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Match Report
Derek Scott

Over the years this match has been ill served by the weather. This one was no exception. In the midst of good weather heavy rain on Saturday night and Sunday morning made play impossible on the first day. Great work by the Neath groundsman allowed play to start on time on the second day. Only a tarpaulin covered the wicket which was a muddy mass at one end and dry at the other. Wales were put in but it took Ireland quite a while to find the right bowlers for the right end. Wales were then 74-0 but were spun out for 190. Ireland then scored too slowly to make a match in two days, and could not bowl Wales out quickly enough in the second innings, and the match was drawn.

Corlett and Anderson returned home, as agreed, after the Gloucestershire match. GA Kirwan, a left arm swing bowler of medium pace, came in for Corlett. He was aged 41! MA Masood was due to join the party but refused to follow the travel arrangements laid down so that he might play for his club, Phoenix, on Saturday. He was told to stay at home and DA Lewis, son of WI, was sent for. In fact Lewis did not play on the trip.

J Bevan, the Welsh rugby coach, opened with C Elwood. Harrison and O'Reilly bowled nine fairly innocent overs before Monteith and Halliday took over. The openers scored briskly and had 74 up in 27 overs after 95 minutes. Then Monteith bowled Bevan. 74-1-35. Kirwan had replaced Halliday and it was he who was to take the second wicket when Hall skied one to mid-on. N Roberts came in and hit a series of fours (six in all) in his innings of 25 which straddled lunch. The break, which came after 42 overs, saw the score at 104-2, Elwood 44, Roberts 12. In the 120's three wickets fell. Harrison caught Roberts on the boundary off Monteith at 124 and, at 127, two wickets fell. Halliday bowled Elwood for 52 and Monteith bowled Edwards for one. Elwood had played well, reaching 52 in 141 minutes and then spending 24 minutes over another two.

At 149 and 150 Monteith took two more wickets. The first one was M Davies, caught at deep square leg, sweeping. This was Monteith's 300 wicket for Ireland in his 70th match. Next over he had Heames LBW. Ellis, "the old pro" was soldiering away. Lawlor hit Monteith for a four and a six but was caught in the same over. 176-8. Kirwan had replaced Halliday and got John brilliantly caught wide on the offside by Jackson. At 190 Ellis was LBW, much to his surprise, to give Monteith innings figures of 7-67 in 32.2 overs. The final tally of 190 came in 75.2 overs which had been bowled in just four hours.

At this point tea was taken and there was now a session of 150 minutes. In it Ireland scored 106-3 off 44 overs. Williams and John opened the bowling to Short and Cohen but it was off-spinner Lawlor who took the first wicket at 46 when Cohen (19) got too far under a hook. Wills went along very quietly with Short scoring mostly in singles. When it looked as if these two would be together overnight Edwards, slow left arm, took two wickets in one over. With 4 minutes to go Wills was stumped for 32 and, two balls later, Kirkwood was LBW. This ended play with Short 39 not out.

Next day Ireland put on a further 102 in 31.2 overs before declaring. Prior was run out at 130. Harrison joined Short and they put on 61 of which Short made 11. In this he went agonisingly to his only 50 of the season in 220 minutes, scoring 11 this morning in 70 minutes. Harrison had no such inhibitions and struck out at Edwards, Ellis and Lawlor with fine free strokes - often in the air. He reached 50 in 48 minutes with seven fours - three in one Edwards over. He reached his 50 in fact before Short and celebrated with a six. Short completed his 50 and was at once caught at the wicket off Williams, who had returned. 184-5-50. At 196 Harrison's exhilarating innings ended when Edwards bowled him for 64, scored in 66 minutes with eight fours and a six. When Jackson was out at 208 the declaration came. Edwards had taken 4-50 and the innings lasted 75.2 overs - precisely the same number as the Welsh innings.

There were now 158 minutes left plus a minimum of 20 overs and it was a question of bowling Wales out very quickly indeed. Wales had not scored before lunch when Monteith and Halliday opened the bowling. At 5 Halliday had Bevan caught at slip for 0. Elwood and Hall made 67 together in 45 minutes and Ireland's hopes grew dim. Then Halliday had Hall (30) caught with the score on 72. Coming up to 3 PM (the close was scheduled for 5:30 PM) Monteith took two wickets in two balls. He had the reliable Elwood LBW for 44 and Edwards caught on the boundary next ball. That ended the fall of wickets. Roberts (67) and Ellis (40) put on 103 without being parted. Roberts got his runs in 105 minutes with three sixes and five fours. Monteith bowled 28 overs unchanged to take 2-58. Ireland went in again when Wales declared at 193-4 but the match was given up after five overs bowled by five different bowlers. Halliday, on the same day, opened both the batting and bowling for Ireland. He was stumped for two. O'Reilly went in at number three but was 0*at the end (which came at 10-1) and had still not got off the mark for the tour. This was Short's 50th match and he scored exactly 50. The West Glamorgan County Council gave a splendid reception on the second night in their massive new headquarters in Swansea.