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Ireland International Matches Database
Match Report
Derek Scott

Despite a record innings of 382 in their second attempt Ireland was unable to save the game and IZ won by 7 wickets. The batting strength of the visitors was too much for our bowlers who, after Neill and Byrne, were rather mediocre. Without Barry, who was ill, to lead them, the teamwork was ragged and this showed itself in particular in weak fielding and catching in the IZ 2nd innings. E Walshe and R Jones for GF Barry and AT Young were the only Irish changes from the 1875 match. For IZ Higgins, Middleton, de Broke, Macan and Colthurst played in 1875; Hadow in 1874; Capt. Stewart, the veteran wicket-keeper as far back as 1861; and the great RAH Mitchell had last played in 1868. Mitchell was now a master at Eton and his influence on amateur Cricket in the 1870's and 1880's was incalculable. Newcomers to the game for IZ were Capt. Eccles, who was stationed in Ireland, CJ Hoare and WF Forbes, the Eton captain. After 3 successive defeats IZ recorded a win and had now won 5 matches to Ireland's 4. There were 968 runs scored in the game and the winning hit came with only 10 minutes of playing time left. It also brought Ireland's first individual century - scored by FG Kempster.

On a very fine 1st day IZ won the toss and made 278. Forbes and Middleton began to the bowling of Neill and Byrne. Both openers fell quickly to Neill, Middleton being caught at 2 and Forbes stumped at 9. Hadow and Colthurst brought the score to 56 when Colthurst was run out, having made only 6 out of 47. Mitchell joined Hadow in a big stand during which Neill and Byrne suffered a lot. In fact Byrne bowled 35 overs before being relieved, while Neill bowled through the innings with the exception of about 6 overs. At 145 Byrne bowled Hadow for 84. This was a fine and speedy innings which contained three 4's. He gave a chance to mid wicket when 4 - a very expensive miss. For a while after this Ireland got on top again and Neill dismissed WF Higgins (caught on the leg side for 4), Mitchell (caught in the same place after a really fine 56 - three 4's) and Macan stumped for 3, and the score was 178 - 7. CT Hoare gave Kempster a catch at long-off when 5 which this usually safe fielder misjudged in the shadow of the trees and dropped. Hoare went on to make 62 by hard hitting (three 6's and three 4's) and with Lord W de Broke (24) put on 75 for the 8th wicket. EWalshe, who had eventually relieved Byrne, bowled de Broke and Eccles and the innings ended shortly after 5 00 pm for 278. Walshe had taken 2 - 27 in 23.1 overs. Neill bowled no less than 70 overs and took 6 for 131. L Hone kept wicket beautifully.

Ireland batted for almost an hour and lost 4 wickets for 54. Middleton shot out W Hone Jnr. (11); DN Trotter (6) and T Cox (0) - clean bowling all three. W Hone Snr., who had opened with his cousin, made a fine score of 30, including a fine leg hit for 5. At the end R Jones (1) and L Hone (6) were not out. Middleton's bowling was the best seen during the year - his figures being 14-8-19-3. The Lord Lieutenant, the Duke of Abercorn, was present throughout the day.

Ireland, after being all out on the second day for 101, fought back in the follow-on and by close of play were 108 runs on with 2 wickets left. At 11 15 play began and neither Jones (caught at the wicket) nor Hone (bowled) added to his score, Forbes taking both wickets. Middleton bowled Kempster for 2 and Forbes took 2 more wickets when he bowled Casey (8) and Neill (0). At 74-9 Walshe joined Byrne and they added 27 before Hadow was brought back and had Byrne caught at the wicket by Capt. Stewart. Both Middleton (4-35) and Forbes (5-25) bowled more overs than they conceded runs.

In the follow-on things were much better. Everyone got double figures except Trotter (who was unlucky) and Byrne who was 8 not out at close of play. Kempster (63 not out) played very well despite one or two hard chances and had so far hit four 4's and eight 3's. W Hone Jnr. (49) and T Cox (37) put on 47 for the 3rd wicket and Cox and R Jones (46) put on 56 for the 4th wicket. Every wicket added a reasonable amount, the lowest stand being 19 for the 6th wicket. Jones was run out by a 40-yard throw. Cox, in his last innings for Ireland, was very steady and stayed a considerable time for his 37. A crowd much bigger than the first day enjoyed the game. The IZ fielding did not wilt.

The 3rd day was cold and rain twice interrupted play, but a large crowd gathered to see if Kempster could reach his century, and to watch what promised to be a good finish. They were rewarded! The overnight score was 285 for 8 and Byrne and Kempster added a further 59 and made their 9th wicket stand worth 85 in all before Byrne was caught by Higgins off Middleton for 35 - like Cox this was a splendid last innings for Ireland. At this stage Kempster was about 90 with Walshe coming in at no. 11. As in the first innings Walshe played very well and scored 20 out of 38 added for the last wicket. Kempster reached his 100 and was 105 not out when Walshe was caught at 382. It was the first century ever made by an Irish batsman in an International match. His runs came out of 225 and the last two wickets added 123. The total of 382 was Ireland's largest up to that time.

Set 206 to win in a not great amount of time IZ reached a score of 170-7 chiefly due to Forbes (45) and Hadow (47). Hadow should have been run out early on but was allowed to escape. Middleton and Macan scored the remaining runs for victory with only a few minutes to spare. Macan (35 not out) was particularly good and he and Middleton were chaired into the pavilion. Fielding lapses had been the cause of Ireland's defeat but it had been a magnificent match. The Duke of Abercorn, left Ireland in 1876 and with him his chaplain, Rev. J. Byrne. In 3 matches for Ireland he took 27 wickets for 269 runs.

Vice Regal Lodge, Dublin