This was the first of 27 matches played between Ireland and I Zingari from this year to 1906. I Zingari had been visiting Ireland since the early 1850's (they had been founded in 1845) and this year played Ireland at the invitation of the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Carlisle, a great lover of cricket. The Hon. EC Leigh got the I Zingari team together and it included the Fiennes brothers who had played for the Gentlemen of England against Ireland in 1855 and four players who had previously played for Ireland, J McCormick (who played as "J Bingley") RA Fitzgerald, W Creyke and Capt. F Marshall. Hon EC Leigh was President of MCC in 1887, the centenary of MCC and also the year of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee.
Ireland introduced 4 new players, none of whom had very distinguished careers for Ireland. I Zingari began their tour by beating the Military of Ireland by 8 wickets having dismissed the Military for 13 in the first innings, W Fiennes and Capt Deane doing the bowling. A second match was arranged with the Military who had Lawrence and Doyle but I Zingari won again.
The main fixture v Ireland was also won by I Zingari by an innings. Ireland were an all amateur XI, Lawrence and Doyle not being included. The I Zingari score of 198 was the highest made against Ireland to date and Marshall's score of 91 was the first over 50.
Very little account of the match is preserved but here is what the "Freeman's Journal" said: "Capt. Marshall stopped the straight, massacred the middling and banged the bad balls to the tune of 91. RA Fitzgerald threw the gallery into fits of delight by his usual fine hitting and Lord Garlies and W Creyke, though not contributing a very large number of runs, yet deserve great credit for their strict adherence to the I Zingari admonition 'Do not attempt to hit - keep up your wicket'. A Samuels was in destruction straight as will be seen by 9 unwarrantable intrusions in the bowler's list. The fielding of the Irish was first rate. Last, not least, fair mention must be made of GF Barry, who besides contributing 28, filled the unenviable post of long stop - there were no byes in the I Zingari total of 198".
Samuels got his 9 wickets with his lobs but the total of 198 was too much for Ireland and only Despard reached double figures in both innings. McCormick as usual bowled well, taking seven wickets in the match - what a pity he was not bowling for the other side! WS Fiennes, with his fast bowling, also took 7 wickets for I Zingari.
I Zingari had visited Ireland as early as 1851, but their main match, previous to this year, was against Phoenix CC.