The Alleynian, November 1908
Dulwich College v. Merchant Taylors.
Played on October 17th. Score—Dulwich, 33 points. Merchant Taylors, 0.
Merchant Taylors kicked off towards the pavilion. The grass was very long and wet, and the ball greasy. This seemed to take a great deal of the edge off the play, hampering outside combination. Scrambling play near half-way ended in Coleman running to the Merchant Taylors’ 25. And immediately afterwards, five minutes from the start, a bout of passing ended in a neat run by Kempson and a try by A. Lowe, who dodged across and ran round behind the posts. Mackinnon converted.
After this, play became more even. Darley made a great run through to the back, and would probably have scored if he had not passed. Soon afterwards, Coleman lost a chance by kicking across instead of handing on to Gasson. Merchant Taylors touched down. Gasson kept up the attack with a good run, and Mackinnon was useful out of touch. Our outsides passed wildly at this point, Kempson alone playing a neat, cool game. Abrams made an excellent dribble, crossing the line, but losing the ball. Coleman and C. Lowe tackled well. Loose play followed near half-way, until Darley, disdaining subtlety, picked up on the half-way line and walked in, with a sort of Here-let-me-do-it air. Every now and then somebody tried to tackle him, but the attempts were purely formal. He had decided to score, and he did so, without fuss. The kick failed.
After this our play improved. Merchant Taylors were quick and seemed to handle the ball more surely than we did, but our forwards were playing a resolute game, and Broad at half did an endless amount of work. Keddie shone in the loose, as did Johnson and Mackinnon. We began to press, and a very tricky run by Kempson should have ended in a try, but he stopped on the line. Green made a grand save, and a forward rush, headed by Mackinnon, took us to the line again, where Kempson picked up and dashed over in the corner. A fine shot by Abrams just failed.
Two minutes later we were in again, a forward rush from half-way ending in a try by Mackinnon. Greenwood’s kick, an excellent one, succeeded. Half-time was then called, with our score at two goals and two tries.
Merchant Taylors played up hard after the re-start, and for a time it looked not only as if we were not going to increase our lead, but would have to do all we knew to keep it. Twice we had to touch down, owing, we fancy, to our forwards taking things a shade too easily. The ball kept hanging in our back row. At last Abrams made a fine dribble, and C. Lowe, following it up with some very clever foot-work from the 25 line, scored. Greenwood converted.
We now began to show more clearly that our hearts were in the right place. Mackinnon dribbled to the back, Green made a fine kick and tackle, and Broad a good rush. Keddie then dribbled neatly over the line, and scored. The kick failed.
Kempson showed up well after the drop-out. Scrums followed on the line, Peacocke doing good work, and finally Gasson started a movement which ended in C. Lowe scoring again. Greenwood made a good shot, but failed to convert.
The rest of the game was one-sided. Mackinnon, picking up in the loose, made a very good run, and passed to Keddie, who ran over; and a little later C. Lowe got through cleverly, and passed to Keddie; he returned to C. Lowe, who dodged in from the 25. Shortly afterwards the whistle blew for no-side.
On the whole, considering that it was the first School match, our play was satisfactory. That the outsides, on occasion, behaved like cripples trying to dance the Nashville Salute, was regrettable; but they improved as the game went on, and Kempson was always excellent. He took some of the passes in a way that recalled Cinquevalli. Green, for the most part, was a spectator. When he had anything to do, he did it well. Probably the wet ball robbed our outside play of its snap. The three-quarters seemed to hesitate before passing. At half, Broad was indefatigable, but should whip the ball out a shade quicker. C. Lowe has all the makings of a really first-class half, but should not trust too much to his swerve. The forwards are about as useful a lot as we have had for some time. We should like to see them extended. That fatal try in the first five minutes put them right off their game for awhile. Mackinnon, as always, was excellent, always on the ball, and good with both hands and feet. Darley was great. On one occasion, when he was tackled by five men, he succumbed, but as a rule he seemed absolutely unaffected by people attaching themselves to his legs. Greenwood made a very promising first School match appearance. He is very useful indeed. Keddie played hard and well, and gave one the impression of always being up and knowing what to do when he was up.
The team as a whole is good stuff, and only wants practice to get together to be really dangerous. As an æsthetic spectacle, they suffer from playing in white shorts. It probably does not affect their game to any great extent, but there is no doubt that blue is the right colour.
However, don’t mind us.
P. G. W.
The following was the team:—
Dulwich College.—A. C. Green (back); L. B. Gasson, E. C. Coleman, V. H. Kempson, C. A. Lowe (three-quarters); F. H. Broad and C. N. Lowe (halves); R. F. Mackinnon, C. C. Darley, B. G. Abrams, J. E. Greenwood, C. M. Keddie, H. G. Peacocke, S. H. Fisher, F. B. Johnson (forwards).