One day match at Ormeau, Belfast


The Australians were appearing in Ireland for the first time since 1912. They were playing two matches, a one-day match in Belfast and subsequently a two-day match in Dublin. Boucher was unable to play in this game due to sciatica but despite his absence the visitors were dismissed for only 145. The stage was set for a sensational Irish victory but Ward and O'Reilly bundled the Irish batsmen out for 84. The match was played in blazing sunshine before a crowd of 4000 spectators, who contributed a gate of 400.

Ireland v Australia 1938Ireland v Australia at Ormeau, September 1938
(Back row) WJ Baxter, W Spears, CW Mellon, HR Morgan, CE White, E Billingsley, L Fleetwodd-Smith, TJ McDonald, WJ O'Reilly, R Cuffe, M Waite, N Petts, E McCormick
(Middle row) E Ingram, S Barnes, T McMurray, S McCabe, DC Lindsay, W Jeans, J McDonald, B Barnett, H lambert, JH Fingleton
(Front row) CW Walker, JS Pollock, EN Larmour, WA Brown, AL Hassett CL Badcock, EDR Shearer

The Irish bowling was excellent. James Macdonald, the Irish captain, produced what was probably the greatest performance of his career. In 16 overs, six of which were maidens, he accounted for Barnes, White, Fingleton, O'Reilly and Ward for only 24 runs. He flighted the ball skilfully and no-one was comfortable against him. The Aussies freely acknowledged Macdonald's skill and Arthur Mailly, a former Test player who was travelling with the team as a journalist, said it was the best piece of left-arm bowling he had seen during the season. Ingram was also excellent as his figures of 4-46 show. The attack was backed by keen fielding. Apart from TJ Macdonald, who spent 1 hours over 28, and to a minor degree Ingram, the batting was below expectation. O'Reilly and Ward bowling nine overs each were too good for the Irish batsmen. Tom McMurray arrived late and JS Pollock fielded for him. So Pollock's introduction to international cricket was as a substitute fielder.

In the Australian innings Badcock and Barnes had 30 up in even time but at 34 Badcock was lbw to Ingram for 23. Macdonald changed his bowling frequently and it was Morgan who took the next wicket, having Ben Barnett caught at mid-off for five. Macdonald himself came on at 60 and had White caught off his second ball. One run later Barnes was out caught at slip for 27 by TJ Macdonald off his brother, who now had two for none. McCabe joined Waite and their stand of 53 was the best of the innings. The runs came in 38 minutes and then Ingram bowled McCabe via his pads. At lunch the score was 116-5. Waite was next to leave. His 30 was top score of the match. He was lbw to Ingram at 125. At this stage Australia's usual opening pair, Fingleton and Brown, were together but at 136 Macdonald got Fingleton lbw with a dropping full toss. O'Reilly was brilliantly caught by Billingsley, Ward was out for a duck and finally Ingram bowled Brown to end the innings.

TJ Macdonald and McMurray opened for Ireland. McCabe using the new ball accounted for the latter at nine while at 17 O'Reilly had James Macdonald lbw with the fourth ball of his first over. In his third over O'Reilly bowled Shearer but then Ingram came to the rescue by helping Macdonald to add 31 for the fourth wicket. Both left at the same total, 60, and after this blow there was no doubt about the outcome of the game. Ingram was caught at cover by Fingleton off Ward, the first of three catches by Fingleton in this position, and Tom Macdonald was bowled by O'Reilly. Larmour was caught at the wicket while attempting to cut Ward. At 71 three wickets fell when Ward dismissed Lambert, Mellon and Morgan in 10 balls. Billingsley and Cuffe added 13 before the last wicket fell. O'Reilly bowled six maidens in his nine overs and took 3-7 while Ward, a bowler of the Grimmett type, took 5-22. The old Irish batting weakness against leg-spin bowling was again shown up.

