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Match Report
Derek Scott

Despite being beset by illness and injury the Irish team achieved their much longed for ambition when they beat Philadelphia at home for the first time - a most difficult feat to perform. The team was a strong one although a number of players were unable to go. They were FH Browning (who was unable to get leave from the Land Commission) Sir TC O'Brien (for whom a place was kept until the last moment), RL Pike, JH Nunn, LH Gwynn, T Tobin, WD Hamilton and PWG Stuart (whom WF Thompson replaced at the very last moment). PA Maxwell was to have been 12th man but was replaced at a late stage by GC Green who did surprisingly well. JM Meldon, at the age of 23, was captain and he and Hynes were the survivors of the 1888 party. Both did fairly well but Hynes was not the outstanding figure he was four years earlier. Montiford Gavin was the outstanding batsman and it was a great pity that he would never find time to play for Ireland at home after this trip. B Hamilton, Meldon, Vint and A Penny (aided by not outs) also batted well while Hamilton and Penny were the best bowlers. Considine and Green only played for Ireland on this trip and Vint, WF Thompson and Gavin never played for Ireland again. Vint had been in Australia during the 1880's and had played inter-state cricket for Victoria and was a contender for a place on the Australian tour to England but the great Blackham barred his way - Vint being a splendid wicket keeper.

A selection committee had not come together to pick this team due to a dispute between the Dublin Clubs so it is probable Meldon did a great deal of the selection himself. Capt. D Rutledge, a good bat and a mainstay of cricket in Mayo, managed the team and HJ Darby was the scorer. On 22 August the Pembroke Rowing Club gave a dinner for the team at Ringsend with HG Cook presiding. B Hamilton, the youngest of the team, was absent due to the illness of his father, Canon Hamilton of Taney Church, Dundrum. On 24 August the team left Queenstown on the Gallia - Gavin only just arriving in time. CL Johnson and A Penny were very sick throughout the 11 day voyage and Johnson was very nearly swept overboard in a storm. Johnson never really recovered from the journey and only made 34 runs in seven innings in the important matches of the tour. However he did good work as a bowler. On September 2nd the team arrived in New York (Meldon with his banjo had been much in demand on board!) and were met by DS Newhall, the former Philadelphia captain. Newhall was the representative of the Gersmanstown Club who were paying all the expenses of the trip.

The tour began at Longwood, Boston, against XV of New England. Nobody had recovered from the boat journey, the wicket and the weather were bad, and Ireland lost by 14 wickets being dismissed for 84 and 41. J Pettit, the reigning World Rackets Champion, played in this match. B Hamilton played him at rackets and took a game off him. The next game was won against XIV of Lowell near Boston. By delaying a day to see the sights of Boston the Irish team avoided a very bad train crash. Then came this match agaisnt Canada at Toronto. Canada had 4 of the team who played against the 1888 tourists. They were A Gillespie, D Saunders, WJ Fleury and WW Jones. Canada's greatest bat was Rev. FW Terry who had already scored 1371 runs in the season. In 1893 he was to make a century for Canada against the U.S.A. at Toronto. Bristowe was their leading bowler.

The match was delayed until after lunch on the first day due to the late arrival of the tourist's baggage. At 2 00 Gavin and ER Thompson opened to Bristowe and Laing. Gavin hit a boundary but at 12 Bristowe bowled him. Johnson was no. 3 and he did most of the scoring but at 32 he was stumped. Meldon arrived and started to bat freely, punishing Gillespie who had come on for Laing. Thompson also began to hit and both played fast and fine cricket, abounding in hard drives and neat strokes to leg. 50 came up and then 100 - very quickly. Laing then bowled Thompson for 30 and Bristowe bowled Meldon for a chanceless 59. A collapse followed and only B Hamilton of the remaining batsmen made double figures and the final total was only 131.

At 4 45 Bristowe and M. Boyd faced Hamilton and Penny. Bristowe hit a 2 and a boundary and was then bowled by Hamilton. Terry was next and he made the two best hits of the day. After making 4 he lifted Penny for a straight 6 and then a 4 to leg. Hamilton then bowled Boyd but next over Terry hit Penny to leg, right on to the roof of the grandstand - the longest hit ever seen on the new ground. This was Terry's last hit - he was bowled by Hamilton for 20. Warden was joined by Gillespie. Johnson replaced Penny and had Gillespie caught by Vint at the wicket at 44. Saunders was caught and bowled by Johnson for 0 and Hamilton had Warden caught both also at 44. Coste however was very steady and Fleury brilliant. Fleury drove 3 fours in succession and the day ended at 64 for 6.

On the second day the score was raised beyond 100 but when Hynes came on he bowled Jones and Laing and Ireland's lead was 24. Hamilton took 5 for 48 and Hynes 2 for 2 in 29 balls. Hynes played with an injured hand which may account for the fact little use was made of him as a bowler. Rain now fell and lunch was taken. Afterwards Bristowe quickly bowled Thompson and Johnson but with the score 10 for 2 rain drove the players in. A storm then came on and further play was impossible. The Irishmen offered a third day but Canada was unable to accept as they had to travel to Philadelphia for a match against the USA. A steamer took the Irish team across Lake Ontario and they went for the match against All New York via Niagara Falls.