The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1909
With an increasing membership roll, including many new students, and prospects all pointing to a season throughout which the spirit of good-fellowship and the keen enjoyment of the game will be as dominant as ever, the Victoria College Cricket Club looks forward to a season that promises even more success than the season 1908-1909.
In reviewing the past season, however, one cannot but feel how much we have lost by the departure of Alan MacDougall. He helped, at the first to establish the club firmly, and then for two years discharged the onerous duties of secretary. He left his mark on the club, the mark which a solid hard-working intelligent man always leaves on his surroundings. He, beyond others, established that feeling of confidence and reliance which is the soul of new enterprise.
Last season the club entered three teams—two Juniors and one Third-class. The Junior B team was weak, but the A was second in the championship. It was beaten twice, both times by Wadestown, and though it had to bow to a stronger side, the College team did not seem, on either occasion, to reproduce its true form—a result not due to Mr. Murphy's wickets at the Park.
The leading averages for the past season, in the A team, were:—
Bating.—Niven, 21.71; Ward, 21; Bogle, 19.67; de la Mare, 18.79.
Bowling—Niven, 61 at 8.44; Miller, 56 at 9.54; Elliott, 23 at 9.83.
It is reported on good authority that the B team would have won one match had not fate intervened. After Bogle had compiled 136, and victory was assured, an unsympathic Association declared the season closed.
But what off the Thirds! Can mortal pen describe their tale of weal and woe, of joy and pain? They ventured forth against Karori, against Petone, against Johnsonville, but, though Williams "slogged," and though Wills proved himself a very Hercules, victory—even "moral" victory—was denied by an unkind fate.
During last season many members availed themselves of the opportunity for practice on the Basin Reserve, and it is to hoped that this year we shall have full practice musters; for the keen man practices, and practice tells. An additional en page 64 couragement to practice is the fact that the club has received permission to practice on Kelburne Park, which is more convenient for most members besides being nearer College. We shall probably have to do at least some preparation of the wicket ourselves, and in this the committee expects each member to do his share. The committee has decided to enter a team for the senior championship, and for this venture to be successful good practice-wickets and much practice are essential. A little fielding-practice might not be beneath the contempt even of our first eleven. As a mere matter of form and, to encourage the juniors, they might handle the ball a little. Demonstrations of how to miss a catch will not be smiled upon in senior cricket; also, as a matter of pure mathematics, a run saved is a run earned.
Not only did the late secretary save the club much money by his judicious buying, but It is rumoured that, instead of losing material, a steady increase in the number of wickets and balls took place under his able control. It is also said that MacDougall's next thesis will be entitled "The Persistence of Primitive (Border) Instincts in Sport."
A matter that the committee will probably earnestly consider this season is the probability of a cricket tournament between the various Colleges. Such a contest is undoubtedly desirable, and seems on the whole to be feasible; if it is not possible at Easter it might perhaps be held during the vacation, and though the scheme is at present nebulous yet something definite will undoubtedly evolve. Perhaps, also, one good effect would be to bring under the notice of our Students' Association the desirability, even now, of granting "colours" to those who represent their College in other branches than tennis, debating or athletics.
In conclusion, now that the club is on a firm footing, both financially, thanks to the generous donors who have given so freely, and numerically, for perhaps four teams will be entered this year, it but remains for each member to show himself a keen player and a true sportsman, for then only can we hope to uphold all that is best in College tradition.
P. W. Burbidge, Hon. Sec. V.C.C.C.