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Match Report
Derek Scott

Despite a very weak Irish team this was a most exciting game which finally ended with Scotland needing two runs to win with 6 wickets in hand. At the scheduled close Scotland needed 20 runs and the Irish captain allowed an extra 10 minutes in order to give Scotland a chance to win. During this period Scotland scored 14 runs. Then another over was added during which a further 4 runs were scored and the match remained a draw. This match was a return game for the 1888 match at Rathmines. An attempt at a match in Scotland in 1889 had to be abandoned as an Irish team could not be got together. In this year only 4 of the original team selected travelled - FH Browning, JM Meldon, CJ Johnson and JL Fleming. There were 5 debutants in all. Scotland, be it noted, also had difficulty in fielding a strong team. They did include Grant Asher, MR Jardine (father of D.R.) and that great wicket keeper, Gregor MacGregor.

In perfect weather Scotland won the toss and batted until 5.30 in making 304 runs. JA Allen and Jardine opened to the bowling of Hughes and Johnson (both debutants). They did so well that 2 wickets were down for 13. Jardine was bowled by Johnson pulling at a long hop and Allen mishit Hughes to Fleming at mid-off. HJ Stevenson and Asher then made a stand but the scoring was very slow. Johnson went off after bowling 15 overs, 12 maidens for 6 runs and at lunch the score was only 75 for 2. 80 was up when Stevenson was caught by Thompson at cover. He had made 12 in 1 hours but none can blame him as the position was critical early on. MacGregor was next. He eventually made 68 but he was missed 3 times by Vint (keeping wicket) Hughes and Meldon. Asher was run out at 113 attempting a second run. His 70 was made by excellent cricket. RH Johnston joined MacGregor. Together they added 81 at a very fast pace. Then Synnott came on and bowled Johnston for 37. He had batted very well, particularly on the off side but had given a chance to Hughes at slip. Mannes hit 31 quickly before being stumped off Booth. Then MacGregor was bowled for 68 trying to pull a half volley from Booth. AR Don Wauchope, the Captain, made 37 and the team was all out for 304. Booth took the last 5 wickets and his final figures were 5 for 44 in 16.3 overs. In all the Irish bowlers sent down 119 overs. The fielding and catching were poorish but Vint kept wicket well.

Browning and Gavin began for Ireland to Weir and Thornton. MacGregor took a beautiful leg side catch to dismiss Browning off Thornton. 10-1-1. At 18 the same bowler bowled Gavin. 18-2-12. Meldon and Thompson were now together and the score rose to 41 at which point Thompson was caught at cover for 8. Nunn joined Meldon and at the close Ireland were 55 for 3 (Meldon 32, Nunn 10).

There was a moderate crowd on the second day to witness the exciting finish. Meldon and Nunn saved the game for Ireland by making good scores in each innings. Meldon had his best game scoring 59 and 92. Meldon and Nunn took the score to 117 when Nunn was caught and bowled by Trotter for 33. The pair had added 76 runs. Vint was bowled by Mannes for 4 and at 126 Meldon was bowled by Trotter for 59. Stevenson came on to bowl and in 5.3 overs he took 3 for 17 and the innings closed for 176. Johnson played well for his 20 while Synnott remained a long while for 14.

128 behind Ireland followed-on. This time the stars of the first innings, Meldon and Nunn, opened. In 55 minutes they had made 100 together! At 115 Nunn got too far under a big hit and was caught by Stevenson off Mannes for 60. He batted for only an hour and gave one chance. Browning was bowled by Trotter for 10. Gavin and Meldon took the score to 183 when Meldon was run out by Don Wauchope 8 short of his century. It was an excellent innings marred only by one chance to Weir (who was reputed to never hold a catch). Weir then had a good spell and only Synnott of the remainder gave much trouble. He scored 20.

At 5 40 Scotland went in to get 96 in 50 minutes. Johnston and Mannes opened and forced the pace splendidly. Hughes conceded 20 runs in 2 overs and Fleming 10 in 1 over. Off the second ball Mannes was almost caught by Gavin in the outfield. This made a big difference as Mannes made 42 not out. 50 came up in 20 minutes and it looked as if Scotland were assured of a win. Then Vint handed over as wicket keeper to Browning and began to bowl. At once the run rate slowed. Johnson was bowling at the other end. Johnston attempted a short run and Vint ran him out for 24. In his next over Vint bowled Allen for 1. Jardine made 4 and was bowled by Johnson trying to pull a fast ball. MacGregor was run out for 5. Time was lost by the falling of these wickets. Asher joined Mannes but perhaps he should have come in sooner. At 6.30 20 were still needed but despite the extra time allowed Scotland were still 2 short at the end. Mannes was 42 and Asher 17 at the end. A great tribute must be paid to Vint for his tight bowling in the crisis. He bowled 8 overs, 4 maidens for 21 runs. Johnson was unchanged and bowled 11 overs for 42 runs. The bringing on of Vint by Nunn was surely a stroke of genius. MacGregor's wicket keeping and Meldon's batting were the features of the game.

Phoenix Park, Dublin