Date: 13 August 1910
Venue: WACA Ground, Perth, Western Australia
Western Australia: L.Heberle, Jack Booth, Royston Evans, Ted Nesbit (c), Frank Smallwood, Archie Kirkpatrick, Clem Bogle, G.McCann, Tommy McCreery, V.Jackson, Vic Allen
South Australia: Ted Rowley, W.Stoddart, H.Waterman, T.Smith, J.Wallace, J.Rae, F.Turnbull, N.McIllmurray, C.Pearce, J.Stubbs, T.Lewis
Western Australia chalked up their first win on home soil by defeating South Australia 2-0 in the first game of a three test series between the states during August 1910. Tommy McCreery put the west ahead with a fine header before an opportunistic finish by G.McCann completed the scoring before half-time. “Western Australia were value for a victory, but had South Australia scored once it would have been a better indication of the run of the play” (1). Threatening weather kept crowd numbers down but those who did brave the conditions were treated to a game that was “full of incident and sparkled with brilliant play on both sides” (2).
The opening stages favoured the home team with the first shot in anger coming from McCann, who lifted high of the crossbar. W.Stoddart and J.Wallace were kept busy as Western Australia gained a trio of corners, all of which went unconverted. The breakthrough eventually arrived via a Ted Nesbit thrown in which McCann whipped into the 18-yard box where McCreery headed beyond the reach of goalkeeper Ted Rowley. T.Lewis combined with J.Stubbs for South Australia’s first meaningful attack which ended with the latter crashing a shot against the bar.
Although Western Australia had the upper hand they failed to take the breeze into account when delivering into the final third. Going the other way N.McIllmurray forced a great save from L.Heberle, who not long after took the ball off the boot of C.Pearce after he’d pounced on an error by Jack Booth. The fact Rowley was playing with the sun in his eyes contributed to the west increasing their lead when McCann tucked the ball in from close-range after the visiting ‘keeper paddled Frank Smallwood’s cross onto the bar.
South Australia showed great promise at the start of the second half, McIllmurray and F.Turnbull taking the ball straight into attack only to find no one on hand to finish the move. After this the teams settled and possession became evenly shared. McCreery and Clem Bogle were each thwarted by offside calls, then another telling move orchestrated by Turnbull amounted to nothing. Nesbit nipped in to concede a corner as Stubbs and Lewis attempted to net a McIllmurray centre.
As the game came to an end it became increasing evident that the South Australian’s hadn’t fully recovered from their six-day journey by sea to Perth. Rowley saved the day by turning the ball around the post with V.Jackson, McCreery and McCann in close proximity shortly before referee A.McDowall blew his whistle for the last time. Heberle, Archie Kirkpatrick and McCann were the pick of the home players, with South Australia’s best being Wallace, Rowley and Stoddart.
(1) and (2) p.6, the ‘West Australian’ newspaper, 15 August 1910
Date: 20 August 1910
Venue: Royal Show Ground, Claremont, Western Australia
Western Australia: L.Heberle, Royston Evans (c), W.Bennett, Archie Kirkpatrick, Frank Smallwood, Ted Nesbit, Vic Allen, Cowlishaw, Tommy McCreery, G.McCann, H.Matthews
South Australia: Ted Rowley, H.Waterman, T.Smith, T.Lewis, J.Wallace, J.Rae, F.Turnbull, J.Stubbs, N.McIllmurray, C.Pearce, F.Dilks
Tommy McCreery became the first player to score a hat-trick for the State team when he hit all the goals in a 4-0 drubbing of South Australia. Going on the balance of play alone the game was much closer than the margin suggests, however, the visitors poor defensive work and inability to convert cost them dearly. Western Australia made three changes to the side of a few days earlier with W.Bennett, Cowlishaw and H.Matthews coming in at the expense of Jack Booth, V.Jackson and Clem Bogle.
After a relatively uneventful opening few minutes it was South Australia that found their rhythm first. A attack from the right flank put the ball with F.Dilks whose hesitancy to shoot gave Bennett time to get across and clear the danger. Dilks was presented with another opportunity a short time later but placed high from a corner. The hosts’ first chance came via an error by H.Waterman, Vic Allen unleashing a shot which Ted Rowley parried with G.McCann putting the follow-up wide.
