MCC returned to Ireland for the first time since 1970 and to Rathmines for the first time since 1948. Ireland played badly in all phases and lost for the first time in Europe since MCC's last visit to Dublin in 1970. The MCC were a team of good cricketers capably led by the former Cheshire captain FW Millett. It was augmented by the now 44-year-old Roy Marshall of West Indies and Hampshire. Only Dawson, Davis and Mordaunt had played for MCC against Ireland before. Of the newcomers, K.Thompson was from New South Wales; J. Matthews had played for Transvaal and A.P.Naughten was from Clonmel and had played for Phoenix in 1967. Mence was with both Warwick and Gloucester.
Ireland brought back Anderson, Harrison and Monteith, none of whom had gone to Holland. Out went Duffy, O'Brien and Corlett. Then O'Riordan pulled a muscle and Corlett returned.
MCC won the toss on a fine morning. The pitch was slow and innocent. Corlett bowled only three overs before Goodwin came on to join Torrens and open with four maidens and the wicket of Dawson at 28. Torrens bowled Davis at the same score. This brought Thompson, who made a shaky start but was good on the back foot, and Marshall together. They added 88 in 78 minutes to the stroke of lunch. Of these Marshall made 57. He hit seven fours and two sixes, the second of which gave him his 50 and brought up 100. Monteith, tried at 71, conceded 21 runs in five overs, and failed to find a good line. Torrens bowled Marshall at 116 and so to lunch.
Thompson and Mordaunt added 48 at a run a minute. Then Thompson was stumped to give Monteith his only wicket of the innings. As 196 Mordaunt was caught at the wicket off Corlett for 35. Millett and Mence then joined in a 69 run partnership spanning the tea interval. Tea came at 218-5, a new ball was taken at 237 after 85 overs and, at 256, Pigot dropped Mence at mid-wicket off Torrens. At 265 Corlett bowled Mence and at 273 Colhoun caught a wonderful diving catch to dismiss Bell. Millett was bowled by Torrens for a pawky 44 and at 287-9 MCC declared, giving Ireland 20 minutes batting. MCC had scored at almost 3 and over and Corlett was the best bowler with 4-55 in 24 overs, bowling fast. Some catches were dropped but the ground fielding was good.
Before the close of play Ireland lost Short at 11, caught behind off Matthews. On Monday Matthews and Naughten reduced Ireland to 30-5. Colhoun, the overnight night watchman, was LBW at 20 and Harrison bowled at 21. Naughten had another LBW at 26 (Anderson) and, at 30, Pigot swung at a wide leg side ball and was caught behind very wide. Mitchell and Linehan set about restoring the situation. In 73 minutes they added 68. MCC persisted with legspinner DeVille and eventually Mitchell miscued. 98-6-33. At 124 Linehan hit his wicket to DeVille. He hit eight fours in his 45. Monteith was caught at second slip with the total still at 124. 14 more were still needed to save the follow-on. Corlett began with a six and 17 were added when Matthews came back and bowled Torrens. After lunch Corlett (who hit another six out of the ground off DeVille) and Goodwin added 22. The total of 163 was very disappointing and left Ireland 124 behind. The South African, Matthews, had 5-47 at a hostile speed.
At 2:35 PM MCC went in again and Davis was caught and bowled in Goodwin's first over with the total at two. Goodwin used the new ball in this innings, and not Corlett, as Torrens partner. Corlett and Monteith were soon on and, at 35, Monteith had Dawson caught by Colhoun playing back. Mence and Marshall were now together but, at 4 PM, rain stopped play with the total at 48. At 5:17 PM there were four more minutes play but more rain came at 50-2, Mence 24, Marshall 2.
In 75 minutes on the third day MCC added 122 runs off 21 overs! Marshall went from 2 to 85. He hit two sixes and nine fours. While scoring at this pace he gave chances to Mitchell (not on the line at long on); to Corlett (very easy at mid-off from Monteith at 103) and next over a skier which was a caught and bowled to Goodwin. Mence was out at 52. Then Marshall and Mordaunt added 80 in 44 minutes, then Marshall and Millett 40 in 26 minutes. Goodwin emerged as the best bowler and Torrens only bowled four overs.
Ireland set off after 297 to win in 210 minutes. It seemed Millett had declared too late and could only justify his decision by winning. He did just that with the 10th last ball and by taking 6-38 with off spin on a wicket now beginning to wear. Millett also took the vital slip catch which dismissed Torrens and ended the match.
Pigot and Short went away at a great rate. At lunch the score was 21 and it was 57 in 62 minutes before Millett in his second over bowled Short, 24, when the latter left a gap. Harrison did not bat well but scored 28 by means of five fours and eight singles. Pigot went to 50 out of 85 in 81 minutes but at 86 was stumped in Millett's fifth over. The next ball jumped a little but slowly and Andersen flicked it to backward short leg. In Millett's next over, at 90, Mitchell tried to pull, the ball kept low and he was bowled. Linehan, when four, was dropped by DeVille at extra cover off Millett and Harrison also had a life off Millett when Bell dropped him at mid-on. At 121 both players were out. De Ville, a legspinner, came on and bowled Linehan and Millett, in his 10th over, bowled Harrison.
There were still over two hours left for play. Monteith and Corlett added 36 in only 16 minutes. Monteith made 34 of these with two sixes and three fours, mostly off DeVille. De Ville won in the end, however, when, at 157, Monteith was caught at mid-wicket. Colhoun came in at number nine and there followed a stand of 74 for the eighth wicket which almost saved the match. Tea was taken at 3:40 PM as close of play was 5:30 PM. The score was then 177-7 and Corlett had been dropped by Naughten at mid-off when four. Mordaunt was now keeping wicket, the third to do so for MCC. Thompson was the wicket-keeper but he hurt his hand in the first innings. Dawson took over but Mordaunt kept in the second innings. After tea he dropped Corlett on the leg side off Matthews. Matthews was expensive conceding 48 in 11 overs but for him as for all bowlers the fielders were kept in and the outfield was very fast. The game went into the final 20 overs in the last hour. Colhoun was in great form. He scored four fours in his first 18 and used his feet to play strokes. Bell was put on for a spell with flat leg spinners and Mence came on for Millett. This last move took the vital wicket at 5 PM. Corlett (38) pushed at a ball into Thompson's hands at very short cover. 238-8-38. At 5:11 PM Millett came back for Mence. He got one to pop and Colhoun was caught by one of the two forward short legs, again Thompson. Colhoun's 36 was his highest for Ireland and contained five fours. Torrens and Goodwin survived six overs from DeVille and Millett and, indeed, Thompson dropped Torrens at short leg off Millett. 20 overs were bowled but there was time for two more. In the first of these DeVille had Torrens caught at slip off one that turned a lot. Ireland had lost, and deservedly so, by 49 runs.
On the Saturday night John Hunter, President ICU gave a buffet party for 150 in the Burlington Hotel attended by An Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave and his family. On the Sunday the Taoiseach and his party also attended the one day Gillette Cup type match played in College Park. This match ended in a tie, 185 each, and was played in sunshine before a £120 Gate. Ireland needed 3 to win this match in the last over. Millett put on DeVille who bowled Linehan who swung wildly at the first ball. Bushe got a two off the third ball but was caught at the wicket playing back to the fourth. On Monday the British Ambassador gave a reception at his residence, Glencairn, and afterwards the two teams, at Linehan's bidding, had a meal at the Burlington Hotel where MCC stayed. Altogether it was a memorable four days only marred by Ireland's defeat.