Ireland v England at Malahide – match report

Chuck writes:

The last time Ireland played England in a one-day international in Malahide, Dublin, in 2013, I injured my back whilst emptying the dishwasher (at home, not in Malahide). This year, to avoid any such health and safety issues, I took myself along to the rematch instead, with a number of colleagues in tow. Having booked the tickets last autumn on the back of a cursory check of the long range weather forecast, we were somewhat disappointed in the run up to the match itself to see a storm brewing over Dublin, with its eye seemingly centred on the Malahide cricket club around noon on Friday. Oh well, we thought, they’re never right about the weather, those forecasters.

On the morning of the match, it was dry, if a little overcast. I arrived at the entrance to the grounds just as the announcer, well, announced the arrival of President Higgins to greet the two teams. Thankfully, there was no ensuing crush from those outside the ground eager to see the President, although I was worried how he was going to clear the boundary. I took my seat at 10.45am precisely, alongside the first two of my colleagues who were already seated with a pint in either hand. They were proud to tell me they had been second in line at the bar at 10.30am, just behind an English supporter who was berating the staff for not serving him at 10.29am. Having vowed not to have a drink before 11am, I contented myself with a cup of tea and a couple of chocolate digestives, a packet of which I had brought along with me with a view to sharing, but they don’t go with beer, seemingly. We agreed that the darkening clouds overhead suggested the forecasters might just have got it right for once.

One of a group of English supporters in front of us was wearing a full wet suit, snorkel and goggles as a commentary on the forecast. We gathered it was his stag weekend. They were ribbing one of the programme sellers, whose perm did make her look a little like 1970s-era Kevin Keegan, so there were some “I will love it if we beat them, love it!” type commentaries, which she either ignored or didn’t understand. I had a pint. We were slagging off the announcer, who in between every over ended his unnecessary score updates (we can see the scoreboard, thank you) by saying, v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y indeed, “… at this, the Royal London One Day Cricket International between Ireland and England at Malahide Cricket Club.” I think he was worried that somebody might be at the wrong event.

We had all brought our sunglasses to encourage the weather to do its best but in the end they weren’t much good against the rain, which arrived around 12.15-ish. We repaired to the beer tent and had another beer. Then we repaired to the food tent and had some food. I almost mastered the art of holding a pint, an umbrella, a burger and a basket of fries at the same time. Not quite the cuisine or the setting I had imagined for this, my first cricket match. We did spot the usual gang of Richie Benaud impersonators, who looked miserable enough wandering around the ‘tented village’ in their cream coloured linen jackets, although at least their wigs were keeping them dry, if somewhat itchy.

Eventually we decided to walk down to Malahide village for some proper drinks, knowing we’d only be a few minutes walk away for the inevitable resumption of play. However, the ridiculous and unnecessary abandonment of play around 3pm-ish intervened, although at least it meant that we didn’t have to stir from the pub, which was just as well because it was really tipping down outside. We agreed that the guy in the wetsuit had the right idea. We got a train around 5pm and I walked a couple of miles home in the rain to clear my head, arriving just in time for dinner.

Saturday and Sunday turned out to be dry and warm, either one of which would have been just perfect for cricket. Bloody cricket administrators.

Send your match reports to If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.

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9 Appeals

  1. Superb match report, Chuck.

    I can confirm your weather comments regarding that afternoon – Daisy and I arrived in Dublin around 14:00 that afternoon by car/Holyhead ferry.

    Not only was it absolutely hammering down by around 15:00, it was also incredibly cold that afternoon. We took sanctuary at Trinity and looked at the Book of Kells.

    And indeed, Saturday was simply glorious weather for wandering around Dublin.

    For those readers who fear that Daisy and I might have taken a cricket-free trip to Ireland by arriving too late to see the reported match – fear not. We did get to see some cricket before we left that beautiful country and there will be a match report about it, in the fullness of time, once I finish it off and assuming KC chooses to publish it.

    • Thanks Ged, and I look forward to your match report, as I think I might know the very match you are referring to. Or maybe not.

    • I’ll be a little surprised if it is the same match, Chuck, but nothing surprises me that much around here any more.

  2. Nice stuff, and good to see you’ve learned your lesson from last time. Although, while it does help one to keep within the rules, it isn’t necessary to go to a match where there is no cricket. I mean, sterling effort and commitment and all that, but the traditional way is to go to a match where there IS some cricket, and then not mention it. Just a thought for next time.

    • Noted, Bert.

      Also, just saw the common reference to chocolate digestives in both match reports. Disturbing.

  3. Good news for fans of genuine tail-enders, Mark Footitt is in the squad of 14 for the Ashes.

    Described by the Graun as ‘worse than Mullally’ at batting. I hope he gets a game.

    • Pre Ashes camp, Daneel, not squad:

      …but hotly tipped subsequently to be squad, granted.

      Rashid not going to pre Ashes camp, which is a bit of a downer.

      Batting-wise Mullally had a couple of first class fifties to his name, which is more than can be said for Mark Footit. More attacking style of bowler though, Footit. Good strike rate.

      It all feels a bit 1990s straw clutching, mind you.

  4. Awesome Badger today, reminiscent of the second movement of Cage’s 4’33”.

    I was surprised, saddened, and ultimately deeply moved. Who would have thought it? Who would have thought it was even physically possible? And wasn’t someone thinking of the children? Still, great entertainment. It’s made me strangely peckish, I can tell you.

    • As with most of your references Bert, I had to look that one up (I thought it was a Nicolas Cage film I hadn’t seen). But I agree with your sentiment, no news is indeed good news.

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