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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter XXII.—Queen's Park and Dumbarton

Very strong feeling existed between Queen's Park and Dumbarton in the early "'80's," and for a season the respective match secretaries failed to arrange dates. This feeling reached what might be termed full estrangement. It all arose over a Scottish Cup final tie played at Kinning Park on 27th March, 1881, and it is said, that no such throng had ever before witnessed a football match in Glasgow. Some heavy charging was indulged in, and long kicking more the rule, than passing and dribbling. All was excitement; the players did not take time to think, and they kicked, charged, and swayed from side to side, utterly reckless of what they were about, only keeping before them that they had to win the cup, by brute force if necessary, but by all means to win. That little fiery, furious fellow, Harry M'Neil, got the first goal in fifteen minutes, somewhat luckily, Dumbarton partisans will assert. M'Aulay, who then played as a centre forward—afterwards the most famous and best of all Scotland's many able custodians—equalised shortly afterwards. There was now some furious play, and the second half was only fifteen minutes' old when "Billy" Anderson centered to J. Kay, who headed the ball through, and Queen's Park now stood two goals to one up. An objection to this goal on the ground of "off-side" was overruled by the referee, the late Mr. Don. Hamilton. This goal was the source of all the subsequent trouble. Dumbarton lodged a protest with the Association, asserting that the spectators crowded inside the ropes, and seriously interfered with the play. A committee meeting of the Association arrived at the conclusion that the ground was not properly kept, and ordered the match to be played over again on Tuesday, 5th April. This decision caused great dissatisfaction in Glasgow, but not in Dumbarton. As usual, letters were written to the press discussing the question, each side upholding or condemning the verdict, as it suited their sympathies. The Dumbarton case claimed that the ball was amongst the spectators before Kay put it through. An earlier score claimed by the Queen's Park was not allowed. The Queen's Park in their turn protested against the finding of the committee, who upheld their decision, but changed the date to 9th April. Queen's Park threatened that they would not play the tie over again, and would withdraw from the Association. Wiser counsels prevailed, and they decided to meet Dumbarton again at Kinning Park. There was a greater crush than before, and the gates had to be closed, and no more spectators admitted—a fact then unprecedented in the annals of Scottish football. Excellent arrangements were made this time to keep the ground free for the players, no fewer than fifty-one of the Renfrewshire Constabulary being present, under the command of Captain Hunter. Before commencing, Queen's Park lodged a protest at being compelled to play a second time. The protest was needless, as they won the match by three goals to one, after a splendidly-contested game. The only charge in the team was D. S. Allan, who took M'Neil's place, as the latter had been injured in a charge in the previous match. All the winning goals were obtained in the first half—two by Dr. Smith, after some clever play by Fraser, Ker, and Anderson, and the third from a hard shot by Ker. Dumbarton gained their goal ten minutes after half-time. The game was as conspicuous for combination, passing, and dribbling on both sides as the former one was for rough and reckless play. The Queen's Park proved themselves champions of the football season, 1880-81, having won the cup for the fifth time. Queen's Park team in the first game was : A. Rowan ; A. Watson and A. H. Holm ; C. Campbell and D. Davidson ; W. Anderson, E. Fraser, G. Ker, J. Smith (captain), H. M'Neil, J. L. Kay. In the second, D. S. Allan played for M'Neil.

