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Match Report
Derek Scott

Rain destroyed this game and only permitted an interesting tussle for a first-innings lead. With 10 minutes to spare Ireland took the last Scottish wicket. This was the first Representative game ever played at the lovely Ayr ground. This was the home club of the Scottish captain SH Cosh. There was no play after lunch on the first day and no play at all on the second day (Monday). Sunday had been gloriously fine.

From the team that played in Dublin against New Zealand JP Burke was dropped in favour of KW Hope, a young off-spinner; Neville was not available and Huey, of course, returned. Because this was a three-day match the balance of the team was changed in order to play an extra bowler. Cantwell cried off a few days before the game (West Ham United refused to release him) and Bergin came in for what was his 28th cap. He was the most capped player in the team. Just as Neville had done against New Zealand in Dublin, so did Bergin at Ayr. He came on as a substitute and scored a half-century. Scotland had one new cap, KGF Scotland, the International Rugby full-back.

Warke won his eighth successive toss and in two hours play before lunch Ireland scored 82-3. The mainstay of the innings was Bergin and his 39 not out was easily his best innings since he braved the speed of the South African Cuan McCarthy in College Park in 1951 and batted through the innings. In dull light and on a rather green wicket Bergin produced a fine array of strokes and only the slow bowling of Allan kept him in check. In the course of his innings Bergin hoisted his run aggregate for Ireland above that of JC Boucher and now stood seventh in the list. As to the other batsmen Quinn played too soon to one from Wilson and spooned a catch to short leg; O'Brien made an unusually laboured 13 before touching an outswinger from Roberts to the wicket-keeper and Warke was well caught by Kirkwood off a very fast snick to short-fine leg. All three had looked reasonably settled when they committed these indiscretions. Raymond Hunter for a number five played very well and one shot off the back foot to the extra cover boundary was a masterpiece of footwork and timing. The Scottish opening bowlers were disappointing, they should have made better use of the wicket. Roberts, first change, bowled his outswingers quite well while Allan, the former Oxford University and Kent player, closed up the other end, conceding only seven runs in 10 overs.

On the third day Ireland declared at 136-7 after some stodgy batting and with the Scottish openers still together after lunch with 53 on the board, it seemed that what honours could be furnished would favour Scotland. The Scottish batting then collapsed against some fine bowling by Huey and 8 wickets had fallen in advancing the score to 80. Cosh then hit out and with Livingstone added 26 for the ninth wicket. Cosh hit three fours and a six in his 37 and was bowled by Fee at 106. He was ninth man out with 20 minutes to spare. The last wicket fell to Huey 10 minutes later. Play was scheduled to end at 4:30 PM.

Huey made excellent use of the wicket which, dead in the early stages, became difficult indeed when a strong sun got to work on it. So he kept the ball well up to the bat and spun it a great deal. He got lift from the pitch and also used the faster straight ball for variation. He took his first wicket in his 11th over and then, in nine overs, he had a spell of 6-13. He finished with 7-45 in 26.4 overs. At the other end Fee and Hope alternated with making very much impression although Fee finished with 3-28. The Irish fielding and catching was of a high standard and Fawcett's wicket-keeping assisted Huey considerably.

Earlier Ireland batted rather drearily for 110 minutes adding only 54 runs before the declaration. Bergin took 75 minutes to add 16 to his total and his 8th 50 for Ireland took 160 minutes. Finlay made a useful contribution of 30 but more aggression should have been shown by all knowing the declaration was in view. Allan's last five overs immediately before the declaration were all maidens and his final figures of 30-19-21-3 reflected the batting inertia. Had this been a County Championship match "bonus points" would certainly not been won by Ireland and to some extent the running between the wickets would have been responsible. Much of it was, to put it mildly, ponderous.