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FOOTBALL. SWANSEA v. NEATH. A SEVERE TUSSLE. However Indifferently Neath may perform against second and third-class teams, and however many second and third-class fixtures they mav lose, they may always be relied npou to give the All Whites" of Swansea a warm encounter. This season, for instance, the lads of Castell Nedd have been most disappointing in ordinary engagements. It is true they defeated Cardiff, but most people treated it as a mere flash in the Dan. The Black boys ma le a herculean effort on Saturday to lower the colours of the" All Whites." They fought as they have rarely fought before. They commenced hostilities with a dash and a bang which they sustained almost to the end. They tackled and mauled with unpardonable ferocity. They imparted a spirit into the play which all real lovers of the game keenly regretted. The fixture naturally excited deep interest, both in Neath and Swansea. The general opinion was that the game would be stubbornly contested, but that the Swansea men would win. Among the more ardent supporters of the Neath team there was displayed a marked confidence. We have defeated Cardiff and Lianelly. We have improved since then, and there is no reason why we should not defeat Swansea/' Tnal is what they said and confidently predicted. The JM eain players themselves were quite confident of victory. They had gone into most careful training during the week; every man was in the pink of condition and determined to win. The weather on Saturday after- noon was fair, but the rains of the morning and the day previous left the Neath ground in a pitiable con- dition. The old ground at the back of the Bird-in-Haud has been abandoned, and the Neath.H,plt £ bed their tents a little higher up. Whether they have effected an improvement remains to be seen. I was certainly not impressed with the field on Saturday. It affords a minimum of accommodation for spectators. The first few hundred arrivals have all the advantage late-corners must strain their necks, stand on swampy ground or climb on sheds, as they did on Saturday. I suppose the JSeath Club intend improving the ground. They should set about it as soon as possible. Cheap and convenient excursions were run to Neath by the Great Western Railway and the Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway Companies, with the result that there were more Swansea people than Neathltes on the field of play. But they didn't forget to make their presence known. They shouted and cheered to their heart's content. They encouraged Bancroft and his men during the dark moments of the game, and urged them on when Neath was on the defensive. The scene on the field before and during the match was very exciting. Among some sections of the crowd the excitement was akin to madness. Perhaps the least perturbed of the whole crowd were the All Whites." Reynolds again partnered David James at half, Evan James not having sufficiently recovered from the Injury he received -in the Aberavon match three weeks ago. Livingstone Davie also stood out owing to indisposition, his place being taken by Arthur Jones. Neath turned out a strong team—the strongest available—including Charlie Powell the much-sought-after half-back, who, if rumour speaks correctly, has already refused to accept very tempting offers by Northern Union clubs. # # Mr. Matthews, Cardiff, was the referee, and the teams faced each other shortly after 3.30. Neath had the advantage of the wind and slope. It soon became evident that the homesters meant business, and that they did not intend to ask for or give quarter. The forwards went off with a bang which surprised the Swansea eight. They wheeled and rushed and dribbled and tackled with surprising vigour. They forced the pace with a vengeance, and put their opponents strictly on the defensive. There were occasional fluctuations, but throughout the first half the Black boys" held a distinct advantage. That they did net score was due entirely to the sturdy defence ot the "All Whites." We have seen the latter on the offensive and on the defen- sive, and it is no exaggeration to say that they are as smart in the one as in the other. t The Neath men went away with a bang in the early stages of the second half; but slowly and surely their opponents obtained the mastery, with the result that we saw some very pretty rounds of passing. In the end Rees and Trew scored three tries between them, all of which Bancroft failed to convert. The homesters pre- sented a stern defence, and it is to their credit that they were not defeated by more than three tries. On a dry ground and with a light ball the probability is that Swansea would have won by at least fifteen points. They were the superior team at all points, except, perhaps, iu the tlghr, scrums. Here the