The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review October 1914
From a casual glance at the Hockey reports in the "Evening Post" during the latter part of the season, one is immediately convinced that hockey in Wellington is surely on a downward path. It is not that the players are wanting in enthusiasm, but Saturday after Saturday it was found necessary to postpone all games on account of the bad weather. Our players, however, with a true 'varsity spirit, have turned out hi any kind of weather, and have a name for being good mud-larks. The Seniors particularly always seemed to score well on a wet day, while the Juniors and Third-Class teams smiled bravely through the sprays of mud from the grounds at Newtown Park or at Kilbirnie. It seems time that the Association should encourage our young players by providing them with better grounds. The small number of games played by each team is due to the many postponements rendered necessary by the inclemency of the week-end weather.
None of our four teams succeeded in annexing a cup, though each team occupies a high place on its championship ladder. The seniors are runners-up for the Senior Championship. The lower grade teams, particularly the Third-Class, are to be congratulated on their keenness and on the way in which they have turned out under adverse circumstances.
We congratulate the following on securing representative honours this season:—C. Strack, G. Strack, K. Strack, E. Rountree, and F. Gaze. All these journey to Auckland to assist the representatives to bring back the shield. J. McDowall and S. Castle, of the Seniors, also played in representative trial matches; while McCaw, Jones, Morice, were chosen in the Junior representatives.
The following is a summary of the matches played by the various teams:—
v. Metropolitan. Lost, 5—1. A very willing game, but Mets found us unprepared. The Sports Edition was not as kind to us as it was last year.
v. Karori. Won, 4—2. The rain seemed to aid us in this match. 'Varsity usually prove successful mud-larks. Hostich made his debut by scoring two pretty goals.
v. United. Lost, 5—2. The less said the better concerning this game. United proved too much of a surprise packet for our battling eleven. Boyd and Co. quite upset the calculations of our invincible rearguard of 1913.
v. Won, 3—0. This was A very enjoyable game. Our forwards seemed to require a wider goal mouth. The shooting was very bad. We recommend service with the Expeditionary Force to train our forwards' eyes.
v. Wellington. Won, 7—2. A very easy game. Forwards in excellent form, and all took a hand at scoring. Even Salek was successful with two beautiful goals, which were quite too fast for Skipper Morpeth.
(Captain: R. St. J. Beere. Vice-Captain: E. Fitzgerald-Eagar, on whom, be it known, all the work devolved, owing to the Major's want of skill on horseback.)
v. Metropolitan. Won by a large score. Hostich proved a valuable goal-getter.
v. Hutt Valley. Result, still in doubt. Six heroes went to Hutt Park, and found four Huttites. Neither side had a ball, and so, as it rained torrentially, we went home again. The day was enlivened by various Bible stories by Cleghorn and Jones.
v. Karori. Postponed, and—never played!
v. St. Augustine's. Lost, 5—10. Their parson so favourably impressed us that we gave up in admiration of his flow of language.
v. United B. Won, 4—1 (Eagar 2, Cleghorn 1, Jones 1). On the line our College lady players did great service by cheering our shots. They owed us that much, for their heavy (?) going previously had simply cut the ground up.page 41
v. Junior University B. In this game, Cleghorn, McCaw, Lennard and Eagar each scored. The B's got one goal by great good luck. One of the circles was extremely well gravelled.
v. United. Lost, 4—1. Eagar the only scorer.
v. Kelburn Anglican. The Church again was victorious. Clegehorn learnt a new vocabulary. We were but five men patriotism sent six of our team to Samoa.
v. Karori. Lost, 8—1. We were two men short. Whitehead scored.
v. St. Augustine's. Lost, 7—1. The weather was very bad. Only seven men turned up, the absentees including the Captain and the Vice-Captain.
v. United B. Won, 5—3. This time we made up our minds to do something, and we notched a good win. The game was a success, and we played up to our very best form. Scorers were Edward (2), Wright, Armstrong and Whitehead.
