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THE NORTHERN UNION GAME MERTHYS'S LAST LEAGUE FIXTURE. IONE POINT BEHIND ROCHDALE AT THE FINISH. 'After their clever victory over Warrington a fortnight ago, it wa§ fully expected that Merthyr would defeat Rochdale Hornets on Saturday, but once more they disappointed their supporters. True, only one ooint divided the teams at the fin- ish, but it was sufficient to give the Hornets the victory A bitterly cold wind blew from goal to goal, which made it very uncomfortable for both players and spectators. Once more Tom Thomas failed to turn out It is to be hoped the commit- tee will not allow Thomas to play with them an- other season as he has done this season. Rochdale won the toss, and D. B. Davies kicked bff. A scrum was at once formed, and Rees Rees picked up and transferred to Harris, who found touch. D B Oavies picked up and passed well to Reed, but he was ruled off-side. Badden attempt- ed to burst through, but was well collared before he got far West next received, and was almost through, but D. B. Davies again came to the res- cue George Taylor made a mark, and Thomas relieved with a huge kick. Rees Rees was next pro- minent with a good run, but was forced into touch. The Rochdale forwards were playing a vigorous fame, and seemed to control the scrums better than [erthyr. Rees Rees, nicking up from a scrum, rushed tound on the blind side and passed to Thomas. Some lively inter-passing' was seen between th&-two, and Thomas, being hard pressed/ was force*};, into touch. The home forwards next rushed dowt^ihe field, and Will Bftvan, receiving, passed to Syd Thomas, who transferred to Harris. He in turn passed to Wyatt Reed, but the final pass was for- ward. This was a brililant effort, and was loudly applauded. Scholefield was prominent for Roch- dale with a dribble a few minutes later, which lIar- ris cleared. From the next burst through Romans eluded several of the homesters, and, beinc penned In, he oassed forward. A penalty was awarded Against Bevan for off-side play, and Badden suc- ceeded in landing the points. The game became of a more aggressive nature, ftnd the home forwards dribbled down the field. A penalty was awarded against the Horne.ts, but no- thing came of it. The passing of the Hornets was at times erratic. R-ees played with a good judg- ment, and some fine play in the next stages of the game was seen. Dan Lewis next kicked to touch, and from the scrum James followed up, but was ruled off-side. Just before the interval English scor- ed a try for the Hornets. On the resumption Rees passed to Harris, but Was collared before he had gone many yards. The latter player was almost over in the next moment, but he was well marked. TJevan was off-side in the next movement, and from the succeeding scrum Rees found touch. A round of passing by the vis- iting threes almost ended in a score, but 'Watkins saved. Merthyr were now working like Trojans, and a nice movement was seen, Rhys Rees passed to Harris, and he in turn transferred to Ponty Tho- mas, and then Wyndham Davies receiving, kicked to touch. Emerson saved well, and Romans rushed down the field, but Watkins saved well. W. Harris t clear away, but lacking speed, was overtaken by English Rushing tactics were indulged in by both sides. Kirk was prominent with a brilliant run. Watkins tackled him. but the former player Wriggled through. His effort, however, was frus- trated by Wyatt Reed rushing across, and reliev ing a critical situation. Merthyr forced matters, and Ponty Thomas picking up, kicked a beautiful goal. A nice round of passing was indulged in by the Hornets' quartette, but Badden mulled, and a good opportunity went begging. Syd James was bowled over in the next few moments, and Ponty Thomas tried a shot at goal. but the kick was charged down. The Hornets' forwards were getting the ball out oftenet from the scrum, and Rees Rees, picking J1P in a good position, dropped a splendid goal. This effort infused greater enthusiasm into the play of the Merthyr men, and a penalty was award- ed Merthyr. Nothing resulted from this, and play vas in Merthyr's favour when the whistle sounded with the final score, Rochdale one goal and one try (S points) to Merthyr two goals (4 points). The'second half only lasted two minutes over the balf hour, and this was decidedly hard lines for Mertlm seeing that they were pressing at the time.: £ The general opinion was that the referee had Haade k mistake. —-j—^—— EBBW VALE V. BROUGHTON RANGERS. WELSH CHAMPION'S GREAT VICTORY The Ebbw Vale Northern Union team brought the season to a termination by scoring a brilliant and decisive victory over Broughton Rangers. The dif- ference as between twenty points, scored by Ebbw Vale, and eight registered by the Rangers about represented the difference between the sides on the day's form. The heavy rain of the previous day and on the morning of the match rendered tne Burfacw in a muddy condition, but this did not ef- fect the sprightly Valians, the players handling the ball with the ease that would be associated with a dry ball. The composition of the home team would appear to hav» weakened the combination, seeing