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Match Report
Derek Scott

For this match R O'Brien, NC Cantwell and SSJ Huey were not available. The actual team played as selected.

A resounding victory was achieved by Ireland. Its margin emphasised the control which they had, and kept, on the game from the first hour. Solid batting, fine bowling performances by Fee and Kenny and good fielding and catching all contributed to an innings win with two hours to spare. Free Foresters had never played Ireland before but the team was a poor one and quite below the standard of the Irish team. Nevertheless, the win was good for morale and provided the second win of the season, a feat last achieved in 1947. A win by an innings had not been achieved since 1938 against Sir Julian Cahn's team, also at Rathmines. One must go back to 1904 to discover the last instance of Ireland's opponents following on. Then it was Cambridge University again at Rathmines. In 1937 at Lords MCC could have been requested to follow-on but were not.

The Irish total of 371-6 declared was the highest score in Ireland since 1876 when a score of 382 was made against I Zingari at Vice Regal Ground. In "away" games 400 has been recorded three times, with the best ever being 462 against Mr. WH Laverton's XI at Westbury, Wiltshire. This was in 1893 and in this innings Bob Lambert scored his first century for Ireland. Bergin, Pollock and Hunter all exceeded 50 in this present game in the one innings. This feat has not been achieved since 1934 against MCC at Strabane and had not been achieved in Dublin since the aforementioned Cambridge University match in 1904.

Apart from those unavailable, Bodell was injured while Wilson and Lewis were dropped. Pollock and Hool were included and Kiernan and Hunter were given caps for the first time. Hunter is a 19-year-old batsman from Lisburn who had scored a century against Woodvale in the Ulster Cup final. He scored 74 not out in 72 minutes in what was a great debut. Of fine physique, he is very strong off the back foot and batted most confidently. Once again the policy of playing only three pure bowlers was reverted to.

Ireland won the toss and between 11:30 AM and 5:26 PM made 371-6. This came in under 300 minutes batting. The first six batsmen all exceeded 40 and there were many fours on the fast outfield. The crowd was very poor in view of the fine sunny day. Bergin and Quinn opened to Wolfe-Murray and Lyon. Deighton, strangely, did not use himself until second change although he had taken 10 wickets against Ireland at College Park in 1954 for MCC. Neither opening bowler was hostile and 50 went up in 50 minutes. Bergin scored quicker at first and when he had reached 33 he had hit seven fours and no singles. The ground fielding was poor and the opening pair reached 93 in 100 minutes before Quinn was caught at the wicket off Deighton. He actually did not intend to play the ball but carelessly left his bat too near it. Quinn had made 41, the last 20 of which came rapidly. With Finlay in the 100 went up and the lunch score was 108-1 with Bergin, who had slowed down, 49 not out.

Deighton tried Jefferies and Mordaunt after lunch. Bergin, after completing his 50, hit a full toss to short square leg off the top of the bat. His 56 was a strange contrast of quick and slow. Warke came next but it was Finlay who attacked with leg-side strokes until, at 174, he hit across the flight once too often and was bowled by Deighton in the first over of his second spell. Finlay had made 49 in 78 minutes with eight boundary fours. Pollock came next at 3:20 PM and in the next 100 minutes the score went from 174-3 to 371-6, almost 2 runs a minute. Warke made 41 in just over an hour and was then brilliantly caught by Mordaunt who ran behind the bowler and took a diving right-handed catch. 208-5. Hunter came in and despite constant bowling changes, the new ball, and a break with the tea interval the sixth wicket brought 79 runs in only 37 minutes.

The 200 came up in 204 minutes, the 250 appeared in 234 minutes. Pollock was 47 at tea and Hunter 20. With three singles Pollock reached his 50 after tea and then he swept Deighton for 6-4-4 off successive balls and was LBW to the fourth ball. His 64 occupied 65 minutes. Kiernan joined Hunter who was now dominating a very tired and weak attack. In 22 minutes a further 44 were added of which Kiernan made exactly half. Hool at number eight gave most of the bowling to Hunter and the declaration came at 5:26 PM with the score at 371-6. In 44 minutes since tea 105 runs were added of which Hunter made 54. Wolfe-Murray conceded 25 runs in three overs at the end and this included one towering six by Hunter to the Pavilion enclosure. Hunter also hit nine fours. Deighton tried 8 bowlers and he was most successful himself with 4-78 in 25 overs.

Free Foresters had only 40 minutes batting time before unexpected rain ended the day's play. In that time they scored 18-2. Kenny took both wickets for eight runs in six overs. Mordaunt and Carr actually batted in the rain for a while before it was wisely decided to stop. Mordaunt was nine not out and Carr one not out. Play started in bad light at 11:30 AM on the second day. In his second over Kenny bowled Carr and Huskinson joined Mordaunt. The former was missed by the wicket-keeper early on and then rain stopped play from noon until 12:30 PM. On resumption both batsmen began to hit and Warke tried Hool and Hunter at the scoreboard end. 50 went up in 74 minutes and 100 only 29 minutes later. Shortly after 1 PM the score was 103-3 and with only five hours left it looked as if Ireland could not win.

Mordaunt had become very aggressive and moved from 20 to 62 by means of two sixes, six fours two twos and two singles. The sixes were full-blooded hits to mid-wicket off Hool who was not keeping the ball up. It was Fee who got Mordaunt out at 1:10 PM when Kenny took a running catch at deep mid-off. His 62 in 95 minutes was most entertaining. Kenny now rejoined Fee and together they shared the last six wickets and Free Foresters were all out at almost 3 PM for 150. Huskinson completed his 50 and was eighth out at 140. He made 53 in 110 minutes with six fours before being simply caught at short leg off Fee. Kenny's 6-56 in 24 overs represented very persistent bowling. His knee injury of a year ago has reduced his pace and forced him to point his left toe down the wicket as he delivers but he is hostile and accurate.

Free Foresters followed on and completely folded up and were all out for 84. In Kenny's first over J. Lister, the Worcestershire Secretary, was caught at slip, the first of Warke's four catches in this innings. Peard was run out at 12. Mordaunt made 17 and was again batting well when a ball from Kenny, which he was leaving alone, jumped and went from his hand to Warke at slip. Carr and Huskinson took the score to 47. By this time Fee had come on and in his fifth over he had Carr caught by Hunter at short leg and, in his next over, Warke dived forward to catch Burnie as he played a defensive stroke. Tea was taken at 47-5. At 55 Warke caught Huskinson at short leg off Kenny and Fee ran through the tail. He finished with 6-19 in 12.3 overs. In fact he took his six wickets in 8.3 overs for 10 runs. The wicket now was giving him much assistance. Fee had again taken 10 wickets in a match and became the first Irish bowler ever to do so twice in one season. Fee and Kenny have now taken 43 wickets each for Ireland and between them in this game they took all the wickets except for a run out.

Two further points. The match was a financial failure due to very small attendances on both days. In the Free Forester's first-innings Mordaunt got 62, Huskinson 53 and no other player reached double figures, the above pair scoring 115 out of 151. In the second innings they scored 41 out of 84. The Free Foresters also played the North-West Union and the Northern Union, drawing the former and losing the latter.

It begins to look as if Ireland's team may be on the upgrade after many years of disappointment. However this was JS Pollock's last match. He had represented Ireland between 1939 and 1957. He was the last of the pre-war players to leave the scene. In all he played 41 matches, scored 1506 runs at an average of 21.51, and was captain 10 times. He "signed off" with a score of 64.

Rathmines, Dublin