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Match Report
Derek Scott

Gloucester had played Ireland in Bristol in a three day match in 1983 which they won narrowly by seven runs. Graveney, Bainbridge, Romaines and Wright had played in that match and these four came to Downpatrick for this one. Gloucester also played in Castle Avenue, Dublin in a Nat West match in 1981. Gloucester left behind their Test players, Courtney Walsh of West Indes and Bill Athey of England together with fast bowler David Lawrence and wicket-keeper Jack Russell. Ireland were unchanged.

The new Downpatrick pitch was a revelation. It was hard and fast and had a good bounce and was much praised by Gloucester. The weather was warm and sunny, the first such day of 1987, but the crowd was poor. Cawood's Oil sponsored the two matches for pounds 1500. Gloucester came straight from the Airport to play as their plane the previous night was overbooked and they could not get on. As a consequence, this match started one hour late (at 11:45 AM) and was reduced from 60 overs per side to 55.

Gloucester batted first and Ireland made a good start. Wright skied Corlett to mid-on with the total on 21 and Warke, at second slip, caught his opening partner, Stovold, one run later. Corlett and Milling bowled six overs each and were replaced by Garth and Halliday. Romaines and Tomlins brought up 50 after 18 overs. At 59, in Halliday's fifth over, Tomlins drove the ball to the long off boundary where McBrine took the catch, two-handed, over his head. 59-3-16. Bainbridge came in and in 46 minutes made 58 in a stand of 104. He reached 50 in 40 minutes and faced, in all, 52 deliveries. A stumping chance off McBrine was missed at 145 when Bainbridge was 48. Garth eventually had him caught at the wicket on the leg side in the 38th over. 163-4-58. At lunch, taken after 42 overs, the score was 173-4, Romaines 69 (50 in 84 minutes) and Alleyne 6.

The remaining 13 overs yielded no less than 127 runs! All except two were bowled by Corlett and Milling. The last five overs from Corlett yielded 44 and those from Milling no less than 65! The stand of Romaines and Alleyne put on 117 in 53 minutes and 15 overs. Romaines went to his century in 130 minutes. He then hit four sixes and was out 21 minutes later for 143, off 130 deliveries with six sixes and nine fours. He was bowled by Corlett in the 53rd over. It was the ninth century against Ireland in the last seven matches. Alleyne finished with 48 not out and brought up 300 with the last ball of the innings. He was missed at 20 (when the score was 225-4) off Corlett. After the catch was missed Jackson threw the ball at the wicket with Alleyne out of his ground. He missed! The last hundred took just under nine overs. Garth, in two spells, bowled his 11 overs for 37.

The Irish innings began at 3:40 PM and was, in turns, good, bad and then good again. The second ball from Greene hit Warke's arm and caused a delay while he was strapped up by Ireland's physiotherapist Trevor Enderson. Greene, a West Indian, is Gloucester's reserve overseas player for Courtney Walsh. Nothing daunted, Warke and Cohen put on 50 in an hour and 17.5 overs. Greene and Burrows (a young fast bowler) bowled five overs each and were replaced, with the total on 26, by Graveney and Bainbridge. Cohen (when 4) had a life with the total at 12 when Brassington, wicket-keeper, missed a diving catch off Burrows. It was Bainbridge, at medium pace, who took the first wicket in the 23rd over. Cohen (43) was caught at the wicket. 73-1 was a fine start. Soon it was 84-4. Warke (28) met a similar fate to Bainbridge as had Cohen. 76-2. Masood (9) made a rash drive at Graveney and was caught at long-on. Garth became the third Brassington/Bainbridge victim. 84-4-0. At tea, taken after 30 overs, it was 87-4, Dennison 4 and Harrison 0.

The pressure eased after tea, the last 11 overs were bowled by Alleyne and Tomlins but both are recognised bowlers. Dennison and Harrison put on 118 in 73 minutes and the stand did not end until the second ball of the last over which Harrison swung at and missed. He had got 50 in 57 minutes and 62 in all in 73 minutes off 81 balls with 10 fours. This was a very good innings of clean strokes. Dennison, played a secondary role, and was 44 at the end scored in 90 minutes. He gave two chances, a skier to the wicket-keeper when 8 and a hard chance to mid-wicket when 20. In all 207-5 was very satisfactory. Bainbridge's 3-36 in his 11 overs was the best bowling. Romaines was the Man-of-the-Match Award winner and received a cut glass bowl.

The Meadow, Downpatrick