The clubs had the good fortune to meet again in the final for the Scottish Cup in the following year, season 1881-82. At that time Dumbarton, who had been exhibiting remarkable form all through the season, were thought to be invincible. There had been no match played between the clubs during the intervening twelve months, due chiefly to cup-tie dates interposing, and possible disinclination. Both had been so successful in the course of the competition, that they now were forced to battle for the possession of the cup itself. A remarkable game it proved, and on this occasion, as in the previous year, a disputed goal caused more trouble, and further estranged the clubs. There was nothing in common between them ; even their styles of play were diametrically opposite. Notwithstanding, no real ill-feeling prevailed— only rivalry, keen it is true, but nothing more. Cathkin Park was the scene of the encounter. Charles Campbell was suffering from a sore throat, and had to stand down. D. Davidson was dragged from his retirement to fill the gap, J. W. Holm being the other half-back. Possibly the club had no other alternative. It is a mistake to introduce men in a desperate game who are wholly untrained. Davidson was utterly worn out at the finish, and could scarcely move. J. T. Richmond too, though not quite so bad as Davidson, showed evident signs of unpreparedness. It was truly a desperate game, especially for the Queen's Park players, as they were placed in a position of constant defence in both halves, and a grand defence it was, in which A. Rowan in goal, Andrew Watson, and Andrew Holm displayed ability of the highest order. The opening was sensational, as J. L. Kay was noticeable on the left, and, running well up the line, centered the ball. W. M'Kinnon (Dumbarton) headed it towards his own goal, and W. Harrower, getting the leather at his toe, dropped the first goal for the Queen's Park inside a minute. Many exciting incidents occurred near the Queen's Park goal, but all were successfully accounted for, Ten minutes from crossing over Harrower beat Kennedy, the Dumbarton custodian, for the second time. Dumbarton, roused by this unfavourable aspect of affairs, played well together, and twice threatened Rowan's charge, but Watson averted danger for a short period, until, out of a scrimmage at Rowan's feet, the ball was raised, and striking the crossbar bounded back, and was alleged to have been headed through. Some debate ensued whether the ball had gone under or over the bar. With a crowd of players around the goal-mouth it would be difficult to tell, but, after a consultation between the umpires, Messrs. J. Wallace (3rd Lanark) and T. Anderson (Renfrew), and the referee, Mr. J. Wallace (Beith), Dumbarton were given a goal. Now it so happened the writer, then connected with "The Glasgow News," along with the late Mr. Temple, chief reporter of the "North British Daily Mail," were standing inside the ropes behind the goal-posts when the incident occurred. The evening newspapers did not report football in those days, and notes were taken during the progress of the game, and written up on the Sundays for publication in the Monday morning dailies. Mr. Temple remarked: "That ball did not go through," which was self-evident. It was not a goal. The Queen's Park lodged a protest against this goal at the end of the game, but it was of no avail, as the umpires were at one on a fact of play. Now, the late Mr. John Wallace (Beith), who was vice-president of the Scottish Association that year, remarked to the writer, months after the game, that much abuse had been heaped on his head over this goal. He further stated that as the two umpires, whom he, of course, had to consult, agreed a goal had been scored, he, as referee, was not called upon to give a decision. One is glad, even at this distant date, to place this fact on record. However, the goal counted, and that is the material fact. Dumbarton took the point, though they must have known the ball had not gone through. The second half of this game had not been long in progress before it became clearly demonstrated that the Queen's Park would not press Dumbarton, as they had themselves been bombarded at the beginning, as the county team, with the wind now against them, had much the better of the exchanges. With varying fortune, twenty minutes passed. Then, from a throw-in about mid-field, the ball was worked up the centre, and M'Aulay headed it past Rowan, and made the score level—two goals each. There the scoring ended, the game was proclaimed a draw, and so it remained, notwithstanding the protest of the Queen's Park against the first goal given Dumbarton. There was nothing for it but to fight the battle over again. The teams were :—

Queen's Park—A. Rowan ; A. Watson and A. H. Holm; D. Davidson and J. W. Holm; E Fraser, W. Anderson, George Ker, W. Harrower, J. T, Richmond, and J. L. Kay.

Dumbarton—J. Kennedy; J. Hutcheson and M. Paton; W. M'Kinnon and P. Miller; J. Meikleham, R. Brown ("The Sparrow"), J. Lindsay, J. M'Aulay, J. Miller, and A. Kennedy.

