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Match Report
Derek Scott

For this third biennial tour BA O'Brien was not available and M Halliday was asked to captain the team. The other 10 who had played against Scotland were selected plus JF Short (recovered from injury), AJ Hughes and a new cap, EA McDermott, a 35-year-old opening left-handed batsman from Clontarf. He had recently made a century for North Leinster against South Leinster in the Guinness Cup. For this match Warke and Hughes were left out. MCC had as their captain MH Denness, the former English captain who had played for Scotland against Ireland over 20 years ago. Ezekowitz and Doggart (son of GHG) were current Blues; JH Hampshire was the Yorkshire and former England batsman; HJ Rhodes, the former Derby and England fast bowler; RV Lewis was formerly of Hampshire; J Spencer was formerly of Sussex and TJ Zoehrer was a Western Australia wicket-keeper. The two days were fine and sunny. Set to score 203 in 85 minutes +20 overs Ireland should probably have won faced by a very weak attack with Rhodes having been injured.

Lewis and Ezekowitz went off at a fine pace. They had 51 up in an hour off 17 overs and had reached 104 when Lewis hit Halliday to Anderson at mid-on. His 63 contained nine boundaries. At lunch Ezekowitz was 40 and Denness 1 in a score of 113-1 off 43 overs. Ireland's five bowlers were switched around except Halliday who came on for the 28th over and bowled until the end of the innings at the Pavilion end. Ezekowitz reached 50 in 155 minutes and was out for 70 with the score on 180 when Anderson caught him at cover off Corlett. Corlett bowled Denness (45) with the total on 199 and when Berry was caught at the wicket at 227, MCC declared. Hampshire was 22 not out. The pace had never really quickened throughout the innings with runs coming at three per over. Corlett's 3-58 was the best bowling return.

The normal tea regulations were not observed. Ireland had 25 minutes before tea and two hours after this. 48 overs were bowled in that time, a high rate, and Ireland made 149-2. After nine overs tea was taken with Ireland 10-0. McDermott began his International career well scoring briskly in ones and twos. Spencer bowled 12 overs and Rhodes eight for 14 runs, at which stage Rhodes retired with an injured shoulder. At 24 McDermott was missed off him when nine at short leg. Doggart came on with off spin and Mence bowled six expensive overs for 36 but Short (28) was missed off him at second slip at 52, and McDermott (28) at mid-off with the score on 67. Short mis hit Doggart to mid-wicket as 87 and McDermott followed at 98, caught at first slip. McDermott was unlucky to miss 50 in his first International innings. Wills and Anderson were now together with Wills beginning well. Thorn, slow left arm, was tried for the last half-hour, and Spencer came back. The batsmen, in 45 minutes, together added 51. They both gave a chance. Anderson (11) was missed at short leg off Thorn at 123 and Wills (30) at third slip off Spencer with the score on 148. The score at close of play was 149-2, Wills 31, Anderson 18. 376 runs had been scored in a 6 hour day.

Next day Ireland batted for a further 45 minutes, added 63, lost Wills and Anderson and declared 15 runs behind. 17 overs were bowled by Spencer and Thorn. In his first innings at Lords Wills reached his 50 in only 65 minutes. Anderson, out of form, was bowled by Thorn at 182. He had made only 25 of an 84 run partnership. Wills (64) followed him at 191 being caught at the wicket off Thorn. Prior hit three fours and 13 in all of the last over bowled by Thorn. In 65 overs 212-4 had been scored, Harte 7, and Prior 14 being not out.

With almost 2 hours left Ireland had MCC 149-8. However, Denness was still in and Spencer, at number 10, could not be dislodged until 38 more runs were scored in 25 minutes. Ireland only used Corlett, Torrens and Halliday and each played an important part. Further, Denness and Hampshire did not bat until numbers seven and eight. At 12, Lewis was caught at the wicket off Corlett for eight. Berry, on the Lord's Groundstaff, came in and began to hit hard. 35 were added in 29 minutes when Wills caught a rasping drive at cover by Ezekowitz off Corlett. 47-2-16. Two overs later Corlett bowled Doggart and just before lunch had Thorn caught by Jackson. The score at lunch was 78-4, Berry 42, Zoehrer, 0. Torrens and Halliday shared the post lunch spell. Ireland continued to take wickets regularly. At 92 Zoehrer was LBW to Halliday. Denness now appeared but lost Berry with the total on 120. Torrens had him caught at mid-on for 62, scored in 114 minutes.

Hampshire was now the real prize and at 137 Wills caught him at mid-on off Halliday. Mence was stumped at 149. Corlett came back for Torrens but conceded 40 runs in five overs, mostly to Spencer. When Halliday bowled Spencer at 187 Denness declared. Rhodes was ready to bat if required. Denness was 50 not out in 73 minutes. Halliday had 4-51 in 19.3 overs and the 187 total came in 49.3 overs.

Ireland set off chasing 203 to win. Mence opened the bowling instead of the injured Rhodes. His first over conceded two fours to McDermott, followed by a no-ball and a wide. With the last ball he bowled McDermott who was driving. 15-1-8. At tea, taken after seven overs, Ireland were 22-1, Short 9 and Wills 1. After 10 overs 41 were up. Then Spencer bowled Short for 21. Doggart came on at 43 and caught and bowled Anderson (7) at 54. Thorn came on for the 21st over and destroyed Ireland's hopes by taking wickets in his third, fourth and seventh overs. Wills (26) was caught at mid-on with the score at 78, Harte caught at 83. 115 were needed when the final 20 overs minimum started. In five overs Prior and Harpur scored 25. Prior hit five fours in his 26 but then pulled desperately across the ball and was bowled. Harpur and Corlett then played out time and the match ended with 20 minutes of the last hour remaining.

Next day on the beautiful Arundel ground, Ireland played a six hour "time" match against Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk's XI. It was a non-cap match. Hughes replaced Torrens for Ireland. Denness captained the Arundel team which also contained Spencer who had played at Lords. MC Cowdery played but took little part in the match. CJC Rowe, a current Kent player, played as did former county players B. Richardson (Worcester); DR Owen Thomas (Surrey and a Blue); JT Murray (Middlesex and England wicket-keeper) and PJ Sainsbury (Hampshire). A large crowd attended, including the Duchess, on a lovely day. A barbecue followed the match. The home team scored 184-3 with RA Smith, a 17-year-old South African making 115 not out in 280 minutes. Short and McDermott started with 40 and Ireland were 80-1. McDermott got 60 but wickets fell and the seventh fell at 139. Then Harpur (23) and Corlett (34) won the match by scoring 46 off the next 45 balls. Corlett included two enormous sixes, one off Sainsbury and one off Rowe.