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WELSH ASSOCIATION CHALLENGE…

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WELSH ASSOCIATION CHALLENGE CUP. EXCELSIOR (NEWTOWN) V. RUTHIN. These clubs met at Wrexham on Saturday, Jan. 17, to decide a third tie for the above, when the game resulted in a draw, neither side scoring. Play commenced at 2-35 by Morgan, who had lost the toss, kicking off against the wind. Buckley at once took the ball down to the Ruthin goal and secured a corner kick, which Williams put harmlessly behind. A run by W. P. Owen followed the kick out, and a shot was taken at the Excelsior goal Hibbott stopped the ball, but gave a corner kick. Simon took the kick and put the ball in front of goal behmd which it was headed. Gittins made a rush but the ball was returned and after some smart passing by Owen, Goodwin and Simon it was sent to the rear of the Excelsior posts, Ruthin secured two corner kicks in suc- cession (W. Woosnam putting the ball behind on the first occasion) but nothing came of them. The bali remained in the Excelsior territory and dangerously near their goal until D. Williams got a run, took the ball to the Ruthin goal and passed to the centre whence Maddox sent it in touch. The throw in put the bailm front of Ruthin goal but it was got away and the attack renewed on the Excelsior stronghold. W. Woosnam twice got it from his goal but a long shot by Mostyn nearly proved fatal, the ball going over the bar. The Excelsiors got two free kicks but failed to effectually raise the siege, and Owen headed the bali behind their lines but wide of the goal. G. Woosnam then made a fast run and got the ball close to the Ruthin goal. Roberts, however, got it away. A free kick was given to Ruthin close to the Excelsior goal and Owen pissed the ball to A. Lloyd who took a deliberate kick, but Hitottwas, as usual, equal to his task and prevented the ball going through. G. Woosnam made another ruu, and passed the ball to ctie centre, aud Gittins and Buckley got close up to goal. Halley, however, kicked the bail out and saved his goal. W. P. Uwen got. a shot at the Excelsior, and W. vVoosnam gave a comer kick. This was entrusted to W. P. Owen, who made a good kick, but W. H. Roberts sent the ball over the bar. E. Morris put the ball into Ruthin territory, and D. Wil- liams took a long shot at the goal, which the goalkeeper made into a corner. A well-placed kick was made, aud a goal nearly resulted, the ball going just outside tiie posts out of a scrimmage. Gittins mada a long, but un- successful shot, and then the struggle was again renewed in the Excelsior quarters. Corner lucks wero obtained by Ruthin from either sides of the goal, but nothing resulted. G. Woosnam took the ball down the left wing, and got a throw in. Gittius then took the bali in front of goal, whence it was returned, and after Morris had put it back, Roberts sent it. to the left wing, where Goodwin made a fine run, and a long shot at goal. Hibbott caught the ball, and threw it out. It was brought back, but Good- win played it offside," and the Excelsior gjt a free kick. The game now got a little more even, and several attacks were made on both goals, but although Ruthin got another brace of corner kicks (une from Hibbott) no goal had been secured, wheu, on being reminded that the time had passed, the umpires called half-time. :r On changing ends Lloyd kicked off for Ruthin, and a throw-iji was obtained from near the comer. Goodwin took a shot at goal and Hibbott stopped it, and then Oliver and G. Woosnam got a run up the left wing. Roberts returned the bali. Buckley got a run in the centre, but the ball was returned, and Goodwin got another try. Hibbott stopped it, but did not get the ball away, and Ruthin claimed a free kick for hands close to the Excelsior goal. Mostyn took the Kick, but nothing came of it. G. WToosnam then ran the ball up and sentit bohina the Ruthin goal line. Gittins next sent it behind the lines, and then a ran was made to the Jjxcelsior end. W. Woos- nam kicked it away, and D. Owen repelled another attack. Gittins took the bafl near the Ruthin goal, but Roberts stopped him, and getting the ball away, enabled the Ruthin forwarui to make an attack. Hibbott, however, was again to the rescue. The iixcelsiors got a free kick in front of Ruthin goal, but the ball was sent behind the lines. W. P. Owen got a run on the right, but was stopped by his namesake. He, however, got the ball again and gave W. H. Roberts a nice chance of scoring, but the latter let the opportunity slip. Hibbot stopped yet another shot. At 3-50 a shot was taken from the right side at the Excelsior, and Goodwin put the ball through the posts; but as the latter was palpably off side" the goal was not allowed. A run was made on the right side for iCxcelsior, and the ball was returned and kicked in touch on the other side near the centre. Buckley got the ball from the throw-in, and wound up a tine run by putting the ball through the goal at 3-52; but, to tho surprise of many, the referee ruled him "off side." The free kick was returned and an attack on the Ruthin goal repulsed by J. Roberts, and then Goodwin and ciimon got a run on the left. Owen sent the ball back, but it was taken again to the Excelsior end and a free kicK given to Ruthin for hands in front of the goal. The ball was got away, and a quick ran by the Excelsior forwards sent it behind the Ruthin lines. Halley saved his goal by hitting the ball away, aud W. Woosnam repulsed an attack on that of the Excelsior, but although both sides tried hard neither had scored wlieu time was called, lhe Excelsiors offered to play an additional half hour decide, if possible, the tie, but the Ruthiu men declined