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Match Report
Derek Scott

Back to Pontarddulais for the final match (-v- England) and at the end of it the Frank Elliott Cup was presented to Justin Benson by its donor. Ireland had won the Tournament on a better overall rate taking into account runs and wickets. Ireland beat England and Wales beat Scotland. This left Ireland and England with two wins each and Ireland's rate won the day. It was the fourth playing of the Triple Crown and the first Irish win. Ireland had now played three times at Pontarddulais (1981 - '96) and won all three. They retained the team beaten by Scotland.

To pick themselves up after the awful display the previous day was a great Irish achievement. Ireland won the toss and sent a rather jaded looking English team in. In the first over Foster swished at a wide ball from Patterson and was caught at the wicket. In McCrum's first over Roberts hit a four and a two and then played on to a slower ball. Seven for two. At 27, off two successive balls from Patterson, two more wickets fell. Clarke played forward and snicked a low catch to Rutherford who had to dive forward. Luckhurst was lbw first ball. The number three, Robinson, was still there and was joined by Snellgrove. Patterson came off after six overs (three for 16) but McCrum bowled out his 10 overs (one for 31). 50 was up in over 15. Eagleson and Harrison were now bowling. The fifth wicket stand had put on 53 in 15 overs when two unlucky blows befell England. Roberts (26) was run out by a good Benson throw. 16 runs later a Heasley ball broke Snellgrove's finger and he took no further part in the match.

The last four wickets all added between 11 and 17 runs. They were shared by Eagleson and Doak and the last fell off the last ball of the 45th over. There was no need to recall Patterson. Gott was first to go, at 110, caught behind off Harrison prodding forward. Six overs later, at 127, Benson caught Usher low at wide mid-on off Doak. The last two were both caught by Rutherford who thus finished up with five wicket-keeping catches. No wicket-keeper had caught five in an innings for Ireland before this match but Jackson had caught six -v- Scotland in 1984 and holds the record. Seven bowlers were used. All did well and four took wickets but Mark Patterson rightly won the Man-of-the-Match Award. England never recovered from 27 for four.

Unaware of what had to be done to win the Tournament outright (it did look like a triple tie) Curry and A. Patterson scored quickly when Ireland batted. Patterson got more of the bowling and out scored Curry. Roshier was hit for 28 in four overs. Patterson gave a chance in Gott's first over but he hit three fours in Foster's first over to carry the score from 49 to 61 in over 10. 72 was up in 12 overs. Patterson had hit a six and six fours, mostly drives, while Curry had struck five fours. Usher, replacing Gott, bowled Patterson (41) with his first ball in over 13. Curry now came into his own. He hit Usher for a four and a six. Ellwood replaced Usher and Curry tried to glance the last ball and was caught at the wicket. 96-2-44, and only 17 overs had been bowled.

100 was up in over 18 but the tempo went down as Benson and Dunlop wished to preserve wickets. Dunlop (4) was dropped by Robinson at long leg at 110 - an easy chance. Roshier returned and had Dunlop (11) lbw at 132. 21 were now required and were knocked off in just over four more overs. There were almost 20 overs to spare. Benson (45) emerged as top scorer facing 59 balls.

News came through of Wales beating Scotland in Swansea. Calculations were worked out as between Ireland and England. After 140 years of International cricket Ireland had won a trophy in a Competition.