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Match Report
Derek Scott

From the originally selected team Monteith and Hughes cried off and were replaced by the two new caps, Miller and Cochrane.

A generous Combined Services "CS" declaration gave Ireland a chance to win which was enthusiastically taken. It was Ireland's first away win since 1948 when Scotland were beaten. It also provided two wins in one season for the first time since 1957. The last win by wickets was in 1947 and Ireland have not scored so many runs to win in the fourth innings since Lord's in 1935. To add to the records OD Colhoun equalled JC Boucher's record by playing in his 32nd match in succession. Five of the CS team played in their heavy defeat by Ireland in Belfast in 1968. They were Gretton, Moylan-Jones, Robinson, McIntyre and Richards. Ireland hoped to to field her usual and strongest team but Hughes and Monteith were both injured had cried off. Of the two new caps Miller is a left-handed batsman from Limavady who had done well in the Guinness Cop. The choice of Cochrane is remarkable. He is 41 and a grandfather! As well as this he is a good medium paced left arm bowler from Donemana.

The pitch and ground at Uxbridge were very good. The weather was overcast for most of the time and, sadly, no spectators came. CS won the toss and batted, always a risk in a two-day match between even teams on a good wicket. Peck and Lishman opened. O'Riordan must have known a lot would depend on him in this weak Irish bowling team. With his third ball he had Lishman caught at leg slip. At 19 he yorked Peck. Then came a stand between Gretton and Moylan-Jones. On the hard but lively wicket runs came reasonably quickly. 51 was up in 64 minutes. O'Riordan came off after 11 overs for 22 runs and two wickets. Cochrane and Duffy were tried but at lunch the score was 96-2 in 38 overs.

With his second ball after lunch O'Riordan had Moylan Jones palpably LBW on the back foot. He had scored 44 in 93 minutes. Robinson came in and snicked a leg side four off his first ball to bring 100 up in 122 minutes. Robinson ran four off his next ball and cut the third one for four. In O'Riordan's next over Robinson hit him for seven runs. Gretton, when 40, almost gave Pigot a lobbed catch to short mid-wicket. Then, when 41, Duffy hung on to a good catch at gully to dismiss Gretton off O'Riordan. 129-4-41. With Newsom in the third 50 came up in only 40 minutes. At 151 Robinson cut loose on Goodwin who had been bowling since lunch. Robinson hit him for four fours in an over. At 170 O'Riordan had Robinson LBW for 48 made in 52 minutes. Duffy, replacing Goodwin, had a splendid spell. In 4.5 overs he took 3-9 and at 190-8 (scored in 197 minutes off 61.5 overs) CS declared. O'Riordan bowled manfully for 23 overs to take 5-75.

When Pigot and Reith went in there were 153 minutes left. In this time Ireland scored only 97-4 but the light was quite bad in the last 90 minutes. Gibson and Richards bowled until the score was in the 70s. They took two wickets each. Pigot snicked a four off Richards and was LBW padding up to the first ball of Gibson's second over. Reith and Waters added 17 in half an hour. Then Reith, in 42 minutes for nought, was caught at the wicket off Gibson. Tea came with the score at 26-2. After an hour (15 overs) the score was only 34. At 41 Waters was caught at short square leg for 19. He was suffering neck trouble and was not in touch. Duffy joined Anderson and when five, and the total on 55, survived a low chance to the wicket-keeper off Richards. At 59 Anderson tried to turn a half volley to leg and was LBW. Dineen came in and at 60-4 the umpires asked the batsmen if they wished to go in due to bad light. They refused. After two hours only 30 overs had been bowled. Christy and Newsom came on. Newsom conceded only four runs in six overs but Duffy, 28, and Dineen, 11, survived to close of play with the score on 97-4.

Next morning in 15.2 overs Ireland's last six wickets fell for only 30 runs. This collapse may have caused CS to be generous with their second innings declaration. Richards and Gibson bowled. At 109 Duffy was caught at second slip off Richards for 37. Dineen was LBW to Gibson at 110, even though he was stretched up the wicket. Then Christy came back for Richards and took three wickets in five balls over two overs. He bowled all three of his victims and finished with 3-12 in nine overs. CS bowling rate was 16.6 overs per hour and Ireland's run rate was 2.2 runs per over.

