1900-1939 - BRFC

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1900-1939

HISTORY
Brixham gained, in the final for the Devon Rugby Football Junior Cup, a decisive victory over Ilfracombe on Saturday. From start to finish the South Devon men had all the best of the game, and well deserved their win by 24 points to nil. For the most part the play was confined to the forwards, and was of a somewhat scrappy nature. The Brixham men scored three times in each half. Their forwards were much the smarter on the ball, and their backs experienced little difficulty in repelling the occasional attacks of the North Devon men. Taken on the whole, the form shown by Ilfracombe was very disappointing, and by no means came up to the most part the play was confined to expectation. They were so excited in the early part of the game that they could neither pick up, pass, or kick.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 10 April 1905

A celebratory poem:
THE ELECTRIC BALL
No. 10 and FINAL

The town’s alive, each man and boy,
And all the women too,
With eager zest, and much unrest,
There is a great ado!

The final heat has now been played,
With the electric ball;
The end being known, ‘tis plainly shown
Which side has won the goal.

At every corner, where resort
The gossips of the town,
And where they quaff the cheering draught,
This ball the topics crown.

Sad is the tale from India told,
Of earthquake and disruption;
Od Russian woe, ‘mid eastern snow,
Caused by Japan’s assumption.


The Junior Cup, by Brixham won,
Was clever in its way;
But when compared, so all declared,
‘Twas nothing to our play.

The earth upon its axis turns,
And many a unit with it,
The electric ball became so small,
It passed beyond earth’s limit.

The Arctic and Antarctic seas,
For it you may explore,
The Transvaal mine, or Klondike line,
But never find it more.

The Aeronaut may mount aloft,
The planets look within,
Through space may sail, but he will fail
The Prize he seeks to win.
Strange, when it last was sought or seen,
Its colour none could tell!
Some said ‘twas blue, and some ‘twas green,
‘Twould shrink, and then ‘twould swell.

Then like a rocket, up it went
With a rush, and then a shower,
And so in space was lost, what once
Appeared with potent power.

Historians yet its fame may tell –
Posterity may wonder –
But friends, I bid you now farewell,
Lest I may further blunder


R. W. EDWARDS
Brixham, April 12th, 1905
Brixham (v. Seaton, at Newton Abbot. Junior Cup final).
S. J. Couch; C. Lamswood, J. Jeffries, Lamswood, R. Friend; H. Morey, F. Fast; F. Silley, J. Morey. S. Maunders. W. Dodd, S. Johnson, S. Wilcox, T. Penny, F, Barrow.
Western Times - Saturday 27 March 1909

