The Alleynian, February 1921


Dulwich College v. Sherborne School.

Played at Dulwich, November 27th. Result: Dulwich, 1 goal, 2 tries; Sherborne, 1 penalty goal, 2 tries.

The Sherborne match was exactly the opposite of the previous Saturday’s game against Haileybury. Then, we would probably have won if we could have had another ten minutes of play; whereas another ten minutes against Sherborne might have been too much for us. As it was, good forwards failed to beat good backs, but only just.

Heavy rain stopping just before the game put our dry-weather team at a disadvantage. Directly after we had kicked off towards the boarding-houses, their forwards rushed the ball into our 25, where a free kick against us might easily have led to our being three points down in the first minute, for the penalty was given right in front of the posts not thirty yards out. Luckily it went wide, and we touched down. Sherborne continued to press, but after Cazalet had made a good tackle, our forwards, led by Smith and Kendle, took the ball well into their half, and Addison reached the 25. Another kick to Sherborne brought them into our half, but Murtrie broke through splendidly and kicked down the field, Addison following up and tackling the back, and for several minutes we attacked strongly. A kick to us outside their 25 brought us to the line, and then the Sherborne forwards broke away to half-way, and thence well into our 25, where Murtrie with a long kick found touch in their half. Sherborne attacked again, but were pulled up by Davison, who made a great tackle on the left. There were a couple of scrums in our 25, which ended in Roberts starting a good rush, and Addison finding touch half-way with a soccer-hack which their back just failed to reach. Sherborne returned to our 25; there was a scrum on our line, and then Cazalet picking up dodged through in his eel-like way, and after getting to half-way, passed to Addison, who made a gallant sprint down the right touch-line, and was just pushed into touch when he was within a couple of yards of a try. It was the best thing we had done so far, and it showed that, given the ball, our outsides were always likely to score, no matter how we might be hustled forward. The Sherborne forwards, with another of their hefty rushes, took the ball back to our half, where Murtrie cut through and found touch about forty yards from their line. The game moved up and down the field for some minutes, a Sherborne forward rush being followed by a Dulwich outside movement, and finally, from a scrum not far from our line, Thomas had the ball neatly out to Mills, who passed to Cazalet. Cazalet ran to half-way and handed on to Murtrie, and Murtrie running right up to the back, passed to Addison, who sprinted in down a clear field. An excellent bit of combined work with a ball that was greasy and hard to hold. Horsford’s kick hit the cross-bar. Dulwich, 3.

Cazalet got well into the Sherborne half directly after this, and Murtrie, after a good fighting run through the centre, punted, the ball unfortunately going into touch in goal. Soon after this, however, a fine forward rush took them into our 25, where one of their centres tried to drop a goal, and we touched down.

A great run by Addison on the right led to scrummaging fifteen yards from the Sherborne line; and it was here that the big sensation of the day occurred. Sherborne got the ball, and their fly-half punted down the field. Davison gathered neatly into our half, and instead of kicking for touch, swerved through the centre at a great pace, beat the entire defence, and finished up a magnificent bit of work by scoring our second try between the posts. For a substitute playing his first game for the School in a big school match, this must be considered a record, and it will be something for Davison to tell his grandchildren about in the long winter evenings later on. A statue is to be erected in the clump, commemorating the incident. It will show Davison grounding the ball exactly between the posts, but will not include Horsford missing the kick. Dulwich, 6.

Sherborne pressed after this, Cazalet saving well. Then Kendle intercepted a pass and found touch half-way. The whistle then blew for half-time.

A comfortable win seemed likely at this point in the game, especially when, just after the restart, Cazalet tricked the defence and side-stepped his way clean through. Unfortunately, he did not seem to realise the completeness with which he had outmanœuvred the opposition, with the result that he passed to Horsford 15 yards out, when it was plain to the spectators that he could have scored by going on, and the pass was forward. Sherborne rushed, Mills saving well, and, following this with another rush, reached our line, where Bryant made a splendid dribble to half-way. Sherborne again pressed, and the game was near our line, when Cazalet slid through the centre and passed to Murtrie, who once more sent Addison in behind the posts. Murtrie converted. Dulwich, 11.

The remainder of the game was just a long series of forward rushes by Sherborne, with our defence tested to the utmost. Playing down the hill, their pack was all over us. A dribble by Thomas relieved the pressure for a moment, but three times they came back to our line, and eventually they went over in the corner. Dulwich, 11; Sherborne, 3.

Immediately after the restart, we had to touch down. From the drop out a Sherborne centre made a mark and found touch in our 25. Their forwards reached the line, and we had to touch down again. Then our forwards, led by Hill, got to half-way. But their three-quarters got going, and they scored again, this time behind the posts. The failure to convert this try cost Sherborne the game. As events turned out, a goal here would have given them a draw. Dulwich, 11; Sherborne, 6.

Cazalet and Murtrie with some good defensive work stemmed the tide for awhile after the game had begun again, but their forwards were in great form now and continued to make things very warm for us. A forceful run by Horsford on the left gave us a momentary glimpse of their 25, but another forward rush brought them back to our line, where the ball was kicked over the deadline. They returned to our 25. Campbell relieved with a good dribble, and a kick by Horsford found touch half-way. Addison got away and was tackled in their half. Then their forwards rushed again; there was a scrum on our line: and just as we were settling down to a desperate defence, they were given a free-kick for offside right in front of our goal. It was an easy kick, and successful. Dulwich, 11; Sherborne, 9.

With about two minutes to play we set up a last attack, and Addison reached their 25. The game was in their half when No-Side was sounded.

P. G. Wodehouse.