The Alleynian, February 1927
Dulwich v. Sherborne.
Played at Dulwich, December 4th. Result:- Dulwich 2 goals and 2 tries; Sherborne 1 goal and 1 try.
A splendid game, played at a great pace from start to finish on a ground which had dried considerably during the week and enabled the outsides of each team to do a lot of handling. It was a pity that we were without both Shaw and Hammer, as their pace on the wings might have led to a larger score. Skey and Talbot however, proved very good substitutes.
Sherborne kicked off at 2.35 from the road end, and some scrambling play followed, with Dulwich, owing to Wiseman’s excellent hooking, getting most of the ball. A forward pass spoiled one promising movement by our three-quarters, but the game had been in progress only ten minutes when a beautiful bit of work put us three points up. From a scrum near half-way Burrell got the ball away with a very fine pass. Kinghorn cut through, Dewey went through another man and reached the back, where he handed on to Skey. Skey was almost tackled, but broke loose and just got over in the corner before the defence could get round. A good kick by Hughman failed.
Time 2.45. Dulwich 3 points, Sherborne nil.
We continued to press, Wiseman and Martin doing some good dribbling. Sherborne worked the ball back into our half, where, after Skey had saved well, A. E. S. Talbot broke away with a splendid dribble and was within ten yards of the Sherborne line before he lost the ball. Scrums followed in the Sherborne twenty-five, but eventually their forwards rushed back to half-way; and a passing movement among their three-quarters, followed by a long punt, took the game over our fifteen-yard line. Mates showed up well in the loose, and another dribble by A. Talbot and a punt by Hughman broke up the attack, and the game returned to half-way.
The Sherborne back failed to find touch with a punt, and Hughman with a splendid kick took us into their twenty-five. Their forwards wheeled and rushed to half-way, where Mates set our three-quarters going with a nice pass. Our forwards got the ball in a scrum near the half-way line, and Kinghorn, getting going about forty yards out, made one of the two big individual efforts of the day. It looked as if he must be forced into touch, but, keeping just clear, he raced down on the right, swerved round the back, and scored a beautiful try, which Hughman had no difficulty in converting.
Time 2.59. Dulwich 8 points; Sherborne nil.
It seemed as though we now had the game tucked away. Up till now we had had the better of it both in the scrum and outside, and nothing that the Sherborne outsides had done appeared to promise danger. But barely half a minute after the restart things went wrong. Sworder, their fly half, getting the ball near half-way, performed the second of the day’s big feats. Cutting right through and beating everybody, he reached Hughman and handed the ball on to Spedding, their right centre, who had nothing to do but run over between the posts. A great try, which was converted.
Time 3 p.m. Dulwich 8 points, Sherborne 5.
The game was now anybody’s. Another try by Sherborne might have been the end of us; and if Hughman, who was as safe as a rock all through, had not made a spectacular catch just after this, they would probably have got it. As it was, Hughman got the ball and found touch in their half; and after Mates had done some good work in the line-out, Kinghorn punted to their twenty-five. Here, from a scrum, Martin scored what looked from the other side of the ground a curiously soft try. The ball apparently went through their scrum-half’s legs, and with nobody on the Sherborne side seeming to take any interest in him Martin kicked it over the line and and touched it down. Hughman’s kick was a good one, but went wide.
Time 3.6. Dulwich 11 points; Sherborne 5.
Half-time came with Sherborne pressing. Hughman stopped a dangerous rush just as the whistle blew.
In the comfortable position of having to let our opponents through twice before we could lose our lead, we started the second half with confidence: but now Sherborne seemed to be playing much better together than they had done up to the interval. Their forwards with a series of rushes worked the ball right up to our line. Wiseman dribbled back to half-way, and our three-quarters made some more ground.
At this point however, a Sherborne forward was left unmarked out of touch in two successive lines-out, and the game came back into our half, until Kinghorn relieved with a long punt.
Sherborne attacked again, and this time Hughman relieved. But their forwards were now on top of us and doing some fine work in the loose, and their left wing went over the line and was only stopped from scoring by being pushed into touch in goal.
A few moments later, after a couple of scrums five yards out, he went over again and this time touched down. Time 3.37. The kick failed and the score now was Dulwich 11 points; Sherborne 8.
This was the crisis of the game. The winning side was plainly going to be the one which could dominate the play in the next ten minutes: and fortunately we rallied capitally and from now on did all the attacking. Wiseman, Cook and Martin put in a splendid combined dribble, and, after we had attacked strongly for some minutes, a good pass by Chapman almost sent Skey over in the corner. Play continued on the Sherborne line, but an attempt at a drop-goal enabled them to touch down.
Hughman set us going again with a splendid kick, and after the Sherborne forwards had rushed to half-way, Kinghorn returned into touch in their thirty-five. Chapman gained more ground with a neat punt; and then, within two minutes of No Side, Dewey settled the thing by breaking through about twenty yards out and passing to Martin on the line. Martin charged over between the posts and Hughman converted.
Time 3.50. Dulwich 16 points; Sherborne 8.
It was a fine wind-up for our School matches, and the whole team are entitled to think well of themselves. Every man in the pack worked like a hero, with Mates particularly noticeable out of touch. Wiseman was at the top of his form, both at hooking and in the loose. Martin and Talbot were always on the ball, Martin’s second try being a bit of real Bedford backing-up.
Kinghorn played a great game, as did Hughman. The latter’s safe hands and coolness in finding touch in the face of rushing forwards saved us again and again.
P. G. Wodehouse.
The team was as follows:—
T. M. P. Hughman; W. G. Skey, D. M. Kinghorn (Capt.), G. E. Dewey, W. D. S. Talbot; W. A. H. Chapman, O. L. Burrell; R. Martin, W. C. E. Wiseman, J. R. Cook, A. E. S. Talbot, G. Bethell-Jones, R. M. King, J. Mates, D. T. Campbell.