The clubs met again on 1st April, 1882, on the same enclosure (Cathkin Park), before a crowd which was accounted a record, 15,000 spectators being within the ground. What a contrast to the six-figure crowds of modern football! We are writing of the football as played thirty-five years ago. The interval had been sedulously devoted by the Queen's Park to training for this second encounter. Campbell was now able to take up his old position, and his presence made all the difference in the world. The Queen's Park dropped J. W. Holm, and retained Davidson, which was hardly fair, as Holm had helped to carry the club through all the preceding ties, and Davidson was a comparatively untrained man, though his improvement during the fortnight between the two games, proved that he had done his best to make amends for his previous lack of condition. Dumbarton were represented by the same team. A strong force of police, under the command of Captain Hunter, preserved order, and kept the field of play free from encroachment. The Queen's Park team thoroughly satisfied the Executive of the club, who believed it to be the very best that every stepped on a football field. The game proved to be a hard, most exciting, and determinedly contested battle from start to finish, and "the spectators were treated to an exhibition of the true dribbling science as it can only be seen north of the Tweed." Again a sensational start, and Kay was the hero, as a strong kick from him from the left flew into goal. The goalkeeper threw the ball out, but, being charged, he could not send it away very far, and, a scrimmage taking place immediately under the bar, the first goal was scored for the Queen's Park in one minute from commencing play, or in exactly the same time as the first goal was taken in the former match. Thus history repeated itself. It was rather a damper truly. Campbell's "extraordinary head play" came in useful, and Rowan's dexterity averted serious consequences, Lindsay, M'Aulay, and R. Brown (1) ("The Sparrow") all but bringing about disaster. The game was open, and no penning in this time. This early score was the only one of the first half. Five minutes more saw Dumbarton level. Brown and M'Aulay Prettily worked the ball up to the Queen's Park goal, and the latter centering along the ground, Miller beat Rowan. Very soon, from a foul against Dumbarton, Watson landed the ball beautifully on top of the bar, and, bounding into play, Ker breasted through a second goal for the Queen's Park. Play was at times rough, but we are gravely assured "the Queen's Park were quite equal to anything in the shape of charging their opponents might attempt." Not for a long time had such a determined struggle been witnessed in Glasgow. The Queen's Park had now settled in their own minds they had to win. Nothing resulted, however, until ten minutes from the close, when Harrower managed a third goal from a scrimmage, and Kay, five minutes later, let fly a fast screw shot from far out, which Kennedy could not reach in time to turn aside, and the Queen's Park total stood at four goals to one, where it remained. The victory was deserved, and it was no discredit to the defeated team that the goals against them were so many, the smallness of their score being due to the magnificent goalkeeping of Rowan, whom they could not elude. The point they did score no one could have prevented. Next to Rowan came the Queen's Park backs, the two Andrews—Watson and Holm—whose sure kicking was the admiration of all. Campbell's head completely nullified the long, high kicking of Dumbarton, which was their strongest feature. The teams, it is well to add, had tea together in the Atholl Arms, where song and sentiment prevailed until train hour. Teams:—

Queen's Park—A. Rowan; A. Watson and A. H. Holm; G. Campbell and D. Davidson; E. Fraser, W. Anderson, George Ker, W. Harrower, J. T. Richmond, and J. L. Kay.

Dumbarton—J. Kennedy; M. Paton and J. Hutcheson; W. M'Kinnon and P. Miller; J. Meikleham, R. Brown, J. Lindsay, J. M'Aulay, J. Miller, and A. Kennedy.