that Chick Jenkins, W. Higgins, J. Foley, and 'Bowen were ont. But their absence did not effect the play to the extent that was anticipated, the substitutes showing up particularly well in all parts of the game. The style of play adopted by the Rangers was suggestive of staleness, and as a side they were the most lifeless that have visited Ebbw Vale-this season. ■ The Ebbw Vale forwards were easily the masters tit the situation in front and had little difficulty in oontrolling the scrums with sufficient skill to feed the half-backs with consistent regularity. Dai Williams, Dick Thomas and Monks were the most Prominent. Hitchings used his weight to ad- vantage in the tight mawls. but was rather slow in the open, especially on one occasion when he had the line at his mercy. Dai Maile did not tire throughout, and played a great game. "Shlglo" Thomas worked the scrums with excellent judgment, and once more proved himself to be one of the beat inside halves playing the game. Harvey, who has been doing so well of late, did not find the game to his liking, but he provided the spectators with an abundance of amusement. Smith and Llewellyn were the pick of the three-quarter line. The former for making openings was really clever, while the run- ping of the latter was a feature of the match. It 19 clear that he has no equal in speed and skill, as wing man, among the many Northern Union players. He holds a big claim to be considered by the selection of the Northern Union tour to Ans- "alia. and may yet he sent out. Kerton, who sub- stituted Chick Jenkins, considering that he had geen out of the field for some months, played won- derfully well for an "old 'un." Billingham, although Erratic op occasions, created a good impression, With a little more experience he will make a use- [pi man for next season. The hero of the match was "»e custodian, Dai Davies, besides kicking two ltoals, he scored a brilliant. try on his own, while lie was in active operation throughout the game, -x- Broughton Rangers were nothing like so good a jji.de as they were last year, and made but an in- different show. The forwards were slow and cum- bcrsome, while their tackling was not so crisp as usual. Hogg was the best man among the backs, repeatedly saved his side from dire disaster. <lhc James's weie sound on the wing and centre. RECORD OF THE EBBW VALE CLUB. A SUCCESSFUL YEAR. When the Northern Union code of football was Jntrcdured into Wales, by means of the Ebbw Vale and Merthyr clubs, a well-known member of the _'IfP gligky..U&WB* wbm wilb was ftthec t9 the thought, gave the new style of game a life of three years,, at the end of which period he pre- dicted it would die an inglorious death. Well, as far as Ebbw Vale is concerned, and Merthyr in a lesser degree, they have reached the allotted span, and instead of us having the unpleasant task of recording the obsequies, they are a oair of lively corpses. The game has undobutedly caught on in the Ebbw Vale district. The spectators delight in the open character of the play, that lends itself to the improved rules, as compared with the obsolete methods of the Rugby code. and there can be no doubt that we shall never see a revival of the older game in these districts. If it were only possible to sweep away the stupid prejudice that exists in minds of the managing authorities of the big clubs in South Wales, so as to give the new game a fair trial, it would soon establish itself in tne affections of the patrons of the game and players alike. It is really incorrect to call either the Ebbw Vale or Merthyr Clubs professions. The members of the teams are not professionals in the sense it is under- stood in Soccer, or cricket circles. Speaking of Ebbw Vale, it is a fact that every one in the team is a working man who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow-the majority of them being col- liers, but when they lose a day on account of playing in a match, they are paid for the services rendered, and most reasonable people will agree that they are worthy of their hire. There is not an individual in the side that gets his living by playing football. This is by way of introduction, and now that wc are assured that the club will start upon its fourth year we shall have pleasant thoughts in the close season that in 1910-11 there will again be an opportunity of spending the dreary winter Saturday afternoon in witnessing some bril- liant achievements in the football arena. Not only have the Valians completed their third year, but it has been the best in the history of the club by sheer determination, plack and energy, in face of almost insurmountable difficulties, the play- ers have won the admiration and respect of the whole of the great clubs up North. At one portion of the season there was a tendency in the press and among the followers of the game "up yon" to belittle the abilities of the Welshmen, but towards the close of the season the Monmouthshire club gave such striking object lessons to their most formidable rivals that they were no longer looked upon as "small fry," but were treated with the respect that was due to a club of the first rank. As will be seen by the record below, the