homesters not only pushed the Swansea forwards, but they secured possession of the ball four time out of every six, except in the last ten minutes of the game. Charlie Powell was conspicuous throughout. He is unqnestionably a very smart half- back, nippy, daring and resourceful. The Neath three- quarters played very indifferently. They tackled well, that was all. The best of the quartette, however, was VV, Jones, the captain. # # » Bancroft was in splendid form. His kicking, on the whole, was of the large and tall order, and more than once he got his team out of a very warm corner. Joe Davies. the Neatb custodian, played a safe and sound game, but I wish he would adopt a different method of tackling. The continuation of the method he now enforces may make things awkward for him some day. Young Reynolds again proved he has the making of a very capable half-back. Rees was disappointing. He mulled several good passes, and lost a few chances. George Davies and Trew played fairly well, as did Gordon. On the whole, however, the three-quarters did not come up to expectations. # # TO-MORROW'S MATCH. between Swansea and Cardiff at the St. xielen s field to-morrow (Saturday) is exciting consider- able interest. Given fine weather we should be treated to a good display of football. The All Whites" are the favourites. But it must not be supposed for a moment that it will be a light tussle. Since their defeat at Neath the Cardiffians have improved very much. and they may be relied upon to give a good account of them- selves Their back division is almost as strong as ever. Gwynn Nicholls, Huzzey, W. Jones, Selwyn Biggs, and sweet-Escott are experienced and capable players, the forwards are strong and heavy, and this week they have, I hear, undergone a special course of training. Bancroft's men will need to be on their very best behaviour to emerge from the fight victorious. Evan James is still on the injured list, and it is unlikely that he will turn out unti) after Christmas. Young Reynolds will therefore partner David Jllmps at half. It is ex. pected that Livingstone Davies will resume his place in the pack. Arthur Jones being first reserve. Both teams will be fully represented -the only notable absentee being Evan James for Swansea—and we should, there- fore witnes3 a pleasant and exciting game. Providing the "All Whites" play as thev did against Lianelly and Neath they should win by a fairly substantial score. A CARDIFF VIEW. CARDIFF V. SWANSEA. DEAR ARQCS,—In this week's notes in The Cambrian please do not lead your readers to imagine that Cardiffians expect to win on Saturday, for I can assure you we here in Cardiff do not look upon the match with any degree of confidence, owing to the wretched play of our forwards in each match. Our backs are as good as they can secure the ball you can depend R?hir,fw passing. But our forwards on BhW oV thlWi11' 1 am convinced, be incapable of ft its* fuU stre^t"^ v °Ur tean\Wi" contrarv to the disor^ani^, f is noW)• Helen's"last November, "o that. fa £ ured at be given a good game, and barrim* r^e although if beategn early in only hope the mate!) will be pieasantiv # >?. I that the spectators will be fairly impartial and applaud not only Swansea s good play but also that of Cardiff Trusting you will give this letter prominence in next Friday's notes, as shewing the general opinion on the match in Cardiff,—Yours faithfully, C. HUNT. 190, Newport-road, Cardiff, Nov. 2,1898. SWANSEA FIXTURE LIST FOR 1898-9. 1898. Nov. 5 Cardiff Home 12 NEWPORT Away 11 19 LEICESTER Home 26 Devonport Albion Away 28 BRISTOL. AWAY DEC. 4 TRIAL MATCH 10 GLO'STER HOME LLANELLY HOSPITAL RANGERS Y. MUMBLES. The return match between these teams took place on Baturday, at StraJey, in serai-darkness, the visitors having to wait unti) another match was finished. Con- sequently only a quarter of an hour each way was played, and eventually Mumbles won by a try to nil. SWANSEA CHURCH V. EAST SIDE. The Swansea Church (Seeker) Club are going strong tnis season, having a'ready w'on four matclle3» drawn and afto1 n°J0oS- On SatJr lay last they met East Side, ffoals tnr a,ha'd defeated their opponents by two P Arnold Ior 'he winners. Albert Davies (captain all-round lot? Ca"nichael were the pick of a good NE?S"IPRHVMI7CR^^EEWEALHER, Le 5.OC0 PEOPLE wit- Blackheath on Saturday i?Jackheath ><iwport a. advantage all through' Welshmen were seen to Boucher dropped a goal for th Prior to the Mlte^ changing ends Lloyd finished ,I"* Ten minntes passing to Skrim8hire, who -P i8n exceUent rm' Boucher failed improve uDon n try" w,hlc however, Lloyd further increased the ? tlje close' a pretty goal, and Blackheath, whQ Jer°Je,y drop'nnL>r inferior team, had to admit defeat by tw„!inctly the and a trv to nil. topped goals

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