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- - - - - - I ALARMING FIRE…



I THE GREAT FOOTBALL MATCH. I England v. Wales. Great interest is centred in this match which will be played at Swansea to-morrow at 2.30 p.m. Not a single important match will take place in any of the towns of South Wales on the same day, hence a large and enthusiastic number of specta- tors may be expected to visit the scene of the con- test. The ground at present is in good condition, although somewhat hard, but about ten minutes' play would suffice to render it soft enough to play on without the slightest danger. The game of football has greatly increased in popularity in Wales during the last three or four years, and it is now recognised as a national Dastime. A cricket cup match will only bring together 200 or 300 spectators, whilst a football cup match will bring together some thousands. There was a time when Wales could scarcely muster a fifteen good enough to play against an English team, but now fifteen Welshmen can nearly hold their own against the most skilled and subtle players of Engiand. As proof of this: In 1881 Wales played England at Blackheath, when England gained a most deci- sive victory by 8 goals and 5 tries. In 1882, at Swansea, England defeated Wales by 2 goals and 4 tries. In 1883, at Leeds, England only won by 1 goal and 2 tries to 1 goal scored by Wales. Thus it will be seen that the tries scored by England have, curiously enough, decreased each match by halves, viz., 12, 6, and 3. This speaks volumes for improvement of football in Wales. No doubt a great deal of the improvement noticeable in the Welsh teams Im "dated from the time England first visited Wales, as by witnessing skilled play of the best kind players and spectators were enabled to gain many a valuable hint. Passing began to be shown, men were not savagely thrown to the ground, but held, "tackled," or "collared" properly. Referring to the match which will be played to-morrow (Saturday), there is every pros- pect of a good game, and not a one- sided affair, which always proves of little interest. Most of the leading authorities in England do not consider the English team so strong as the two previous ones, whilst, on the other hand, the Welsh team is stronger than before. The English three-quarter-backs are about the best "dodgers who, perhaps, ever played. Stoddart and Haw- eridge have quite a number of tricks, and take a lot of finding." Wade, who obtained three tries in the previous match at Swansea, is a resolute, dodgy runner. Rotherham and Payne, at half-back, are very unselfish, and are masters of every trick that is Ikely to puzzle their opponents. Sample, at back, is a very powerful kick and a certain tackier. The English team being equally divided between north and south, the wonderful passing and com- bination displayed by the two previous English teams will naturally be somewhat missed. The northern contingent is light, but very quick, and excel in dribbling. If Wales should prove strong enough to force England to act on the defensive, the possible lack of kicking by the three-quarters will be noticeable, but this is about their only weakness. Nothing need be said about the Welsh team the players are nearly all well known men though many are dissatisfied with the selection. Devotees of the game in each town perhaps, minus Newport, would like to see more of their first fifteen take pait in the match, but in all possibility, if the team were selected again, dissatisfaction would again pre- vail to about the same extent. A tine day, the ground in good condition, a large good-tempered and impartial number of spectators are the requi- sites necessary to make this very important match a great success. Below are the names of the players, which will perhaps prove serviceable the day before the match. Following the names of the English team are the dates they have previously played for England: England —(Back) C. H. Sample (Cambridge University and Durham), E 84 three-quarter backs, J. Hawcridge (Bradford), G. C. Wade (Oxford University) E 83, 84, A. E. Stoddard (Blackheath); half-backs, A. Liotherham (Oxford University) E 83, 84-, J. H. Payne (Broughton), B. 82, 83 forwards, E. T. Gurdon, captain (Richmond), E. 79, 80, 81, 8, 83, and 84. G. Gurdon (Rich- mond), E. 80, 81, 82, 83, and 84 R. Kindersley (Oxford University and Exeter) E. 83, 84 E. D. Court (Blackheath), A. Teggin (Broughto.n Rangers), F. Moss (Broughton), H. J. Ryalls (Broughton), Kemble (Liverpool), G. Har- rison (Hull), E. 80, 81, and 82.- Wales-Back, A. J. Gould (Newport); three-quarter backs, F. E Hancock (Cardiff), 1. 84, C. J. Taylor (Rua- bon), E. S. 1. 84, H. M. Jordan (Newport and United Hospitals); half backs, C. H. Newman (Newport and Durham) (captain), E. 81, 83, and 84, S. 83 and 84, 1. 82, W. H. Gwynn (Swansea), E. S. and 1. 84 forwards. T. Clapp (Newport), E. 83 and 84, S. 83 and 84, R. Gould (Newport),Il. 82 and 84 T. B. Jones (Newport), E. 85 S. 83 and 84; R. Lyne (New- port), E. 83 and 84, S. 83 and 84 S. Golds- worthy (Swansea), 1. 84 E. S. Richards (Swan- sea), L. C. Thomas (Cardiff), E. Rowlands (Lampeter), J. S. Smith (Cardiff), E. 84, 1. 84. E. England, 1. Ireland, S. Scotland. It will be seen that seven are from Newport, three from Cardiff, three from Swansea, one from Lampeter, and one from Ruabon.





-' The Nile Expedition.