Newport RFC : 1876/77 Season Summary

Season 1876/77

P11 W9 D2 L0 : For >11g,16t – Agt 0g,2t

Capt : JM Leonard  / Will Phillips

Will Phillips (capt)

In 1876/7 J M Leonard was again elected captain and 11 matches were played but there is some doubt about further matches with Swansea and Cardiff. It appears that at least 9 were won and 2 drawn (Ely and Hereford). Newport beat Pontypool (2), Cardiff (2), Hereford (2), Panteg (2) and Swansea.

The first Cardiff match was played on Dec 2nd1876 at Newport and this was the first match that admission was charged at 6d (2.5p). Hereford arrived at Newport for the third match short and Newport loaned them 5 players. Newport scored 4t to 1g, 1t in a 12-aside match which was then regarded as a 0-0 draw.

New names to appear were : T E Lewis, son of Ebenezer Lewis (Maindee), R Lane, E Jenkins, son of a ship-owner who lived at Brynderwen, Maindee, B Newman (brother of AA and C H), T Mitchell (brother of W and A C), Edgar Evans and Mitchell Graham. It is interesting to note that a number of the early players were ex-Monmouth School boys including C H Newman, W Wood, T J S Clapp, G F Harding and G Rosser.

Negotiations were opened with Viscount Tredegar and from Christmas 1877 the Club entered into possession on a yearly tenancy (a lease was granted about 10yrs later) of what is now the tennis / bowls ground, surrounded by the cycle track. J Leonard was transferred from Newport by the National Provincial Bank and Will Phillips took over for more than half of the still remaining season. The opening of the new ground, described as adjoining Oliver’s Nursery, took place on Whit-Thursday May 24th 1877 (Queen Victoria’s birthday) and club sports were held.

 November 11th 1876