On the 9th January 1882 the Bristol Mercury & Evening Post carried the following report:-
"NEWPORT V CLIFTON"
"On Saturday afternoon, a match was played on the ground of the Newport Athletic Club between these teams. The weather was favourable, with a keen, bracing wind, but the ground was in a very sodden condition consequent upon the recent heavy rains. The match had been looked forward to with considerable interest, it having been regarded as one of the most attractive of the season. There was a large concourse of spectators. The "kick-off" was delayed half an hour as a consequence of the late arrival of the visitors, whose lot it fell to start the ball. A combined rush followed, and some spirited play was witnessed just in front of the Newport goal line. It was as much as the home team could do to defend their position for a while, but by some splendid play on the part of Bridie, Gould and Newman the attempt to cross the goal-line was foiled. The centre of the ground next became the spot for combat, and the first move to advantage on the part of the home players was made by Gould, who sent the leather a considerable distance in advance by a long dribble. After passing the ball backwards and forwards smartly several times, the teams settled down to a tight scrimmage near the visitors' goal-line, and the game was well kept in their ground for a considerable time. Purdon, Newman and F. W. Evans exhibited some skilled play, the leather being kicked over the line, but was touched down in self-defence. After the kick-off Clifton made excellent play and line up in the home ground 25 yards, and the danger of the position was only relieved by some good dribbling, and hence the ball was got back to the centre. By a good run on the part of Purdon the prospects of Newport were again improved, and the visitors had once more to touch down in self-defence. When the leather was next kicked off Reynolds returned it with vigour, and after a scrimmage Bridie obtained possession of the ball, and, being well on the visitors' ground, made a few successful dodges and dropped a neat goal amidst ringing cheers. At the call of half-time Newport was still master of the position, being abreast of the visitors' 25-yards' flagstaff. The ground was in such a condition that the visitors were unable to do work which under more favourable conditions they were capable of. On resuming play Reynolds kicked off for Newport. Miller returned, and the game was worked well into the home territory. Lyne got the ball into the Newport ground by a series of dribbles, but he was speedily sent back in such a way as to look dangerous for the home team, and it had to touch down in self-defence. To atone for this, however, the game was rapidly worked back to the visitors' territory. From a loose scrimmage the ball was passed to Bridie, who made a successful run and secured a try. The "place" kick was entrusted to Reynolds, who had to kick from a long angle in a literal quagmire. It was not surprising that no goal resulted. After this play became irregular, slightly to the advantage of Newport, although Clifton penned the home players to their 25 yards, but failed to score a point. The only subsequent gain to the home team was a touch-down on the part of the visitors, and the match terminated in a victory for Newport by a goal, a try, and three touches down. Prominent amongst the visiting team were Miller and Evans (backs), and Fisher, Williams, and Leonard (forwards). It was stated that the visitors complained greatly of the character of the ground, owing mainly to the rains, and alleged that they had never played to such disadvantage. The Newport team consisted of G. Reynolds, back; G. F. Harding, W. F. Evans, and J. Bridie, three-quarter-backs; R. Bridie and C. H. Newman, half-backs; W. Phillips (captain), H. S. Lyne, R. Gould, Clapp, Purdon, T. B. Jones, T. Harding, J. Jex-Woods, and W. Young forwards. Clifton - J. D. Miller, back; W. O. Moberley, R. Hatherall, and J. Nicholls, three-quarter- backs; J. P. Bush and H. L. Evans, half-backs; A. D. Greene (captain), T. H. Fisher, W. J. Pocock, H. N. Peck, H. Williams, W. Strachan, E. Leonard, H. C. M. Hirst, and J. C. Gilmore, forwards."