South Australia continued to monopolise play but found home backs Bennett and Royston Evans in commanding form. A long run by McIllmurray put him into a shooting position until Bennett intervened, then F.Turnbull looked certain to score but had the ball taken from him by Evans. Perhaps inspired by their backline, Western Australia then came into the game and through a lovely move that featured Allen, Archie Kirkpatrick and Cowlinshaw the former tested Rowley for a second time.
Western Australia’s reward for an increased work rate was to take the lead midway through the half, Allen latching on to Evans’ long clearance latched which he took past one defender before centring for McCreery to beat Rowley from close in. The visitors reply was a period of sustained attack. A couple of promising moves were spoiled when Turnbull then Pearce were pulled up for offside, while Evans saved the day with a goal line header to keep out a Turnbull overhead after L.Heberle blocked an initial shot by Pearce.
Three goals in quick succession gave the half an crackerjack finish. Cowlishaw ran the ball wide down the right before crossing to a suspiciously offside McCreery, who had no problem scoring the hosts second. Soon after Rowley’s full-length dive was to no avail as McCreery completed his hat-trick following a defensive mix-up between T.Smith, J.Wallace and Waterman. The game had barely restarted when Pearce seized on an error by Evans to set-up McIllmurray, who duly made it three-one.
A smattering of half chances greeted both teams following the break. Western Australia were lucky not to concede again when Heberle’s clearance crashed into Evans and ricocheted just wide. Ted Nesbit cleverly worked himself into position but shot past the post, then Matthews forced a save from Rowley after combining with McCann. Moments later the west had their fourth goal with McCreery again the scorer, this time from an Allen centre.
The final margin would have been much greater had Frank Smallwood and Cowlishaw been able to make more of late opportunities, both players striking into the crossbar. The fact half-back Wallace was named best on ground was little consolation to a South Australian side that lacked sharpness where and when it counted most. Allen played a pivotal role in the home team registering their second successive win over South Australia, while there were also standout performances by Evans and McCreery.
Date: 24 August 1910
Venue: Fremantle Oval, Fremantle, Western Australia
Western Australia: L.Heberle, Jack Booth, James Cowan, Ted Nesbit, Cotterill, Reading, Clem Bogle, G.McCann, Royston Evans (c), Ewing, O.Gomme
South Australia: Ted Rowley, H.Waterman, W.Stoddart, T.Smith, J.Wallace, J.Rae, T.Lewis, C.Pearce, N.McIllmurray, J.Stubbs, F.Dilks
South Australia restored some pride by holding Western Australia to a 1-1 draw in the third and final game of the 1910 test series. C.Pearce fired the visitors ahead before defender W.Stoddard succumbed to an ankle injury and, this being almost fifty years before substitutes were commonplace, South Australia played the remainder of the game with ten effective men. Royston Evans salvaged a draw with a well taken late strike for a Western Australian side that featured seven changes to that which had won so comprehensively a fortnight earlier.
The hosts settled quickest and mustered a couple of early shots which Ewing placed past the target. With a stiff breeze at their backs, South Australia eventually got into gear and started to pressure an uneasy defence. Ten minutes had gone when Pearce drew first blood by capitalising on mistakes by James Cowan and Jack Booth before shooting past L.Heberle. Almost immediately Ted Rowley found himself under siege as successive shots by Ewing, Evans and Clem Bogle were blocked, G.McCann hit the upright then Reading sent wide.
Following that close call, South Australia worked the ball down the field through a series of throws that culminated in N.McIllmurray letting off a shot from distance which Heberle got to with Pearce fast closing in. Home nerves remained on edge as J.Rae released McIllmurray who had the goal in his sights when Jack Booth put the ball out. The resulting corner was sent in and following a mad scramble T.Lewis shot wide much to the relief of the Western Australia backline.
The wind had dropped off by the start of the second half but even so Western Australia went straight into attack and with a little more composure would have found a way past Rowley. McIllmurray then wasted a great chance to put away the visitors second after some clever lead-up play by Pearce. Evans did likewise at the other end, putting a free-kick over the crossbar after being fouled close to goal by H.Waterman, who was fortunate referee A.McDowall didn’t consider his infringement worthy of a penalty kick.
As the clock ticked down Western Australia stepped up the tempo, however, their attempts to equalise were constantly nullified by a stubborn defence. Eventually the pace took it’s toll on South Australia’s ten fit men as Evans receiveda pass from Cotterill to embark on a trademark run which he finished with a fine strike from an acute angle. The final play saw Evans in good position to snatch what would have been an undeserved victory before he overran the ball, allowing J.Wallace to clear to safety.
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