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Match Report
Derek Scott

The Irish team originally selected for this match contained 6 Phoenix players. However, they withdrew from the Irish team. The Phoenix Club said they did not have sufficient representation(!) and that the Selection Committee was not properly constituted - notwithstanding that it contained a representative of the Phoenix Club. The Phoenix 6 were WD Hamilton - who was to have captained the side - LH Gwynn, AD Comyn, TC Ross, B Hamilton and FH Browning. These were replaced by W Harrington (who strangely was not an original choice) JM Magee, GF Keatinge, Rev EJ Goldsmith, JD Walsh and PA Meldon. SC Smith took over the captaincy. In view of this the team was rather weak. The I Zingari team was quite strong. Bosanquet (then a fast bowler) and Hollins were current Oxford Blues; Sir TC O'Brien was well known to Ireland; Lord George Scott had made 100 in the 1887 Varsity Match; in 1892 HT Hewitt had helped Lionel Palairet to put on 346 for the 1st wicket for Somerset v Yorkshire at Taunton - a record until 1897; W Findlay was then only 19 and had just left Eton. As a wicket keeper he was to get an Oxford Blue and later he became secretary of MCC. The wicket at Vice Regal was very bad. There was no evidence of preparation and such an important match should not have been played on such a ground. The ball often kicked and bumped off a length and the bat could not be withdrawn in time. As a result Bosanquet had a great match as a fast bowler. His bowling and the batting of O'Brien and SD Lambert were the features of the match.

The weather was very good and there was a big crowd when the match began. The Irish bowling was very weak due to the absence of Ross and B Hamilton but it was a strange decision to open with the slow bowler Mitchell when Harrington was in the team. Coote and Bosanquet opened the batting to RH Lambert and Mitchell. There was a quiet start and at 8 Coote was caught at the wicket by SD Lambert off Mitchell. Moncrieff improved the scoring rate and Bosanquet took three 4's off one over from Lambert. Bosanquet was then caught by Magee at mid-on for a dashing 24. He had failed to keep down a half volley from Lambert. 36-2. Hewitt came in and had "a go" at everything. I Zingari now knew the wicket was far from good and elected to get runs quickly - they succeeded! Hewitt hit 2 6's and at 75 Harrington came on for Lambert and very soon he bowled Moncrieff with an off-break. 85-3. Hollins was next and steady scoring continued until Hewitt swung at Harrington and missed. 94-4-36. O'Brien was next and 100 went up in an hour despite the loss of 4 wickets. Both batsmen played uppish shots but they fell where no fielders were. At 115 Adair came on for Mitchell and Meldon for Harrington. Meldon was an extremely slow bowler. O'Brien skied Adair's last ball to Goldsmith at cover and the catch was dropped - this was a very expensive miss. Hollins was caught at the wicket off a rising ball from Adair after a stand of 63. Soames hit a full pitch from Meldon up in the air to be caught by the wicket keeper for 6. 168-6.

The lunch score was 175-6. Lord George Scott joined O'Brien in the liveliest partnership of the day. All the bowlers were treated unceremoniously except Harrington - although it must be said that Adair was unlucky, beating both batsmen. Even Goldsmith was tried for 3 overs with lobs. 200 went up in 2 hours. O'Brien reached his century in less than 2 hours and soon 250 was up. At 253 Adair bowled Scott with a leg break. He had made 30 out of 85 scored in 65 minutes. Harrington took the last 3 wickets quickly - all clean bowled. Grenfell made 5. O'Brien was 9th out. He made 121 in 2 hours and 10 minutes of wonderful cricket. It was not an innings without blemish but no better cricket could have been played on a wicket where the ball bumped and shot unaccountably. He hit 19 4's and was out when he dragged a ball on to his wicket when trying to pull. Allsopp was bowled for 16 and the innings was over for 308. At 4.25 SD Lambert and Magee began for Ireland to Bosanquet and Moncrieff. Lambert scored very rapidly and got 33 out of the first 40. At 49 disaster occurred. Magee was caught at the wicket for 6 off Bosanquet and RH Lambert was caught at slip for 0. Both were rising balls from which the bat was not withdrawn quickly enough. Smith came next but lost Lambert who was also caught at slip while trying to cut. He had made a splendid 46 out of 60. Smith and Goldsmith had added 13 to the score when Bosanquet took his 4th wicket by knocking Smith's middle stump out of the ground. Adair was next and Hollins replaced Moncrieff. Bosanquet yorked Adair for 1. 83-5. Goldsmith and Mitchell hung on until close of play although Goldsmith was dropped at slip and then had a miraculous escape from being run out. Mitchell played well and the score at the close was 106-5, Goldsmith 18, Mitchell 17. Bosanquet had taken all 5 wickets that had fallen for 45 runs.

The weather continued fine on the 2nd day but there was a cool breeze. The last 5 Irish wickets crashed in 45 minutes for 10 runs. Moncrieff got Mitchell before he could add to his 17 and Bosanquet took the other 4 wickets for 8 runs giving him analysis of 9 for 53 off 24.1 Overs. He had bowled unchanged, as he was to do again in the 2nd innings. PA Meldon, the not out batsman in the first innings, and Magee opened when Ireland followed on. Both were steady and showed considerable agility in getting out of the way of rising balls from Bosanquet. They scored 19 in 30 minutes. The Bosanquet started to bowl around the wicket and had Meldon lbw for 9. SD Lambert hit out at Bosanquet but at 31 Magee was caught by Bosanquet off Moncrieff for a careful 14. SD Lambert soon followed, being caught and bowled by Moncrieff off a ball that got right up. RH Lambert was lbw to Bosanquet for 1 on a rather doubtful decision as he was struck very high up. Adair was joined by Smith and the only resistance of the innings followed. Adair hit Bosanquet for 3 successive 4's and Smith was not idle although he was dropped at the wicket. Smith hit Bosanquet over the pavilion while Adair hit Moncrieff over the screen. Adair was missed by Coote at long off but just on lunchtime he was caught off Bosanquet for a neat 30. 82-6. Mitchell was caught off Bosanquet for 9 and then Smith was bowled by the same bowler while attempting to drive. He had made 26. Bosanquet quickly got Walsh and Keatinge and the match was over. Bosanquet had taken 7 for 49 in 19.4 overs in the 2nd innings, giving him 16 for 102 in the match and he had bowled unchanged throughout. His fast bowling came up straight off a length and no one could cope with him.

Vice Regal Lodge, Dublin