Ballarat Football Club Vs Redan Football Club
The following report is from the ‘Ballarat Star’, Monday 4th September. 1871.
Ian Pym our Redan FNC Historian has found two recorded matches against the Ballarat Football Club in 1871 it is certainly the second oldest football club in Ballarat, it was formally formed as a football club in early 1871.
The Redan team: P. Bowden (Captain), O’Neil, Hughes, Sherman (2), P Healy, Dargan, O’Keefe, Bowe (2), Meagher, Taylor, Harrigan, Emergency J T Slattery, Tierney, Brennan, O’Connor, Kelly. The kickoff was half past two Sharp.
‘…. Wynne’s paddock which was situated between Carlton and Sturt Streets Ballarart was held on Saturday afternoon the scene of the decidedly the roughest and most closely- contested match the Ballarat Football has played this season. The club’s opponents were the members of the Redan Football Club ‘alias’ the tribute workers of the Band of Hope (mine), who were stalwart, strong fellows, averaging about 14 stone.
In this respect they had the advantage of the members of the Ballarat Football Club, who were all light weights, and played without their captain and several well-known players. The game itself was played against all rules of football, holding being the order of the day, while the Redan Club had no scruples in tripping, and worse.
For these breaches, the umpire gave reprisals, although in every case the Redan men protested, and at times the disputes seemed likely to end in a free fight. The Redan club seldom picked up the ball; they rush about after the ball and play with no skill but by main force.
The ground was very slippery and wet, so that, with the ball being greasy, the best players could make no show, not being able either to hold the ball or retain their footing.
McLeod made some brilliant spurts, but from the reasons stated, they were of little avail. Merrin was anxious to work but failed in doing much. Boyd had two splendid chances within a few yards of the goal but seemed too excited and missed both.
It is needless to describe the Redan players, as they were all about the same- here, there, and every-where: kicking and tripping regardless of consequences. We understand that Mr. George Bignell, of the Brunswick Hotel, got his collar bone broken.
There was a numerous attendance of spectators, many of them being backers of the Redan Club, and were very enthusiastic. The lookers-on had no end of amusement from the rough play and ludicrous way the Redan Club played. Mr. Foote discharged his more than onerous duties as central umpire with satisfaction to all who know the rules of football.
It is to be hoped, when the club next tries conclusions, the tributors will play more in accordance with the rules, and that the ground will be in better condition. Then, the Ballarat Football Club hopes to make up in its activity and skill what it is deficient in weight….’
The ‘Ballarat Star’, Monday 4th September. 1871