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Western beat Central in 1946 to claim the Baird Cup. A crowd of about 600 watched and they were not disappointed with a good display of open rugby.
Although the score favoured Western 26 to 12, it in no way reflected the game. It was the Western backs that caused the problems for Central. The teams were:
Western: W. Miller, J. Prenderville, B. McIvor, P. Scott, J. Millar, C. Smith, J. Neylon, J. Johnstone, M. McInerny, A.Brown, D. Brown, F. Booth, W. Minty, J. Stuck, G. Guttrey.
Central: J. McIlwrick, R. Lindsay, R. Robb, R. Don, I. Overton, B. Overton, C. McKenzie, M. McDowell, P. Ryan, C. Robertson, S. Donald, R. Slaughter, D. Middleton, J. Woods, W. Thornton.
Robb was first to score for Central when he went wide as the result of a dribbling rush.
Ken Lindsay made a fine run for Central but was stopped in his tracks by Prenderville who gathered up the ball but was caught on the line. It gave Central a bit of respite and they managed to kick the penalty downfield but it landed in the hands of Smith and he raced downfield 50 yards and scored between the posts.
W. Miller converted.
The tempo of the game shot up a level and it was McInerny this time for Central that scored - converted by W. Miller. Western 18-Central 9.
It was Central's I. Overton who received the ball from a ruck and went over for the try. B. Overton failed to convert. Western 18 - Central 12.
With nothing to lose Western started throwing the ball around and Minty following up on a dropped pass went on to score.
Prenderville scored again for Western resulting from a dash down the side line and fending off the full back.
To finish the score off at 26-12 to Western, Miller kicked a penalty goal.
The referee was H. W. Haigh.
Reference: Baird Cup Retained - Western Beat Central. The Southland Daily News. Monday 1st July 1946.
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