Hampshire came to play Ireland for the first time and brought with them the rain. Just as in 1964 against MCC it rained, without ceasing, on the first Saturday in September and play was impossible. Hampshire had won the county championship in 1961 and, with much the same side, finished 12th in 1965. The visitors were at full strength except for their two fast bowlers, DW White (playing at the Scarborough Festival) and RMH Cottam (injured). ACD Ingleby-Mackenzie, ex-Etonian, was their happy and sporting captain. After eight years this was Ingleby-Mackenzies last first-class match as captain. RE Marshall, aged 35, was the most brilliant batsman in England. A West Indian, he had played six tests before qualifying for Hampshire in 1955. H Horton, aged 41, had a good season in 1965 as did the fabulous D Shackleton, also aged 41. Shackleton has taken over 2500 wickets with his medium paced seamers. In 17 successive seasons he has taken over 100 wickets. He has played in seven Tests including four against West Indies in 1963 after a test match gap of 11 years!
Ireland, strangely after the poor batting against Scotland, reduced their batting strength in numbers. McCloy had retired and Monteith was dropped. In came Finlay and LP Hughes. The latter, a fast bowler from Malahide, is a new cap. Finlay played 17 times from 1957 to 1962 and was now recalled despite a poor record on the Irish team. His slip catching ability may have won him the place and it is ironical that he should have dropped some catches in this match.
Pratt sent Hampshire in on the Monday morning. He was the first Irish captain to do so, in other than a one-day match, since 1933. The wicket was wet and the outfield slow when Marshall and Reed began to O'Riordan and Hughes. Marshall was in great form. Pulling and cutting he reached 25 out of 35 in 30 minutes. When he was 32 he give a hard chance to Hughes at leg slip off O'Riordan. In an hour 53 were scored and in the next half hour 38 more were scored. Marshall completed his 50 by hitting Goodwin for six over mid-on. Huey was tried but it seemed that nothing could stop Marshall getting a century before lunch. Then, with seven minutes to go, he square drove Huey to Hunter's left at cover. Hunter made ground and then dived to make a wonderful two-handed catch. Marshall had scored 98 out of 130 in 113 minutes off only 105 balls. He had a six and 13 fours in a wonderful display of power stroke play. At lunch the score was 131-1, with Reed 30 and Horton 0.
After lunch Reed reached 50 when he hit O'Riordan for four fours in one over, two drives, a snick and a sweep. The sixth ball bowled him! 156-2-50. Reed batted for 140 minutes. Goodwin came on for O'Riordan at 2:45 PM. In bowling his third ball he fell and could not bowl again in the match due to an injured foot. KW Hope came out as 12th man and at once he ran out Caple when Horton refused a call. Keith might have been caught by Hughes at extra cover first ball. Then he and Horton added 40 before Huey bowled Keith for 14. Still at 203 Horton, 35, mis-hit Hunter to Hope at mid-wicket. At 220 Hughes dropped Sainsbury at square leg off Hunter and at 224-5 Hampshire declared at 3:42 PM.
McCall and Bergin began for Ireland to the seam bowling of Shackleton and Gray. Both played well although McCall, when only one, bisected the short legs. At tea the score was 29-0. The two left armers now shared the bowling. In his fourth over Wassell bowled McCall. 48-1-22. O'Riordan came in at number three and, in 17 balls, scored 23 out of 32. He hit Wassell for a straight six and a four next ball off a full toss. At 80 first Bergin was badly missed by Timms in a stumping chance off Wassell and then O'Riordan failed to get to the pitch of Sainsbury and was caught at cover. At 86, the middle, as usual, fell out of the Irish batting. Three wickets fell. Bergin was bowled by Wassell for 22 after 90 minutes. Finlay then give Sainsbury a difficult caught and bowled chance which was dropped. But the first ball of Wassell's next over bowled Dineen playing half back. Sainsbury had his revenge on Finlay when he bowled him next over. 86-2 became 86-5. Caple replaced Sainsbury and at 90, when Pratt was one, Ingleby-Mackenzie dropped him at deep mid-off. Pratt and Hunter played out the remaining half-hour and added 20 runs. At 6:27 PM bad light stopped play with the total at 106-5 (Pratt 10, Hunter eight).
Pratt and Hunter continued in good form on the last day. Wassell and Shackleton bowled for half an hour. The score went to 129 before Pratt lunged at Wassell and was bowled. Three balls later Hughes was out for 0. Colhoun then played 47 balls for one run while he and Hunter added 26 for the eighth wicket. Hunter hit Wassell to mid-wicket for six. When Hunter was 28 Ingleby-Mackenzie dropped him at long-on and when 30 Keith dropped him off a dolly to slip. A charmed life! As 155 Hunter was bowled for 39 swinging at Sainsbury and, next over, Colhoun's painful innings came to an end when Wassell caught and bowled him. Goodwin, with Hope as runner, hit a rapid 23, mostly off Wassell. At 21 Marshall dropped him at long on, the fifth wasted chance. At 189-9 Pratt declared, 35 behind. Wassell's 6-101 came in 35 overs, but Sainsbury only conceded 37 runs in his 31 overs.
In 20 minutes before lunch Marshall and Reed scored 18. Just after lunch Finlay dropped Marshall at slip, a hard chance. O'Riordan at leg slip took a sharp chance off Hughes to dismiss Marshall. 33-1-22. Reed and Horton scored quickly. They added 75 in an hour. At 89 Reed reached 50 in 75 minutes, his second half-century of the match. At 96, when Reed was still 50, Finlay dropped him at slip off O'Riordan. As 108 Reed was LBW pulling at O'Riordan. His 61 came off 86 balls in 97 minutes. Horton hit Hunter for a straight six and when Ingleby-Mackenzie was bowled swinging at O'Riordan at 128 the declaration came.
Ireland were set 164 to win in 136 minutes and had 50 minutes play before tea. In that time five wickets fell for 30 to Shackleton and Gray. Shackleton began with five maidens and seven maidens out of his first eight overs. Bergin was bowled by Gray, swinging to leg. 7-1-4. At 11 O'Riordan lunged at Gray and was bowled for four. At 24 Shackleton bowled Finlay for five and Dineen for 0. Dineen "bagged a pair" but in the second innings he was a little unlucky as the ball shot. At 30 Pratt was LBW to Shackleton and this was the score at tea. After tea McCall and Hunter defended well. Gray did not bowl any more and Shackleton only five more overs. The spinners came on and an attacking field was maintained. With 38 minutes to go Hunter was bowled by Keith for 27. 79-6. With Keith and Caple now on McCall came out of his shell and hit some fours over the infielders. In 33 minutes 47 were added of which Goodwin scored only eight. Near the end Wassell bowled Goodwin. The final score was 126-7, 38 short of victory. McCalls 65 not out was chanceless and came in 136 minutes off 176 balls. It was his second half-century of the season and his third in only five matches for Ireland.
Hampshire might have won the match through Shackleton and Grey but Ingleby-Mackenzie did not press the point. The crowd (which was very small) enjoyed watching the spinners and McCall.
This was SF Bergin's last match for Ireland. In May 1966 he announced his retirement from all cricket at the age of 38. Sadly he died suddenly in 1969 aged 42. In 53 matches (1949-65) he scored 2524 runs at an average of 27.73 and at this point he was the only Irish player with over 2000 runs. In 15 matches against Scotland he scored 1038 runs at an average of 43.25, with two centuries and 5 half-centuries. His first 4 fifties (out of 15 in all) came in a row in 1950-51.