JD Monteith and RHC Waters cried off and were replaced by DB Ensor and J Harrison. GF Murphy refused to play against an all-White South African team and thus missed what would have been a first cap
For the second time this season Ireland made the front pages of the newspapers. But this time it was not for cricketing reasons. Anti-Apartheid demonstrators twice held up the game on the first day by sitting on the wicket. The first lot, some 15 of them, paid to come in. At 12:30 PM, 30 minutes after play began, they ran out and sat on the wicket. They were eventually removed by police and stewards at 1:20 PM. At 5:30 PM a further and more left-wing group got in by climbing over a garden wall. It took a further half-hour to remove this lot. For the next two days small groups attempted to lie on the wicket but they were removed without a delay in play. A guard was mounted on the wicket at night before and during the match. Anti-Apartheid pickets were posted on both gates of the ground. On three fine days the crowd was disappointingly small. Mr. Isaac's team consisted of young South African players, all of whom had played first class cricket in South Africa. Some of them, in the future, would play in the full Test team. They had begun their tour in England not long before the Irish match. The wicket at Oxford had been dug up the night before the match!
On a slowish wicket which was dry but taking spin Ireland again did well while the visitors were somewhat disappointing. Monteith and Waters were injured and were replaced by the new cap Ensor and J Harrison. Ensor had been doing well for Phoenix and North Leinster. Pigot and Reith opened for Ireland to Mackay-Coghill, a left-armer and the 6'7" Vincent Van der Bijl, son of PG Van der Bijl, a pre-war South African Test batsman. Pigot was caught at the wicket in Coghill's third over while lunging forward. Harrison scored 10 in 30 minutes before he fell in the same way as Pigot in Coghill's 13th over. Reith, playing well, and Anderson were together at lunch. This pair, in fact, added 54. Then Henwood, a slow left-armer, changed ends and had Reith (32 in 90 minutes) caught at forward short leg. Wickets now began to tumble. Anderson swept Henwood to deep square leg were Flanagan made a fine running catch. 94-4-36. At 105 Ensor, who was in all kinds of trouble and was probably caught at slip but given not out, was drawn forward and stumped off the off-spinner Tayfield (a second cousin of the great Hugh Tayfield). At 116 Van der Bijl came back and had O'Riordan LBW on a ball of full length. Dineen and Duffy now put on 32 against Van der Bijl, Henwood and Mackay-Coghill. Dineen played some good shots and scored 24 in an hour. He was bowled, head up, swinging at Mackay-Coghill. Hughes kept Duffy company over the tea interval and saw another 20 added. At 168 Hughes was stumped off Henwood. 168-8 was not good but Goodwin played very well at number 10. He and Duffy put on 50 in 44 minutes. Goodwin's first shot was a six off Henwood. Duffy had begun slowly but now warmed up and in all struck seven fours on the fast outfield. Eventually Van der Bijl was again recalled at 205 and in his third over Duffy was caught at the wicket after batting for 106 minutes. With Colhoun in Tayfield returned and Goodwin took 17 off the over, including a catch dropped by the middle-aged Mr. Isaacs himself at mid-off. Goodwin made 41 in all, his highest score for Ireland. Off the first ball of Tayfield's next over he was caught off a skier seven minutes before the end of play for the day.
