1892-3. P33, W28, L5.
T. W. PEARSON’S TRY SCORING RECORD
After last season’s disastrous one, this proved to be most successful for the captain W. Pearson, a great wing three-quarter, an Old Millhillian, who at school performed a number of prodigious scoring feats. With Cardiff he gained nine Welsh caps and played 180 First XV games, before transferring to the Newport Club in 1895-6. Pearson had an influx of good players. They included Norman Biggs who had played mostly for the Richmond Club the previous season, J. E. “Jack ‘ Elliott a three-quarter from Llandaff (strong club at the time), A. F. Hill a grand forward who re-appeared after an absence of two seasons; the local St. David’s Club also provided us with good forwards in J. Burke, R. Guinea and R. Davies. Another forward, W. Cope, was available again; he later gained a cap for Wales while playing for the Blackheath Club in 1896. He became an eminent figure in public life as Sir William Cope, Bart. K.C., J.P., D.L. A twinkling star was born in the person of E. Gwyn Nicholls who made his debut with two matches for the premier team whilst playing for our Reserves.
Only Swinton of the Northern Clubs was on this season’s fixture list as the formation of the Professional Northern Union precluded us from continuing our engagements with Salford, Huddersfield, etc. But two new clubs appeared on the Park, namely St. Thomas & Guys Hospitals—beaten by one goal, three tries to two tries, and Dublin Wanderers who were beaten by three goals, two tries to nil, Inauspiciously, we lost the first two matches to Neath away, and Swansea home, but it was the four match series with Newport which created most attention. Unbeaten for the whole of last season, Newport won the first match on the Arms Park by one goal, three tries to one try, and the second at Newport by four goals, two tries to nil. Still unbeaten on the 11th of February for the third match at Cardiff, few people thought Cardiff had any chance of winning, particularly as they were forced to make positional changes. The ground, after heavy rain was a veritable quagmire. and during a long wait for the kick-off, rumour was rife that the visitors did not wish to risk their record in such conditions I Cardiff triumphed by one goal, two tries to three tries and so ended Newport’s very long run of invincibility.
Three of the Biggs brothers took part in the match and the teams are perhaps worth recording, they were:
CARDIFF—D. W. Evans, T. W. Pearson (capt.), D. Fitzgerald, Norman Biggs and E. P. Biggs. J. E. Elliot and Selwyn Biggs. Gus Lewis, R. Guinea, J. Burke, R. Davies,
W. Cope, W. Davies, A. F. Hill and A. F. Bland.
NEWPORT—T. England, A. J. Gould, Bert Gould. B. Dauncey and F. W. Cooper. P. Phillips and F. C. Parfitt. T. C. Graham (capt.). J. Hannen, A. W. Boucher, H. T. Day,
T. Pook, W. Groves, W. H. Watts and Harry Packer.
To add to Cardiff’s glory they also won the last match at Newport by a goal to a try. Norman Biggs was our scorer, being chased in vain by Newport’s sprinter F. W. Cooper, and he also kicked the goal. D. W. Evans playing at fullback also distinguished himself by stopping Cooper in full flight several times. Amongst other notable victories were those over Coventry and Moseley; Gloucester (who were beaten by four goals, four tries to nil) and, interestingly, the narrow win over Swinton on the Park by a dropped goal to a try on 3rd April. It was a very hot day, and Swinton had had the better of the game until near the end when the ball got into the hands of J. Francis, one of our players from the St. David’s Club, who, urged on by the crowd to “drop a goal “ succeeded in doing so, the whistle going for time shortly afterwards. During the course of this match, one of the stands at the river end partially collapsed injuring several spectators. There was a gate of 12,000 for Cardiff’s match with Swansea on 25th March.
T. W. Pearson, whose record of 40 tries lasted until 1947-48, was the top scorer, Norman Biggs got 20 tries, his brothers, Selwyn scored eight and E. P. Biggs seven, J. E Elliott was next to Norman with 13 tries. The captain and J. E. Elliott played in every match. First XV caps were awarded to Elliott, Selwyn Biggs, W. Davies, J. Burke and Dai Fitzgerald. F. S. Grogan was the Second XV captain, his team played 25, won 10, ‘lost 12 and three were drawn. Reserves’ caps were awarded to E. Gwyn Nicholls, W. J. Evans, J. Francis. D. Thomas, W. Wynde. F. Dalrymple, W. G. Williams and C. Palmer; 21 goals and 36 tries were scored to 16 goals and 26 tries. In the match against Troedyrhiw, E. Gwyn Nicholls scored four tries and three goals.
As to finance, receipts amounted to £2,637.8.7d. including £1,985.11.4d. from gates. Donations of £23.11.Od. were made, and a total of £285 given to local charities; in addition £90 was given to the University College of South Wales for a scholarship. There had been a Tondu Colliery disaster and the whole of the Cardiff v. Swansea gate of 1st October was given to the fund for the relief of sufferers. Our early administrators were truly humane and charitably inclined. In this seventeenth season there were now over 600 members. W. H. Treatt and H. J. Simpson retired from active office, they had done much to further the progress of the club, and their services were suitably recognized. It was reported by the late C. S. Arthur that “an attempt was made to bring about the amalgamation of the Football and Cricket Clubs, and a meeting was held at the Angel Hotel on the 16th November for the purpose”. The proposal came to fruition.
Many of the Rugby players had played cricket for the club. W. M. Shepherd, one of the club’s ground committee was responsible for the scheme to place on the Cardiff Arms Park (which was frozen before the Welsh match with England) hundreds of “devils ‘ and hot iron plates, and as part of the ground was thawed it was then covered up with straw. The scheme was successful and it enabled the match to be played. Jack Frost having been routed, there was a large gate of 15,000, a splendid game followed culminating in a win for Wales by two goals, two tries to one goal, three tries. Cardiff was represented by Norman Biggs and A, F, Hill. Norman Biggs scored one of the tries.