The first half of the Beechcroft-Fairview game may be easily disposed of. There was no scoring, nor did either team get within scoring ielts speaking distance of the opponent’s goal. From the moment Beechcroft kicked off, and the Fairview left tackle caught the ball and brought it back ten yards before being downed, the battle raged hotly in the center of the field. Not once did Fairview get beyond her enemy’s thirty-yard line, and not once did Beechcroft penetrate even so far into the opponent’s territory. After a few tries at the ends, which union hospital hair transplant ended disastrously for her, Fairview buckled down to hammer-and-tongs football. There were no weak places in the light-blue line, and time and time again Fairview failed by the merest fraction of a foot to gain her distance. There was almost no kicking. On one occasion, having been driven back to her[256] twenty-five yards, Beechcroft punted, in the hope that Fairview would fumble. But, although Hansel was waiting beside the red-and-blue left half back when the ball came down, that player went to earth with the oval firmly clasped.


It was uninteresting playing, or it would have been, had not the two or three thousand persons who looked on been enthusiastic partisans. The worst of it all, from a Beechcroft point of view, was that during that first period of play, Fairview showed herself a little better in defense, and noticeably stronger in attack. When the Mattress whistle blew, the two teams, panting and exhausted, were above Beechcroft’s thirty-five-yard line. The home team, joined by the blanketed substitutes, trotted up the terrace to the gymnasium, while the visitors retired into the shelter of the two barges which had brought them from the station. The crowd moved about, such as were not fearful of losing good seats, and for ten minutes the green presented a scene of gayety quite unwonted. Then back came the light-blue players, and were welcomed with thundering cheers; and out tumbled the Fairview men and received their meed of applause.

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