The excitement and the rivalry of season 1880-81 and 1881-82 were carried into season 1882-83, as Dumbarton and Queen's Park were pitted against each other once more in a Scottish Cup tie, on this occasion in the sixth round. The tie had to be played at Dumbarton, too, which town, strange to say, the senior club had never visited before. The team was very doubtful what reception awaited it, and its anticipations on this head were doleful and pessimistic in the extreme, and not without reason, when it is remembered the hard battles the clubs had already fought on neutral grounds, and under peculiar circumstances. It is not an exaggeration to say it embarked on that short journey in fear and trembling, not so much as to the result of the game, as to the knowledge that the Dumbarton spectators might not share the feelings of friendly rivalry that really existed between the two clubs, and which confined itself to the field of battle. A fear dwelt in the hearts of the Queen's Park that a hostile reception was to be expected. The saloon carriage which carried the team on that eventful journey contained many timorous souls, prepared to face all eventualities, whether from an aggressive crowd or from a foe worthy of their steel. All these gloomy anticipations were doomed to be agreeably disappointed, as the reception given the Queen's Park team on stepping on to the field of play was decidedly friendly, not to say cordial, and equally so during the game itself. The players on both sides played in a fair yet determined manner, and gave an exhibition worthy of the high position both then held in the world of football. The game was played on 3rd February, 1883. After many attempts and many years of patient labour, Dumbarton attained here the object of their ambition, when they defeated Queen's Park by three goals to one, and won the cup for the first and last time, defeating Vale of Leven in the final by two goals to one, after a drawn game. In this match Queen's Park played three half-backs—Campbell, Watson, and Gow—and Dumbarton two—P. Miller and L. Keir. The new formation had its effect on Harrower, as he seemed at sea looking for his old partner. All the Dumbarton team played as they never played before, and were delighted at their great success. The teams were:—

Queen's Park—A. Rowan; W. Arnott and A. W. Holm; C. Campbell, A. Watson, and J. J. Gow; E. Fraser, W. Anderson, W. Harrower, D. S. Allan, and J. L. Kay.

Dumbarton—J. M'Aulay; M. Paton and J. Hutcheson; P. Miller and L. Keir; R. Brown (1), R. Brown (2), J. Lindsay, J. Miller, F. M'Arthur, and W. M'Kinnon.

The clubs met again at Hampden Park in a Glasgow Charity Cup tie on 28th April, 1883, when the Queen's Park reversed the previous result, winning, after another stubborn battle, by two goals to one. In this match the Queen's Park reverted to two half-backs, Campbell and Gow. Dr. Smith Played in the centre with Harrower, and the left wing was composed of D. S. Allan and "Woody" Gray (late Pollok-shields Athletic), the last named filling worthily J. L. Kay's vacant post. Fixtures were duly arranged by the clubs for season 1883-84, and Queen's Park paid its first friendly visit to Dumbarton with a team short of Dr. Smith and Andrew Holm, both on the injured list, Second Eleven men making an effort to fill the able shoes, or boots, of these two great players. Again the Queen's Park lost, this time by three goals to two, due entirely to lack of training, for which there was no excuse, as the club always indulged in preliminary preparation matches, captain v. vice-captain, etc., during the late summer of each year, which apparently were not taken full advantage of. Dumbarton had been knocked out of the cup ties the previous Saturday by Renton.

A difference arose between Dumbarton and Queen's Park in 1883 over certain expenses charged by the former club in connection with this Scottish Cup tie played at Dumbarton. The Scottish Association was eventually asked to arbitrate on the matter, and was unanimously of opinion that the expenses referred to did not come under the head of necessary expenses, and that they should be borne wholly by Dumbarton.

Formed in 1872, Dumbarton soon assumed a leading position. Their great stumbling-block was Vale of Leven, who for three seasons dashed their hopes for the cup, as the ties were then divided into shires in the early competitions. It was not until season 1879-80 the club took a forward position in cup ties, as in that season they reached the seventh round. Here, for the first time in this competition, the Queen's Park fell to their lot, and the senior club was victorious at Hampden Park, 17th January, 1880, by one goal to none. The Queen's Park team was : John Graham ; W. S. Somers-and R. W. Neill; G. Campbell and D. Davidson; J. T. Richmond, T. C. Highet, George Ker (captain), W. M'Kinnon,. Dr. John Smith, and J. L. Kay. In November, 1880, a friendly match between the clubs was played at Hampden; Park, and the Queen's gained the day by three goals to one. It had always been a standing grievance of the Dumbarton club that they could never get the Queen's Park to visit Dumbarton, though the former had often appeared at. Hampden Park. Gup ties were the alleged cause of return games not being played, and. in arranging fixtures for season 1882-83 Dumbarton wished to ensure that the cup-tie dates should not again prevent the clubs from meeting at Boghead, and this led to the rupture, and much correspondence.

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