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Match Report
Derek Scott

Allowing that MCC represents Amateur England, then Ireland almost won the "Triple Crown" in 1984! This had only been done once before - 1973. One wicket probably separated Ireland from a win in this match. JE Ker came to join PG Duthie with Scotland at 155-7, a lead of only 43, with two hours left. It was not to be. The eighth wicket pair batted safely and well for 77 minutes and put on 56. The match was drawn. The weather was good throughout but there was a ridiculous delay on the third morning. At 10:30 AM the Umpires claimed that what was a haze made it too dark to bat. The delay was 50 minutes and this, too, may have cost Ireland the match. The pitch was good, if a bit slow.

Scotland brought in Duthie and Simpson, both new to this match, and J Thomson slow left arm bowler, was recalled after 22 years! His only previous match for Scotland (in which he did not take a wicket) was in Scotland's win over Ireland at Greenock in 1962. Ireland dropped Lewis and Shannon and Jeffrey was not available. In for them came Cohen; Corlett and Harrison.

Scotland won the toss and the match was remarkably similar in many ways to the 1983 match at Downpatrick. Scotland got too few runs for the length of time they batted. Starting at 11 AM they were all out at 5:55 PM for 244 scored off 101.5 overs. By lunch (after 137 minutes and 41 overs) Donald and Warner had 86-0 on the board in spite of five bowlers being tried. The afternoon session was Ireland's. 37 more overs were bowled and Scotland were 178-6, with four bowlers sharing the wickets and Monteith bowling throughout the session, by which time he had 1-41 in 28 overs. Scotland allowed him to bowl with high flight by refusing to come to him and he was in his 14th over before the runs he conceded exceeded the overs he had bowled.

In the first over after lunch Donald (30) played on to O'Reilly. 90-1. At 117, Racionzer pulled at O'Reilly and skied to Jackson. This was the first of Jackson's six catches in the innings and seven in the match. These created new catching records in an innings (previous best, four) and in a match (previous best, five) for an Irish wicket-keeper. Corlett soon replaced the inaccurate O'Reilly and at 140 had Warner caught by Jackson for a patient 70 (scored in 205 minutes). At 152 Corlett bowled Simpson. At 170 Monteith turned one away from Swan (22) and Jackson took the snick. Patterson had shared the new ball with Corlett. He now replaced the latter and in his eighth over in all had A Ker caught by Jackson. 175-6.

Tea came at 178-6, Brown 13 and Duthie 3 with Ireland now on top. Brown and Duthie continued to bat well. 200 came up in the 85th over after 296 minutes. O'Reilly replaced Patterson. His first ball was short and was hammered into the covers where Warke took a fine catch, diving inwards. 212-7-30. JE Ker joined Duthie and a stand of 29 ensued before Monteith had Duthie (30 in 85 minutes) caught by Jackson. This was the third score of 30 in the Scottish innings. Prior had by now come on to bowl and in his fourth over he bowled McPate and had Thomson caught by Jackson off successive balls. He had figures of 2-7 in 3.5 overs. O'Reilly had 3-43 in 13 overs but was fortunate. He bowled 17 no-balls and six wides! In 36 overs Monteith had 2-52, with 17 maidens. Harrison's role must not be forgotten. He came on for the 18th over when Scotland had raced to 61-0 in 17 overs. He bowled 12 overs for 14 runs and with Monteith put the brake on Scotland, a break which was never released.

With 50 minutes left Short and Warke began to McPate and JE Ker. The start was brisk but in his fifth over McPate bowled Short who did not play a stroke. 27-1-15. After 14 overs (three by Thomson) Warke 13 and Cohen 0 (promoted above Wills) saw the day out at 30-1.

The second day was also a long one (11 AM to 7 PM. It began with the umpires offering Ireland "the light". This was quite rightly refused as it was nothing but a heat haze. The start was not good and at one time the score was 92-4. By the end, in only six more overs than Scotland used, Ireland were all out for 356 with a lead of 112. Cohen was caught low at slip at 35, having batted 29 minutes without scoring. Wills settled in and Warke played carefully or hit hard. He reached 50 in 146 minutes and was caught at slip for 54. There were only 12 singles in his score. 88-3-54. Thomson, after 22 years, took his first wicket when Wills was caught at slip at 92. Wills had batted 93 minutes for 17. Prior started with three fours in Ker's next over and his first five scoring shots were all fours. Racionzer was given three overs of off-spin which cost 19. In eight overs after lunch 41 were added to make the score 133-4 in 53 overs, Prior 31, Harrison 14.

