AJ O'Riordan was selected again as captain. However, he and R Torrens cried off, O'Riordan on the morning of the match. WR Hunter, not a substitute, was called in when O'Riordan cried off and was made captain. DE Goodwin replaced Torrens. IJ Anderson was not available for this game. DM Pratt and SSJ Huey had announced their retirement during the winter. This match was the first time Ireland had ever played on a Sunday and because of this IJ Anderson and R Torrens felt they could not play. Ireland recalls McQuilken (who had last played in 1965), Monteith and B Donaghy (who had last played in 1962 but since had often been unavailable).
Two sunny hot days greeted Worcester's first visit to Ireland since 1958. Since then they had won the county championship in 1964 and 1965 and had been second in 1966. As this match coincided with a Test Match TW Graveney and BL d'Oliveira (both playing) and D Kenyon (selector) were unable to come to Dublin. Also unavailable were DW Richardson and J Flavell (injured). Coldwell and Booth were the only ones to survivors of the 1958 match. For Ireland only WR Hunter played in 1958.
Despite the warm weather of the crowd was disappointing. On a firm wicket RCA Headley (son of the great "GA" of West Indies) offered no stroke to the fifth ball of the day from Leng and was bowled! At nine Fearnley hit Goodwin to mid-off. Ormrod started for an impossible run and was duly run out despite a bad throw from Hunter to the bowler Goodwin. After 50 minutes play Hemsley was LBW to Leng although the ball looked a little high. 38-3-6. There Ireland's successes ended for a while. The left-handed Fearnley was stroking the ball well. He reached 50 out of 65 in 90 minutes. After 95 minutes Leng and Goodwin were replaced by Monteith and Hunter. 44 runs came in a half hour before lunch. At lunch the score was 109-3, Fearnley 77 and Turner 19. GM Turner is a young New Zealander qualifying for Worcestershire. He looked very promising and after a slow start played many fine shots with a very straight bat after lunch.
Leng bowled with Monteith after lunch. In 17 minutes another 20 runs were scored. Then Fearnley (92 in 135 minutes) was bowled off stump sweeping at Monteith. Slade came in and another big stand ensued. Turner reached 50 in 128 minutes and the hour after lunch brought 77 runs. Monteith bowled right through but it was Goodwin who broke the stand, recalled for the first time since his opening spell. After 103 had been added in 74 minutes Goodwin had Slade caught for exactly 50. Two overs later at 234 Turner was also caught by Hunter for a very well made 70. Leng bowled Standen (the West Ham goalkeeper) and when Goodwin bowled Baylis for 0 Worcestershire declared at 241-8 at four o'clock. The innings lasted 232 minutes. The pace bowlers Leng and Goodwin had done a very good job.
McCall and Pigot gave Ireland a great start. Against Coldwell and Standen they rattled up 51 in 65 minutes. Then came the leg spin of Baylis and the orthodox left-arm spin of Gifford. McCall left first, caught off Gifford. 51-1-20. At 53 Baylis bowled Pigot for 31. Only nine runs were scored by O'Brien and Donaghy in the next 24 minutes. Then both were out at 62. Donaghy was stumped off Slade (another slow left armer) and O'Brien (30 minutes for one) caught off Baylis. At 64 Harrison, making his debut, was caught behind the wicket off the first ball he faced, bowled by Slade. The good start was dissipated with the score at 64-5. However, Monteith and McQuilken put bat to ball and scored 38 in the last 26 minutes off Slade and Gifford. Monteith hit the last ball of the day for 4 to leg and was 22 not out. McQuilken was 17 and the score was 102-5 after 125 minutes batting.
Next morning in lovely sunshine Standen and Gifford bowled. After five runs were scored Monteith was caught by Turner off Gifford via bat and pad at short leg. 107-6-25. Hunter was not in good form and did not look very safe. However, another 26 were scored before Slade came on for Gifford and had McQuilken caught at gully in his first over. 133-7-28. Goodwin and Hunter added 18 in 25 minutes before Slade bowled Goodwin. Leng was out in the same over. At 155 the innings ended when Hunter (21 in 65 minutes) mishit Baylis to extra cover. Slade came out with the best figures, 5-30 in 16 overs.
Ireland were 86 behind when Headley and Fearnley opened for Worcester at 1 pm. Hunter dropped Fearnley off Leng at mid-off when he was four. Then, on the last ball before lunch, Headley (also left-handed) was caught off a skier by McQuilken at extra cover off Goodwin. Only 10 had been scored in eight overs. The pace then stepped up. Ormrod began with four fours. In 20 minutes 35 were scored. Then Fearnley, 20, was caught at mid-on mis-hitting Leng. 45-2. Monteith and McQuilken came on and 30 more were added in 33 minutes. McCall dropped Ormrod off McQuilken at mid-wicket but, next over, he played on trying to force Monteith. 75-3-38. At 89 Slade was stumped swinging at Monteith. 89-4-10. Standen and Turner scored another 25 in 12 minutes before the declaration came at 114-4. Again the bowlers had not done badly conceding the runs off 32 overs.
Ireland had no chance of making 201 to win in 150 minutes and there was a question of putting up a good show and making a draw. This was done despite a nervous last half-hour. Coldwell had injured himself and Ormrod bowled four overs with Standen to start. Pigot and McCall put on 25. Then Gifford replaced Ormrod and bowled McCall for 11. O'Brien was dropped by Gifford off Slade at point before he had scored. The tea score was 28-1 after 50 minutes. Baylis came on after tea and was hit for eight fours in six overs by O'Brien and Donaghy. This after Pigot had been bowled by Slade for 17 with the score on 37. O'Brien and Donaghy used their feet and played their shots. Only Gifford, in a six-over spell, could stem the scoring. At 78 Donaghy should have been stumped off Baylis. 56 were added in 54 minutes before O'Brien was caught at slip reaching at Slade. He had made 31 with six fours in 67 minutes. 93-3-31. Only 40 minutes were now left. However Gifford came back with Slade and wickets began to fall. At 107 three fell. Harrison played back too square to Slade and was bowled by the turning ball. The unfortunate Harrison had "bagged a pair" in his first match as JA O'Meara had last done at Derry in 1963. Donaghy then mistimed a pull off a short ball from Gifford and was bowled for 37. In the same over McQuilken was also bowled. Monteith and Hunter held out until 6:23 pm when Monteith was caught at slip off Slade reaching for the ball. Five minutes later Goodwin was caught at point playing back. Leng survived Slade's last four balls and Hunter played out a maiden from Baylis to end a good match. Gifford emerged was 3-9 in 17 overs - his trajectory and speed making him hard to score off. Slade took 5-21 in 17 overs and 10-51 in 33 overs in the match.