Conisbrough & Denaby Main
Heritage Group
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Recently we have been given photographs and newspaper cuttings about Conisbrough Mixed Hockey Team.
 
The team were formed in the autumn of 1919 but by January of 1920 there was already friction and various members of the team seem to have stopped playing. The Captain, John Irad Webster was refusing to play and several of his ‘associates’ were also refusing to play.  
 
We do have quite a few of the names of players, trustees and the secretary.
 
January 1920 extract from South Yorkshire Times:  
Misses O Bailey (vice captain)   M Clarkson, M Elliott, P Knowles, D Moore, E Rawding, G E Sellars, M E Sellars and A Wainwright are all excellent performers and play in turn. Conisboro’ is fortunate in having such a number of good lady players all keen sportsmen in every sense of the term.    Some of the male members of the team were:  B B Clarkson, A G Moore,  R H Sharp, F Clarkson, E Wainwright , G Soar and J I Webster, the Captain.
 
Does anyone have any information at all about this club, photographs, newspaper cuttings or memories from older relatives? Please check your old photos, even if you have no clues about what is on them, they could be important to the history of Conisbrough and Denaby Main.  
 
Until November 2011 we were not aware that there had been a Hockey team in the village.  Then the Group was given a folder that once belonged to John Irad Webster with lots of items of interest and newspaper cuttings.  The information below is from this folder.  More research is needed.
 


CONISBROUGH HOCKEY TEAM - MIXED

NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS
South Yorkshire Times
11th October 1919
The second monthly general meeting was held in the club room on Thursday last, the Captain, John I Webster in the chair, and about 50 members being present. Such a good attendance augurs well for the success of the club and combined with the facts that a list of fixtures embracing every Saturday during the season has been arranged and that the club possesses one of the finest fields in the district, a very good season is anticipated.  The first match should have been played on 27th September but owing to the railway strike the Cudworth team did not put in an appearance.   An effort is being made to re arrange the match for next Saturday 11th October.  On Thursday 16th October Conisbrough is at home to Rotherham Gents., and a good game is expected.  The officials are:  Captain Mr J I D Webster, vice captain Miss O Bailey, hon. Secretary Miss G E Sellars.  Applications for membership should be submitted to the secretary who will place before the committee for approval the names of the applicants.  On Saturday last, there being no gents or mixed matches, Messrs J I D Webster and E Wainwright assisted Mexboro’ versus Kimberworth at Rotherham where Mexboro’ were successful by four goals to two.  Webster and Wainwright played for Mexboro’.

1st November 1919
Conisborough’s mixed team were at home to Wath and won 5 -1.  The home team were leading 5 - 1 at half time, Clarkson and Bailey being the scorers and their superiority was even more marked in the second half when after Goodman had reduced the lead, goals were put on for Conisbrough by Clarkson, Soar and Moore. In addition Webster was very prominent for Conisbrough.

29th November 1919
For their home match (mixed) with Swinton, Conisboro’ made several changes in players and positions as a test and the result was quite satisfactory, the players acquitting themselves well and enabling Conisboro’ to retain their unbeaten certificate.  From commencement Swinton got away and had scored two goals before twenty minutes had elapsed with H Hawley netting in both instances and placing them in a commanding position.  After this Conisboro settled down and J I Webster got through and scored to be followed immediately by R H Sharp in like manner.  Conisboro then began to have most of the play and the well combined efforts of Sharp, Webster and Moore kept the Swinton defence busy.  Both Sharp and Webster again scored with a couple of fast drives which gave the Swinton custodian no change.  Half time came with Conisboro leading 4 - 2.  Play was kept in the Swinton half practically all the rest of the game.  The Conisboro forwards played well, but bad luck attended their efforts many shots just going wide.  Only one each from Webster and Sharp went through time being called with the result 6 - 2 in favour of Conisbrough.  For Conisboro in addition to the forwards mentioned G Soar, E Wainwright and F Clarkson played sound games and the pick of the ladies were Misses Mabel Elliott and Molly Clarkson.

