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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

This was the 10th game between the teams and Ireland's third win - the last two in succession. Seven of the IZ team had played in the 1873 match while two others had played previously, JM Richardson in 1868 and Middleton in 1869. AJ Webbe; Capt. Kenyon-Slayney and Capt. Rowley were newcomers to the match. Middleton was a rowdy swell and practical joker who was stationed in Ireland. He was a good bowler. AJ Webbe was the great Harrow, Oxford, Middlesex and England batsman. He was only 19 when this match was played and made a score of 50 in the 1st innings, by far the highest innings of the game. Batting should have been IZ's strong point but it let them down and Neill, making his Irish debut, took 14 wickets. IZ, set 107 to win, looked to be home at 52 for 2 but worsening light, combined with Neill and Miller's bowling, saw Ireland home by 15 runs. Some Irish players, including GF Barry, were unable to play but the batting looked strong. L Hone, making his first appearance, usually kept wicket but did not do so in this match. In 1878-79 he went to Australia with Lord Harris' team and kept wicket in one test match. Between 1874 and 1888 Leland Hone played in 11 games for Ireland and scored 332 runs (avge. 19.52) and proved to be the most successful of the Hone's after W Hone Jnr. Another making his debut, FG Kempster, was one of the soundest batsmen of the period.

The Irish team was not punctual in arriving and a start was not made until noon on the first day. The Lord Lieutenant, the Duke of Abercorn, was present. The wicket was dead at first but improved later in the day. Each side completed an innings and Ireland, batting first, led by 20 runs. W Hone Sen. and TB Reeves, opened for Ireland and AJ McNeile and Middleton were the bowlers. McNeile, with his slows, got the first two wickets with wicket-keeper Tritton's assistance. At 3 Hone was caught for 0 and at 7 Reeves was stumped for 4 - it was felt that the umpire's decision in the latter case was incorrect. There followed the best Irish stand of the match - G Casey and R Jones adding 46 for the 3rd wicket. At 53 Casey was caught off McNeile for a lucky 29. W Hone Jnr. joined Jones and a further 27 were put on. Jones was then caught off Hadow for a good 26. Stokes at no. 6 became the fourth successive player to exceed 20 and at one time the score was 110 for 4. McNeile and Middleton then returned to the attack and the remaining 7 wickets fell for 27 runs. The best innings was that of W Hone Jnr. His 30 was really pretty. McNeile took 6 for 60 in 35 overs, the old story of slow bowling being our downfall. Middleton conceded only 31 runs in 38.2 overs. One or two catches were missed.

Capt. Rowley and AJ Webbe began for IZ and for Ireland Neill and Hackett bowled. The IZ start was as bad as Irelands. At 5 Rowley was well caught at long leg by W Hone Jnr. off Neill and with the score unchanged a splendid low one handed catch at long on by Miller off Hackett dismissed W Law for 0. The best batsmen of IZ, Webbe and WH Hadow, were now together. Both played really well and the limitations of the Irish bowling were exposed. The score was taken to 88 and then Webbe was caught off Neill for 50 - as fine a piece of cricket as was seen in Dublin for quite a long while. Kempster bowled Hadow for 32 at 90 and with Neill now rampant the pattern of the IZ Innings followed that of the Irish and 8 wickets actually fell for 29 runs. JM Richardson (13) was the only other batsman to reach double figures. Capt. Kenyon-Slayney was hit on the head by a throw in and had to retire. Neill's first bowl for Ireland was highly successful. In 29.2 overs he took 8 for 42. There was a further complaint against the same Umpire in this innings. It was contended that Webbe was caught at the wicket while still in single figures but was given "in". "The Umpire should mind his business and concentrate on the game".

Heavy rain delayed the start of the second day's play until 1 00. The afternoon was fine but early on the wicket was dead. Ireland changed the opening batsmen and it was this move that probably won the game. W Hone Jnr. and Jones faced McNeile and Middleton and took 12 runs off 2 overs. Hadow took over from McNeile who had conceded 12 runs in his 2 overs. Middleton bowled well but at lunch the score was 29 for 0 wicket. The wicket probably had become difficult after lunch and at once Hadow bowled Hone Jnr. for 14. 29-1-14. G Casey was caught off Hadow for 0 and at 34 Rowley stumped Jones off Middleton for 20. At 36 four wickets fell - three to Middleton. W Hone Snr., Reeves Miller and Stokes were all out at this score, and all failed to score. 36 for 7 became 50 for 9. Abraham (26) and Kempster (11) helped to ensure that the last two wickets added 36 runs - Abrahams getting his runs by good play in brief time. Hadow and Middleton shared the wickets - Hadow having a fine all round match.

Webbe and Rowley opened for IZ to Neill and Kempster. 107 were required to win. Neill bowled throughout the innings but Kempster after bowling 13 overs for 11 runs gave way to Hackett. The latter was not in form and after three overs Miller came on. He had not been used in the first innings but now he became a match winner. Webbe was caught and bowled by Neill for 7 and Rowley was run out for 5. Hadow and Richardson took the score to 52 at which point IZ looked safe. Then the wicket and the light turned against IZ and Miller in his 15 overs took 4 for 10. Neill took 6 for 58 and so had taken 14 for 100 on his debut. At 6.30 the game ended in a 15 run victory. The injured Kenyon-Slayney came in last (to the honour of his doctor) in an endeavour to help E.Lubbock to win the game. 20 were required but after 5 of these had been obtained the gallant Grenadier Captain was stumped.

Later in the week IZ lost to the Vice Regal XVI chiefly due to the bowling of Browne and Mahaffy.

Vice Regal Lodge, Dublin