If the Irish catching had been better, particularly in the second innings, this match would have been won. Clarke was missed twice in the Philadelphian second innings and they finished 95 runs behind with only 4 wickets to fall. Four of the visitors had played in the 1884 match - Stoever, Clarke, Morgan and H Brown. Patterson and Clarke were the strongest players of the 1889 team - both being fine all rounders. As in 1884 the tour began in Ireland and there had been a high scoring draw v Dublin University. In this match Stoever and RD Brown had both made centuries. The Irish team included DN Emerson and WD Hamilton and JM Meldon was making his debut in Ireland aged 19.
The first day's play was even. Ireland made 206 to which the Philadelphians replied with 189-7. It was Independence Day when the match began. 4,000 were present in fine weather and the wicket was fast but a little "queer". Ireland were over 100 for 2 wickets. Then a great catch by H Brown dismissed Trotter and soon 6 were out for 131 so the ultimate score of 206 was not bad. The Americans benefited by bad Irish fielding and wicket-keeping.
At 11 45 Browning and E.Fitzgerald opened to H.Brown and Patterson. Fitzgerald was missed at slip by DS Newhall when 6. Scoring was slow for quite a while but then it speeded up. At 50 Clarke relieved Brown. At 58 Patterson bowled Browning for a sound 33. Trotter came in to loud cheers. The bowling was good and both batsmen were cautious. Eventually despite bowling changes 100 came up of which Fitzgerald made exactly 50. Fitzgerald now went quicker but Patterson came back on and had him caught at extra cover. 117-2-59. His 59 was made in 90 minutes. It was a finished performance if a little cautious(!). J.P.Maxwell came next but with only one run added Trotter was out, magnificently caught by H Brown at close in mid-off off Patterson. He made 26. Emerson was then taken easily at slip at 120. WD Hamilton hit a four and was lbw to Brewster. With JL Fleming in lunch was taken at 131 for 5. With the lunch score unchanged RD Brown caught Maxwell at mid-off off Patterson for 7. Nunn was no. 8 and the next 7 overs were maidens. Nunn settled down and was batting well until, at 146, he played a ball from Brewster straight into Patterson's hands at mid-off. 146-7-6. Meldon came in to play his first innings for Ireland in Ireland. He was almost run out at once. At 162 Fleming was easily caught at mid-off by Etting. He had stayed a long time for his 12. Woodgate (playing his last game for Ireland) gave young Meldon great support. At 3 50 200 went up with Meldon going well. At 206 Woodgate was bowled by H.Brown for 19 after a stand of 44. Another magnificent catch ended the innings. Etting running at extra cover caught Meldon off Clarke for 35. The catch was made low down with the left hand. Patterson took 6 for 89 in 37 overs.
DP Stoever and RD Brown opened for the Philadelphians to the bowling of Woodgate and Pike (a combination of speed and guile). At 9 Stoever, who was shaky, was lbw to Pike for 1. A Thompson was no. 3, and both he and RD Brown scored quickly. 40 was up when Thompson played on to Woodgate. 43-2-14. Clarke gave Fitzgerald a catch at the wicket which was put down (Clarke eventually made 52). At 47 Brown's bails were trimmed by Pike. 47-3-26. Patterson came next and in the mid 60's Fitzgerald twice dropped him behind the wicket off Pike. The fielding was now wretched. 80 went up but at 83 Patterson was caught and bowled by Pike for 20. Morgan came in and scoring slowed down but 100 was up eventually. At 110 Fitzgerald handed over as wicket keeper to Browning and went on to bowl. Pike also went off - having bowled since the start. Emerson came on and the scoring rate quickened. At 150 Fitzgerald resumed as wicket keeper and Woodgate and Meldon came on to bowl. Woodgate's third ball bowled Clarke who had made 52 and the next ball Etting was stumped. 153-6-0. Pike came on for Meldon and Brewster, who had come in, was badly missed at slip. Soon after he was smartly stumped on the leg side off Woodgate. This was Fitzgerald making up for his earlier lapses. 171-7-16. H.Brown (8) and Morgan (33) played out time at 189-7. Morgan had batted one and three-quarters hours for 33.
Another large crowd saw a capital second day's cricket, although a Regatta was a counter attraction. The weather was duller and colder. Pike's first ball bowled Morgan and the last ball of the same over had the other not out, Brown, caught at the wicket by Browning, who had again taken over the wicket keeping from Fitzgerald. Sharp and Newhall saw the 200 up after 20 minutes and soon the Irish total was passed. Newhall then spooned one to Nunn off Fitzgerald and was badly missed. Next over Sharp played on to Fitzgerald. The innings ended for 213 at 11.50. Pike's 5 for 87 in 36 overs was a good performance.
Fitzgerald and Browning gave the Irish 2nd innings a great send-off. The former got 60 and Browning 87. Fitzgerald hit 4 fours in 2 overs and 20 was up in 20 minutes - 19 to Fitzgerald. Decades went up rapidly despite bowling changes. All were played alike and at 1.00 (after an hour's batting) 100 went up. At 118 Patterson came back on and his second ball had Fitzgerald caught at mid-off off a very hard drive. He had given no chance and hit 12 fours. Neither Trotter nor Maxwell lasted long. Patterson bowled both of them - Trotter at 142 and Maxwell (for 2) shortly afterwards. At lunch the score was 168-3, Browning 76 and Emerson 8. At 2 50 play resumed and Browning drove Patterson's first ball straight out of the ground. At 183 he was hit on the head by Patterson and next ball put a soft catch to H.Brown at mid-off after playing masterly cricket for 87. He gave no chance and batted just over 2 hours. He hit 13 fours. Hamilton came in but at 191 Emerson ran himself out for 21. Meldon, playing very fine cricket, and Hamilton put on 48 for the 6th wicket. Meldon was bowled by a beauty from H Brown. 239-6-30. Nunn made a good start and then Hamilton began to play brilliantly. He hit at everything and was not caught until the score was 300. He had made 62. It was now 4 15 and the innings was declared closed.
The Philadelphians required 294 to win. Pike bowled Stoever at 7 and in his next over Thompson played too soon and was bowled for 0. 7-2-0. Clarke joined RD Brown. At one Clarke was missed at point by Trotter who started too late. Brown then hit Woodgate for 12 in one over. 50 came up - the bowling was changed a few times. Clarke put a full toss from Fleming straight up but Fitzgerald missed the catch badly. Play was now slow with Fleming troubling the batsmen. 100 went up and both now began to bat with freedom. The score was 162 before Fleming returned and caught Brown high up with one hand off a hot return. He had made a faultless 81 in 110 minutes with 13 fours - although his style was rather unsightly. 8 runs later Clarke was out - caught at cover by Maxwell off Pike for a somewhat lucky 63. He gave chances at 10 and 23. He and Brown had added 155 for the third wicket. 170-4-63. Etting hit Pike for 3 fours in one over but was then caught at the wicket. 189-5-12. Pike then had to leave and Newhall of the Philadelphians acted as substitute. At 194 Fleming bowled Brewster for 0 and then Morgan helped Patterson (18) to play out time.