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Match Report
Derek Scott

This match inaugurated the first of the Dublin Cricket Weeks. It coincided with the visit of the Prince of Wales who attended the game on the second day, arriving just in time to see the last Irish wicket fall. Courtney Boyle and W.Baker, who were both on the Vice Regal staff, ran "the Week", the idea being to raise money with a view to fostering professional cricket in Ireland and so that players from all parts of the country could meet and contend with one another. This MCC game was played first, then North v South and finally Civilians v Military. It was hoped to play the North v South game first as a trial game before picking the Irish XI but M.C.C. were unable to fit in with this arrangement. The week was not a great financial success, possibly due to the many counter attractions during the royal visit. This was the first time MCC had played here in Ireland and great disappointment was expressed at the team sent over. In fact, "the team" was not sent over. Five very good professionals came over and were joined by six amateurs who were living in Ireland and whose play daily could be seen in Dublin. Two of these, Walrond and McNeile, had actually played for Ireland as had R.A.Miller, who was called upon at the last moment when it was found MCC were a man short. An all Amateur XI had been expected, with one or two famous players. As it was the professionals had things all their own way and MCC won easily. Ireland had no answer to A Shaw and Farrands and in the second innings could only muster 24, the lowest score ever by Ireland and a lamentable performance by a fairly strong XI. A Shaw and G Wootten were among the 10 best bowlers in the world but Wootten did not get an over, Farrands and Shaw bowling unchanged throughout the match. Shaw was medium fast and Farrands straight and on a good length.

The Irish team was very carefully selected but CE Stelfox and RH Orr of the North of Ireland CC were unable to play and also N Hone. W Hone Snr. and TJS Casey had played in the 1868 match at Lords as had AJ McNeile, now playing for MCC. College Park was lent for the game and was excellently prepared and presented a most picturesque appearance. There was, however, some newspaper criticism of the Royal Pavilion Marquee in which the Prince of Wales was entertained on the 2nd day. It was said to have been "a quaint drab structure of shreds and patches whose furnishings were a little peculiar."

The Summer of 1871 was very wet and there had been gales and storms the previous week but the Monday brought forth brilliant sunshine. The wicket however was soaked and dead. The crowd was not as big as expected due to the landing of the Royal visitors at Kingstown. Ireland began at 12 20 and by 2 00 pm had been bowled out for 58. GF Barry and Capt. McNeale began the innings. Shaw's 2nd ball bowled Barry - a change of pace deceiving the batsman. Farrand's 2nd ball bowled McNeale so both the openers were out before a run was scored. TJS Casey joined W Hone Snr. At 6 the former was run out when Hone refused his call. At 20, PF Casey, from whom much was expected, was also run out. 20-4-7. CR Filgate and Hone brought the score to 35. Filgate's 11 were all obtained off Farrands while Hone's 11 were made in an hour of indomitable defence. AT Young made 14 out of the last 20 runs. The bowling was good but a poorer batting display was seldom seen. Shaw bowled 130 balls and took 5 for 21 while Farrands had 3 for 35 in 128 balls.

MCC began with Walrond, a fine free player, and A Shaw, a steady painstaking batsman. Beamish and Dawson, both Cork men, both left arm medium paced bowlers, and both playing their first match for Ireland opened the bowling. At lunch the score was 20 for 0. Play restarted at 3.20 and shortly afterwards Walrond was stumped by TJS Casey off Beamish for 12. 26-1-12. At 35 Dawson bowled Clifton for 4. Capt., Watson, the Curragh Crack, was next. He made 17 before being bowled by the fastish Oldfield who had relieved Dawson. 61-3-17. J Wise was caught at 70 of Beamish. Shaw's stubborn innings was ended when he too was caught off Beamish at 74. He made 33. At 76 Beamish took another wicket, having Biddulph caught. Miller made a pretty 10 and was out at 87. At this stage Ireland lost her grip. Beamish was kept on too long and McNeile and R Young, another Army man, took the score up t o 149. The McNeile was run out for a good, if lucky, 36. Young's 21 was the prettiest innings of his side. He was out at 152 - caught off TJS Casey who had relinquished his wicket keeping gloves. Wootton and Farrands added 18 before another run out ended the innings. Beamish took 4 for 48 in what was his only game for Ireland. The management of the bowling could have been better. Before close of play Ireland lost 2 wickets for 13. TJS Casey was run out again and AJ Young caught at the wicket. GF Barry was 4 not out and W Hone 1 not out.

The 2nd days play began at 12 15 and in 80 minutes Ireland lost the 8 wickets for 11 runs. The innings was a farce the Irish players doing little else but walk in and out again. Good players seemed stricken with a nightmare of feebleness and one after another got out in some extraordinary manner. Six wickets actually fell while the score stayed on 17 - the 4th to the 9th. With 9 wickets down for 17 the Royal party arrived - The Prince of Wales, Prince Arthur and the Lord Lieutenant, Earl of Spencer, and suite. The RIC Band played the National Anthem and the large crowd enthusiastically received the visitors. However, shortly afterwards a ball from Farrands finished the match. Heavy rain fell shortly after the finish. Again Shaw and Farrands shared the wickets there being 2 more run outs. The Irish XI were worth more than 82 runs in the two innings and if the match were played again better form would be shown.

College Park, Dublin