Prior continued on his merry way - he was driving beautifully. In 19 minutes after lunch he reached 50 in only 47 minutes with seven fours and a six off Thomson. Right through Prior's innings the Scottish boundary fielders stood too far in and several balls landed between them and the boundary. Harrison, after a crucial miss at slip early in his innings, played very well. He did not attempt to compete with the mercurial Prior but kept the score moving. 118 were added in only 78 minutes and 200 was up in the 57th over. Thomson was kept on and Prior was very severe on McPate. Then both were out at 210. Thomson bowled Harrison, 32 in 78 minutes. Ker, replacing McPate, had Prior caught at the wicket off a wild back foot shot. Prior's 87 came in 85 minutes with a 6 and 13 fours. There were only eight singles in his innings and only one after 50. He gave no chance. This was Prior's fifth and last innings of 1984. His sequence was 63*-15-50-76-87. 291 runs, at an average of 72.75. His feat of three successive 50s and four in five innings was last accomplished by Anderson in 1976. In spite of all this excitement Ireland, at 210-6, were still 34 behind. Patterson and Monteith were equal to the task. Patterson led off by thumping Thomson for a six over mid-off. In 23 more overs - up to tea - the score was brought to 297-7. Patterson, 23, and Monteith added 61 in 53 minutes, before Thomson bowled Patterson. 271-7. By tea Monteith was 48, Corlett 14. In the afternoon session of 135 minutes and 38 overs 164 runs were scored.

Monteith went to his 50 in 80 minutes with seven fours. At 306 he lost Corlett (14) caught and bowled by the medium paced Duthie. At 323 Jackson was caught at the wicket off Thomson. Enter O'Reilly! Monteith was 62. For more than seven overs Monteith farmed the bowling, still Thomson and Duthie, as best he could. He hit five more fours and only allowed O'Reilly to face 14 balls out of 48, but did allow him to get off the mark! Monteith told O'Reilly he would declare when he was 99 but he did not get a chance to bring this about. Ker replaced Duthie and had Monteith stumped for 95 with his third ball. He batted 134 minutes, scored 12 fours and in all scored 33 in the last stand with O'Reilly. Ireland's lead was now 112. Thomson in 38 overs (out of 107.3) had 4-116 and Ker 3-69 in 20.3 overs. This was Monteith's second score of 90 for Ireland without making a century. JW Hynes and JG Heaslip had similar experiences.

With 67 minutes left Donald and Warner began to the bowling of Corlett and, this time, O'Reilly. Corlett's fifth ball had Donald caught by Warke at gully while O'Reilly's third ball speared through Swan's defence. 3-2. At 13 Racionzer gave Short a sharp chance at short fine leg off a mispull off the bowling of O'Reilly. Prior was tried first change and five bowlers in all were tried in the 20 overs bowled. At close of play on day two the score was Scotland 52-2, Warner 13, Racionzer 23.

After the 50 minutes lost to light, play got under way at 11:20 AM on the third day. O'Reilly had been struck on the foot while batting and could only bowl one over, the 30th, before having to retire. This was a blow but Scotland got away to a good start. Ireland began to chip away at the wickets and there was some good and bad luck. Warner and Racionzer played well for almost an hour. Racionzer, in his last match for Scotland, reached his 50 in 120 minutes. He was out almost at once, caught Jackson bowled Patterson to give Jackson his seventh and last dismissal in the match to equal Colhoun's record. 101-3-51. Corlett, now bowling off-spin, bowled Simpson with the score at 117 and so to lunch with the score at 127-4, Warner 47, Brown 4. Scotland now led by 50 with 110 minutes plus a minimum of 20 overs in the last hour remaining. 45 minutes after lunch an Irish victory looked almost certain, as mentioned earlier. In those 45 minutes after lunch Ireland had one stroke of good fortune. Warner went to a slow 50 in 189 minutes. Brown then played a ball to square leg's right, Warner called, Brown stood firm and Warner was run out by the length of the pitch. 138-5-53.

At 149, Brown (16) was caught bat-pad at short leg off Corlett. At 155 Lewis (on as substitute for O'Reilly) caught A Ker at mid-on. Then JE Ker joined Duthie in a match saving stand. They added 56 in 77 minutes with the minutes taken as precious as the runs scored. The seventh wicket fell in the 72nd over. The bowlers were switched around to no avail. The 96th over was the start of the last 20 and by now the lead had grown to 83. Prior came on for the third over of the last 20. In the fifth he bowled Duthie for 34 in 91 minutes. Patterson was given the new ball for the next over (101st). After two more overs the match was called off with Scotland on 226-8, leading by 114. At most there were only nine overs left to Ireland. Corlett had taken 3-42 in 35 overs in his mixture of speed and spin. One yearned for the discarded Halliday on the last day.

After the season had ended, in February 1985, Monteith was the victim of a hit-and-run accident and never played again. In 76 matches (1965-84) he took a record 326 wickets at 17.37, 10 wickets in a match seven times and five or more in an innings 27 times. He scored 1712 runs at an average of 20.62. He was captain on a record 37 occasions and won 11 (also a record) and lost 10. Jack Short left Ireland after the 1984 season. He went to work in France. In 56 matches (1974-84) he scored 2515 runs, at an average of 29.24, with 3 X 100 and 15 X 50 in 91 innings. He always opened the batting, other than on his brilliant debut against Holland where he scored 71 and 55 batting at number three.