Two day match at College Park, Dublin


When the Australians appealed against the light at 5:45 p.m. on the first day, the position was much better than had appeared likely at tea. The Australians were then 113-3 in reply to Ireland's 100 all out, but a remarkable spell of seven overs and three balls by Ingram in which he took five wickets for 18 runs improved the Irish position. McCabe put Ireland into bat and this policy was justified when nine Irish wickets were down for 71 at lunch. Then, as at Ormeau, Cuffe and Billingsley made a stand, adding 29 which was the best partnership of the innings. Billingsley batted soundly and hit the right ball. He hit Barnes for a six and a four off successive balls. Cuffe, in addition to his 16 not out, kept wicket brilliantly and had a hand in the dismissal of five Australians. The only features of the Irish innings were a lively knock by MB Williams and the last wicket stand. Williams hit three fours and then straight drove Barnes for six, 3 balls before Barnes bowled him. Waite and McCabe accounted for the Irish opening pair for only three runs. James Macdonald stayed for a while and but O'Reilly was very menacing and with his first ball he got Shearer and he followed this by bowling James Macdonald. The bowlers had a wicket to their liking and O'Reilly in particular used it very well. O'Reilly, after bowling James Macdonald and Lambert, who had been shaping well, in successive overs was taken off. He had taken 3-7 in seven overs with five maidens. Six bowlers shared the wickets.

For the Australians McCabe and Fingleton opened and scored 95 in an hour. McCabe gave a very attractive display in scoring 62 runs in that time. His cover driving was beautiful and the crowd were sorry when he was stumped off Ingram. There were 11 fours in his innings. After the breaking of this opening stand the Irish attack asserted itself. At 107 Fingleton, who was beginning to hit out, was very well caught on the boundary by TJ Macdonald off his brother. Fingleton had made 37. Brown was caught at the wicket off James Macdonald at 113 at which point tea was taken. Afterwards Macdonald pinned the batsmen down while Ingram attacked so that the next five wickets fell for 52 runs. Ingram had his 5-18 spell. Barnett and White were both out at 129 while at 165 Ingram took three wickets in an over without cost. His victims were Waite, Ward and O'Reilly. Barnes came in and his appeal against the light was upheld. Badcock had made 32 not out in an hour.

Ireland were unable to get a quick wicket on the second morning but it is not often one finds the ninth wicket pair with the batting ability of Badcock and Barnes. In 46 minutes 70 runs were added. Barnes was much the quicker of the two and got 53 of the 70 runs. His knock included a six and eight fours. Mellon got Barnes lbw at 235 and four runs later Ingram bowled Badcock who had made his 52 in two hours. Ingram, who had taken two wickets with his last two balls the previous night, almost completed his hat-trick when Barnes played his first ball uppishly back but it was too short for Ingram to reach. Macdonald and Ingram bowled all but 16 of the 77 overs and Ingram finished with 7-83 which was one of his greatest performances and the only time he had taken 7 wickets in an innings for Ireland. The bowling and fielding were first class as they had been all season. Boucher, still not fit, bowled only six overs.

Ireland went in again just before lunch and again the batting failed, apart from a gem of an innings from Shearer. White, the slow left-hander, got both the Irish opening batsmen out for six runs, three more than in the first-innings. Shearer and Ingram played carefully until after lunch when Ingram was out to a smart but doubtful catch at the wicket. 26-3-9. Shearer hit O'Reilly for two fours in his first over but in his second over the great Australian leg-spinner had James Macdonald lbw. Wickets in fact fell at regular intervals and no-one got double figures except Shearer, who played an innings which must rank with his century against Sir Julien Cahn's XI the previous season as the greatest innings he has played. O'Reilly bowled 12 overs and was really roused and was after Shearer's scalp. Shearer played him in the only way possible, by using his feet cleverly and driving and dancing beautifully. The innings ended when Ward took a difficult caught and bowled to dismiss Shearer. His 56 occupied 115 minutes and there were three breaks, one for lunch and two for rain, which added to the merit of this fine innings. He hit eight fours. O'Reilly was again the most successful bowler taking 5-39. In three innings against Ireland O'Reilly bowled 28 overs, 13 maidens, 53 runs and took 11 wickets.