Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/406

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In the return match with Notts the late G. F. Grace played two wonderful not-cut innings of 115 and 72, while in the return with Yorkshire the following year, on the Clifton College Ground, "G. F." played another great innings of 165 not out.

In the first five seasons of Gloucestershire county cricket, the representatives of the Western shire lost but three matches; while in 1876 and 1877 Gloucestershire was the champion county, and played England at the Oval, and won by 5 wickets.

Although both "E. M." and "G. F." surpassed "W. G." in the batting tables of the county in 1877, yet "W. G." was a great factor with the ball. One only needs to give a single instance to prove this assertion. It used to be said that when "W. G." was out for under 20, Gloucester were out for less than 100. Against Notts, at Cheltenham, in 1877, the Champion only scored 17, but oddly enough he secured 17 wickets for 89 runs in the match! Those gently lobbed-up deliveries, bowled more with head than hand, have oft proved the undoing of resolute batsmen. This kind of ball is such a strange contrast to the huge proportions and the massive strength of the man who gives it motion. In 1878 England and Gloucestershire again met at the Oval; but with Tom Emmett in fatal form, the county was routed by 6 wickets. In May of that year a Gloucester youth, who was nineteen, named William Alfred Woof, was played in the Colts' match, and his left-hand bowling so impressed the Graces that he was chosen for the county that season. It was, however, 1880 before the services of the second professional Gloucestershire engaged were fully utilised, and his assistance was rendered the more necessary owing to the death of Mr Fred Grace—an event which naturally aroused the deepest sympathy throughout England, for in addition to being a splendid batsman, a magnificent field, and at times a destructive bowler, his social qualities endeared him to everybody. The youngest of the band of brothers, he was the first called to account, but his memory will ever be preserved as green as the sward on which he had given happiness to thousands.

From about 1878 the decline of Gloucestershire commenced; poor "G. F." was sadly missed in the eighties. In 1887 "W. G.," acting upon the advice of Mr G. N. Wyatt, secured the services of Roberts as a bowler, and in 1890 J. J. Ferris the Australian was persuaded to take up his abode in the county, but it cannot be said that he was a success. In 1893 and 1894 two young players appeared, Charles Townsend and Gilbert Jessop, who subsequently made their names famous in con-