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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, 1939

Men's Hockey Club

Men's Hockey Club

An increase in membership enabled the Club to field seven teams in the Wellington Competitions this year. Few of the older players were not playing this season and the number of new players was very encouraging. The new system of grading of teams introduced by the Wellington Hockey Association caused us to drop one of the Senior B teams to the Senior Reserve Grade, while half-way through the season both the first and second teams were relegated a grade. However, both did well in the lower grade and may be promoted again. It is hoped that there will be no relegation next year.

An energetic committee ably carried on the affairs of the Club pursuing a policy of strengthening the Club spirit among members by social functions and gathering players together for team talks during the week. During the year two alterations to the committee were made. L. Pitt was transferred from Wellington, his place being taken by W. Bryan, while later Hugh Olive was transferred to Hamilton, the vacancy this rime being filled by J. Till. At the close of the season the annual match between past and present players was played and in the evening members attended the Wellington Hockey Association's dinner.

This year the Tournament was held in Christchurch under ideal hockey conditions though some of the players were obviously not used to playing on the very hard grounds on Hagley Park. Victoria beat Massey and Auckland, drew with Canterbury B and lost to Canterbury A and Otago, finally finishing third with Canterbury A and Otago in front. Victoria was unfortunate in losing the services of S. Braithwaite with concussion and F. Walker with a split lip. Nevertheless, it was an excellent tournament and our thanks are due to the hosts for a most enjoyable week. Only one New Zealand Blue came to Victoria but all agreed that N. Buchanan deserved the honour.

There were several newcomers in the Senior A team, the most notable being Sharp, an old New Zealand Blue and Rhodes Scholar whose experience was of considerable use to the Club in the way of leadership and in training. Buchanan from Christchurch, Souness and Elias were the other new senior players. The team was relegated to the second grade but had no difficulty in winning all its games there. It is hard to single out individual players but the names of Dixon, Newcombe and Beresford must be mentioned.

The two other senior grade teams did not do particularly well, the senior second grade team was relegated a grade but was very unlucky being beaten by only one goal within the last minute of the deciding game. Good once again led this side very ably and was well supported by Olive (while he remained in Wellington), Purdie, Sandford and Whitham. The senior reserve team improved as the season progressed and had worked up good combination. Players to catch the eye were Till, Allen, Kirkham and Spiers.

The lower grade teams did not. with the exception of the Fourth I team, succeed in winning their competitions, but all played enthusiastic if not brilliant hockey. However all the players were keen and judging by the form of some. Victoria will not be lacking in good hockey players in the days to come. The Fourth I team was the most successful and contained some very promising players. This team was composed of Weir House men, the most notable being Rutherford. Aickmann and Thompson.

The Club is looking forward to another successful season next year when it is hoped that not too many of the older players will have hung up their shirts and settled down to a quiet life on Saturday afternoons, and that there will be an increase in the numbers of new players. Two years ago Victoria fielded six teams, this year the number had increased to seven, it is likely that we will get back to the position of being the largest hockey club in the Southern Hemisphere, a position we held not so long ago.