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FOOTBALL., Issue 8019, 23 September 1889
OTAGO v. CANTERBURY.
[From Odr Special Reporter,]
CHRISTCHURCH, September 23
Although it was expected Otago would prove formidable opponents to the Canterbury team, very few anticipated that the visitors would gain such a decisive victory. In the first ten minutes of the first spell Otago appeared somewhat demoralised, but soon livened up when Canterbury looked like scoring. The local team, playing three halves, favored Otago’s chance of winning, as eight forwards considerably lighter than their opponents could not work the ball so as to give the backs a show, Canterbury, noticing that they could not work the ball in the serum, attempted screwing tactics, which were successful for some time, until Otago, noticing that they were being worsted, watched the opportunities that presented themselves and managed to work the ball to the side of the scrum, coming away very cleanly on several occasions. It was, indeed, fortunate for Otago that when the ball went over the line after a placekick from a mark obtained by Canterbury that it struck a boy, otherwise the local men must have scored. The spectators, imagining that the Blues had allowed Canterbury to score in this exceptional manner, shouted with laughter, not noticing that the ball was dead. The game at times was extremely fast and very exciting; the onlookers being much excited during the second spell, when Canterbury made matters rather warm for the visitors by keeping the ball in the Blues’ quarters for some considerable time. The Otago forwards rallying carried the leather to midfield in splendid style, being loudly applauded for this effort. Although Canterbury played seven men behind the serum iheir back play was not so effective as was expected by the Otago players, but this may be accounted for by the fact that the visiting forwards collared splendidly, keeping well on the ball and following up well, although their dribbling rushes were not so frequent as was generally expected. It is admitted on all sides that Canterbury played a plucky game, but they were undoubtedly overmatched in the principal departments of the game, in addition to having the worst of the luck.
Otago’s backs played extremely well, but passing was not indulged in to such an extent as has hitherto occurred in interprovincial matches. The kicking on both sides was very good, the players kicking into touch rather than making drops or punts down the centre of the held. Of the Otago men, it must be admitted that all played a sterling game, there being no “ sticks ” in the team, Reid, at full-back, was safe, but was not brilliant. This was perhaps accounted for by the fact that he received a nasty knock daring the progress of the game, Thomas played in a satisfactory manner at three-quarter. He was instructed to go in for short punts, and to follow his kick up smartly. At first these tactics did not result successfully, but, owing to the combined efforts of the backs, eventually considerable ground was gained. Lang played splendidly, kicking and passing well, but he could not get a show to pot, although he kept on the alert for a chance. Lynch played his usual sterling game, bowling over his opponents in good style. Owen and Restieaux managed to keep the three Canterbury halves from getting the ball away, although Horner managed to defeat their efforts more frequently than his colleagues. Owen feinted very nicely, and played a good dodgy game. He was just on the point of scoring when Surman, who had sprinted up, caught him by the neck and hauled him back into the field of play. Restieaux was not brilliant, but played a consistent game throughout, scoring his tries cleverly. The first two goals were placed from rather easy kicks, but the third (from a try obtained by Lynch) was a magnificent kick, and was deservedly applauded. The forwards played a good game, not forgetting their backs when the opportunity for passing presented itself. Perhaps Sonntag, Esquilant, Morris, and Isaacs were the pick; indeed it is difficult to individualise where all played so well. Wilson played well as fall-back for Canterbury, stopping several rushes excellently. Snrman and F, Horner played a sterling game at three-quarter, but Hobbs was very weak in his play. G, Horner played best at half-back, being well backed up by Lowry, but Donnelly, although he put in good work occasionally, seemed uncertain. The forwards did their work gallantly, but could not bold their own against their nine opponents, who could give them over a stone in weight. Garrard, Hepburn, Evans, Thacker, and Bean were about the best. The try for Canterbury was gained by Surman.