team played 30 matches, of which 14 were won, 2 drawn, and 14 lost, while they have scored 229 points to 226 scored orroinof. fhom Tn fho KAfth^m T,A9»1IA tv>4> rtAfii. tion gained is a favourable one. They played 24, won 9, lost 13, and drew 2, scoring 156 as against 211. The teams thev have defeated are Bat lev. Leigh, Hunslet, Widnes, Bradford; Huddersfield, Broughton Rangers. While they drew with Batley on the ground of the latter. It ie remarkable, too. how near they got to victory in some of their most important matches. In the Hunslet match away, they were robbed of a brilliant win by one point only. The score in the Leigh match on the Leigh enclosure was five to three after the Welsh cham- pions had had much the better of the game. Leeds just got home by the skin of their teeth, viz.. eleven points to eight, while Warrington were exceedingly fortunate in getting the verdict in their last match at Ebbw Vale by a solitary try (3 points). The star team fo Lancashire—Salford—could only beat them by eight points to tyo in a game that most judges claimed Ebbw Vale ought to have won. Ebbw Vale found little difficulty in retaining the honoured title of Welsh champions—Merthyr was the only serious rivals—but this season even that side will agree that the Valians had an easy task in defending the title, which they so handsomely won the season previously. The most sensational part of the fixtures was the. brilliant success of the valians in the cup-ties. As was anticipated, Mer- thyr, theL first opponents, were knocked out in the first round, and Huddersfield were met in the second round. The wiseheads were pretty positive that the powerful Northern club would be a certain bar to the Valians' entry into the third stage. But again the prophets turned out to be false ones, for on March the 12th, the football world was startled by the fact that Ebbw Vale had been successful in get- ting into the third round. They were lucky in drawing Salford (home), in the third round, and here comes a point that has caused an abundance of criticism. For financial reasons, the directors wisely, I think, decided to accept Salford's offer to play the match up North. Had the match been played on the Bridgend Field, with the air full of Celtic en- thusiasm, Ebbw Vale would have figured in the semi-final for the blue ribbon of the Northern Union. As it was, they set op a great game at Salford," and with a little better finish to the display they would have defeated Lomas and Co. However, it was not to be, and it now remains to long and hope for better luck next season. There is a, possibility yet that the much coveted trophy may find a resting place on the breezy heights of Monmouthshire. The directors are to be congratulated upon the progress made in building up a strong combination. At tho commencement oi the season, it was recog- nised that the forwards was the weak spot, and if a successful season was to be experienced a radical change would have to be made in that quarter. No drastic measures were introduced, but a gradually stiffening of the pack was resorted to. The inclu- sion of Dick Thomas, Dai Williams and J. Bowen made a wonderful dinerence in attack and defence. Ebbw Vale were unfortunate in losing the services of Bargham, through injury, and L. Edmonds, who went abroad, in mid-season, two forwards of con- siderable merit, otherwise the Ebbw Vale six would have been about the hottest front rank in the League. It is gratifying to know that two such capable substitutes as Monks and Dai Maile were available, both played in the final matches and cup-ties, and covered themselves with glory. Half- back was the position that gave the most trouble. There were three good men for two places, viz., "Shiglo" Thomas, Harvey, and Higgins. The latter were the PiQ club half-backs, and also the county pair, used to each others play; but it seemed a pity to allow a star artist like "Shiglo" to remain on the idle list. The arrangements often caused controver- sy, but the difficulty was removed by Higgins find- ing a place in the three-quarter line, where he was of immense service to his side, leaving "Skiglo" and Harvey (two of the smallest halves playing the game) in undisputed possession of the position at half-back. They did not betray their trust, but played with great skill, especially in the closing stages of the season. Harvey was the most brilliant and showed splendid skill in openiapf out the play of the backs. Little change has taken place in the composition of the three-quarter line. The most consistent player of the bunch has been "Chick" Jenkins. In fact he has been recognised as one of the best centres playing the game. and it was a fitting climax to his great work of the season to be invited to be one of the centres in the English team in their Colo- nial tour. His co-centre, Harry Smith, although overshadowed by Jenkins, was one of the successes of the season. He improved with every match. He ought to turn out a real star next season. Llew- ellyn has certainly had the best year of his foot- ball career, besides being top scorer. He has caught the eye of those closely connected with the game as being one of the