5th December 1919
Conisbrough Mixed versus Doncaster Greenhouse Mixed
Coniboro added to their list of victories on Saturday when they met and defeated by three goals to one Doncaster Greenhouse, after a very fast and interesting game.  On opening, Conisboro broke away and B B Clarkson scored before two minutes had passed.  Play was then balanced but just before half time Clarkson added another. From the resumption play continued rather even and J I Webster registered Conisboro’s third. Doncaster then broke away and T Ream neatly placed the ball into the net but that was Doncaster’s only reply to Conisboro’s three.  The Doncaster forwards well led by E Meacock and backed up by G Pettifer made a number of unsuccessful raids, the Conisboro defence in which E Wainwright shone, breaking them up.   Doncaster ladies all played very good games.

13th December 1919
Conisbrough travelled to Wickersley on Saturday and won very easily scoring twelve goals without response.  The whole of the time Conisboro were in the Wickersley half and it was only due to the magnificent goalkeeping of the Wickersley custodian that the score was many times greater.  Although shots were rained on the goal the who game she (the goalkeeper) brought off numerous marvellous saves.
The Conisboro goals were scored by G Soar (4), B B Clarkson (3), J I Webster(2) and E Wainwright, G Moore and Miss E Rawding, 1 each.

1st January 1920
Conisbrough versus Swinton
At Conisboro:
From the start play was carried to the Swinton goal and within two minutes F Clarkson registered Conisboro’s first goal with a fine reversed stick shot.  After this Conisboro had most of the play and scored eight times, Swinton responding towards the close of the game with four goals. Conisboro goals were scored by J I Webster (5), F Lote (2) and B B Clarkson and F Clarkson one goal each.  The scorers for Swinton were F Robinson (3) and A Midwood one goal.

1st January 1920
From the Doncaster Gazette 9th January
Conisboro’ met their rivals Mexboro’ on New Years Day in a mixed side match and ran out victors by six goals to one, thus giving them their tenth successive win. Conisboro’ who were in much better form than last Saturday had most of the play, the forwards combining well, whilst the defence left nothing to be desired.  For Conisboro’ B B Clarkson scored all six goals and for Mexboro’ J Greig who was the pick of their side scored once.
Result Conisboro’ 6, Mexboro’ 1.

An enjoyable game was played at Swinton between the Ladies Club and Conisboro ‘ Ladies.  Swinton opened in fine style Miss E Jones registering with a well placed shot.  Play continued and finally Conisboro’s Forwards got away.  Miss E Rawding, Centre Forward, equalising.  In the second half Conisboro’ were the aggressors, Miss E Rawding scored twice.  For Swinton Miss E Creighton proved a most formidable Back but Conisboro managed to break through.   Miss G E Sellars registered their fourth goal fifteen minutes before time.  For the Conisboro’ defence Miss M Clarkson and Miss M E Sellers played good games.
Result Conisboro’ Ladies 4, Swinton Ladies 1.
 
 
DONCASTER GAZETTE
 
13th February 1920
Headline: CONISBOROUGH COMEDY CONTINUES
More Fireworks  Among Hockeyites
Captains Challenge and Resignation
It is not the practice of the Gazette to give prominence to club meetings which concern purely internal or domestic matters but owing to the widespread interest created by the report which recently appeared concerning a meeting of the Conisboro Hockey Club it may be of interest to give the sequel of the dispute, which has divided the club into two warring camps.  Mr W H Barwell presided over a meeting of the Conisboro Hockey Club on Friday evening, at which practically none of the members who supported the captain in the recent dispute were present.  The captain Mr J I Webster was not present either.
A unique challenge from the captain was discussed.  This challenge was that a team belonging to the captain’s party should play a team picked by the secretary, Miss G Sellars, the winners to take all the funds of the club and the losers and their followers to resign.  The captain offered to give his opponents no less than eleven goals.  Miss Sellers proposed that the challenge be accepted, but that the money clause be omitted.  After discussion it was decided not to accept the proffered combat.
Mr R Tyson proposed that Mr Webster be expelled from the club, Mr C Downing suggested he should be asked to resign, and Miss Dufton supported the cry for a new captain.  On the advice of the chairman it was decided to defer the matter until a special meeting, when every member of the Club would have notice of the proposition.  Despite the advice of the chairman to leave special resolutions to a special meeting, the members then proceeded to elect a new working committee to consist of Mrs Ledger, Mr Tyson and Mr E Wainwright.  Mrs Ledger proposed a vote of censure on Mr Webster for writing to the Press in the matter of the challenge.  The resolution was carried.
Miss Sellers was elected Press correspondent and it was then suggested that if anybody else sent reports to the papers he or she should be asked to resign.  The chairman thought that no reports or correspondence should be published in the Press.
Miss Drabble having resigned from the Selection Committee, Miss P Smith was elected in her place.  On the proposition of Mrs Ledger it was decided that the calling of general meetings be left to the Working Committee and that in future any ten members shall not have the power to do this.
Mr J Webster, the captain, has definitely resigned his office.   It is understood that the members of the mixed team have refused to turn out for Saturdays match and that some of them contemplate resignation also, out of sympathy with the captain.

