Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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v Bristol United 4th February 1888


played at Leach's Field

Clifton 13 (3 Goals, 4 Tries (Troup 2,Begbie,H.C.Baker)) - Bristol United 0

The Bristol United side most mostly composed of Carlton, Redland Park and Westbury Park players and would form the backbone of the future Bristol side which was founded later in the year. The level of this win, perhaps, made the Clifton side over confident in their first encounter with the Bristol side the following year on the 23rd March 1889 click here

An account of the match appeared in The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post on the 6th February 1888 and said


This match, which has been looked forward to with no little interest, was played on Saturday on the Clifton ground at Henleaze, and to the suprise of the large company present ended in an exceedingly easy win for the home team, the score at the conclusion of play standing at three goals and four tries to nil. Such a walk over for the Clifton was totally unexpected, because the Bristol United side representatives inclded amongst their number several who had made themselves locally known by their individual merit, and as they appeared on the field they looked, undoubtedly they were, a good lot. The Cliftonians have for some years maintained a high position, although of course they have suffered reverses, and from the published names of the team it could be easily gathered that they meant doing their best to win., and, as Bristol United will no doubt remember for some time, they did. The result was due undoubtedly to the want of combination on the part of the Bristolians - a fault strongly apparent in their first match on Saturday week with the Cardiff Harlequins, and this can only be remedied by practice. The difficulties in the way of getting the team together for practice are of course exceedingly great, but if they could once be overcome the Bristolians would not be found lacking in combined attack, and each member would have gained practical knowledge of the extent of the capability possessed by the other. From the kick off the United were penned, and to such an extent that throughout the game there was not even a chance of their gaining a point; and only once, for a brief period of less than a minute, did they find themselves in their opponents' 25. The Cliftonian forwards rushed the Bristolians, and the passing was clean and decisive. At times the members of the united team pulled themselves together, and some very pretty play was observable, but there was no sustained action, and consequently no good result. It is to be hoped that not-withstanding the United Bristol have been beaten in their first two matches they will not loose heart, because instead of that it should stimulate them to further energy.

The captain of the United (Mr.J.H.Lowther) kicked off some twenty minutes later than the time at which the game was announced to commence, and H.C.Baker (captain of the Clifton) returning the ball a scrum was formed about half-way. The home forwards forced the play and Bristol territory was invaded. Getting the ball, Walter Troup, an invaluable half-back to Clifton, and who showed rattling form, passed to C.H.Moline, but before he could get away Geo. Haskins collared him. A tight scrum ensued, but the Bristol half-backs, F.Fry and F.Hill, with a bit of neat play relieved their side, and W.Coogan here at at other periods put in some good work. This relief was only temporary, for Bristol was at last forced to touchdownLowther kicked off, but Bristol was still forced to play on the defensive. E.Hill and L.C.Bennett, both of whom worked hard, brought the ball forward a short distance, and then passed to Geo. Haskins, and it was hoped that his speed would be of service to him, but both now and other points in the game was it apparent that he would not be permitted to make much use of his legs, and he was quickly tackled. The Bristol forwards then put in some good work, but the ground gained and more with it was lost by the rush of Clifton men, and by some neat passing between Troup and F.W.Huxtable, W.Brown, J.W.Winter were here conspicuous, but still Clifton pressed their opponents, and the ball was dangerously near the Bristol goal line. At last Clifton's efforts were rewarded, for Troup getting possession, cleverly dodged through his opponents, and placed the leather behind the posts. However, the major point was not scored, E.D.Lace failing for once at a very easy place kick. Up to this time, although Clifton had been aggressors, the fight had been a stiff one; but from now they had it absolutely all their own way, a United Bristol had fallen to pieces. A.A.Wansey was the next man to get in for Clifton, and Lace was successful. The leather was very quickly again in the Bristol twenty-five and from a throw-out, T.A.Prout did some good work for Bristol and Bennett assisted him, but he had not gone far when he was brought to the ground. Almost immediately afterwards the ball was taken with touch, and R.Edwards, securing it for the throw out, was within an ace of getting through when C.H.Jones, the Bristol back, who tackled his men pluckily, grassed him. Clifton, however, were only denied for a time, because Troup for the second time got in, and the goal was kicked. After this goals and tries became almost monotonous. C.Begbie reached home, and Lace nearly gained the full points by a magnificent shot, the ball striking the crossbar, and the next Baker suceeded in helping his side to score. When near the Bristol goal he took possession of the leather, but although collared by Jones, his length told, for he just placed it over the line. Lace was unsucessful, and so he was shortly afterwards when C.H.Crook got in, but within a short period C.Begbie gave him another opportunity, and he did not fail at the shot. Shortly after five o'clock the whistle sounded, and the game ended, as already stated in a victory for Clifton by 13 points to nil. The teams were as follows: - Clifton - Messrs E.D.Lace, back; C.H.Moline, C.H.Crook, F.W.Huxtable, A.A.Wansey, three-quarter-backs; W.Troup, C.Begbie, half-backs; H.C.Baker (Captain), F.M.May, A.Peck, R.Edwards, E.H.Leonard, W.J.Field, J.H.Birch. Bristol United - Messrs C.H.Jones (Medicals) back; George Haskins (Carlton), L.C.Bennett, E.Hill (Westbury Park), V.W.Davies (Redland Park), F.Fry (Redland Park), F.Hill (Carlton), half-backs; J.W.Winter, T.Thompson, W.Brown, T.A.Prout (Carlton), J.H.Lowther (Captain), C.Hardwick (Westbury Park); referee , Mr.A.E.Masters, Weston-super-Mare.