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Match Report
Derek Scott

For the first time in nearly 20 years the MCC played Ireland in Dublin. Sir TC O'Brien was instrumental in getting the side to come over and he helped MCC materially in their 90 run victory. Ireland led by 85 runs on first innings but a brilliant 109 by Studd, a bumpy pitch, and a knee injury to TC Ross, one of Ireland's leading bowlers, all conspired against Ireland and the game was lost. Lucius Gwynn and JM Meldon were unable to play for Ireland and Sir Charles Cuyler called off the MCC team and RM Gwynn of Dublin University was pressed into service. Just previously Dublin University had beaten MCC by 56 runs so it was a sore blow when the full strength of Ireland were beaten by the same team.

The first day was warm and a large crowd attended. As there had been no rain for a fortnight the pitch was bumpy. It improved a little in the evening although AP Gwynn was hit on the eye just before getting out. MCC were dismissed for 143 - Lambert taking 5 for 44 despite the fact that he had just arrived from Edinburgh and had not played a game since the previous summer. Ireland reached 228 chiefly due to a dashing 72 by Comyn. MCC were 17 for none at the close.

Captain Oates and HW Studd began for MCC. The former was caught at point by Drummond Hamilton off the first ball of the match bowled by Bud Hamilton. Baker came in and Ross had him caught at the wicket in his second over. 9-2-4. O'Brien was next and he scored very fast. He hit Hamilton for 6 to square leg and in half an hour 50 was up. Lambert came on for Hamilton and bowled O'Brien (26) with his 2nd ball. Studd was soon caught at slip by AP Gwynn off Lambert and Harrington had Browne caught for 1. 72 for 5. JT Rawlin, the Middlesex professional, was now joined by Captain Charles but at 87 the latter was stumped off Lambert for 9. Shortly after the 100 went up Lambert took his 4th wicket bowling Morant for 11. JT Hearne, who in 1896 was to play for England v Australia, was next but Lambert was now "on the spot" and he bowled Rawlin at 120. Rawlin shaped well for his 32 although dropped by Gwynn when only 2. Ross had returned to bowl in place of Harrington and at 124 he had Hearne lbw. The last pair, RM Gwynn and Mordecai Sherwin, (the old Notts and England wicket keeper), assisted by extras, put on 19 for the last wicket. The innings ended just before lunch when Ross got Gwynn to give a catch. The fielding and bowling were very good.

SC Smith and FH Browning opened for Ireland to the bowling of the professionals Rawlin and Hearne. The pitch was still kicking so Smith decided to hit and scored 4 fours in the first two overs. Browning was out for 5, caught at short slip by Rawlin off a kicker from Hearne. Brunskill failed to score - being also caught off Hearne. Comyn joined Smith but at 48 the latter, after scoring 30, was caught at the wicket off Hearne. He had hit 5 fours. Comyn started with 2 fours and hit blindly at first. Gwynn was hit in the face but was able to resume. At 73 he was out for 14. Bud Hamilton joined Comyn in a determined stand. Rawlin was hit for 15 in one over, Comyn hitting him over mid-off for 6. At 4.00, after an hour's batting, the 100 went up. RM Gwynn and Morant were tried. Gwynn bowled two maiden overs and then Browne came on. Browne bowled Bud Hamilton for 28. WD Hamilton was next and he was immediately badly missed by O'Brien at point - a costly miss. Hamilton kept his end up while Comyn hit all round the wicket. In 90 minutes he reached 72 with one 6 and eleven 4's. He was then out to a smart catch at slip by Baker off Browne. At 5.30 the side were all out for 228 - 85 ahead. Hearne had taken 5 for 99 and Browne 3 for 40. The bumpy pitch had suited Hearne. In 15 minutes to close of play Moran (10) and Gwynn (5) scored 17 for 0 wicket.

The second day saw Ireland lose the match by 90 runs. Hearne Rawlin and Browne slung them down and bumped the Irishmen out. What Ireland needed was a really fast bowler. Ross could not bowl due to an injured knee and so Comyn had to bowl 9 overs though he seldom bowled at all. The weather was very hot and the attendance even larger than the first day. At 12.10 Lambert and Harrington began the bowling to Morant and Gwynn. Gwynn was caught by his brother at slip off Lambert at 19. Studd came in and at once hit Harrington into Mountpleasant for 6. At 44 Morant was also caught by AP Gwynn at slip of Lambert. He had made a sound 23. Oates, who was next, was splendidly caught by B Hamilton off his own bowling for 7. Rawlin was then thrown out for 5 by Comyn. Four wickets were now down but meanwhile Studd was hitting all round the wicket and with Baker in the 100 went up - the 83 scored today coming in 60 minutes. Baker was soon caught and bowled by B Hamilton for 8. O'Brien was next and he was cautious at first while Studd continued to infuse great vigour and dash into his batting. At 1.35 he completed his century to great applause. He had been batting for only 80 minutes. After making a further 9 he failed to get hold of one from B Hamilton and was caught at cover by SD Lambert (fielding as substitute for TC Ross). His one blemish was a chance at the wicket when 10 - a very costly error by Browning. The 109 had come in 90 minutes with two 6's and nineteen 4's - 90 in boundaries! Neither Browne nor Charles helped O'Brien much - both being bowled by Hamilton. 200 came up in 110 minutes - the last 117 in 50 minutes. With Hearne in O'Brien was out for 47 - Hamilton's third caught and bowled victim. 246 for 9 and O'Brien's innings was of great value while Studd was hitting. Now Hearne and Sherwin "let go" and added 50 for the last wicket, a partnership which probably won the match for MCC At 3.55 Sherwin was caught at point by WD Hamilton off Lambert for 15. Hearne was 38 not out scored very quickly. B.Hamilton with 6 for 100 in 20 overs was the best of the harassed Irish bowlers.

Comyn opened with Smith and the target was 212. Hearne and Browne shared the bowling. The pitch, reasonably docile while MCC batted, now showed signs of wear and the ball got up a lot. Comyn attacked as in the first innings but Hearne bowled Smith for 4 at 22. Brunskill was lbw to his first ball and thus "bagged a pair" on his only appearance for Ireland. A.P.Gwynn saved the hat trick but the ball was now bumped in alarming fashion. At 35 Comyn was caught by Studd at mid-off off Hearne for 25. Bud Hamilton was next and he and Gwynn played some sound cricket. 60 went up at 5.00. Rawlin replaced Browne and at 85 Browne came back on for Hearne and with his 2nd ball the fast bowler bowled Gwynn for 28. Almost at once Rawlin bowled WD Hamilton for 1. 86 for 5. Bud Hamilton was missed by Oates in the outfield but a moment later Browne knocked his leg stump out of the ground. His 38 was very creditable and were badly needed runs. Browning and Harrington both fell to Rawlin for the addition of only a couple of runs. With Kilkelly in Lambert hit 5 fours in rapid succession before being caught at the wicket off Rawlin for 23. Ross was unable to bat. Rawlin with 4 for 28 in 9 overs was the best MCC bowler.

Rathmines, Dublin