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O An account of an extraordinary football match is given by the London Daily Mail, a3 follows:— At Workington on Dii'e Tuesday of Easter week there is always a football fr.iy between the colliers and the sailors of the town. The sailora are' Btyled the " Downies," and the object is is to "hale" the ball at the capstan on the harbour. The colliers are known as the "Uppies," and their object is to take the ball over the Curwens Hall gates at the high end of the town. It is an annual event, and apparently grows m popularity. Excursions are run from all parts of Cumberland, and on Tuesday some 50,000 persons watched the progress of the combat, m which no limit is put on the number of competitors. A large level piece of ground, known as the Cloffolks, which the tides at thia time of the year flood, and deposit thereon a thick covering of mud, is the venue of Ihe contest. It is here that the forces muster, and on Tuesday the ball was thrown off by a woman. The fan became fast and furious at once. Three or four hundred men, stripped to the waist, joined m one enormous scrimmage, that swayed, floundered, and spluttered m the mud and water. But one moment from the start was needed to change the men beyond recognition. Faces and backs were speedily bes* mirched and strained with treacly ooze, and roaring, yelling, and shouting, the rival sides set to m grim earnest to reach their respective goals. Of the ball a glimpse was rarely seen. It was smuggled somewhere m the heart of the dense, swaying mass of humanity. The struggle was terriQc, What was lacking m tactical skill was made up m the exhibition of the tremendous physical strength which the rivals exerted. Occasionally the play drifted into the narrow alleyg and streets of Workington's Blumdom, and then things became so absolutely congested that the game was positively dangerous. Back yards were invaded, walls were scaled, and fences were torn down. As a rule, the odds against the colliers are long, and , generally the sailors triumph when they have reached their native element.

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FOOTBALL EXTRAORDINARY. Timaru Herald, Volume LXII, Issue 2977, 14 June 1899

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