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April ID, 1 !)13.
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Those who wish the Southern League to drop its second dlrhlou are singularly ignorant of lhe beneficial effect which has been produced upon the first division games by the fear of relegation.
If there wero no second division five clubs at least would now be playing to small attendances -and without the slightest regard for the results. As it is the matches of the clubs in danger of relegation arQ arousing tremendous interest.
Proof of this assertion is being furnished a' Southampton, and I feel convinced that the Saints' "gates' during April this year will yield larger amount* than in any previous season since 190%
The nil-important question is, can the Saints keep their place in the first division? It would not surprise the writer if the answer were provided by the result of the game at New Bromp-ton, on April 20. That match will be as exciting as any cup tie.
Southampton's remaining matches are Watford and Exeter City at the Pell, and Northampton and New Brompton (away). New Brompton have to meet Crystal Palace and Plymouth Arsyle (away), j Swindon and Southampton One of the nlucfcicst things of recent years in the Southern League has been the. belated but J sustained effort of New Brompton to retain their place in the First Division.
A few weeks ago their chance of doing so ap- ; peared well nigh boneless, but the management and players took a different view, and they now seem likely to. achieve' their object.
Whatever happens, the struggles ml both end* i Of the table were never more interesting than now, , and theto is certain to be a dramatic finish.
Four clubs still have an 'interest in the leadership of the Wfkl Division. They aro Gas Works. Bournemouth* Bitterne Guild, and Bosco tribe.-
The sthigglc for places in the Hants County League for next season is particularly keen.
According to the rules the County league shall be comprised of the first four clubs in the South Division, and the first two clubs in both the North and the West Divisions.
Should the club occupying one of these positions not wishing to compete in the County League the club next following shall be elected, but a club in a Divisional League shall not be deprived of its chances by a club that has been allowed, to compete in another division.
At Eastertide the crow-country season ends, and sprinters return to the track refreshed after the winter's rest, and full of eagerness to "get off the mark " without lose of time.
Locally the season just completed has been one of the best r,v»r known, the series of competitions being abo o the average. While the experienced bauds have kept their positions, several promising youngsters have como on so well that future pros pert* are exceedingly bright.
/ The outstanding feature was the winning of the S^uth of the Thames Cross-country Championship by the Hampshire Amateur Athletic Club, an honour greatly coveted by Southern clubs.
That the Hampshire* should win it to early in their career should be an incentive to athletics generally in this district, and there is no reason why a hold bid should rot be made not only to
The Southampton Rifle Club ore" fortunate In having three men in the Twenty, compared with
It is whispered round the clubs that the Illgh-field men are very well satisfied with-the result of their delegate* work at the Sartohury League annual meeting last week
They were in the minority in two out of three of their proposal*, hut the other, the principal one of the three, was carried.
Yes! the "Peep" will bo allowed (though penal Ised to some extent) in the forthcoming matches i ill the league, and local riflemen have to thank a few pioneer* of the Southampton Club, hacked | up by their old friend* ami rival*. Bitteme. for , I hi* innovation.
The Battalion team of the 6th, Hants iTA Port*- I * mouth, have wound up their league pro|**mme. 1 and occupy an unenviable position at the bottom I of the League table, with only two points to their
Tills state of attaint requires some explanation. ; i and a match which wan fixed last week between the Territorials' team and a team comprising the I best ftvtn I he remaining clubs composing the | League did not solve the problem.
I naturally expected to hear that the "Terriers" \ were utterly routed, but such Indeed is riM the case, for the "Counaughte" defeated the Rest by five points. The individual average for the team was 97.9. and that of their opponent* 97.4. out of ii poxnible 100.
Rumour has it that our local cltisen soldiers, j the 5th Hants, who do not hold ft very flattering position In the Southampton League table, are
burning" to emulate their comrades' example. Should they be likewise 'successful. I hey will thor- | oughly rehabilitate themselves in the graces of their disappointed supporters.
This successful team has to shoot by the 29th of this month for six places to compete at the l,ondon Rifle meeting for the County Championship of the United Kingdom.
