Ireland began their seventh biennial tour at Bristol, on a flat pitch and two sunny days. The Gloucestershire team was a "mix" but it had DV Lawrence, a bowler near the English team and just recovered from injury. After a very good first day Lawrence destroyed the Irish second innings with the exception of the dashing Lewis. Warke, Rea and A McBrine could not tour. Patterson was recalled and Spence from Waringstown brought in. The latter does not play on Sundays and so had never played in an Interprovincial Match. Halliday and Patterson were left out of this first match of the four match tour which AIB sponsored for Sterling 5000. The seven-hour first day saw Gloucester declare at 277-8 scored in 75 overs while Ireland, overnight, stood at 144-2 scored in 45 overs.
Hodgson and the captain Wright opened for the county. Nelson bowled 14 steady overs before lunch and had figures of 2-25. He was not asked to bowl again! Shades of the Scottish match. Jeffrey was expensive and 50 was up in 14 overs. Thompson struck the first blow with the score on 62 when Wright (33) played on driving at a wide ball. Thompson came off after one more over and Garth bowled five overs but yielded 32 runs.
Nelson nipped in with two wickets in eight balls. He turned Romaines (4) square and had him LBW with the total on 71 and Hodgson (38) was taken ankle high at first slip by Harrison with the total on 80. Harrison replaced Nelson and Lewis replaced Garth. These two bowled in tandem for 36 overs. Lewis was expensive at first but settled down. Stovold, now playing on the second team, and Alleyne, a young boy from London, put up an 85 run stand in 66 minutes. By lunch (taken after 36 overs) the score was 140-3, Stovold 18, Alleyne 38. Jackson missed stumping Alleyne when he was only 10.
150 was up in 38 overs but at 165 the admirable Harrison (1-37 in 20 overs) bowled Stovold for 31. Alleyne went to 50 in 70 minutes but Pritchard was slow (18 in 70 minutes). 200 arrived in the 60th over. Then three wickets fell for 10 runs. Alleyne (74 in 132 minutes with 11 fours) hit a full toss from Lewis to mid-wicket with the score on 211. Two runs later Pritchard set out on a run to Nelson at mid-on. Sent back he did not beat Nelson's throw which hit the stumps. At 221 Ibadulla (son of "Billy") mis-drove Jeffrey, who had returned for Lewis, to extra cover. Lawrence now arrived and in 14 minutes and 14 balls hit 32! Jeffrey and Spence, having his first bowl, were the sufferers. Spence got him when he advanced and played on with the score on 256. 21 runs later Gloucester declared. Six of the seven bowlers tried took at least one wicket but the mystery of Nelson's non-return remained.
Tea was taken. Cohen and Vincent set out on a two-and-a-half hour session. A vicious lifter from Lawrence sent Vincent back for 0 when he gloved the ball to first slip. Lawrence bowled six overs and Pooley nine but Cohen and Nulty scored briskly to attacking fields. 50 was up in 10.3 overs with Lawrence's six overs costing 33. Alleyne was tried with seamers and then Ricketts (left-arm) and Ibadulla (off spin). Nulty was in great form, cutting and driving, and had five fours in his first 50 for Ireland which came in 100 minutes. Romaines dropped him of Ricketts when he was 48 at mid-on and Cohen also had a life at fourth slip early on. 100 was posted in 34.4 overs. In all, 130 runs were put on in 130 minutes, the first Irish century second wicket stand against a County team. As close of play neared Nulty was out for 78 in 130 minutes. He was caught at the wicket off one that spun away from him from Ricketts. Cohen was 46 at the close and Garth 8 and the total 144-2. A very satisfactory day, Garth ending it with two fours through cover.
The second day was sunny as the first. With only two wickets down Gloucester at once set about giving runs to produce an Irish declaration. Wright used himself and Romaines to bowl gentle offspin with the fielders in. Cohen went to a fine 50 in 147 minutes off 133 balls. 12 overs later, off the last ball bowled, he reached 100 in another 33 minutes and a further 39 deliveries. He hit 8 fours in his second 50, the last to bring up his hundred, a hoick over slip. Garth got to 29. Then he swept at Wright and skied the ball to the slips. After 43 minutes (play had started at 10:30 AM) Ireland declared 56 behind, having made 221-3 off 58.5 overs in 180 minutes.
A new opening pair, Romaines and Ibadulla came out to open the innings for Gloucester. The start was brisk but Ibadulla was LBW to Jeffrey with the score on 44. Pritchard was next and was more enterprising than in the first innings. 50 was up in 13.2 overs and Romaines went to his 50 in only 74 minutes. No bowler could stem the tide. 25 overs to lunch yielded 109, Romaines 73, Pritchard 10. 17 more overs were bowled by Lewis, Harrison and Nelson. In that time 81 runs were scored and Lewis took all three wickets that fell. He did so in 22 deliveries. At 133 Romaines (80) was caught at the wicket. At 137 Wright was caught by Vincent at point and at 146 Lewis bowled Pritchard for 34. Stovold and Alleyne put on 44 in 23 minutes.
A declaration set Ireland 247 to win in 136 minutes plus a minimum of 20 overs in the last hour. This was a stiff task. After 23 balls it was academic - Ireland were 9-4! Cohen took a couple of twos in Lawrence's first over. Then the youthful Pooley gave Vincent "a pair". He was LBW. The 13th ball of the innings saw Cohen caught at the wicket off Lawrence. Then Pooley bowled Nulty and Harrison was LBW to the fairly fierce speed of Lawrence. Lunch came after 11 overs. Garth on 5 and Lewis 5 were hanging on with the score at 11-4. Lawrence was taken off and the Irish pair prospered against Alleyne (Garth hit him for six) and Ibadulla, who bowled from the 18th over to the end of the innings. 50 was hoisted in the 19th over. Ricketts came on for Alleyne with the score on 68 and at 76 got Garth (29) caught at slip - however the ball had hit his boot! Lewis was now 30 and with Spence in he sped to 50 in 98 minutes with 6 fours.
Then the deadly Lawrence returned, worked up a head of steam and took the last five wickets in 4.3 overs for nine runs - three wickets in one over. Spence was bowled with the score on 102. The dreaded Nelson - 111 - arrived and three wickets fell in one over, including Ireland's Alan Nelson! Thompson was bowled by the first ball, Jackson LBW to the second and Nelson bowled by the fifth. Lawrence had taken 4-0 in an eight ball spell. Lewis had now progressed to 58. Jeffrey held firm at Lawrence's end while Lewis attacked Ibadulla, taking 24, including one six, off three overs. In the 45th over, the seventh of the last 20, Lawrence bowled Jeffrey to finish with 7-24 in 10.3 overs. Lewis got his highest score for Ireland, 82*, and enjoyed a 141 minute innings of exciting strokeplay.