Next day Bruyns and Chatterton opened to O'Riordan and Goodwin. Goodwin, for once, did not bowl well and gave away 35 in 11 overs. 49 were put on when Hughes replaced O'Riordan and had Chatterton caught at short leg. R. Collins, the youngest tourist, was next. He was very slow but Bruyns made up for it. Ireland now had a bad patch in the field. Duffy came on at 58 and Colhoun missed an easy stumping off Bruyns. Hughes also dropped a catch at very short extra cover and, next over, did not move forward to take one. Lunch came but immediately afterwards O'Riordan had Bruyns caught at extra cover off a mistimed drive. Bruyns made 63 out of 100 in 111 minutes and looked by far the best of the South African batsmen. Mackay-Coghill was nearly caught and bowled by O'Riordan and then Duffy did in fact do so off a hard drive. 113-3-2. 11 runs later Collins was out for 26, made in 96 minutes. He drove at Duffy and O'Riordan, closing at extra cover, made a splendid one-handed catch over his head. Hughes replaced O'Riordan. The next wicket, that of Flanagan, must be attributed to the Anti-Apartheid demonstrators. They came to the railings next to the score box and shouted slogans just as the bowler bowled each ball. They were chased away by police but not before Flanagan had been caught at extra-cover. Rosendorff and Smithyman now had a stand for the sixth wicket. The left-handed Rosendorff gave Duffy a difficult chance at gully but otherwise played well. The pair added 56. At 178 Anderson came on with off-spin. He bowled slower and more accurately than usual. In his second over Rosendorff was caught at slip for 49 scored in 180 minutes. 195-6. Smithyman and Henwood added another 35 after tea including a straight six by Smithyman off Anderson. At 230 Anderson hit the wicket from mid-off to run out Henwood and then he bowled Van der Bijl for 0. With a two run lead Issacs declared, leaving Smithyman 46 not out in 103 minutes. Duffy was the most impressive bowler with 2-38 in 23 successive overs. Monteith's absence as a bowled was felt. In an hour in Ireland's second innings Pigot and Reith scored 43 (Pigot 24 and Reith 19).
Quick runs were necessary if the result was to be achieved on the third day. Reith supplied them. He lost Pigot at 62 caught at the wicket off pad and then bat. At 84 Ensor was out playing with a very crooked bat to Van der Bijl. Then Reith and Anderson had a most entertaining partnership of 66 in 55 minutes. Henwood and Tayfield did most of the bowling and strokes flowed over the fast outfield. The wicket was taking spin but it needed a quick spinner with a flat trajectory. Reith hit with powerful leg side blows and got to 85 when he was LBW to the first ball Flanagan bowled. He batted for 160 minutes with a six and 13 fours. It was his third match for Ireland and a very good performance from a young player. Harrison came in next. This was perhaps a mistake as he is not able to force the pace. Anderson reached 56 in 80 minutes and was caught at deep mid-wicket. 188-4-56. The quest for really quick runs was now on. Harrison was caught and bowled by Tayfield at 210. Dineen struck a quick 15 and was missed off three successive balls (the middle one a run out). O'Riordan scored 21 not out and Ireland declared at 241 for seven.
This set Issac's XI 240 in 175 minutes or more accurately in 115 minutes + 20 overs which by law now have, as a minimum, to be bowled in the last hour. The rate was 4½ per over but Issac's XI never came near this. When the last hour began, and it's required 20 overs, they were only 101. Perhaps the target was too great and a slightly earlier declaration might have been made. Bruyns and Chatterton this time opened with 82 but it took 85 minutes. At 47 Reith dropped Chatterton at slip off O'Riordan. Duffy came on at 49 and bowled 22 overs through to the end of the match. Bruyns was caught at the wicket on the back foot off Duffy for 48 and his partner was bowled by Hughes without addition. Collins spent 25 minutes over nought and was stumped off Duffy. At 110 Ensor caught Mackay-Coghill off Hughes at cover. Rosendorff scored 42 out of 49 in an hour. Anderson came on at 118 and had Rosendorff caught at mid-off. Smithyman and Flanagan took the score to 156 when Anderson had Smithyman LBW. Time was called at 160-6 with Ireland bowling 21 overs in the last hour.
This was another excellent display by Ireland. It was the first match at the greatly improved Rathmines ground for 12 years. If time had not been lost to the demonstrations on the first day and if Ireland had Waters and Monteith a win might have been brought off. Initially it had been understood this would be a First Class Match but subsequently MCC ruled it was not.