For the first time Ireland played a match in Belfast away from Ormeau. It was played at Shane Park, home of Instonians CC. The ground is but a few years old and the wicket has obviously not yet settled. This fact, allied to rain in the night and morning, made the wicket extremely lively at one end. Goodwin was just the right pace to exploit it and he had a remarkable match. The Combined Services played six of the team which played Ireland at Aldershot in 1967. Ireland brought in R. Harrison, who got "a pair" against Worcester in 1967 in his only previous match for Ireland, and RM Ridley, the Oxford University opening batsman whose mother is from County Down and who was present at the match. Dropped were McCall, who was completely out of form, and Martin.
The covers lay directly on the wicket which sweated. The outfield was also wet. However, play got underway at 2:10 pm. Services won the toss and, surprisingly, decided to bat in what was now a 10 hour match. O'Riordan had a choice of end and fortunately left the bad end to Goodwin, as O'Riordan would probably have been too fast a pace. Willson and Gretton opened. At five, Ridley, at first slip, dropped Willson off Goodwin who was by now bringing the ball up off a length. 25 minutes brought 13 runs then Willson gave Goodwin an easy return catch. Moylan-Jones drove his first ball for four and then saw Gretton caught in the gully by Goodwin off O'Riordan - a bad shot. At 18 Williams got a kicker from Goodwin and gave Harrison at short square leg an easy catch.
Robinson went next, caught at second slip by Hughes off Goodwin. 22-4. Moylan-Jones and Rudolph then made the best stand of 26. The latter was lucky with his first ball which he lunged at and hit through the short legs. 30 came up in an hour. Hughes came on for O'Riordan. In Goodwin's 10th over Rudolph pulled, cut and drove him for three fours. He then snicked Hughes at speed for four past Ridley's left-hand at first slip. At 48 Rudolph got a lifter from Goodwin. He was caught half forward and the ball lobbed to square short leg. 48-5-22. Deverell, a left-handed bat who should have been 12th man but who played because the Services third seam bowler missed the plane, came next. He got another kicker first ball off Goodwin's next over and Harrison took his third catch. Rasheed was possibly dropped at the wicket first ball. He put the second over slips for four. In Goodwin's next over he hit a 6 to long-on and 4 to mid-wicket. At 69 Ridley dropped another slip catch, Moylan-Jones off Goodwin. Next ball Harrison caught him off another that jumped. He had batted 77 minutes for 16.
McIntyre got a lifter first ball and then lashed the second up in the air to be caught by O'Riordan running to his left from leg slip. Healey stayed with Rasheed until tea. The score then was 78-8 and the Services declared. Goodwin had bowled 17 overs and had taken 7-39. He was virtually unplayable.
Harrison and Pigot began with nine men around the bat. Healey's first ball lifted and Harrison pulled the second for four. Richards bowled at the other end. After half an hour 32 were scored. Willson, a left arm seamer, relieved Healey who could not emulate Goodwin's lift. 51 came up in 68 minutes of which Harrison scored 30. Almost at once Willson bowled Pigot on one that kept low. 51-1-19. Ridley and Harrison added 31 in the remaining 37 minutes. Ireland were 82-1 by close of play, Harrison 43, Ridley 15. This was a four run lead. During the last period, after a light rolling, the wicket was at its best.
Next day was dry and warm in the afternoon. The wicket was much drier and the outfield had been cut. Scoring was not easy and those who hit out did best. Richards bowled from the "Goodwin" end and had Harrison LBW pushing to leg off the fifth ball. Healey bowled at the other end. Ridley and Waters slowly brought 100 up and Ridley was missed at the wicket by McIntyre. At 107 Ridley played a shot off his legs off Richards and Willson snapped up a low two-handed catch. Ridley batted for 81 minutes and did well in his first match for Ireland. One run later Waters got a Richards lifter and was caught at short square leg. 29 had now come in the first hour. Monteith spent an unhappy 23 minutes scoring a single and was then bowled by a break-back from Richards.
Dineen's second ball dislocated his thumb and he retired hurt. At 119 Anderson should have been run out. He played a ball to leg, O'Riordan ran but not Anderson. Anderson in fact had given up when he saw the ball thrown over the bowler's head. A quick sprint then saw him home. This was a lucky let off as Anderson was only 12. O'Riordan made 0 in 22 minutes before being bowled by another break back with the score at 122. With Hughes in Anderson cut loose. He hit Healey for successive fours, a back foot drive, a straight drive and a pull. At 143 Anderson played forward, when he should have been back, to a short ball which lifted. His 31 came in an hour of good cricket. Hughes pulled Healey for six and slashed Richards for four. He then chased a wide one and was stumped. 156-8-16. Two minutes before lunch Goodwin was bowled to give Ireland a lead of 83 and Richards his eighth wicket of the morning. He and Healey had bowled unchanged. In the morning spell Richards, at a pace just above medium, bowled 16.2 overs and took 8-29. In all he took 8-61 in 32.2 overs and it is pretty sure that he should have bowled at this end on the first evening.
After a heavy rolling the Services second innings was a procession. At one time it was 14-7. They really surrendered to Goodwin and O'Riordan while Monteith claimed the last three wickets. The wicket was lifting again for Goodwin but one would have felt that they should have at least learnt to go right back rather than half forward. Goodwin's first seven overs were maidens and he took two wickets in the fifth over and two more in the seventh. Gretton pushed one to short leg and, two balls later, Moylan-Jones glanced uppishly and was caught. The Services captain, Williams, drove under his first ball. He skied a dolly to cover where the substitute for Dineen, RI Johnston, dropped it and then ran Williams out because Willson had not run. So it was "a pair" for Williams and Goodwin was deprived of three wickets in an over. 7-3-0. At 10 O'Riordan bowled Robinson. Next over Goodwin took two more. A good leg side stumping accounted for Willson (46 minutes for 0) and, two balls later, Deverell gave forward short leg a catch.
Next over Rudolph played inside O'Riordan and was bowled and so it was 14-7. Rasheed and McIntyre added 23 which included four fours. With the score on 29 Monteith came on for O'Riordan. He got a degree of turn and three wickets in four overs. Rasheed was caught on the square leg boundary, McIntyre was bowled round his legs while sweeping and Richards skied his second ball to cover. 37 all out with 8 noughts! Goodwin in 15 overs took 4-13 and had bowled at one end throughout the match.
For record purposes the following are worth noting: -
1. It was the first win since 1963 against Scotland in Derry
2. It brought to an end a run of 16 matches without a win - one short of the 17 match record from 1949 to 1954.
3. It was the first innings win since the match against Free Foresters in 1957.
4. It was the first win in Belfast since 1949.
5. Combined Services score of 37 was the third lowest against Ireland and the lowest since 1910 when Scotland scored 32 in College Park.
6. The 276 run match aggregate was the lowest in a completed two innings match since the famous match at Rathmines against New Zealanders in 1937.
7. Ireland lost toss and won the match for the first time since MCC at Lord's in 1947.
8. Goodwin's match return of 11-52 was the best since F Fee's 12-60 against Scotland at College Park in 1957.
9. Colhoun played his 25th successive match - a run of matches only bettered by JC Boucher's 32 between 1939 and 1954.
10. This was the 250th match played by Ireland since the first in 1855. Like the first it was won.