Date: 24 March 1902
Venue: Fremantle Oval, Fremantle, Western Australia
Western Australia: Arthur Hardwicke, G.Field, George Hatton (c), Bert Fletcher, A.Goad, Joe Gorton, Fred Burt, G.MacKenzie, Reg Burt, Tom O’Nurse, Stan Williams
England Cricket XI: Gilbert Jessop, Dick Lilley, Charlie McGahey, Johnny Tyldesley, Willie Quaife, Harold Garnett, Colin Blythe, Arthur Jones, Len Braund, John Gunn, Tom Hayward
Referee: Mr Robson
The first outing by a Western Australian representative team ended in a 4-0 loss to the visiting English Cricket Team. Some 4,000 spectators filled the Fremantle Oval stand and reserve to establish a record attendance for a football match in Western Australia. The mid-afternoon game was played over two thirty-minute halves, after which the visitors boarded a steam boat bound for England.
England, aided by a strong breeze, were on the attack from the outset with Arthur Jones calling Arthur Hardwicke into the action. Harold Garnett then sent an indirect free-kick into the net but, as it didn’t touch another player referee Mr Robson had no option but to disallow the goal. A concerted run by Tom Hayward saw him slip possession to John Gunn who shot with precision beyond Hardwicke’s reach to put England one-nil up after 5 minutes.
Spurred on by vocal home support, Reg Burt, Fred Burt and G.MacKenzie were doing all they could to get the hosts back on level terms. Stan Williams fashioned the State’s first opening by getting down his wing and passing to Reg Burt, whose hesitation to shoot allowed Charlie McGahey to steal possession. England were just as determined to score again and a beautiful piece of play by Gunn ended with a shot skimming the top of the crossbar.
But there would be no denying Gunn who eventually increased England’s lead with a neat shot that evaded the outstretched gloves of Hardwicke. The State goalkeeper prevented further addition to the score by saving from Colin Blythe, who found his path to goal blocked by A.Goad just a minute later. Down the other end Gilbert Jessop cleared under pressure from Fred Burt, however, it was a brief respite for the home side as Hayward soon placed wide following a corner.
Western Australia was seeing their fair share of the ball and Williams would have been better to pass than try his luck from distance. Willie Quaife pushed forward from his defensive position and almost bagged England a third, his shot glancing just over the bar off an opponent. The visitors need wait only a few more minutes before Jones netted a simple chance after seizing upon a short pass across the goalmouth by State defender G.Field.
Some positional changes produced a more focused performance from Western Australia in the second half. Bert Fletcher shot past the target and Williams was thwarted by Quaife as the hosts, who now had the benefit of the breeze, were driven forward by George Hatton and Joe Gorton. Loose play by Tom O’Nurse let in Jones and Len Braund but Gorton’s doggedness prevented the Englishmen from getting off a clean shot.
Gorton again came to the rescue after Jessop, whose place in goal had been taken by Braund, pounced on a partial clearance by Hardwicke. Some inspired runs by McKenzie and Frank Burt gave the State team a chance of pulling a goal back but the closest they’d come was a fine Williams overhead that Braund pushed away for a corner. England, although clearly tiring, were not yet finished and Jessop completed the scoring with a tidy shot into the corner of the net.
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