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Match Report
Derek Scott

A great win and the only one ever achieved against Philadelphia either home or away (except the return additional one day match in Philadelphia in 1879). It was a rare feat to win in Philadelphia in those days and the following year the 1893 Australian tourists to England were beaten on the way home. The Philadelphians analysed their defeat against Ireland and blamed their catching (which was wretched); the handling of their bowling by their captain (Patterson); the fact that the team was not picked until the eleventh hour, thereby debarring practice together; and the fact that the Irish were underrated after unconvincing displays at Boston and New York. Ireland were praised for the pluck of her batsmen because in both innings the first five wickets went down cheaply, and for their field placings which were considered much superior to Philadelphia's.

For Ireland Johnson was too ill to play and his fast bowling was badly missed on the rather bumpy newly laid wicket - Patterson King and Baily bowled with seven men behind the wicket at times. Hynes still had a badly damaged hand but in spite of this did splendid all round work. The Philadelphians were inclined to play his slows with their pads. Incidentally Hynes took 47 of his 63 wickets for Ireland in America and Canada. Kilkelly and Vint were also ill but had to play and W.F.Thompson replaced Johnson. About Vint's wicket keeping there were mixed reports. The Philadelphians said he was superb but his teammates maintained he was too ill to be at his best.

Patterson, Clark and Brewster played against Ireland in 1888. Of the newcomers, J.B.King was to become the most famous. He was then not yet 19 years of age and a very fast bowler with a swerve either way. Later he slowed down a little, developed a late swing and rivalled George Hirst as the greatest swing bowler of his generation. King was the greatest of all American cricketers. As a bat he was a hard hitter and in 1906 he made 344 not out for Belmont v Merrion in the Halifax Cup (the local Philadelphian competition). AM Wood was one of the few non-native American cricketers. He was an Englishman who had played professionally for Notts and Derby. He played as a professional in Philadelphia between 1881 and 1886 and then turned amateur. For the next 20 years he was a consistent run getter. He was not a stylist and liked to "swipe" to leg. He could also pivot and reverse the swipe which was very alarming for the slips! The selection of Brewster and Brockie (though the latter did not play in the match) was criticised on current form and it was suggested that the team be picked on ability and not on pedigree! Over the three matches played in the next 12 days Noble, Coates, Wood and Scott proved to be the best Philadelphian batsmen with King, Clark and Baily the best bowlers.

The Manheim ground was the home of the Germanstown Club who were paying all the Irish expenses on the trip. With large crowds present at all the matches they undoubtedly made a profit. Not that this mattered for some millionaires were interested in this Club and 40,000 had been spent in building five grandstands, a Church(!) and a theatre.

The betting was 4 to 1 against Ireland before the match began. The green flag of Ireland floated above the ground. Heavy rain early in the morning looked like delaying the start but the sun came out at 11.00 and a start was made at 11.30. E.R.Thompson and Hynes began to Baily and King. Thompson was dropped at slip before he scored and runs came slowly until Hynes was caught at the wicket at 12. Hamilton, after his New York success, was at no. 3. He began well but was bowled by a break back from King while trying a late cut. 22-2-5. Vint came in and saw Thompson bowled by Baily with the total still at 22. Both bowlers were at their best and runs were almost impossible to make. Meldon played well and cut King for 4 but in trying to repeat the stroke was splendidly caught by Brewster at point. 31-4-7. At 33 Baily bowled Vint. In very bad light Kilkelly joined Gavin in a match saving partnership. Kilkelly drove his first ball from Baily for 4 and continued to play in this vein while Gavin was cautious. Patterson relieved Baily at 51 and Kilkelly hit his first ball to leg for 4 and shortly afterwards hit him over the ropes at square leg for a 5. Clark replaced King and Baily returned and the latter had Kilkelly caught at slip at 77. His 32 was a rousing innings.

Penny now came in and it was his 59 not out that kept the remainder of the innings together. He began by hitting lustily and was let off by wicket keeper Butler who ran to get under a high one and then could not hold it. Penny then hit Baily into the Grandstand. At lunch Gavin was 12, Penny 15 and the total was 95 for 6. Due to heavy rain there was no further play until 3.20. King and Baily bowled and at 99 Gavin snicked a bouncer from King to Patterson at slip. His 13 was scored out of 68 but was most invaluable. A full pitch from Baily accounted for W.F.Thompson at 106. Considine and Penny made another good stand. Penny was very lucky being missed at the wicket, at slip by Wood (hard, one handed), by Brewster at point (easy) and by Baily at square leg. Clark came on for King and Brewster atoned by catching Considine at point. 144-9-18. Green held up his end while Penny hit his way past 50 giving his 6th chance to Wood in the outfield. After 20 were added King bowled Green and so took his 5th wicket of the innings for 45 runs in 162 balls. This ended play for the day.