Then CS went in with 54 minutes to go to lunch. In that time O'Riordan and Goodwin bowled 17 overs while Peck and Lishman got 40 runs. Immediately afterwards Andersons seemed to run out Lishman but the umpire had failed to take up position. 50 went up in 64 minutes. At this point Lishman gave Goodwin a hard caught-and-bowled chance which was dropped. Next over O'Riordan had Peck caught at the wicket for 22. At 61 Goodwin bowled Gretton. CS did not appear to be in any hurry and at 64 three successive maidens were bowled. At 72 Miller dropped Lishman at slip off Goodwin - a difficult chance. Next ball Colhoun dropped Robinson off O'Riordan. Then Lishman and Robinson opened out. Goodwin was hit for 26 in three overs. At 92 O'Riordan had Robinson LBW. Lishman went to his 50. Next over he was bowled by Cochrane and Moylan-Jones, who was batting at the time, declared. Lishman made his 50 in just two hours. CS scored at 2.7 runs per over. O'Riordan was again a great bulwark. He conceded only 33 in 18 overs and bowled throughout the two hours.

Ireland put the heavy roller on. The light was now much brighter. The task was to score 162 in 162 minutes, or in 102 minutes plus a minimum of 20 overs. So the rate was probably three runs an over. Gibson and Richards (of a short run) opened the bowling. Pigot and Reith began well and scored 26 in 29 minutes. Then Gibson bowled Reith. Christy replaced Richards and with his fourth ball bowled Waters. 27-2-1. At tea, taken after 48 minutes and 14 overs, Ireland were 35-2.

50 came up in 60 minutes and the 19th over, bowled by Gibson, yielded nine runs. There then followed two maidens. The next four overs all yielded four runs each. Lane and Christy were tried. Then Richards bowled the last over before the final hour and six runs were taken off it. Ireland were now 85-2 off 30 overs in 101 minutes. Pigot was 39, Anderson 30 and, 5 minutes earlier, they had added exactly 50 in 60 minutes. 77 were now needed in a minimum of 20 overs so the race had to be nearly 4 per over.

Lane's first over yielded the necessary four. Richards bowled the second over for one run and a dropped catch, Anderson by Peck at slip. Four were scored in Lane's next over, seven in the fourth over by Richards and six in the fifth over by Lane. Now 22 had come in five overs. Pigot reached his first 50 for Ireland in 119 minutes. Richards bowled the sixth over for three runs and eight came off Lane's next over. Christy replaced Richards for the 8th over and yielded only a single. Newsom took over the ninth over from Lane and was hit for five. The next two overs really finished the match. Christy gave up eight in the 10th over. Now 47 had come of the 77 needed at this halfway mark and no wickets had fallen. The hundred stand had come in 101 minutes, the second 50 in 40 minutes.

Newsom bowled his offspinners in the 11th over and Anderson hit him for 12 and went from 48 to 60. His half-century took 103 minutes. Christy bowled the 12th over for four runs and Moylan-Jones, at mid-on, dropped a difficult catch off Anderson. Anderson was 62 at the time and the score was 148. It was now easy but Gibson, coming back, was hit for seven in the 13th over. Richards bowled the 14th for a single and in the 15th Gibson had Anderson LBW for 69.

Anderson had scored his runs in 118 minutes and out of the stand of 131 with Pigot. It was just the innings to win the match which was duly done in the next over when Duffy hit Richards to the boundary. There were 4.3 overs to spare. Pigot scored a chanceless 70 not out and was the cornerstone of the innings. His runs had come in 158 minutes and he quickened the pace when it was called for. He and Anderson ran well between the wickets in what was the best third wicket stand for Ireland since 1902. It was a well-deserved and famous victory thanks, in the first place, to a generous CS decoration. The moral of the match is what difference to our players a hard and fast wicket makes.