I'm certain that few if any of the DUCC players were considering, as they gathered themselves for the Pembroke game that by the following Tuesday, and if the weather held, there would only be 2 more League matches on their schedule! The weather played its part for the Saturday and Sunday were both sunny and warm, typical "examination weather" in fact. If Tuesday would be dull and dry that only served, as we shall see, to be the back drop to the tensest of contests.

In the meantime Pembroke came determined to ignite their search for a 4-in-a-row of League Titles. Ultimately they fell well short in an un-characteristic 8th place, their 13 draws (out of 19 games) perhaps reflecting a somewhat negative approach. They were to "re-set" quickly finishing second to Malahide in '71 and Clontarf in '72. DUCC were able to turn out their "regular" XI although Chris Harte opened with Johnny Silverstone (as had been the case in the M Rea's XI match), Barney McKenna slotting in at number three. Importantly McCarey's finger had sufficiently recovered for him to play a full part.

The openers began well Silverstone putting Pat Smith's first ball away for 4 and repeating the dose twice in the 5th Over. With the score on 31 Harte (12) was bowled by Smith and in the next over Silverstone (18) caught behind off Alan Parker. McKenna and Bryce (3 boundaries in his 23) then added 35 for the 3rd wicket before both falling to J.G. (Joe) Byrne who went on to secure two more victims. Parker's second spell produced 3 for 29 in 12 probing overs and the DUCC innings, save for Philip Nixon's 16, fell away.

However as with last Saturday skipper Halliday was to prove the saviour. Entering at 93 for 7 he put on 18 with Nixon and 17 each with Frankland (7) and McCarey (6*). There was a moment when it seemed he might have been caught in the gulley, but he stood on, the Umpire said no, and when he was last out (stumped by Harry Hill off Parker) a Total of 145 had been posted from 59 overs.

Unusually the first innings was complete by the Tea interval. Sandy Smith's match was completed soon after for in McCarey's eventful opening over he was bowled by the 5th ball. Ken Hope had taken 4 and 3 off the 2nd and 3rd deliveries and his was to be an admirable knock. He had 6 boundaries in his 50 and he took part in 2 partnerships which gave the visitors cause for optimism. Firstly with Ray ("Poultice") Moulton (10) 32 runs were gathered for the 2nd wicket. When Moulton was caught behind by Chris Harte D. H. Byrne's was bowled by McCarey's next ball! Joe Byrne began with a 3 off McCarey and in half an hour he put on 28 with Hope before being LBW to the same bowler.

From a high of 67 for 3 Pembroke collapsed completely. Hopkins, Pat Smith, Mick Moriarty and Harry Hill became ducks 3 to 6! Hope lasted until caught by Bryce off McCarey at 84 for 8 this bringing Hill (eventually) to the crease but at the non-striker's end. When Halliday trapped Moriarty LBW (his 3rd wicket) there was 1 ball of the 30th over to be bowled. That was survived, but after what seemed an age Hill was now ready to face the first ball of McCarey's 16th over. It proved to be the last of the day as Hill's stumps were splattered! Ron McCarey's 7 victims comprised 3 bowled, 3 caught and 1 LBW; three times he had taken wickets with consecutive balls. The margin of victory was an impressive 61 runs.

  • DUCC 145 all out M. Halliday 29, M. Bryce 23; J. Byrne 16-7-27-4, A. Parker 20-1-59-4.
  • Pembroke 84 all out. K. Hope 50, J. Byrne 18; R. McCarey 15.1-3-41-7, M. Halliday 7-2-17-3.

A trip to Malahide, sun sea and nail-biting cricket on Sunday; DUCC batted first for the 6th of 8 consecutive League matches. It was far from their best effort. McKenna was restored to open with Silverstone and they managed 24 before Barney (17) was run out. Bryce and Silverstone soon followed (30 for 3) as Douggie Goodwin and Bobby Shaw posed continual threats. At one stage Goodwin bowled 5 maidens in a row before on the first ball of his next over Philip Nixon struck him for 6 into the Dublin Road trees. Nixon's 32 was dogged, patient and most vital . He put on 16 with Cox, 18 with Halliday and 20 with CCJ. Harte and Hewson found a further 25 for the 7th wicket and following Hewson's dismissal (13) a further 26 runs were eeked out. Harte's top score of 35* included 4 fours and a 5; when Shaw bowled Frankland DUCC's 135 from 54.3 overs just didn't seem enough.

To confirm that suspicion Malahide's openers became the first to deny, for a long time the Frankland/McCarey combination. Ray Daly (34) and CD Smith (22) accounted for half of the required runs up to the point where McKenna caught Daly off the fourth ball of the 24th over. Frankland began that over with 0 for 18 off 11 but the game now took a dramatic twist. 68 for 0 wicket rapidly became 77 for 6! Like Goodwin before Frankland had a run of 5 maidens and he added GP O'Brien, Connerton, Sean O'Brien and Clifford Caprani to Daly's scalp. Halliday had bowled Smith and after a stand with Shaw, added the important wicket of the ageless Joe Caprani, caught by Hart Cox for 17.

Shaw and Douggie Goodwin (bowlers of 43 overs earlier) now became the batting partnership which brought the Villagers ever closer to DUCC's total. As the runs were whittled away Simon Hewson was tried at the "Castle" end and Ronnie McCarey recalled from the Dublin Road. At the start of Hewson's 3rd over 6 runs were still required but when Goodwin put the third ball to the boundary Malahide were 134 for 7 (just 2 runs required). However Hewson was able to complete his over with no run added and so Shaw (26*) was now facing McCarey with Goodwin (on 14) "spectating" in the non-striker's position.

First up Shaw essayed a match winning drive but Frankland took an excellent catch at Mid-on. Billy Goodwin then nicked the next ball to Harte bringing Gerry Ward to the crease and still those mere 2 runs needed. Ward was the arch-typical number 11 bat; in seasons 1969-1972 he played 78 matches for Malahide took over 100 wickets BUT his runs aggregate was 56! He was facing a bowler who had just taken wickets with consecutive deliveries for the fourth time that weekend. He survived his first ball (I remember nothing of it) but the second re-arranged his stumps. DUCC had pulled off a "once in a career" 1 run victory. McCarey's 0 for 26 had become 3 for 26 and it was now 5 wins and 2 draws through 7 games; roll on Tuesday 19th and Clontarf's visit to College Park.

  • DUCC 135 all out C. Harte 35*, P. Nixon 32; R. Shaw 19.3-5-50-5 D. Goodwin 23-10-49-2
  • Malahide 134 all out. R. Daly 34, R.Shaw 26, CD Smith 22; J. Frankland 22-9- 30-5. R. McCarey 9.4-3-26-3, M. Halliday 15-3-50-2.