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The first Glasgow v Edinburgh Test Match

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The First Glasgow versus Edinburgh Test Match was held at Crossmyloof on 9 April 1949. This was certainly the first test match held in Scotland and may well have been the first ever held.

 

Pete Bell recorded the meeting in his diary as follows

The Glasgow team was certainly the strongest possible. Bell, Monteith, Ritchie and Shapley were already well-established stars at Clydesdale while both relative newcomers, Bob Browning and George Sutherland, were rapidly approaching the same standard.

The ability of the Edinburgh boys was still unknown. Only Danny McGrath arrived with a formidable reputation. He certainly looked the part. Not too tall, compact and strongly built, he was physically more mature than most of the Glasgow teenagers.

 

Heat 1: Barry Shapley and 'Red' Monteith in heat 1 gave Glasgow a grand start with a   5-1 win over Tommy McNeill and Bill Duncan, who were Edinburgh's weakest pair in this match.

Heat 2: Pete Bell won heat 2, but Danny McGrath and John Higgins managed to keep out Bob Browning to split the points.

Heats 3-5: were all 5-1 wins, giving Glasgow a commanding lead. Two were from Bill Ritchie and George Sutherland and the other from Pete Bell and Bob Browning.

Heat 6: Bill Ross got between Barry and 'Red' and scored 2 points.

Heat 7: was another 5-1 for Bill Ritchie and George Sutherland. They had scored maximum points in all three of their first half races.

Heat 8: Danny McGrath showed his potential, producing the first Edinburgh heat winner, but his partner John Higgins finshed last and so the points were divided.

Heat 9: The last race in the first half was won by Pete Bell, but both Bill Ross and Wilf Newburn finished ahead of Bob Browning for another 3-3 draw.

 

The score at the halfway mark was Glasgow 38, Edinburgh 16. The match looked as if it would become a massive defeat for the away team.Bill Ritchie and George Sutherland were unbeaten. Danny McGrath was the' Capital's only heat winner. But the Edinburgh boys didn't give up. Their second half performance was much better than the first nine heats.

 

Heat 10: Tommy McNeill edged out 'Red' Monteith for second place.

Heat 11: John Higgins gave Pete Bell his only defeat of the match, while Danny McGrath finished ahead of Bob Browning. Edinburgh scored a 4-2 victory, their only heat win.

Heat 12: Wilf Newburn held off Bill Ritchie, giving him his only defeat and becoming the third Edinburgh rider to win a race.

Heat 13: Pete Bell and Bob Browning record a comfortable 5-1 over McNeill and Duncan

Heats 14-16: The racing became keener as the Edinburgh riders got used to the fast track. Two heats were drawn and Glasgow managed the other 4-2

Heat 17: Danny McGrath had another win, beating both Barry and 'Red' for the second time.

Heat 18: Pete Bell and Bob Browning rounded off the match for Glasgow with a 5-1. They scored the only two Glasgow 5-1 wins in the second half and so equalled the total of three 5-1 's overall scored by Bill Ritchie and George Sutherland.

 

 

 

Glasgow

Barry Shapley               2  3  1  3  1  2     12+2

Red Monteith               3  1  2  1  3  1      11+1

Peter Bell                     3  3  3  2  3  3      17

Bob Browning             0  2  0  0  2  2      6+3

Bill Ritchie                  3  3  3  2  3  3      17

George Sutherland     2  2  2  1  1  1       9+4

 

Edinburgh

Tommy McNeill           1  0  1  2  0  2     6

Bob Duncan                0  1  0  0  1  0     2

Danny McGrath          1  1  0  3  0  0     5

John Higgins              1  1  0  3  0  0     5

Bill Ross                     0  2  2  0  0  1     5

Wilf Newburn             1  0  1  2  2  0    7+1

 

 

Heat 1:  Monteith (G), Shapley (G), McNeill (E), Duncan (E)              5-1     5-1

Heat 2:  Bell (G), McGrath (E), Higgins (E), Browning (G),                 3-3     8-4

Heat 3:  Ritchie (G), Sutherland (G),Newburn (E), Ross (E)                5-1   13-5

Heat 4:  Bell (G), Browning (G), Duncan (E), McNeill (E)                   5-1   18-6

Heat 5:  Ritchie (G), Sutherland (G), Higgins (E), McGrath (E)              5-1   23-7

Heat 6:  Shapley (G), Ross (E), Monteith (G), Newburn (E)                     4-2   27-9

Heat 7:  Ritchie (G), Sutherland (G), McNeill (E), Duncan (E)            5-1   32-10

Heat 8:  McGrath (E), Monteith (G), Shapley (G), Higgins (E)             3-3   35-13

Heat 9:  Bell (G), Ross (E), Newburn (E), Browning (G)                          3-3   38-16

Heat 10: Shapley (G), McNeill (E), Monteith (G), Duncan(E)              4-2   42-18

Heat 11: Higgins (E), Bell (G), McGrath (E), Brownin (G)                      2-4   44-22

Heat 12: Newburn (E), Ritchie (G), Sutherland (G), Ross (E)                 3-3   47-25

Heat 13: Bell (G), Browning (G), McNeill (E), Duncan (E)                  5-1   52-26

Heat 14: Ritchie (G), McGrath (E), Sutherland (G), Higgins (E)         4-2   56-28

Heat 15: Monteith (G), Newburn (E), Shapley (G), Ross (E)                 4-2   60-30

Heat 16: Ritchie (G), McNeill (E), Sutherland (G), Duncan (E)           4-2   64-32

Heat 17: McGrath (E), Shapley (G), Monteith (G), Higgins (E)            3-3   67-35

Heat 18: Bell (G), Browning (G), Ross (E), Newburn (E)                      5-1   72-36

 

 

 

 

 

           

...and the third test
 
Held in mid August, the much heralded third test attracted a crowd of over 500 and they witnessed some of the best racing "in years" - the sport was in its second season!
Glasgow won 65-42 with Bill Ritchie scoring an 18 point maximum, with Pete Bell weighing in with 17, losing out to Ian Duncan in his first outing. Edinburgh's Bill Ross and Tommy McNeill had a disappointing meeting with five each. Danny McGrath had an eventful meeting with three falls and two heat wins!
Scorers were
Glasgow
Bill Rtichie               333333     18
Pete Bell                 233333     17
Barry Shapley        3233FM     11
Red Monteith         2F23F2       9
Johnny Weinman  1X2202       7
Bob Browning       01021X       4
 
Edinburgh
Wilf Newburn         223012      10
Ian Duncan            321111        9
Danny McGrath    1F3FF3       7
Ian Henderson      011121        6
Tommy McNeill    F01220        5
Bill Ross               1210F1        5
 
Bill Ritchie beat Danny McGrath 2-0 in the Glasgow leg of the Scottish Match Race championship