The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1926
Some have been beaten till they know
What wood a cudgets of by the blow;
Some kicked until they can feel whether
A shoe be Spanish or neat's leather.
The 1926 season gave promise of being the most successful in the history of the Club, but owing to an unfortunate defection of members after games commenced, it was found advisable to withdraw one team from the competition. However, in spite of this the remaining teams have given a good account of themselves in every match, and are fully upholding the Club's reputation in weight and fast hockey.
The senior team has seen some changes since last year. Messrs. Hollings, Fraser and Cousins have given the game up, although the latter has turned out twice as emergency during the season. The new members of the team are E. McLeod, an Auckland and New Zealand Rep., J. MacDonald, and I. H. Macarthur. The team is perhaps the best the College has had for some years, and has settled down into a very fine combination. If the team, which has a large proportion of young players, can be held together until next season the Senior Championship should be well within its grasp.
The Juniors are handicapped by the lack of scoring forwards, a strange inability to shoot straight and hard, this having shown itself right from the start. With a little more ginger in the circle this team would be a tough proposition and would go near to winning its grade.
The event of the season was the Inter-University Tournament, held in Wellington. This was the first time that the four Universities have been brought together, and was a fitting celebration of the Jubilee year of the Club. The tourney was a huge success in every way, and all the games were clean, hard fought, and close enough to keep interest right to the finish. Otago were successful in retaining the Seddon Stick, after a most exciting game in the final with V.U.C. The game has been described as the fastest and most exciting ever seen at Karori, and those who took part will heartily endorse this. The importance of these games cannot be stressed enough as bringing the different Varsity men together and giving them an opportunity to become known to each other. The Tournament is to be continued at two-yearly intervals.
Results of the games are as follows:—
Senior v. Wakatu.—Won 2—0. This was a ragged game in which the team was finding its feet and we were lucky to meet a weak Wakatu team. Scorers were Priestley and Simpson.
V. Wesley.—Lost 2—3. The game was fast and interesting, and the forwards displayed much better form after a rearrangement of the line. The game was very close and exciting in the final stages when we were unlucky not to increase our tally. Scorers: Priestley and Macdonald.
V. Hutt.—Drawn 2—2. The team gave a taste of its real quality in this match, and seemed to have found its strength. The forwards carried out some very pretty movements, and the backs put up a wonderful defence. Scorers were Macdonald, who displayed great form, and Simpson.
V. Karori.—Won 2—1. Karori were reputed to be the strongest team in the competition, and visions of our championship were born as a result of our win. The game was hard and gruelling, the scores being a fair indication of the merits of the teams. Scorers were Simpson and Cousins.page 69
V. Wellington.—Lost 5—2. The Capping Ball accounted for this defeat, four members displaying considerable weariness early in the game. Scorers were Lewis and Cousins.
V. Hutt.—Lost 5—7. In the first half our backs were all at sea, and were 1-5 down at half-time. It was too big a hurdle for the team in the second spell, although at one stage we looked likely winners. The game was fast throughout and we were certainly unlucky not to score on several occasions. Scorers were Lewis (4) and Priestley.
V. Karori.—Lost 2—4. A hard and fast game, in which the forward line was upset by the withdrawal of Lewis from the team. Karori were lucky to win as two of their goals appeared to be wrongly awarded to them. Scorers were Simpson and McLeod.
The Tournament v. Auckland.—Won 2—0. The game was fast but not particularly skilful. Paul and Priestley goaled, and Auckland were unable to score, although they went very close on several occasions.
Canterbury v. Otago.—This game started at a tremendous pace and good stickwork was shown by both sides. Otago won 3—1 after a great game.
Otago v. V.U.C.—This was the final, and was a game worthy of the occasion. A tremendous pace was maintained throughout, and the game as a whole was an excellent exhibition of the stick-game. The scores were 2 all at half-time, and the second spell was a long series of attacks by Victoria to reduce Otago's lead obtained within a few minutes of half-time. The forward line swept down the field time after time only to be stopped by great defence in the circle. We were unable to score, and Otago retained the Seddon stick until next meeting.
Auckland beat Canterbury 3—1. After a fast game for the wooden spoon Auckland displayed better form than in their match with us and deserved to win on the day.
These notes would not serve any useful purpose in singling out individual players for special mention, but the opportunity is appropriate to refer to the play of McLeod, who has displayed consistent form throughout the season and has controlled the forward movements from centre-half in a remarkable fashion.
During the season lectures on the game have been delivered by Mr. ft. A. Foden and Mr. W. R. Jacobsen, and the thanks of the Club are due to these keen supporters of the game for their valuable advice.