The two yearly visit to Arundel and Lord's got underway on August 20th and were the last two matches of the 12 match season. Nine of those who had played -v- Australia were in the party together with PJ Davy and JAM Molins (both recalled after a two year gap), P McCrum and Gary Neely, a young fast bowler from Donemana - a new cap. Curry was not available and G Cooke had been left out as, unfortunately for him, the party had to be selected prior to the match -v- Australia.
It was never intended to play McCrum at Arundel so that he might be fully fit for Lord's. Then a strange decision was made. Benson was left out and Rutherford was handed the Captaincy. He began by winning the toss and ended by winning the match. Lavinia, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, had died since the last match. The Arundel team was now styled "The Earl of Arundel's XI", the Earl being the son of the current Duke. The Earl's team had the usual collection of known and unknown names. The former included ESH Giddins who, in 1996, had been banned until the 1998 season from County play due to a positive drug test while playing for Sussex. He had been signed by Warwickshire for 1998.
Allied Irish Bank, Uxbridge, sponsored the match (£1,500) and had 40 clients from local branches to lunch and tea.
J Molins and Patterson started on a fine but not sunny day. Giddins opened and bowled six overs for 12 runs. It was his partner, de la Pena, who took the first three wickets. Molins had hit two fours off Giddins but de la Pena yorked him in the sixth over at 25. At 30 Patterson was de la Pena's second victim caught behind driving. In over 12 PJ Davy missed a yorker and was lbw. Heasley joined Joyce, the latter as usual playing calmly and correctly. He had had very little strike but now began to score freely. Semmence and Nowell came on but Joyce scored 30 in nine overs. 50 had come up in 16 overs. Heasley hit Semmence for a six and a four. In the next two overs Joyce hit three more fours. 100 came in over 26. Joyce, again losing strike, reached 50 at 123 off 69 balls in over 30. Lunch came after 33 overs at 133 for three. Joyce 54, Heasley 45.
Heasley did not add to his lunch score. He was bowled by Wills, who had just come on, at 135 being neither forward not back. The stand had put on 88 much needed runs in 25 overs. Lewis came in but lost Joyce at 152 in the 40th over. Joyce probably felt the rate should be increased but swung to leg with head up and was bowled by Wills. His 68 had eight fours and made very nicely from 110 balls. Lewis and McCallan did increase the rate which saw 181 up in 45 overs. Then came the most prolific over ever played by an Irish batsman in International cricket. Lewis hit Kennis, an ex Surrey off spinner, for five successive sixes! The first was straight, the second square, the third to mid-wicket, the fourth and fifth again square. The last ball brought a single and Lewis had gone from 19 to 50 in one over. He had faced 28 balls in 29 minutes. Giddins bowled him in the next over trying to carve a ball on the offside. 213-6-51. Lewis faced 30 balls in all with five sixes and two fours. As events turned out it was to be his last innings for Ireland. What a way to say farewell! The stand with McCallan put on 61 in 38 balls. J.Davy walked into the next ball from Giddins and was lbw. Ireland declared at 220 for seven after 48 overs, leaving McCallan 19 not out.
Norfolk's XI used seven bowlers and there was a suspicion, augmented in the second innings, that there was a Captain's agreement that no bowler should exceed 10 overs. 118 minutes plus 20 overs remained so the declaration was generous. This would amount to about 54 overs.
Hall and Thelwell began for Arundel and both fell to Neely, the young newcomer. Thelwell hit a four in Neely's second over. Two balls later he snicked to McCallan at slip. O'Gorman, ex Derbyshire, came but lost Hall in Neely's fifth over. He too hit a four and was out next ball flicking shoulder high to Lewis at square leg. 24-2-12. Kennis was next and his partnership with O'Gorman looked ominous for a long time. Four fours were hit in the three overs before tea which came after 14 overs at 49 for two, Kennis 17, O'Gorman 15.
50 was up after 15 overs. The bowling was switched around but to no avail. 100 came in over 26. O'Gorman had hit a six off McCallan and reached 50 in over 28. A long drinks break was then taken - there had been none in the first innings. On resumption McCallan dropped Kennis (44) at deep square leg off J Davy. It was not expensive. In the next over, the 31st, Kennis was caught off a full pitch by Joyce, right handed at short mid wicket. 117-3-46. The stand had added 93 in 23 overs. The arrival of Kandola coincided with the signal for the final hour. 104 were needed but only three wickets were down.
On came G Molins for a second spell. He and Joyce then took four wickets in five overs while only 13 runs were scored. 117 for two had become 130 for seven. Kandola fell lbw to Molins at 120. O'Gorman (54 in 93 balls) was caught by J Davy at long-off off Joyce. Semmence was bowled by Molins trying to chop to third man and Stevens hooked the same bowler to Heasley at deep square leg. Now 91 were needed off 93 balls with seven out. In the same over as Stevens's dismissal Rutherford dropped newcomer Nowell. He was to remain not-out when the end came. 30 were added with Wills in seven overs. A run out was missed at 153 on a poor throw from J Davy at cover to the bowler. Again it was not expensive. Joyce, in his seventh over, bowled Wills as he drove. 160-8-5.
Giddins hit two fours but was bowled by McCallan playing a no footwork pull shot. The last pair added 13 but five overs were left when de la Pena skied McCallan to backward square leg. The win was by 38 runs. Joyce was declared Allied Irish Bank Man-of-the-Match and was given a cheque. G Molins was the only Irish bowler of six to bowl 10 overs and took three for 36. Neely, McCallan and Joyce got two wickets each. Rutherford captained the team well and encouraged his fielders to run to positions between overs.