This match was much interfered with by rain. Not much more than 2 hours play could be got in on the first day. Play was almost abandoned on the second morning due to a very wet wicket but the sun began to shine, a new wicket was cut, and play began shortly after 2 00. W Blacker and E Fitzgerald were not available for Ireland. I Zingari had much the better of the game and the Irish bowling does not appear to have been very good. At the close Ireland were 93 runs behind with only 3 second innings wickets left.
The rain stopped at 12 00 on the first day. The sun came out but I Zingari wished to postpone the start until the next day and add a further day to the fixture. As the two Belfast players on the Irish team (Stevenson and Vint) could not stay this was not agreed to. A start was made at 2 00 but after a single over more rain fell. At 3 00 another attempt was made. Except for a single shower play proceeded until 5 30. The more rain finally ended play. IZ made good use of the batting time to score 158 for 5. Clarke in particular combined attack and defence well and was 53 not out at close of play. Vint kept wicket very well (he had not played for Ireland for 10 years) although missing a run out. The crowd was very good despite the weather.
Bridgman and Talbot opened for IZ but after one over from Pike for one run the rain fell again. On the restart the score was taken to 31 when Bridgman was easily taken at slip by Meldon off Stevenson for 19. Clarke came in and Vint missed running out Talbot when he mishandled a return from cover. Emerson came on to bowl and the run rate was slowed down. Talbot was bowled by Emerson after making 22 in 50 minutes. 53-2. The very next ball Tylecote was lbw. Jarvis should have provided Emerson's hat trick but Trotter failed to start in time to take a catch at point. Pike came on at the other end but it was Emerson who had Jarvis caught by Meldon on the boundary. 57-4-1. More rain then fell. Cottrell was now in with Clarke and the ball was very wet for bowling. Meldon and Fleming were both tried in place of Pike. Emerson bowled 15 overs for 16 runs when Cottrell launched an attack on him. At 5.00 100 went up. At 107 Fleming bowled Cottrell who had made 28 out of 50 in good style. Hon. FE Allsopp greatly increased the scoring rate and 51 came in 20 minutes before more rain caused the abandonment of play. Boundaries were frequent in the closing stages despite bowling changes. The close of play score was 158-5 (Clarke 53 Allsopp 26).
Play began at 2.10 on the second day after a new wicket had been cut. The ground was wet and slow so that the IZ score of 255 was a good performance. The batting was even, nine of the team making double figures. Hynes was the only Irish batsman to put up a good display against Tylecote who in total took 10 for 57. Stevenson and Maxwell had a stand which saved the innings defeat. Altogether it was a sorry display for which there was not much excuse. WD Hamilton failed to arrive and sent no explanation. The newspapers maintained he should never be selected again.
At 2 10 Clarke and Allsopp began to Pike and Emerson. After 10 runs had been added Clarke was easily take at mid-off by Hynes off Emerson. His 58 was a very good innings. FS Jackson was next. He was a great England captain to be and was then 18 years of age. He was quiet at first but then opened out. At 196 Fleming came on for Pike and his second ball had Allsopp stumped for 38. He had made 12 out of 38 since play began. With Fowler in 200 went up at 3 15. At 209 Jackson was beaten and bowled by Fleming for 28. Cobden was next. He was the bowling hero of the 1870 Varsity Match. Fowler was batting soundly until Pike came back at 240 and at once had him stumped for 26. Middleton hit Pike for 10 in one over including two balls clean out of the ground. At 255 Pike had Cobden stumped to end the innings. Emerson's 4 for 65 in 35 overs was the best bowling performance but the tail was allowed to add too many runs.
Cobden, who was then 40 years of age, and Tylecote began the bowling to Browning and Trotter. At 11 two wickets fell. Trotter was beautifully taken low down at mid-off by Jackson off Tylecote for 2 and a well pitched up ball from Cobden had Browning LBW for 9. Emerson was missed at the wicket off Cobden but at once was bowled by the fast bowler for 0. At 16 Cobden had another wicket when Maxwell was caught low behind the wicket for 0. Hynes joined Meldon and was missed at point. At 22 Meldon was softly caught at cover by Allsopp off Tylecote. 22-5-9. Vint was bowled at 25. Fleming was now in with Hynes and Jackson replaced Cobden who had figures of 11-3-16-3. At 35 Fleming played one softly back to Tylecote. With Stevenson in 13 were added. Cottrell came on to bowl and at 48 had Stevenson caught at the wicket. Pike and Hynes added 13. Allsopp replaced Tylecote who had bowled from the start. In his second over Allsopp bowled Pike and with Hamilton absent the innings was over for 61. Hynes was 20 not out and the only double figure in the innings. Tylecote's 4 for 28 in 21 overs was excellent bowling.
In the follow-on Hynes opened with Trotter. Surprisingly Allsopp opened the bowling with Cottrell. At 1 Allsopp had Trotter caught at extra cover for 0. Hynes and Browning attacked Allsopp who gave way to Tylecote. With his 1st ball Tylecote bowled Browning. 24-2-8. Meldon came in and appeared to be in good form. The runs began to mount and Cobden came on for Cottrell. Meldon was out to a good running catch by Fowler off Tylecote. 49-3-10. Emerson came in and the score was taken up to 61. Then Tylecote took 4 wickets while only 7 runs were scored. Hynes was caught at mid-off for a very good 32. 61-4-32. Emerson skied one to the wicket keeper (62-5-7); Vint was yorked (62-6-0) and Fleming was caught and bowled (68-7-4). As there were now only 2 wickets to fall, due to Hamilton's absence, all seemed lost. However Stevenson and Maxwell made a stand and by stubborn defence saw out the last half hour. At the close Ireland were 91 for 7 (Maxwell 9, Stevenson 15).