April 29, 1893
The fourth annual contest for the Championship of the Lancashire League was brought to a close on Saturday. The interest was maintained right to the close, as when last Saturday’s games began there was just a chance of either Liverpool or Blackpool being the Champions.
Blackpool were, however, the favourites, as with a game in hand they had exactly the same number of points as Liverpool, who, however, had a lot better average than their opponents. As everybody knows, Blackpool failed to beat Southport Central, or even draw with then, and hence Liverpool, a new club this season, walks off with the Cup on their goal average.
The contest all through has been a really close one between the first three teams, first one and then another topping the list. The attendances at the various games have all through the winter been of a highly satisfactory character, taken all round, though, of course, as Nelson and Higher Walton fell irreparably behind they did not towards the close form so great an attraction.
The League is one of the best managed organisations in the country. The committee has all along been composed of sound business men, and the clubs have one and all shown a determination to stand together, when some of them could have got into better company, which is worthy of commendation.
Next season there will undoubtedly be some changes, and providing the Second Division of the League should be dished up Accrington might do a deal worse than join the Lancashire League. Though the organisation is managed by a committee second to none, it has not had all plain and straight sailing. There has never yet been a season in which the full complement of clubs which commenced the season finished it.
In the first season they started with 14 clubs, and Earlestown were unable to go through with their engagements, and after a portion of the matches had been played they had to be taken out of the records.
In the succeeding season Burnley Union Star shared a similar fate, leaving the number of clubs in the second portion of the games 11. Then last year the Heywood Club could not fulfill its engagements, and amalgamated with the Heywood Central, the latter running their second team in the concluding Heywood fixtures.
This season the Liverpool Caledonians made a great spurt, and felt confident of running the new Liverpool Club off its legs. It failed, however, and after playing seven League games it was wound up in liquidation on the 10th December.
During the four seasons in which the League has been running there have been three Champions. The first season it was Higher Walton, the second and third Bury, and this season Liverpool.
Higher Walton in their season secured 32 points in a 13 club League, in the second year Bury secured 33 in an 11 club League, in the third year Bury got 40 points in a 12 club League, and this year Liverpool have 36 to their credit in a 12 club League.
The following figures show the number of games which have been played, won and drawn, and the number of goals scored during the four season: –
Season; Played; Won; Drawn; Goals.
1889-90; 110; 92; 18; 558;
1890-91; 156; 127; 29; 650;
1891-92; 132; 110; 22; 710;
1892-93; 132; 114; 18; 641.
The total number of matches played has been 132, and of these 74 were won by the home teams, 18 were drawn, and 40 won by the visitors, the home goals being 378 to 263 by the visitors, so that of the 264 obtainable 166 have fallen to the home clubs and 98 to the visitors.
The Bury team was the only one to win all the games played on their own ground, but Blackpool and Liverpool ran them close with ten each, Blackpool making a draw in their remaining one, and Liverpool a loss.
West Manchester came a good fourth with eight, Fleetwood Rangers claiming seven, Heywood Central, South Shore, Rossendale, and Southport Central had five each, Fairfield four, Nelson three, and Higher Walton one. Higher Walton, of course, suffered the most defeats at home, eight. Nelson coming next with six.
In the away games Blackpool and Liverpool again tied in the number of wins secured with seven each, Bury and Heywood Central each secured six, Fleetwood Rangers and Rossendale three, West Manchester, Southport Central, and Higher Walton two, Nelson, Fairfield, and South Shore alone had the honour of failing to win a match on their opponents’ pitch,
In the matter of goals Bury scored more goals on their opponents’ field than anybody else, 41, Blackpool coming next with 34, Liverpool having only 22 to their credit. At home Blackpool led the way with 49 goals, Liverpool having 44, and Bury 42.
Fairfield scored the smallest number of goals at home, 16, but Higher Walton had the credit of having scored the least away with 10. The accompanying table shows the doings of the various clubs at home and away: –
A singular feature in connection with the contest is that there is not a single instance in which clubs have made a draw in both their engagements. There are, however, 32 instances in which clubs have secured double wins. Of these the champions, Liverpool, claim seven, over Fleetwood Rangers 7-0 and 4-1, Heywood Central 6-2 and 2-1, Higher Walton 8-0 and 5-0, Nelson 3-0 and 3-2, Rossendale 2-1 and 2-0, South Shore 4-1 and 1-0, and Fairfield 5-0 and 4-1.
Six such feats have been performed by Blackpool, against Heywood Central 6-2 and 3-1, Higher Walton 5-0 and 6-1, Liverpool 3-0 and 2-0, Nelson 6-2 and 5-2, Rossendale 5-3 and 1-0, South Shore 4-0 and 6-1.
Bury claims a similar number thus, Heywood Central 6-1 and 10-1, Higher Walton 6-0 and 9-0, Nelson 2-0 and 5-3, Rossendale 5-1 and 6-3, West Manchester 6-2 and 3-0, and Fairfield 2-0 and 3-0.
Heywood Central have beaten four opponents both at home and away, viz., Higher Walton 6-1 and 6-2, Nelson 4-1 and 3-2, South Shore 7-0 and 2-0, and Fairfield 4-3 and 1-0. Fleetwood Rangers beat Nelson 4-2 and 5-2, Southport Central 2-1 and 1-0, and Fairfield 3-1 and 5-1.
Rossendale and West Manchester each secured a couple of double barrelled wins, Rossendale 5-0 and 3-2 over Higher Walton and 3-2 and 3-2 over Southport Central and West Manchester 8-2 and 8-1, over Higher Walton and 5-2 and 5-4 over Nelson. Nelson beat Higher Walton 11-2 and 5-2, and Fairfield beat Southport Central 2-0 and 2-1.
From these figures it will be seen that Higher Walton was twice defeated on seven occasions, Nelson on six occasions, Fairfield four times, Heywood Central, Rossendale, and Southport Central three times, and Fleetwood Rangers, Liverpool, and West Manchester once each.
The record score of this season’s competition was made by Bury against Higher Walton, on the Walton ground, on January 7th, when the visitors won by nine goals to nil. Liverpool runs this close with a 8-0 win against the same club at Liverpool on the 3rd September.
The Bury club has also another remarkably good performance to record, viz., a win over Heywood Central by 10 goals to one on March 4th. This score is a much better one than the 9-0 against Higher Walton, as the Centralians are a lot better team, and just about that time were playing well, and had for some time previous declared what they would do to Bury for a previous 6-1 defeat at Bury.
The tallest score in any match was that of Nelson against Higher Walton, on the 24th of February on the ground of the winners, when in all 13 goals were record, 11 by the winners and two by the losers.
Six and seven goals to the winning side have been quite common. The 110 goals scored against Higher Walton this season is the first time three figures have ever been attached to any club’s name either for or against.
The Waltonians this season have had a fearfully bad time of it, and the manner in which goals have been piled up against them has been calculated to gnaw the heart out of much better team.
Bury holds the record with 15 goals to nil, Liverpool following with 13 to nil. West Manchester piled up 16 to 3, Nelson 16 to 4, while the best score the Waltonians could make against a club was five against the Fleetwood Rangers.
Nelson, who only finished up one point ahead of the Waltonians, have a heavy aggregate against them, but the highest number scored against them in one match was six by Blackpool. On no fewer than a dozen occasions the Nelsonians have finished either on level terms or only one goal behind their opponents, so that it is quite apparent they have had exceedingly hard times.
The accompanying table shows the number of points which have been scored by the present season’s teams each season since the League was instituted: –