fastest wings in the country. It was unfortunate for Llewellyn that there are so many good wing men in the League- men with high reputations as players—otherwise he would have been one of the wings for Australia. Higgins was kept out of the field for some time on account of an injury, and his services were greatly missed by the team. He is a player of more than ordinary intelligence, quick in perception, and easy in his movements. His place on the wing on sev- eral occasions was taken by Billingham, a sprinter of merit, and one who is likely to develop into a fine player. Dal Davies has retained his position at full-back throughout the season, and the selec- tors will have to go a long way to find his equal. With the exception of one or two matches, he was in brilliant form. As a general he will take some beating, aJkl what he does not know of the pro- fessional code is hardly worth knowing. Shall we have the advantage of his experience another year, or will he pass the bar of well merited retire- ment P This practically sums np the season's perform- ance. At a farewell meeting to "Chick" Jenkins, Mr. George Davies, the managing director of the club, became a bit communicative, an attribute not generally found in his nature, and he gave us a peep into the future, and what great things were going to be accomplished in the interval. My ad- vice is "Do it." Last season, it will be remember- ed, the directors and all concerned 'went into re- tirement with the players, and little or nothing was done until the playing season was upon them again. This is the period of the year that solid work will have to be done if the team is to start next season with a bang. So far. we know little of the financial position of the club, and can only hope that the exchequer is all right. There are three reforms that it is imperative should be car- ried out, first,, a fence that will obstruct the view of the spectators who watch the games without pay. ing, on the road side; secondly, a stand and com- fortable enclosure on the river side; and last, but not least, some kind of press box ifi substitution for the present hen's coop that rejoices in the title of press box. This will mean money, but a long poll and a strong pull with the confidence of lovers of tbe opt and. i iropweomtfl :Gguld kg B complished, if only the summer months are properly utilised. Mr. Windsor James has rendered valu- able services as chairman of directors, and his fine enthusiasm has been quite contagious. Mr. Geo. Davies, the managing director, has acted cautiously and with diplomacy and judgment. He was ably assisted by Mr. T. Rees, who has not faltered in his support of the movement. A great deal of the sue. cess of the season is due to the energy and faithful services of Mr. Ernie Carter. When he took on the duties of secretary it was fWfc that he was the right man for the 'position; this has turned out to be the case, and his work has won for him the ic- spect and admiration of those interested. Mr. B. Northgraves, the financial secretary, has rendered valuable services to the business side of the club. His commercial experience has stood him in good stead for the conduct of the most important de- partment of the club, as it is a Limited Liability Company, it is necessary that the position should be filled by a man of business. They have all this in Mr. Northgraves. The following is the team's record G. T. Ps. G. T. Pt. For Agst. Sept. lO.-Treherbert (h), N. 1 3 11 o o c 18.-Broughton (a) N. 1 2 8 3 3 Is 25.-Wakefield Trin. (h) N. 0 0 0 2 2 10 Oct. 2.-Widnes (h) N.. 1 0 2 IIS „ 4.—Oldham (h) N. « 1 1 5 2 3 IJ „ 9.—Bradford (a) N. 0 13 2 17 16.—Batley (h) N. 0 2 6 1 0 J „ 23.—Leeds (a) N. 2 3 13 5 5 23 „ 30.—Merthyr (a) N. 1 2 8 1 2 S Nov. 6.-Treherbert (a) N. 2 2 10 0 1 3 „ 13.—Leigh (h) N. 0 2 6 0 0 t „ 20.—Merthyr (h) N. 1 311 11 S Dec. II.-Hunsiet (h) N, 1 2 8 115 IS.-Widnes (a) N. 0 1 3 0 0 0 M 27.—Merthyr (a) W. .-r 0 2 6 0 1 3 Jan. 3.—Oldham (a) N. 1 2 8 3 8 20 8.-Warrington (a) N. 115 2 4 16 15.-Treherbert (h) W. 2 4 16 0 0 0 Feb. 12.—Hunslet (a) N. 2 2 10 I 3 11 „ 14.—Batley (a) N. 0 0 0 0 0 0 „ 19—Bradford (h) N.. 1 2 8 0 0 0 26.-Merthyr (a) cup-tie 0 3 12 2 1 7 Mar. 12—Huddersfield (a) cup 1 3 8 0 1 3 19.-SaJford (a) cup-tie 1 0 2 1 2 8 25.-Leigh (a) N 0 13 111 H 26—Wakefield Trin. (a) N. 0 0 0 5 6 28 H 28.-Leeds (h) N. 1 2 8 1 3 11 30—Merthyr (h) W. 4 7 29 1 1 5 April G.-Warrington (h) N. 0 0 0 0 1 3 Of 16.-Broughton Ran (h) W. 4 4 20 1 2 8 Merthyr Amateur Rugby Notes. The Thursday Rngbyites having no match, ar- ranged a game of Soccer with Gnnson's Athletic, last Thursday, and proved successful by four goals to two, which were penalties against the Rugby men for handling and tackling absent-mindedly in the dreaded area. Arthur Lewis's goal-keeping in the second half was quite a feature. Hunter, Herbie Davies, and Maylot appeared to adapt themselves best, whilst Evans had bad luck in not saying the penalties, getting his hand to both. In fairness to Gunson's they were not fully represented, but con- dition told in the end, the Rugby men fully wearing down their defence, banging two gpals on in the last few minutes.







Air-Rifle Shooting.