Before the match started it was changed by Wales from a three-day game to a two-day game. In sunny weather and on the County ground wicket a result was virtually ruled out by that decision. The match was, in fact, a dull affair. Ireland created a sensation by changing captains. Goodwin had captained the team on 19 occasions in succession, a record. He was now replaced by O'Riordan who had a spell as captain soon after his 21st birthday in 1961 and last captained the team in 1967. Perhaps it was hoped that O'Riordan might be a better tactician and would also exert more discipline off the field. Reith had emigrated to Australia. Crothers was promoted to open and a new cap, CCJ Harte, was brought in. Harte, a Trinity and NICC player, had come to the fore rapidly this year in the Guinness Cup. Duffy was restored instead of Lewis. Anderson was dropped for the first time since he came into the side in 1966 because of a poor domestic season. However, LP Hughes again broke down and Anderson came on as substitute - a batsman for a bowler. Only four of the Wales team played in Cork in 1971 - D Jones; T Williams; Thomas and Owen. J Presdee and D Ward, bowled former Glamorgan players, were in the team.
Wales won the toss and sent Ireland in on the long first day (Sunday) when play was between 12 noon and 7:30 PM. Owen and Thomas bowled to Pigot and Crothers who put on 49 for the first wicket. Crothers first run was a catch to the vacant third slip position off Owen. At seven Pigot was dropped by Ward at third slip of Thomas. Otherwise Pigot played fluently and Crothers was restrained despite hooking Ward to long leg for six. The first hour produced 39. At 49 Pigot misjudged the line of B Wood and was bowled leg stump for 17. Howells, an offspinner, came on and bowled Crothers at 59, the ball going from pad to stump. Harrison and O'Riordan took the score to 98-2 at lunch at 2 PM. At 104 Ward, an other off spinner, bowled Harrison for 23. O'Riordan and Harte then added 67 in 74 minutes of brisk strokeplay. O'Riordan was missed at the wicket when 34 but played well and reached 50 in 100 minutes. Harte was always busy and made an impressive debut. At 171, O'Riordan (59) drove at Ward and was caught low at mid-on by Evans. Harte and Anderson added 30 and brought 200 up in 294 minutes. Then Harte was lbw to Thomas for 45 with the score at 201 while trying to force to the off. Linehan took a few overs to settle then hit Ward for 4-6-4 in one over, the six hitting the screen. Ireland declared at 5 pm, Linehan being 29 in 24 minutes. 79 overs were bowled. Thomas looked the best bowler. His 21 overs yielded only 42 runs.
D and A Jones started for Wales. The latter was only 15 years of age and had played earlier in 1972 for Wales schools against Irish schools in Cork. He was caught behind off a no ball early on, but played very well for one so young. D. Jones began with a rush of fours and Goodwin had no balls in each of his first four overs. After 10 overs Monteith came on with the score on 29. D. Jones hit Goodwin over mid-wicket for 6 to bring up 51 in 55 minutes. A. Jones now struck out. He hit Monteith for 6 to mid-wicket. Duffy came on for the next over instead of Goodwin and A. Jones hit two fours. Next over from Monteith he tried to carry wide long on but was caught by Crothers. 67-1-31. This very brisk start was followed by a collapse which took the score at the close to 86-5. With the score unchanged at 67 D. Jones was run out for 30. Evans hit Monteith to mid-wicket. There was confusion and Crothers threw accurately to the bowler's end before Jones could get back. Only one run came in the next 40 minutes. Then Wood skied Monteith to Crothers at extra cover. 68-3-1. In the next 24 minutes Evans and Howells added 10. O'Riordan replaced Duffy (nine runs in nine overs- eight off his first!). At 78 Evans mis-pulled Monteith to Crothers at short mid-wicket. In 48 minutes Crothers had taken three catches and made a run out - in great contrast to his fielding as a substitute against Scotland in 1971. At 79 O'Riordan bowled Pressdee around his legs. Ward (six) and Howells (0) were in at close of play. Howells had batted 40 minutes without scoring. There were six runs off the last over and only 19 runs were scored in the last 65 minutes!
The second today's play began at 11 am. Goodwin and O'Riordan bowled and the "grind" went on. Wales may have been worried about a possible follow-on and needed 135 to avoid it. After 27 minutes five been added when Ward was out to a quick leg side stumping off Goodwin. At this point Howells had scored one in 67 minutes! After 47 minutes Monteith came on for Goodwin - too long delayed a change. Duffy replaced O'Riordan at 99. After 69 minutes Howells hit a four and doubled the score! At 104 Howells skied Monteith to O'Riordan at long off. The fielder was too far in and could not get back to catch it. At 12 48 pm the follow-up-on was saved. The bowling was switched about. Monteith could not hold a very hard catch and bowl off Howells at 144. At 1 pm Wales declared at 149-6, 85 behind. They had made 63 in 120 minutes today. In all they batted 249 minutes for 149 off 80 overs! There were now 290 minutes left and a finish was most unlikely unless Ireland could score very fast. Monteith was Ireland's best bowler with 3-50 in 26 overs. In 17 minutes before lunch Ireland scored five. 23 minutes after lunch the score was only 16 when Crothers was bowled by Owen. At 19 Pigot was caught at forward short leg off bat and pad. Harrison had gone in number three - not an indication that Ireland wished to press on fast. Ward and Pressdee now took over the bowling and Harrison and O'Riordan put on 99 in 63 minutes. O'Riordan made 62 of these and was out first. He hit Ward for six over long on and Pressdee for another 6 to the same place off a full toss. He reached his second 50 of the match in 55 minutes. At 119 he drove at Ward and was caught at extra cover for 62. Four runs later Linehan (promoted) was bowled by Ward 43 and at 123 the sedate Harrison swept Ward to short square leg where Pressdee made a good catch. Anderson and Harte added 21 in 17 minutes before Ireland's declared at 144-5. They had batted for 45 minutes.
Wales were thus set 232 win in 77 minutes +20 overs - a very difficult task in which they had no real interest. The Joneses added 26. Then Monteith, with his second ball, had D Jones well held at slip by Harte. Ward came in at number three. Pigot, at deep square leg, dropped A. Jones when 18 with the score on 39 off a simple chance off Monteith. At 43 Monteith bowled A Jones around his legs. This was Monteith's 99th wicket for Ireland. He bowled another eight overs but failed to take the 100th. Ward and Evans swept freely off Goodwin - 11 overs for 46 but Duffy bowled eight overs for seven runs. Anderson came on and caught and bowled Ward for 28 at 100. Soon afterwards the game was given up with six minutes to go.
Due to the political situation in Northern Ireland this year the match against Combined Services, scheduled for Downpatrick, was called off before the season began. MCC refused to travel to Dublin when one of their players received a bomb threat. They were scheduled to play at Castle Avenue in September with a Gillette cup type match on the Sunday in College Park in the middle of the three-day game.