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Match Report
Derek Scott

After the euphoria of Bristol and the frustrations of Neath came disaster at Roehampton. Ireland were bowled out for 49, the lowest ever away match score. Wills's second innings century ensured that MCC had to bat again but this was the only redeeming feature. Ireland had been offered a Lord's date in June but chose to stick with the original date and play on another ground when the Lord's ground became unavailable in August.

Facilities at Roehampton were excellent but they had no covers. A damp green wicket faced Ireland who had no bowler to exploit it. MCC had! Pollock, the current Cambridge Blue took 11-87 and seamed the ball around at a hostile pace. Hayward, the former Hampshire player and Hart from the Lord's groundstaff added 150 for the third wicket after Sandrock was caught at short leg off O'Reilly at 34 and Claughton was caught at slip off Harrison, in his second spell, at 70. At lunch the score was 97-2.

The Hart-Hayward stand of 150 came in 39 overs with Hayward making exactly 100 of these. He got 50 in 82 minutes, 100 in 119 minutes and was in for 121 minutes in all. He scored 11 fours. Soon after he reached 50 he gave Kirwan a caught and bowled chance. Hart took 160 minutes over 50 and was in for 224 minutes with six fours. Kirwan was under bowled, his first five overs yielded only four runs and he was then taken off. Harrison injured a foot in mid over and had to leave the field with O'Reilly completing the over.

Ireland were 15-2 at tea and were all out in 32.1 overs for 49. All 10 wickets fell to catches, some of them very brilliant. No catch was further away than mid-on and seven were caught near the bat, four in the short leg area. The fifth and sixth wickets fell at 14, the seventh at 46 and the last three at 49. Only Prior (11) reached double figures and the only boundary was hit by Jackson. Capes bowled nine overs for eight runs. Pollock, unchanged for 16 overs, took 6-18 in a display of hostile seam bowling on a wicket made for him. Wilson bowled 3.1 overs at the end and took 3-3.

With 20 minutes to go Ireland were sent in again but both Short and Cohen survived eight overs and scored one run! The next day looked like a repeat of day one. In a spell of five overs Pollock ripped through Short, Cohen, Kirkwood and Prior. He conceded 11 runs and the score was 19-4, three caught near the bat and Prior LBW. Then Harrison joined Wills and both played sensibly, with a mixture of restraint and attacking shots to disperse the field. Pollock was taken off. Swindell's off spin was tried and Wilson had a long bowl.

With the score in the 60s Wilson had both the batsmen dropped in the same over, Harrison on the mid-wicket boundary by Claughton and Wills at wide long on. At lunch the score was 89-4. Wills reached 50 in 118 minutes. Pollock came back and had Harrison (32) caught at first slip off a fast rising ball which Harrison played without foot movement. 110-5. With the wicket easing and MCC now trying to buy wickets the tail did well. When Wills was 60 (and the total 140) Pollock dropped a difficult caught and bowled chance to his left. Monteith hit a brisk 23 and was caught at the wicket playing an extravagant shot at Wilson, the former Yorkshire and England slow left armer. 141-6-23. Jackson then joined the fray and put on 56 with Wills in 37 minutes. Wills went to his century in 206 minutes with a single off Wilson. Two balls later Jackson backed away to cut and was caught at first slip when second slip tipped on to him.

Copes bowled Wills with the first ball the latter faced after his century and Kirwan was bowled first ball. Halliday and O'Reilly saw 200 up before Halliday lunged at Wilson to give Sandrock his third catch at slip. No praise can be too high for Wills who never before made a century in even a Senior club match. Only the previous night he had marked down such an event as a dearly sought ambition. He batted for 211 minutes, with 13 fours, and faced 193 balls.

MCC went in needing 37 and these were hit off in 12.2 overs for the loss of Hart. Kirkwood kept wicket and Jackson bowled the last over. A tour of mixed cricket, good weather, except for one bad day, and a lot of Selectorial problems. The latter were so much that the ICU made a decision in October that players, in future, would have to go on the whole tour or not at all.

This proved to be the final match for Ireland for JW Kirkwood. He concentrated on hockey and won a Gold Medal with the Great Britain team in the Seoul Olympics of 1988. In 1983 Kirkwood was only 21 years of age.