Webbe knocked off the runs, Mr A. J. scoring (not out) 27, and Mr H. R. (now unfortunately dead) (not out) 19, in the final innings of Oxford. But after this brilliant success, which placed Oxford once more in the van, Cambridge achieved three successive victories, by 238 runs in 1878, by 9 wickets in 1879, and by 115 runs in 1880. Cambridge at that time sent up splendid elevens, boasting well-known names, such as those of Lucas and the Lytteltons, of Steel and the Studds. Oxford was overmatched. Hence in 1878 Cambridge again drew level with Oxford, each having won 21 matches. By 1880 Cambridge had two victories to the good; or to the bad for Oxford, which has been struggling ever since for equality, in vain. Alas! 1878 was the last year in which Oxford was on a level with Cambridge.
III. REMOVAL OF THE CLUB FROM THE MAGDALEN GROUND TO THE UNIVERSITY PARKS, AND UNIVERSITY MATCHES FROM 1881 TO 1896.
We now come to an event in Oxford cricket on which I happen to have some right to speak, because I was treasurer of the O.U.C.C. in the ten years between 1879 and 1888. I allude to the migration of the club in 1881 from the Magdalen ground, a mile south of Magdalen Bridge, to the University Parks in the north of Oxford. As this change has led, and will lead, to momentous consequences, the history of Oxford University cricket would be incomplete without some account of its nature and reasons.
We have already seen how Oxford cricket arose at a riding distance on Bullingdon Green and the common of Cowley, and gradually came nearer to Oxford without being exactly in Oxford. The Magdalen ground was inconveniently distant for the students of the university. It was a good ground, with a magnificent turf, but it required fine weather; and, as the Oxford cricket season is essentially the spring, it was often slow, and sometimes wet and even flooded. We have referred to an occasion in 1843 when the Oxford and Cambridge match itself was played on June 8 and 9 at Oxford, but could not be played on the Magdalen ground on account of wet, and had to be played on Bullingdon Green. Again, the pavilion and general arrangements on the Magdalen ground dated from earlier days, and did not afford the conveniences and comforts expected in modern cricket. In all these respects Oxford was very much behind