and left the next meeting to be subsequently arranged. The galli was not by Any a labt one, although the condition of the ground was all tnat could be desiieu, and the furm exhibited was not of a very high order the Ruthin men, however, had much the best of a poor game, and with Hibbott out of the way would have scored a lot of goals, but they are to be congratulated on getting the benefit of what must have been a very serious doubt in the mind of the referee when the Excelsior was ruled to be an "offside" one. For Ruthin W. P. Oweu shewed capital form and might be tried for the Association iu minor inatci.es, and Goodwin, Simon, and W. H. Roberts did fairly well. Trie half-backs were a very even set, but J. Roberts did nearly all the back play. The Excelsiors played in very bad form throughout, and shewed an evident want of practice, which they would do well to remedy before they meet their opponents again, and must thank Hibbott, their goalkeeper, tor giving them anotner chance of getting iu the final. The plavers were :— EXCELSIOR. Goal: H. Hibbott. Back: W. Woosnam. Half- backs: M. Masters, D. Owen, and E. Murris. Right wing: E. Morgan (captain) and D. Williams. Left wine: G. Woosnam and E. Oliver. Centre E. Gittins and°H. Buckley. Umpire J. Pugh. RUTHIN. Goal: G. Halley. Backs J. Roberts and J. Jenkins. Half-backs R. Maddoclis, R. Williams, and P. Mostyn. Right wing: W. H. Roberts and W. P. Owen. Left win"1: W. Goodwin aud G. Simou. Centre A. Lloyd. Umpire: W. Lloyd. Referee H. Haiushaw, Wrexham, DRUIDS T. ABERYSTWYTH. These clubs played their tie at Dolgelley on Saturday, January 10, when the result was a decisive victory for the Druids by six goals to nil. Play commenced at 1.30, by the Druids, who had lost the toss, kicking off. The Aberystwyth forwards were quickly on the ball, and attempted a run on the right wing, but the Druids' backs stopped them, and sent the ball to their own centres, who were, however, unable to use it effectively. Aberystwyth began to force the pace, and the game became exceedingly lively, some neat passing being done by the forwards, particularly on the left wing. The Druids' defence, however, showed no signs of failing, and eventually Hoy wood got a run and secured a corner kick for the Druids. Nothing came of it, the ball going behind the lines. Powell returned the kick out, and aftersomeneat pasaingon the right wing J. Jones centred the ball to Vaughan, who sent it through the posts, and drew first blood about a quarter of an hour from the start. Aberystwyth made a good attempt to equalize matters, and got the ball into their opponents' territory, but not within shooting distance of the goal. R. Jones headed the ball to Bowen the latter made a smart run, but his shot went over the bar. Give-and-take work followed, the ball making rapid journeys over the ground, but neither wero able to break through the line of defence. A free kick fell to the Druids, and Powell sent the ball through the goal, but it was unimpeded, and therefore void of re- sult. Hey wood secured the ball from the kick out, and after a brilliant run placed goal number two to the credit of his side. Two corner kicks fell to the lot of the Druids, but no further advantage had been secured when half- time was called. On changing ends the Aberystwyth men pulled themselves together, and were within an ace of scoring, Hughes causing the Druids' goal keeper to use his hands for the first time during the game, and shortly after got iiio bail behind the Druids' lines. The Druids, however,, again took the offensive Powell with a vigorous kick sent the ball up to goal, the onstodian knocked it out, but Vaughan headed it back, and Dr. Grey and Ketley, coming up with a rusn, secured the third goal by sending the ball and goalkeeper between the posts. The remainder of the time was chiefly occu- pied in attacking tha Aberystwyth cltadel, whlCh Vaughau caused to succumb no less than three times. Several plucky attempts were made by Aberystwythto mitigate the defeat, but they proved lutile, and the Druids thus secured a bloodless victory. For the victors, Hey wood and J. Jones of the forwards most distinguished themselves, the former by his pace. Jones for his cool passing, and Vaughan for a combination of the two qualities. The back play was also exceedingly fine, and Williams, as half back, was, as usual, almost invin- cible. For the vanquished, Hughes was the most conspicuous forward, and the team, on the whole, was a very even one, and though defeated were not by any means dis- graced, as the Druids are this year very strong, and prob- ably the best team in the Principality. The weather was exceedingly fine, and a very large number of spectators witnessed the match, many of whom, frlitm the fact that Aberystwyth had defeated Rhyl on the same ground last week, pinned their faith to the Coasters. The absence of a gate had done much to swell the mul- titude of lookers-on, and although they-were most lavish in applause, we doubt very much whether it compensated the clubs for the loss of what is as much the sinews of football as war which they might have had if they had met, gay, at Newtown. The teams were composed as follows :— DRUIDS. Goal: B. Roberts. Backs LI. Kenrick (captain) and J. Powell. Half-backs: W. Williams and R. Jones. Right wing: D. Hey wood and J. Jones. Left wing J. Vaughan and Dr. Grey. Centre: C. Ketley and E. Bowen. Umpire: T. B. Burnett. ABERYSTWYTH. Goal: R. M. Roberts. Backs: R. W. Rees and R. Da vies. Half-backs: J. Jones and W. Green. Right wing: R. Peake and S. Jones. Left wing: J. Jones and 'ilbertson. Centre: J. Hughes (captain) and J. Hamer. Mr. Jones. Owen (Dolgelley).

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