v. Insurance. Drawn, 3—3. We had a charming walk from Newtown Park to Kilbirnie, where we played a slow game in more senses than one. Brockett scored all our goals.
v. University A. The A's, by a mixture of craft and skill (?), blended with luck, managed to beat us. Whitehead again scored for us. Lost, 4—1.
v. United A. Lost, 3—0. Thompson sustained a fractured eye-glass, and went, home with a cut eye. We were then three men short.
v. Kilbirnie Anglicans. Won, 5—4. Both sides were one man short. We made a forward game of it. Scorers: Seddon (2), Ewart (2), and Saxon.
On the whole, we did not do badly. We came about sixth on the Championship ladder, and had not then played all our matches. Perhaps we might have notched another win had we continued. We think so,
At beginning of season everything promised well for the "Thirds." The members were all very enthusiastic, and practised assiduously. Luck was against us, however, for we played very few matches, because of the weather. Again, on one occasion we were drawn to play at Kilbirnie, but, on arriving at the ground, we found it in possession of two teams of Navals. Our persuasive powers were of no avail, and, strangely enough, our members (though some have since joined the Expeditionary Force) seemed disinclined to resort to violent tactics. Eventually we began pitying at 4.15 p.m., and scored two goals in a very short time.
Results of games are as follows:—
v. Wesley. Won, 5—0. A very satisfactory beginning.
v. United. Won, 7—2. Our goal-keeper thawed in the second spell by acting as an assistant "three-quarter."
v. Wellington A. Lost, 0—6. Again our goal-keeper was in trouble. On two occasions he cleverly stopped the ball, and then watched the Wellington players hit in six goals. Try an electric battery or antipon, will you, goal-keeper?
v. Wellington C. Won, 10—1. This was the eventful match at Kilbirnie. The Seniors even have never done better than this.
v. Wellington B. Won, 6—0.
In conclusion, we would urge upon all hockey players the necessity for increased practice and for a greater interest in a game which has always been successful at our University College. Next year we hope to have five teams again in the competition. To do this we need the co-operation of all active hockey players and the assistance of the many enthusiasts of the game.
At last it is possible to report that our much-talked-of return visit to Auckland 'Varsity has been paid. Owing to there being five of our Seniors selected to represent Welling-ton in the Shield match against Auckland, the opportunity was taken of getting the remainder of the team away too. For various reasons, difficulty was experienced in getting our best team away, but we managed to fill our ranks from the Auckland Camp, where page 43 several of Salamanca's men who have responded to the call of Empire have been undergoing training before leaving our shores. We are also indebted to two or three others of the Rep. team—all ex-University players—for filling the gaps. Two of these had to leave before the match was finished, in order to catch their train, otherwise we might have been able to have given a better account of ourselves. As it was, we were defeated by 3 goals to 1, after a most enjoyable and well-contested game.
The Auckland men gave us a sample of their noted hospitality, and made the trip most enjoyable from all points of view. They motored us round for a three hours' spin one afternoon.
Monday was the day of the match, and after the game the ladies of the 'Varsity provided morning tea. It would not do to omit to mention the enjoyable evening spent at the University ball on the Saturday night. Rumour has it that some of the programmes were very much mixed.
We were also the guests of the Aucklanders at the "Smart Set" on the Friday night.
On Monday afternoon the crowd gathered for a trip to Lake Takapuna. The boat took us across "Dishwater" to "Bays-water," where we embarked on the famous steam trams for the beach. After a slight respite in the shape of afternoon tea at the kiosk, we were kindly allowed access to the picturesque grounds of Mr. Brent's estate. We returned to Auckland about 6 p.m., and left the same evening at 9. Several of the V.C. soldiers were down to bid us farewell, and we were thus enabled to give the crowd several College songs, finishing up appropriately with "One Stave More."
All the boys from Camp send farewell greetings to their many friends "on the hill."