ Casey came out to open the Irish Innings. The bowlers were Rose and Mitchell. Casey scored fast and well and the stand realised 28, which was to be the best partnership for Ireland in the match. At that point Turnour caught Mahaffy at the wicket off Rose for 3. Next ball Rose bowled LPG Filgate for 0. At 30, WS Ashton was caught by a sub at mid wicket off Rose also for 0. The sub was the Irish player, Capt. Oldfield. Hone was next and a stand of 23 followed before Hone became Rose's 4th victim - bowled for 14. 53-4-14. GF Barry was playing well when suddenly PF Casey was bowled by Rose for a lively 39 made out of 62. It was a fine debut for Casey though Rose twice missed him caught and bowled. One of these looked to have been a "fair catch" but was given not out. Much was expected from C.E.Stelfox. he made one fine square leg hit over the trees but at 70 he was bowled by Rose for 8. At 72 J Stelfox was bowled by Rose for 0. Buller then took a wicket at 73 when he bowled TJS Casey for 0 and thus prevented Rose getting all 10 wickets. Roberts and Barry carried the score to 84 when Barry was well caught at long on by Tennant for 11. Oldfield was stumped at 87 to finish the innings after 105 minutes. Roberts was 6 not out - all singles. Rose bowled unchanged and off 29.2 overs took 9 for 35 - 5 clean bowled. There was only one bowling change, Buller replacing Mitchell at 44.
At 2 15 pm Tritton and Rose opened for I Zingari to the bowling of Mahaffy and Oldfield. There was some hard hitting and there was no single in the first 18 runs. At this point both the opening batsmen were dismissed. CE Stelfox had replaced Oldfield and with the 2nd ball of his first over he caught and bowled Rose for 5. Next over Tritton was caught at point off Mahaffy for 13. Lunch was then taken. Afterwards Mitchell and Buller played beautiful cricket while 42 were added. Many changes of bowling were tried until finally Barry bowled Mitchell. 60-3-22. Barry next bowled Lord Turnour at 63. Norman got a capital 14 out of 26 for the 5th wicket. The he, Tennent and Denne were out quickly. Capt. H. Marshall saw the 100 up with Buller but was run out at 109. The 9th wicket, Buller and Dillon put on 35 and during it Buller got his 50. The innings ended at 5 20 pm for 151 with Buller 57 not out. It was a splendid innings marred by only one chance to mid wicket which Stelfox could not hold. He hit 13 threes. Eight bowlers were tried, the most successful being Barry 3 for 27 and Roberts 2 for 13.
Ireland sent in a new opening pair in fading light - Roberts and Filgate. Rose and Buller shared the bowling. Roberts was run out of the 2nd ball of the 1st over for 0. TJS Casey was no. 3. He hit three threes and was then caught at long off by Norman off Rose. 11-2-9. Mahaffy was bowled by Rose for 0 also at 11 and with Filgate (3) and P.F.Casey (0) at the wicket play ended with the score 12 for 3. Ireland were 52 behind with only 7 wickets left.
High wind and sleet greeted the players on the second morning. The Irish collapse continued and it was only the efforts of Barry, Hone and J Stelfox which compelled I Zingari to bat a second time. The target, however, was only 13. After Filgate had scored 2 more Casey was caught and bowled Rose for 0. 14-4-0. Ashton was no. 6 but at 25 he lost Filgate who was bowled Rose for 10. Ashton himself was bowled by Buller at the same total. 25-6-5. Hone was joined by Barry and a stand was made. The score was brought up to 44 before Mitchell, who had replaced Buller, bowled Barry for 6. Rose bowled CE Stelfox for 7 at 53. J Stelfox scored 11 out of 13 added for the 9th wicket and ensured I Zingari would have to bat again. He was caught and bowled by Rose at 66. Oldfield and Hone put on 10 for the last wicket before Oldfield became Rose's 16th wicket in the match. Hone was 22 not out.
It took I Zingari 81 balls and 3 wickets to score the necessary 13 to win. Roberts and Oldfield bowled unchanged. Tritton and Dillon opened. At 8 Oldfield bowled Tritton for 4. Tennent was no. 3 but without addition to the score Roberts bowled Dillon for 3. Marshall was next and at 11 Oldfield bowled him for 0. Cole came in and finally Tennent hit the winning 2.
As the match finished early in the day a scratch match was played with broomsticks and pickaxe handles instead of bats. The Lord Lieutenant, the Marques of Abercorn, was made a member of I Zingari by the Hon. EC Leigh, being presented with the badge and sash of the tribe.
Edward Chandos Leigh played for Stoneleigh Cricket Club (1839-51), Harrow School (1848-51), Oxford University (1852-54), Gentleman of Warwickshire, Gentleman of MCC and I Zingari (1853-72). Edward was one of the major figures in the future development, administration and success of cricket. He was secretary of the infamous I Zingari cricket club and an influential MCC committee member. He was honoured as President of the MCC in 1887 - the MCC's 100th Anniversary and Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee year.