Tn the hacknf-ycd phrase >t meets a*need iemg fait, for there aro plen'v oI buey iieople who must play in the dawn or not at all. ^
The Club at Swaythling, not to be confused "v.-, •with the Stoneimm ooureo, is experiencing the sajno prosperity in the matter of membership y $ and enthusiasm aa the other local clubs. Their card, with its long list of fixtures, » on indka- jag i tion of that. 'iMr

The coarse fishing season having ended month, thorn* anglen» w»v» wtsk to continue tbeir favourite pastime in fresh water must perfoarca turn their attention to fly-fishing, either wet or
Thcue two ntdes of the pastime are naturally not so easily Indulged In as coarse fishing, a. no* only nr«> water* on which fly-fishing u of any value somewhat rare, hut all are strictly pre* served, and. in consequence, not within the rpacl* of every pocket.
Every side of angling la fascinating to the tma angler, and it is not for me to praise ftny on*-method at the expense of the others, but in mr opinion • there I* certainly one feature in «UoB dry flyfishing has an advantage over most oUgf methods, and that lies In the fact that the angg, knows there Is a fish close to his fly, and this odd* not a little to the charm of the sport.
In almost every other kind of angling one Ja endeavouring to catch fish of an unknown slse, and whose whereabout* are also, unknown. In addition to this, one Is quite unable, speeking comparatively, to judge where the fish
second, are three points behind the Rangers, and it is possible, therefore, assuming that each club will obtain the maximum number of points in the remaining engagements, for the Rangers to Uriah^up with a total of 55 points and Plymouth
Last season Swindon were successful with 55 points and a goal record of.80 for and 31 against. If they capture all the points in their remaining half-dozen games, they will conclude their season with 55 to their credit, and they would-then win on goal aervage, as they now stand at 73 for and 40 against, and this ratio would bo immensely improved in their favour if they did not have another check .this month.
With regard to Northampton, the possibilities in their ease must not he overlooked. They have played 3E game* for 42 points and have a goal record of 68 for and 35 against — the best in the ; league.
If Northampton hold on their way, and annex , all the points for which they will he playing be- 1 tween no* and April 30, they will finish up with j 54 points,-and failures by the Rangers, the Argyle, anu Swindon would enable the Midland side to , secure the championship for the second time. j ' The Saints fared fairly well in their holiday j engagements; they did not lose a single match and I secured three points.
What, a fine "gate" there was at the pell on ' Easter Monday. Although the official figures have i not been announced, I hear on very reliable I authority that the receipts amounted to £300. j
Local football enthusiasts are very pleased at j the spirited way in which the Saints' arc playing at present. Everyone is convinced that had the players shown as much grit all through the sea- \ son the club would now have been in a safe posi- j
Bert Lee has been a magnificent success at centre half. He played a great game against the j Bangers jnn Monday * " * :
were in fine form.
i fact, all three half backs j

a diyg-dong gal nl. but the dofen
full of interest and I
on each side was too j lo get going.
, and New Brompton i tur worries will be at \
excitement, but good to allow the forwards
Next Saturday the Sainti ford. If the locals can wi lose at the Crystal Palace,
an end for this season.
On Saturday the Southampton Reserves annexed the Southampton Senior Cup, and are. to he congratulated on their fine victory over the Rifle
The win was expected, as the Winchester eleven are not exactly the strength of the Reserves; in-deed, it looked at the end of the opening Alleen minutes as if the Junior Saints wotfld have a runaway victory, as in that period Donald Blade had scored three goals.
However, the Green Jackets played bellyr after wards, and gave the home defence quite a stir
A, the close of the match, and in presence of a largo company, Mr. Bernard Mortimer, the donor of the trophy, presented the cup" to \\. Tooiaer. the rsptsm of ihe Reserves, snd each member of the winning teams received a badge of a beautiful design.
The Southampton Reserves and Cows* are both interested in the final of the Haul* Senior ( up This tic is to ha played at Fratton Park. Portsmouth, on April 20.
The Junior Saints and the Islanders have already met on three occasions this season, and a curious -circumstance marks these matches, as neither of Ihe teams won on their own ground. Iwice at Brooklyn Park the Reserves won. but at the Dell the Yachtsmen gained the-points by a substantial margin. . '
The bides arc very well matched, and they .are both in brilliant form at the present tunc, so that a keen fkhl is certain to he witnessed on the 20th. The cup was. won last year by East high Athletic.
The various tournaments in connection with the Hants League are in an interestipg stage, and the leadership of three of the competitions is still a debatable point.
Basingstoke have had a splendid season, and have already won the North Division- champion -ship. Their s has been a worthy performance, as they have won every match.