20th February 1920
Picnic Party
Conisboro’s star was not in the ascendant on Saturday, when they journeyed to Swinton to whom they went under by 9 goals to nil. Conisboro’ had a scratch team. Midwood and Robinson scored for the home side in the first half.  On resuming Robinson and Wardle added goals.  The Consboro’ backs played a magnificent game. This is the first defeat sustained by the Conisboro’ Mixed Team this season and was doubtless due to the absence of a number of regular players who had refused to play in consequence of the recent dispute.  Swinton were not playing their strangest team and the defeat was made more decisive by the fact that Conisboro’ have previously beaten Swinton 6 - 2.

Same date.
An all gentlemen’s match Burnetts versus Mexborough, took place at Hexthorpe on Saturday and the best game of the season was witnessed. Mexboro’ who had the assistance of Wainwright, Webster and Moore of the Conisboro’ Club pressed immediately from the bully off but were repulsed, play being transferred into their half without result.  Mexboro were not to be denied and Currier opened their account with a fine oblique shot from Webster, Greig adding a second just before the interval.  The home team played up strongly after the resumption but met with a stout defence.  At this period, the visitors pressed strongly and further goals were added through Greig and Moore.  No further goals were scored and a most enjoyable game resulted in the visitors running out victors by 6 - 0.

12th March 1920
Mexboro & Swinton Times
As is well known a split has occurred in our local hockey club and a number of members have resigned.  These organised a very successful and most enjoyable dance which took place on Friday evening of last week in the Station Road School. The object of the dance was to raise a fund which will enable them to form a new club which may begin with the happy experience of having a respectable bank balance in hand.  The patronage accorded their initial effort will, I hear, ensure this and we may look forward I suppose to having two hockey clubs in Conisboro playing matches next winter.
The original club, minus the secessionists are still carrying on but whereas it was the boast of the club that it had an unbeaten record in match play its claim since the split is of a much more modest character.

From the South Yorkshire Times
 
 
26th March 1926
Conisbrough Hockey Club
The Hockey Club has again had a successful season though it has been handicapped by shortage of players only once being able to field a full eleven.  Despite this it has won 14 of its 16 matches, a fine record indeed. The season is to be concluded with a dance in the Drill Hall tonight.          
Doncaster Dance Orchestra has been engaged for the evening.  
 
 
16th January 1920
Some information about the players at Conisboro’.
B B Clarkson, Centre Forward, leads the forward line well and is a great opportunist.
A G Moore, Outside Right, this is his first season and he shows great promise, he gets along his wing and centres admirably.
R H Sharp, Inside Left, he is extremely deft with his stick, always maintaining complete control over the ball.
F Clarkson, this is his first season but he is equally good in the forward or half back line.     An expert at the inverted stick play.
E Wainwright and G Soar are the two full backs and have proved capable of holding up all teams yet encountered.
J I Webster is the pivot of the team.  He played for Conisboro and Leeds City College before the war (WWI) and captains this crack club.
Misses O Bailey (vice captain) M Clarkson, M Elliott, P Knowles, D Moore, E Rawding, G E Sellars, M E Sellars and A Wainwright are all excellent performers and play in turn.  Conisboro’ is fortunate in having such a number of good lady players all keen sportsmen in every sense of the term.
 
17th January 1920
FRICTION AT CONISBORO
There promises to be excitement at the meeting of the Conisboro’ Hockey Club to be held tonight (16th January).  It appears that opinion among the members of the Conisboro’ Mixed Hockey Club is at present sharply divided on the question of team selection.  The club has not lost a match so far this season and a suggestion has been made that Mexboro’ players have been used to strengthen the teams when there were members of the Conisboro’ club who might have been chosen.  Mr J I Webster the captain of the club has denied these assertions and says Conisboro’ has never yet played anyone who is not a member of the club.  The teams are picked by a selection committee.  There was a proposal that the secretary should resign, but this has now been withdrawn.