The Spike or Victoria College Review 1938
The Year in Sport
The Year in Sport
In the 1937 issue of "Spike" it was said that sport at Victoria was once again on the up-grade. There were grounds for that belief, for improvement was manifest in all branches of sport throughout the College. But, a year ago, there would have been few bold enough to predict that in 1938 Victoria, challenging with a powerful, confident team, would break a nine-year spell of failure, and decisively win the Tournament Shield.
Yet now, looking back, it seems almost that we reached the summit too quickly. For three years, in 1934, 1935 and 1936, the Wooden Spoon reminded us of our inferiority. Bottom touched, we were starting to climb again in 1937, but at Easter 1938 we soared to the very top and, pausing there only a moment, commenced the descent as though alarmed by success. Tournament over, sport seemed intent on nestling into the trough again.
The story of Tournament is told elsewhere, and beside it the rest of the year's record in sport seems very drab.
Cricket? Though one team finished in the top half of its grade, the lowest rungs exercised too strong an attraction for the others. Plunket Shield honours eluded us, but J. B. Stephenson and T. A. Harpur were awarded N.Z.U. Blues. Taking most wickets and scoring most runs, W. Tricklebank again proved his value. Auckland was defeated in an inter-College match, bowlers in the second innings reaping a harvest on a rain-affected pitch.
Inter-club tennis results were disappointing. Second in its grade, the second men's team had the best record. An important departure was the inauguration of matches with Massey College. R. L. Ferkins, in partnership with E. A. Roussell, retained his National Doubles title, while B. M. O'Connor won the Nelson Provincial Singles championship.
In swimming and athletics there were more performers and more enthusiasm. Swimmers gained no laurels, but a V.U.C. runner in J. P. Eastwood represented Wellington at the New Zealand Championships.
Basketballers have little respite, for their game is the only winter one at Tournament and they must needs start practice and training very early in the year. Then, with Tournament over, they have to play through a strenuous season of inter-club matches in Wellington. In these they more than held their own. Janet Grainger captained the Wellington representative team, and places in the side were also gained by Marie Walker and Erice Overtoun.
The two largest winter sports clubs, hockey and rugby, had, on the whole, disappointing records, particularly in the lower grades. The Rugby seniors, playing Senior A second division, won their grade with the loss of only two games, but those games were vital ones, on the results of which depended promotion to the first division. And so one of the finest 'Varsity fifteens for years was left to win the Senior A second division championship. In inter-College matches we defeated Canterbury and Massey and, with a weak team, narrowly lost to Auckland. At hockey F. L. Newcombe captained the Wellington representatives, among whom Shaw also found a place.
The women's hockey club had a tortuous season. A senior and a junior team took the field at the start, but the juniors soon broke up. The seniors carried on in too high a grade despite heavy defeats. They competed at the Dunedin Tournament, and disbanded shortly afterwards.
Harriers had a quiet season, but honour fell to the club when D. R. Scrymgeour, competing in the New Zealand University Cross-Country championship race for the Dixon Trophy, led the field home.
A 'Varsity year is scarcely complete unless a new club is formed. Table Tennis has many devotees and little indoor opposition. This club should prosper.
Taken all in all it was a memorable year.