The championship of the South Division, unless the unexpected happens, will probably be wen by Southampton Reserves, who have a better record than any of Ihe seven other clubs. Their most werioub rival* arc Boscombe and Portsmouth Re-
Two of the first four place* in Ihe South Divi nion are certain to be occupied by Southampton Reserves and Cowes. while the fight for the other tw» places will he between Bitterne Gpild, PopWV mo ith Resents, and BoumempuIh,—^
I* lying, whereas with the dry fly one know* tn* exact spot from the rlee, and in many oaeea deficient skill alone I* the cause of disappoint-
Anyone who has tried dry fly-fishing once ten t «,H n,„l. r^iau,I h„w it i* that many men fortek* ! all dtber KIikU of other fishing and Income dry fly purists." as they are termed.
But In spite of the charm of dry-fly fishing, it would seem that the angler who is tile most happy Is the one who has no special brhnctuof. fishing, but who la reedy to seise upon and enjoy* any kind, no matter whether for perch, roach,\ trout, grayling, or the lordly salmop. 1
Of course, not everyone who has the chanco ean
Then there Is tlie question of wWt rod W th# l*st for fly-fishing, for the wirreet 'length and balance necessary for successful easting of the
expedient time to use various flies. I v
regard to the b«*t fly in use on southern rivers, it seem* to have beau the eipsrisnoa of most anglers of my acquaintance that tba. Wlek-ham Is the most useful, taking everything Into * consideration. '■ •«*' -
The Wlekham is not made in accordance with any known type of natural fly, but on many ooea-
I kfi'ani
wind and weather and fish: but on the whole iL. is probable that the Wick ham has accounted ifT the filling of more creels than any other artUleUl fly which is not made similar to a natural fl».
Who takes a well-deserved benefit mi July j^lh, :6th, and iytli, when ILuyjishire oppose Yorkshire on the County l»roumj.
The club is in a flourishing condition, and the officials keen and willing to promote, that clean and healthy sport which i* a big factor in building up British manhood: a sufficient reason why scores »f young men should join end reap I he benefit.
Last year the track season .suffered considerably through the split between the AAA and the N.C.U.. hut now that, an understanding has been arrived at between the two governing bodies there is every reason to anticipate better things.
The special effort that is being made in this country to give British athletes the necessary assistance financially and expert training and advice to fit them to successfully compete with other, .nationalities in the forthcoming Olympic (lames at Stockholm is deserving commendation, and it i« to be hoped that it wtff. be the mean* of en aiding our. men to secure la greater measure el
most fascinating range, the 100 yard*.
This Is the period which I* generally recognised as the time for tuning up. but there are plenty of event* a waiting the enthusiastic club man. such ' am "The Telegraph." "Bell Medal." "Donegal ; Badge." and the Queen Alexandra" Cup.
The latter event is open to county teams of si: ; men The first round lias been fired, and the top I twenty scores of each count vs quota are recognised r •*-- "Oottn*/ Twenty Team "
i promises to he a particularly pr. a-I ft local g 'ifing seiiao. The premier mi has been greatly improved
ipirit* hftVo Wn playing assiduously.
Following the expert advice of J. H. Taylor,
several new greens have been made; some liolte shortened and other* lengthened, liuiks liave Is II levelled, bunkers altered, and a variety of itmall improvements nguie, with tlie view of making the «s»;irse inore sporting
Ku peasant one hears that the C3ub JTouae is to ireeivo attention next, with a view to bring-ir.g it up-to-date, and to meet the requirements of ever gmwing inendiership.
Present piospcctsyare very rosy and Stoneliam IS Hover more Lauuful tluui in spring time, with it* glorious vietaa.Vhoautiiled by the mystery of the mists of^the river valley, its wealth of vegeUUion, its\spaoumaneas and houltldulneas.
A day at Htwieham ia a tonic, us any of tlie wore of doctors who are members will tell you.
The golfers to whom the proximity of the Com mon is a consideration are likewise making
The Southaiupton Clob have fixed up a busy fixture card, and the early "nomine group may alreody be seen driving «ff near the Cowherds "before the sun luui chased the mist from the _
^ There something about the early morning "The above snapshots were taken at the Dei goU which every oilier variety lacks, a feeling; Monday. The top picture show* the rival eapt&i of virtue, which adds vigour to the drives and tossing up for choice of ends, and the lower < ! steadiness on the green. ' the visiting goalie bringing off a bn«W»» i
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