Even taking into account the disappointment of Toronto this match was probably the nadir of the Irish performance of 2001. Scotland had not been beaten by Ireland in a fully played out competitive limited overs game since 1993 when Ireland won at Stratford-upon-Avon in what was the first ever Triple Crown match.
Ireland were sent in and batted well to be 138 for three in 35 overs. Perhaps, from that position, more than 211 should have been scored. However, that did not seem to matter when Scotland were 88 for seven after 29 overs. 124 were needed in 21 overs with only three wickets left. Not another wicket fell and Scotland won with nine balls to spare! McCoubrey and McGonigle each took three wickets (the seventh was a run out) but were bowled out after the 29th over. Two difficult chances were put down but the residual bowling of Armstrong, McCallan, White and McDaid was simply not equal to the task of stemming the striking of Scotland's number nine, Maiden, who scored 79 off 70 balls - and was selected to bowl off spin.
The Scottish Captain, Salmond, was not available and NFI McCallum took over. In fact only four of the Scottish team remained from that which beat Ireland in the second round in Toronto - Lockhart, Smith, Maiden and Watts. For this match Ireland left out M Gillespie from their 12. A lovely warm day greeted the teams at the splendid facilities at East Grinstead. The pitch looked a little green which might have influenced Scotland to bowl first. However the pitch did not play up to appearances and the first four Irish wickets all produced stands of 24 or more.
Hoffman (of German origin) and Wright, both right arm fast medium, opened the bowling to Patterson and White. All went well for nine overs but a change of bowling brought the first wicket in the 10th over. White mis-hit Grewal's second ball which was caught by the wicket keeper at short square leg. 32-1-5. In the next five overs Patterson and Davy put on 24 although Patterson gave a difficult diving chance to square leg in the over after White's dismissal. Patterson hit three fours and 50 was up after 13 overs.
With the first ball of his second over Watts had Patterson mis-hitting a short ball to mid-on. 56-2-36. Patterson hit six fours in his 49 ball innings. Joyce now partnered Davy in a stand of 34 in 7.3 overs with Davy getting 20 of these runs. Then came a run out. Joyce called a run to mid-off and was beaten by a direct hit. 90-3-8. McCallan was next and the best stand of the innings followed - 48 in 13 overs. McCallan was aggressive early on but was dropped at the wicket off Maiden, the off spinner. 100 was up in over 26 and Davy went to his 50 out of 133 in over 33. Five runs later he was out. He tried a pull but his head was up and he was bowled by Hoffman. 138-4-55. His 53 was from 76 balls with seven fours.
McCallan was out two overs later. He had seen Gillespie, before he had scored, dropped at cover off a full toss from Maiden. Then McCallan chipped off the back foot high and slow to gully. 146-5-26. Mooney lasted only eight balls for seven runs. He then clipped Watts to short mid wicket. 161-6-7. Armstrong provided Gillespie with better help. This pair added 28 in five overs. Gillespie got 21 of these including three fours. It was he who fell next after scoring 32 in 35 balls. At 189 he went for the "big one" off Wright and was caught at long on. Armstrong followed him in the next over (46th). He played on to Hoffman who had just returned for his ninth over.
McDaid and McGonigle now busied themselves for an 18 runs stand in 18 balls which saw 200 up in over 49. In the last over Wright took wickets with the fourth and sixth balls. McGonigle hit a poor shot to mid wicket and McCoubrey was bowled. Ireland should have got more runs but rash shots and Joyce's run out did not help. Four Scottish bowlers got two or more wickets. Grewal and Watts were expensive while Hoffman and Wright each went for 35 runs in their 10 overs.
The Scottish innings was most certainly in two parts - 29 overs when they were losing easily and then 20 overs when they not alone recovered but won the match despite needing a run a ball from the fall of the seventh wicket in over 29. Scotland lost a wicket in the second over. Lockhart mistimed a pull and the resultant skier was caught by wicket-keeper Patterson. Smith joined Patterson and after 13 overs the situation looked serene. The score was 50, seven fours had been hit and McGonigle had replaced Armstrong.
Then came Scottish disaster. Four wickets fell in four overs for seven runs and five in six overs for 13 runs. In McCoubrey's seventh over two wickets fell to successive balls with the score still at 50. B Patterson was unlucky when a ball spun back on to his stumps after he had played it. Patel was lbw next ball. In the next over, McGonigle's third, Smith played a dreadful heave to leg and deserved to be out (bowled). In his next over McGonigle bowled McCallum and 50 for one had become 57 for five. In his fifth over McGonigle took his third wicket, and all were clean bowled, when Watts emulated Smith with a dreadful swing to leg with his head up. 63 for six.
Gilmour joined Wright. They stayed together for 10 overs and added 25. McCoubrey was now bowled out (three for 17) and McDaid replaced him. The 29th over was McGonigle's last. A wicket fell on the sixth ball but not to McGonigle. Gilmour was run out attempting a second run to deep square leg, 88-7-13.
There ended Ireland's success. Maiden joined Wright and now McCallan and White were bowling. For nine overs runs came briskly (44 of them) but only one four was hit. 100 was up in over 32. At 127 Wright gave Gillespie a one-handed chance at extra cover off McCallan. At 132, after 38 overs, Scotland needed 83 in 12 overs, a rate of seven per over. Suddenly Maiden went into another gear. In four overs (39 to 42) the score rose by 35 by dint of Maiden hitting four fours and then a six (four overthrows) off McDaid who had just replaced White. The final overs were bowled by Armstrong and McDaid because McCallan and White, in five overs each, leaked 53 runs.
In the 43rd over Maiden reached 53 off 51 balls. They were now scoring off nearly every ball and there were never less than five runs per over. With 20 required McCoubrey at third man, lost sight of a skier off Armstrong. After 48 overs the score was 205. Then Maiden finished the match with two successive fours. It was a wonderful innings of 79 runs from 70 balls with nine fours. Wright played his patient part to score 45 off 81 balls. The stand was worth 126 in just over 19 overs.
As regards the Irish bowling, McCoubrey and McGonigle were excellent. McCallan and White have already been mentioned. Armstrong gave up 63 runs in 9.3 overs and McDaid 50 in nine overs. The fielding became slipshod. Maiden was, of course, Man-of-the-Match.
England won the Triple Crown beating Wales at Brighton College and so won all three matches. In 1999 Ireland lost to Scotland in the Triple Crown at Castle Avenue in very similar circumstances. Only Davy and Patterson played for Ireland in both matches.