In magnificent weather the international football match,
England v. Ireland, took place on Saturday at Belfast. The attendance
of spectators was larger than has been seen at any previous match, and
the ground was in capital order. The English team arrived on Friday,
and after a day's rest turned up in splendid condition. After having
been photographed the teams took to the field at 3.40, and England
having won the toss Shutt, of Stoke, who replaced Bailey, kicked off
against the wind and hill. In about 15 minutes Williams took the first
and only goal for Ireland. This was a complete surprise for all
parties concerned, and immediately the visitors took up the offensive,
the result being that by their magnificent passing, which was admired
by all, two goals were secured by Spilsbury before half time. After
the change of ends the Englishmen still had the best of the play, and
although the Irish goal keeper did his very best to defend his
position, the visitors would not be denied. Their splendid passing was
everywhere loudly praised; indeed it must be said that it completely
demoralised the home team. Several exceedingly brilliant attempts were
made by the Irish forwards to retrieve their position, but it was all
in vain. The Englishmen steadily added to their score, and when time
was called the game stood six goals to one in favour of the visitors.
Of these, Spilsbury obtained four, Dewhurst one, and Lindley one.
Throughout the game it was easy to see that the Englishmen had the
best of it, but the prevailing feeling was that Ireland should
have made a better stand, seeing that the team chosen was about the
best that could have been picked. It is hardly necessary to state that
Rose, as a goalkeeper, could not be excelled, and that the play of
Shutt, Spilsbury, Lindley, and Dewhurst, was of a high-class
character; while on the Irish side Gillespie, Watson, Johnson,
Hastings, M'Clatchey, Molyneux, and Crone was all that the most
fastidious could desire. The English team was certainly the strongest
one, and it is no disgrace to the Irishmen that they have been again
beaten so decisively on their own ground.
Blackburn Rovers defeated Swifts, 2-1, at Derby, in the F.A. Cup semi-final. Swifts'
goal was netted by Charlie Bambridge, who had scored eleven times for
England, including the equaliser against Scotland, the previous year. In the
final, Blackburn were to complete a hat-trick of victories in the
competition, the last occasion that the trophy has been won by the same club
in three consecutive years.
The rugby union
international between Scotland and England, delayed by a week because of
heavy snow, ended scoreless in Edinburgh.
It was on 13 March 1886
that the Prime Minister, William Gladstone finally revealed his plans for an
Irish parliament in Dublin. The Home Rule Bill, which followed, was to split
the Liberal party and bring down the government, four months later.