Otago seemed to score whenever the opportunity presented, while Canterbury allowed several chances to pass. The visitors were undoubtedly superior to the home team, and it is admitted on all sides that the best team won, although the score (three goals to one try) is scarcely a criterion of the state of the game. The officials’ decisions wore accepted without murmur, and the game was played in the most friendly spirit. The visitors were treated very hospitably, drags being placed at their disposal and they being driven to Kaiapoi, Sumner, etc., the Canterbury men doing their utmost to make them feel at home. The team left by this morning’s express for Dunedin.
THE ASSOCIATION MATCH,
The Kaitangata team were entertained by the Dunedin Association players at Wood’s Hotel on Saturday evening. The players on both sides mustered in good force, and the chair was taken by Mr D. Macphereon, who was Supported by Mr Haynes and Mr Gibbs, captains of the respective teams. Mr J, Shore, in proposing “The winning team,” said he was afraid his Dunedin friends had formed too high an estimate of the Kaitangata men, who were far from sharing the opinion that they were the crack country team. They had accepted the challenge of the Dunedin team with some hesitation, and the result had justified their fears.
Mr Gibbs, in responding, said that the Kaitangata team represented the first country club formed in New Zealand, and it said a good deal for their pluck that they had tackled the best available Association footballers in Otago. He had no doubt the loss of a goal “’gainst wind” in the first few minutes had somewhat discouraged them, hub was sure they would have done much better had they played a passing game. He proposed “ The Losing Team.” Mr Haynes said he had prepared a speech as captain of the winning team—(laughter) —but would keep it till next time, when it would no doubt be required. He and his team would stake their reputation, whatever that was worth, cn their ability to beat Dunedin, but would like 1 3 play for eight hours.—(Laughter.) The passing of the Dunedin team was a lesson in football, which he hoped his men would profit by. He proposed “ The Umpire,” coupled with the name of Mr Buchanan. Mr Buchanan said he had seen the commencement and growth of Association football in Glasgow, and was glad to be associated with its progress here. Nineteen years ago, when he took part in the first practice game of the Queen’s Park Club, he was hooted. Now Scotland was the stronghold of Association football. Mr Ci,eland proposed the “ Press.” Athletes, he said, owed the Press a great debt of gratitude for their careful fostering of all that was good in our national games. It devoted much valuable space to the free advertising of fixtures and reporting matches with a close attention to detail and a vividness which enabled readers to mentally follow a match from start to finish. He had much pleasure in coupling this toast with the name of Mr Hunter, of the ‘Daily Times.’ Mr Hunter was gratified at being called upon to respond to this toast, as it gave him the opportunity of acknowledging the appreciation shown by footballers generally of the efforts made by the Press to keep athletics free from the contaminating influences of professionalism and betting. In its wise guardianship the Frees treated athletics not only as healthgiving recreations, but also as great factors in the development of qualities of heart and mind—all-important in the formation of national character. He concluded by proposing the health of the chairman, and congratulated the company upon
having in that capacity a gentleman who had so heartily supported Association football at Home and here. Mr Macpherson had planted clubs all over the West of Scotland, and when he came out to the colony he brought a ball with the intention of introducing the game here. Three years ago he succeeded with the help of Mr Monorieff and some other gentlemen, and it must be gratifying to him to see himself surrounded by representatives of five clubs. He hoped that when next he presided the company would represent at least twice that number.
Mr Macpherson rejoiced to see the progress the game bad made, and also to hear that Association footballers at Stirling, Balclutha, Green Island, and Lawrence had promised to form clubs next year, and he hoped they would at the earliest moment form a union. The future of tho game depended on its introduction into the schools. Without going into the relative dangers of the game, he thought that parents who, on account of the apparent danger the Rugby game, forbade their boys playing it, would encourage them to play Association if they saw a match and judged for themselves. Aa an encouragement to boys, he would be happy to supply a ball each to some of the leading schools.
A very pleasant gathering was wound up by a visit to Mr Maccabo’s entertainment.
FOOTBALL., Issue 8019, 23 September 1889
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