By four tries to nil, Brixham again secured possession of the Devon Junior Cup. and they thoroughly deserved their success. The game took place at Newton, before a good crowd, a large number of spectators accompanying both the Brixham and Seaton teams. The losers started in a manner that, seemed to promise a warm time for the fishermen, but they failed to keep it up and once Brixham got into their stride there was no holding them. They played a beautiful passing game, the combination between the backs being all that could be desired. Before the interval R. Lamswood, C. Lamswood. and Jefferys had scored unconverted tries after skilful handling. Seaton had the misfortune to lose one of their half-backs (T. Rodgers). but Brixham, with fine sportsmanship, allowed them to bring in a substitute in the second half. The forwards played a hard game after the interval, their dribbling being excellent up to tho finishing point, and there it failed through bad judgment. Several times they had chances of turning it to account, but their inability to keep cool spoilt them. Their bustling tactics, however, threw Brixham off their game until close on time, and then the latter again got their passing machinery in motion, with the result that Friend added another pretty try. For a cup match, play was considerably above the average, and those who witnessed it had their moneys worth. The Seaton team had a grand reception on their return Saturday evening, despite the fact that they were beaten. On their arrival the Seaton Band met them, and played them to the headquarters, when short congratulatory speeches were made and. cheers given for the team, the Captain, and the Hon. Secretary. Some hundreds of supporters and friends were present in the Square.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 29 March 1909
JUNIOR CUP FINAL
Brixham v Seaton at Newton Abbot
This match was played at Newton, Saturday, before a good gate. Seaton brought 100 and Brixham nearly 500 supporters. Seaton, through various reasons had to remodel their team, but Brixham were at full strength, except that W Friend took the place of Banner in the forwards. The Brixham mascot, a teddy bear, occupied a position on the stand. Mr. A. D. Judd refereed. Brixham kicked off, and the visitors who were much the heavier team, attacked through footwork. The South Devon men were penned on their own line, and were eventually forced to save. Play settled in Brixham's 25, until R. Friend broke away to the visitors' 25, where an opponent marked. G Rogers cleverly intercepted, but failed to regain the ball on the rebound, and a kick sent Seaton back to the centre. A Brixham rush to the line was stopped by A. Real, the forwards rushing for the Brixham 25. Brixham returned to the Seaton line, and J. Lambswood received. He cleverly tricked the defence, and scored, the kick failing. Brixham were quicker to seize opportunities, whilst Seaton were slow and lacked finish. From a capital round of passing, in which all the outside men handled, Lambswood again scored for Brixham, the kick failing. Seaton, by footwork, got on the attack, and lost a good position by their slowness. A mark gained Brixham little ground, but Silley, with a capital dribble, toed to the Seaton line. R. Hooper, with a clear field, just failed to take on the rebound, and Brixham got again on the attack. Seaton relieved to midfield by rushes. T. Rogers was injured, and had tc be carried off. Brixham now scored again through C. Lambswood, the ball passing through the hands of eight men. The place kick failed Brixham were still pressing when the whistle sounded for halftime, and the score was:
Brixham 3 tries Seaton Nil
The "Dreadnought" Chorus, led by a well-known Exeter Conservative from the Stand, amused the crowd during the interval. On the restart it was seen that Cawley had taken the place of Rogers by the courtesy of the Brixhamites. J. Lambswood secured from the start, and passing saw Friend miss with an open goal, the ball going dead. Brixham were doing some clever outside work, and C. Lambswood was all but over when he was brought down. A free kick to Seaton on their own line was charged down, and they were fortunate to escape with a save. By loose play the East Devon men got away, and Brixham were forced to save. Offside lost Seaton their position, Couch eventually getting the ball away to touch at the centre. Pretty passing work by Brixham, who were getting the ball every time, kept them on the attack, until a Seaton forward luckily kicked through, but Fast relieved under pressure. Nothing daunted, Seaton returned to the attack, and they certainly during this half worried the Brixham defence considerably, their forward work being very good, but they lost numerous chances of scoring. Brixham eventually opened out, and Friend scored, but the extra points were not added
Result: Brixham 12pts. Seaton Nil
BRIXHAM'S WELCOME HOME.
The Brixham team received an enthusiastic reception on arriving home. The Military and Excelsior Bands, and a conveyance were at at the G.W.K. Station. A procession was formed, and paraded the principal streets, which were densely lined with people. At the Bolton Cross the united bands played "See, the Conquering Hero Comes." The keenest of enthusiasm prevailed, over a thousand people being present, despite the heavy downpour of rain. Mr. H. M. Smerdon thanked the crowd for their hearty reception. Cheers were lustily raised for the Brixham and Seaton players.
Western Times - Monday 29 March 1909


DEVON RUGBY CUP.
TORBAY CLUBS' EAGER BATTLE.
BRIXHAM WIN TROPHY
The crowd that assembled at Newton Abbot to witness the final for the Devon Rugby Cup between Torquay Athletic and Brixham was the largest on record, and they saw Brixham win by a try to nil. It was a remarkably interesting game for a match, with Torquay showing the better football and doing most of the attacking, especially in the second half of the game. They were opposed, however, by a very fine defence, and a draw would have been a truer reflex of the run of the play than a win for Brixham. The try which settled the matter was somewhat in the nature of a gift. The Brixham forwards made a fine rush down the field, and the ball was kicked over the line. Three Torquay men succession had the opportunity of saving— one actually bouncing the ball with his hand — but they muddled their chances, and Blackmore nipped in and touched down in the corner. A magnificent kick by Campbell just failed to add the goal points.
BRIXHAM INSPIRED.
This success inspired the men to greater efforts, and for a time they assumed the aggressive, but the Torquay threequarters worked their way to the other end. Through over-eagerness the Torquay forwards continually spoilt rushes by getting offside, while the Brixham defence was too sound to be pierced by the outside men. In the second half Torquay were attacking nearly all the time, but Campbell was a wonder in checking every movement when it looked dangerous. Through the awkward bouncing of the ball Phillips failed to gather when he had a clear field. Then at the other end Sherwell was tackled in possession almost under the posts, and suffered a similar fate a few minutes later, but Torquay were not long in relieving the pressure. For a period there was a succession of marks and free-kicks, and several attempts were made for goal without success. Knapman was stopped just in time. In the last few minutes Gilham made a splendid dash. He was not far from his own line when he intercepted and made for the other end. He was pushed into touch a couple of yards out, and an exciting game ended in Brixham winning by a try to nil.
ROUSING RECEPTION.
A rousing reception awaited the homecoming of the victorious Brixham players on Saturday evening from a crowd, some 4,000 strong, assembled at the Bolton Cross. Mr. C. R. Edwards, president the club, congratulated the players on a memorable achievement, and eulogized the sporting spirit in which the game had been played and the admirable manner in which it was controlled by the referee (Mr. J. R. Frost). At the President's suggestion the crowd stood for many seconds with heads bared and bowed as tribute to the memory of the crews who lost their lives in the Majestic end Love and Unity. Mr. T. Campbell thanked the crowd for their magnificent reception, and hoped the Brixham Club would long continue its successful career. Mr. H. M. Smardon (Devon Rugby Union said the bringing of the cup to Brixham was the most momentous victory the annals of Brixham Rugby.
Western Morning News - Monday 27 March 1922
BRIXHAM R.F.C.
WILL IT CONTINUE?
It was stated at the annual meeting of Brixham Rugby Football Club that last season's working resulted in a loss of £81, against £38 the previous year. Gate money only produced £137, and travelling expenses totalled £206 while it cost £460 to keep the Club going. The Hon. Treasurer (Mr W. T. Wodd) said the Committee had worked hard but had received no encouragement from the general public. The Chairman (Mr.R. Crang) announced that the Hon. Secretary (Mr. J. Williams), the Hon. Treasurer, and 13 of the 16 members of the Committee had decided not to seek re-election, and that there were only four new nominations for the Committee. The meeting was adjourned for three weeks to consider the position.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 02 July 1929
DEVON RUGBY
EFFORT TO SURMOUNT BRIXHAM DIFFICULTIES
At the adjourned meeting of Brixham Rugby football club the proposal of Mr. W. E. Stockman that Messrs. H. M. Smardon and H. Southcombe be empowered to obtain sufficient nominations from the followers of the Rugby code to form a committee was approved. The feeling was expressed that it would be a retrograde policy to allow the club to become defunct even for one season, and that to revert to junior status would prove almost as costly in travelling as to carry out tho senior games which had been fixed. The question of remodelling the rules of the club was also discussed. Mr. R. Crang presided.
Mr. H. M. Smardon said he wanted to remove the erroneous impression that he was in favour of carrying on the club and increasing the overdraft on the football field to wipe out the debts that might occur off any season's working. He was just as keen on the preservation of the football field for Rugby as he was when the proposal to purchase the field was first made. Instead of increasing the overdraft, every effort should be made to lessen it. The debt which was hanging over the club had been accruing for many seasons. Unfortunately, last season, through falling off in the gates, there were very heavy losses on games with clubs to whom long journeys had to be made, and the guarantee fixtures incurred very big deficits. If the club was reorganized and conducted on a sound basis the public would readily support the committee. Mr. F. P. Lee and Mr. W. E. Stockman both considered men with interest in the Rugby code would act on the committee if they were approached.
Western Morning News - Monday 05 August 1929

