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The Spike or Victoria College Review 1937

Men's Hockey Club

Men's Hockey Club

This season has again been quite a successful one for the Men's Hockey Club. Though in club competitions the senior team has not done so well in collecting wins and goals as they did last year, they have maintained their reputation for fast, clean play and ability to extend the best teams in the grade. They suffered even more than usual from the loss of last year's players, only five—Newcombe, Abraham, Shaw, Innes, and Johnston—being available at the commencement of the season, though Eggleton returned to Victoria after Tournament. However, they were fortunate in the calibre of the newcomers to the club. Struthers (a brother of our former member) and Cole proved valuable acquisitions from Otago and Canterbury respectively; and the other vacancies were very creditably filled by most promising juniors.

The team reverted to the orthodox formation, Benjamin proving his worth in goal on many occasions. Banks profited from Abraham's experience at full-back, and after Tournament, when the latter left us, Banks and Dixon combined well and played some excellent games together. The half line consisted of Stratford (later Eggleton), Newcombe, Johnston and Kean, the latter filling capably the difficult "fourth half" position. The forwards, Struthers, Shaw, Cole and Innes were a speedy quartet, and Shaw's tally of goals must be nearly a club record for one forward for the season.

Tournament was held earlier than usual this year, during First Term vacation, to enable all participating teams to be at full strength. Although unsuccessful in retaining the Seddon Stick, the team gave a good account of themselves, and thoroughly enjoyed a memorable tournament.

During the season the club entertained Massey College to a mid-week game; a keen and enjoyable game resulting in a win for Victoria by 4 goals to 3.

This year, more than in others, the Club is most fortunate in its junior players, many of whom show distinct promise of gaining places in higher grade hockey. The withdrawal of Training College from the Club affected the membership, and this year five teams were entered in the Wellington Hockey Association's competition.

Special mention must be made of the Junior and Third grade teams. What these teams lacked in experience and finesse they made up very completly in keenness and team spirit. The result is that they have during the season developed into very solid combinations, and the consistency of their performances sets an excellent example to the other teams of the Club. The decision as to which of these teams should be awarded the Dixon Trophy will present a very difficult problem this year. Suffice to say that hockey at Victoria will continue to flourish while we have such enthusiasm among the junior players. Possibilities for senior honours next year are Long, Mason, Pickering and Chisholm; while others whose keenness should take them further in the game are Williams, Topp, Gallagher, Bowyer and O'Donnell.

The standard of hockey continues to be affected by lack of proper coaching facilities, but it was distinctly encouraging this year to see the interest taken in the junior players by the more senior members of the club.

Immediately after Tournament, the club suffered a reverse in the loss of one of its staunchest members, Henry Abraham who left to take up a position in Melbourne University. Not only was he a fine player, he was also a keen club man, who spent a great deal of time in the interests of his club.

Another loss from the playing-field midway through the season through injury was Harry Oram.

Congratulations are extended to our two representatives in the N.Z.U. team which met and defeated an Auckland provincial team as a finale to the Tournament—A. B. Cole and W. F. Johnston.

We congratulate also F. Newcombe, whose solid and consistent play earned him a place in the Wellington team. Innes also played in a minor representative fixture, while Shaw and Johnston were emergencies.