The weather was not very pleasant on the second day when at noon Wood and Patterson opened for Philadelphia but there was a bigger crowd present than at any time on the previous day. 11.00 was the fixed starting time but the Irishmen refused to play until noon due to the bowler's run up being too wet (the batsmen's footholds had been covered). Hamilton and Penny bowled well and few liberties were taken for a while. Gavin at short square leg failed to hold a hard pull by Wood. Meldon came on for Hamilton at 32 and Wood hit a 2 and a 4 off his first 2 balls. The third ball had him L.B.W. 39-1-28. Noble came in and at 52 Hynes relieved Meldon. Again the change was successful and Hynes' first ball bowled Noble. 52-2-8. Clark came in and hit a 4 and lunch was taken at 56-2 at 1.30. At 2.30 play resumed and Hamilton took over from Penny who had bowled all morning. Before a run was scored Clark gave an easy chance to Green at extra cover that was dropped. However at 63 Paterson (16) gave an easy caught and bowled to Hynes. Bohlen came in and scored freely making 16 quickly. Penny came back for Hynes at 79 but it was Hamilton who got the next wicket - having Clark caught at the wicket. 81-4-16. At 90, with Coates in, Bohlen was taken by Gavin at short leg off Hamilton - being the third player out for a score of 16. The sixth wicket partnership of Coates and Thayer added 20 but both were missed off difficult chances by Green and Considine. Meldon came back for Penny but again it was Hamilton who broke the partnership having Thayer stumped. Now the end was near. Coates was missed by Gavin at square leg - a hot one - but at 117 Hynes came on for Meldon. For 4 overs not a run was scored and then the veteran Brewster was taken one handed at cover by Hamilton off Hynes. Next ball King was stumped. Butler survived the hat trick but in Hynes' next over he was caught by Kilkelly at slip. There followed a short delay while a photographer took pictures of the grandstand "a performance which was taken very good-naturedly by the crowd". Two runs were added when Hamilton bowled Coates for 23 and the innings closed for 123. Hynes took 5 for 23 in 65 balls - he might well have bowled a little more.

Half an hour was left for play and W.F.Thompson went in with Gavin. Baily bowled the former for 3 but Considine and Gavin were together at the close - 16 for 1. Next morning sharp at 11.00 the game began. In King's second over he bowled Considine. 20-2-2. Three more wickets fell in the twenties. At 24 Hynes was caught at the wicket off King and at 27 Baily took 2 wickets. He had Kilkelly caught by Brewster and two balls later he knocked all three of Hamilton's stumps out of the ground. Meldon now joined Gavin. He scored quickly but was missed at 9, 17, 21 and 22 - all four apparently at the wicket. While he was still 22 the controversial incident of the match occurred. Meldon hit one to the outfield and Wood dashed in and dived for the ball one handed. He rolled over and appealed for the catch which Umpire Pacey (Philadelphian Umpire) turned down. Gavin, still in his teens, was missed by Clark at slip. Now both batsmen settled down and played splendidly. Seven bowlers were tried but 131 were added, then King produced a beauty for Meldon. The last 59 of his 81 were made perfectly with one great drive over the ropes at long-on. Penny did not repeat his first innings success tipping one of Brewster's slows to Butler at the wicket. 159-7-1. E.R.Thompson, having opened in the first innings, came to the wicket at no. 9 and he was in with Gavin (54) at lunch with the score 168-7. Afterwards the partnership was brought up to 31 when at 190 Thompson put one from Clark into Patterson's hands at mid-on. At 196 Vint tried to pull a straight one from Patterson and was bowled. For the second time Green proved a great no. 11. He made 18 in faultless style while Gavin hit with great power. 44 were added and it needed a one handed catch by Butler off Clark to dismiss Green and end the innings. Gavin batted through the innings and made 90 in a great display of patience combined with hard hitting of the loose ball. He gave three chances, two of then difficult.

At 3.20 Patterson took Clark in with him, needing 292 to win. For 75 minutes all went well. Runs came slowly but no wickets fell although the light was fading. At 35 Hynes bowled Clark for 14 and at 37 the same bowler had Noble lbw (a decision many questioned). Wood and Patterson put on 25 but then the former trying a big hit skied the ball to cover. 63-3-12. Bohlen made only 2 and he was also L.B.W. to Hynes. This ended play with the score 76 for 4. 216 were still needed and Patterson was 36 not out.

Only a handful of people saw the rather extraordinary end of the match. The fifth wicket pair actually brought the score to 160, but then the last 6 wickets fell for only 4 runs and none of the last five batsmen scored a run! After his successful day yesterday Hynes opened the bowling with Hamilton. However both batsmen scored very well, particularly Coates and after the latter had hit Hynes for 10 in one over Meldon bought himself on with Considine. This did not work out and eventually Penny came on with Hamilton. Both batsmen reached 50 and 150 was up. Patterson then gave Penny an easy catch at point which was dropped but in his next over Penny broke one back to touch Patterson's bat and go on to the stumps. 160-5-56. Patterson's was a sound display of patience and skill. Thayer played out the over. Coates then got the idea that he personally had to get the 132 to win and also that he had to get them quickly! He drove Hamilton for 2 and then lifted him high and straight. It looked a 6 but Meldon ran 50 yards and caught it. 156-6-56. This was Coates' first mistake in a fine innings of scientific hitting. Penny and Hamilton shared the last 4 wickets between them, the only runs being 2 byes run when the last pair were at the wicket.