Brixham won the Devon Senior Cup final, beating Paignton at Torquay by one penalty goal, two tries (nine points) to nil. The cup was presented to the winners by the Mayor of Torquay (Mr. F. Callard). Brixham received an enthusiastic reception when they returned home with the cup.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 15 April 1932

DEVON RUGBY CUP FINAL
BRIXHAM v PAIGNTON
Paignton, the holders, and Brixham met at the Torquay Recreation Ground in the final of the Devon Senior Cup. Brixham’s forwards were early prominent with loose rushes and looked as if they would score, but the ball rolled over the dead line. By clever touch-finding, Paignton worked to within a few yards of Brixham’s line, but Stocman relieved. McDannell, the Paignton full-back, was sure in his kicking and was a great strength to his side and nearly dropped a goal from half-way. Brixham opened with better play and nearly scored. Stockman sent the ball over the line, but was obstructed when racing to fall on it. 

Merchant tried to drop a goal, but the kick was charged down. The best run for the match was by Merchant, who cut through beautifully, but after a run of forty yards, fell to Paignton’s full-back. From a scrum 15 yards from the line the ball came out to the Brixham side and travelled across to Richardson, who beat the opposition to score in the corner. The goal kick failed. Freathy, of Paignton, left the field injured. Within a few minutes, Brixham were given a free kick for a foul, and Pearce landed a goal. Paignton opened out and Pearse came near to crossing after a good, short, run. Brixham’s forwards were asserting a superiority in the loose. Paignton took play to the Brixham line. Durbin, who followed up, just failed to reach the ball in time and Brixham relieved. After Stockman had knocked on in crossing the line, Merchant made an opening, and the ball went across the field to Richardson who scored an unimproved try in the corner.
Result: Brixham 1 penalty goal, 2 tries (9pts); Paignton, nil. The Cup was presented to the Captain of the Brixham team by the Mayor of Torquay ( Mr. Frank Callard).

The Brixham Rugby team received a very enthusiastic ovation when they arrived home with the Devon Senior Cup on Saturday evening. The spacious Bolton Cross was crowded with enthusiasts. Speeches were delivered from the balcony of the Bolton Hotel by Mr. H. Southcombe, Hon. Sec., and Mr. C. Rowe, Captain of the Club. Through being on tour in France, the Chairman of the Club, Mr. J. Robertson Owen, and through being associated with the stewardship of the final performance of “Tom Jones” by the Brixham Amateur Operatic Society, Mr. H. M. Smardon, of the Devon Rugby Union, were unable to participate in the welcome home of the victorious team.
 
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