The Daily Mail, December 8, 1913






Blackheath... 28pts.    London Welsh    3

When I publish my new travel book, “Through Darkest Wandsworth,” I shall not omit to pay a tribute of gratitude to the native in the straw hat and red tie who saved my life by bringing me hot tea in the middle of the Blackheath and London Welsh match. I was just wondering gloomily why a man of sensibility and refinement like myself should be expected to catch his death of cold sitting in the rain watching these mutts tumble over one another when up he came with the brew, and my attitude towards the game changed at once to one of indulgent kindliness.

Though too one-sided to be thrilling the match was never uninteresting, and, considering the state of the ball, the handling of the Blackheath outsides was a treat to watch. Knott and Cook were particularly safe. Cook reproduced some of his Cardiff match form. He scored the first try soon after the start by means of an acrobatic pick-up and cut through. Within half a minute of the drop-out, after Durand had just failed to place a difficult goal, he was off again, and Owen, taking his pass on the line, ran round behind the posts. The kick failed.

An intercepted pass then put London Welsh in a fine attacking position, Jenkins being tackled when within inches of the line. There were some desperate scrums under the Blackheath posts, and then a clever bout of short passing ended in Michael making an opening for Ford to score on the left.


Except for five minutes near the end of the game, when Blackheath were twenty points up and practically safe, this was the only period when the Welsh looked like holding the Club. A dribble by Housden and some long punts by A. L. Stokes took the game to half-way, where the Blackheath backs got off, and G. Stokes, drawing the defence, passed to King, who used his pace well and scored a good try which Durand converted. Blackheath continued to have the best of the game and scored twice more before half-time, through Owen and Housden. Housden, who shaped like a scrum-half with a future, got near the line with a long run, and then, from a a scrum ten yards out, dodged over to the blind side.

The second half, except for the five minutes mentioned above, when the Welsh played up hard and nearly scored twice, Humphreys and Jenkins being tackled on the line in turn, was easy for Blackheath. Cook was almost through once, and almost directly afterwards Knott picked up and ran through. The next try was entirely due to a brilliant piece of work by the Oxford man, who punted, followed up, and tackled Jackson with such vim that the ball bounded away from his hands into those of Sykes, who had a clear run in. The last try of the day was scored by King on the right and converted by Knott.

Blackheath ought to have won by more. Some of the place-kicking was farcical. Both forwards and outsides were in form. Durand played a great game forward, and A. L. Stokes’s kicking was splendid.

Well, Knott’s knee seems all right. You will be glad to hear that.