Three new Ardrossan teams, Castlehill Athletic, Sand Dabs and Snowflake Minstrels were found in reports of 1897.

Echoes From Montfod
We may inform those of our readers who are not in the know that the above (Montfod) is the name of the field on which the Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic juniors chase the little piece of inflated leather and on Saturday last (9 January 1897), they formally opened their hunting ground by engaging in a friendly match with those keen opponents of the game known in the district as the Sand Dabs. A few enthusiastic supporters turned out to witness the match and to urge their favourites on to victory. In the visitors' ranks, there were one or two players of some experience and it was thought that the homesters would have to put up with a severe thrashing but when the signal was given for a cessaton of hostilities, it was found that he narrow margin of only one goal separated the teams. On the whole, the game was stubbornly fought and some good bits of play were exhibited on both sides. The Sand Dabs won the toss and elected to play against the wind. The Athletics kicked off and for a time gave the opposing defence loads of work but do as they liked, the home forwards could not score. The visitors broke away with a good run and out of a scrimmage, they notched the first goal of the match. The play in this half was fairly well divided but at half time no advance had been made in the scoring department. From the way in which the visitors started the second period, it looked as it the ground team were in for a severe flogging but the Athletic defenders stood nobly to their guns and for some time ably negotiated the good intentions of their opponents but at length from a stray shot, the Sand Dabs found an opening and the Athletics were now two goals down. The Athletics, although having the worst of the game, continued to play gamely and just to show their rivals that they had not 'shot their bolt', they scampered off in the opposite direction and succeeded in registering their first and only point. From this to the finish, the Sand Dabs were the aggressive party but the homesters manged to keep them out and the game terminated in favour of the visitors by two goals to one. The Mondfod trundlers, clad in white shirts and blue trousers, looked a very tidy lot and with a few more games should be able to give some of the neighbouring junior teams a stiff run for supremacy. Now that a football club has been formed in Ardrossan once more, it is to be hoped the lovers of the game in the district will turn out and encourage the new organisation.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 15 January 1897
'Echoes from Montfod' is the name of a column in the sports page of the Herald that gave news of Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic. The spelling of 'Montfod' is as it was consistently spelt at that time and not as the modern 'Montfode'.

The Saltcoats Brewery XI journey to Largs tomorrow (23 January 1897), the occasion being their semi-final cup-tie with Overton. The young Breweryites hope to give as good account of themselves on Saturday as they have done on previous occasions this season on the same ground. Now, Brewery, altogether this time. This is unfortunate for the Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic who were as good as fixed to play Saturday first (23 January 1897). The Breweryites, however, hope to be able to give the Ardrossan lads another date soon.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 22 January 1897

Another defeat has to be chronicled against the Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic, the Snowflake Minstrels beating them last Saturday (23 January 1897) by four goals to two. At one time, it was expected that the Saltcoats Brewery Eleven would have been the guests of the Athletic but owing to the Breweryites having a cup-tie to play at Largs, they cried off. A good number of spectators turned out to see the game, though one or two of these would have been much better outside the field, as the language they used to some of the players was not of the choicest description. The game started briskly on the hard ground, the Minstrel boys showing their opponents clean heels and ere the game was long in progress, they captured the Athletic's citadel being the first goal of the match. Shortly after this success on a high drooping shot being sent in, another point fell to the visitors, the Athletic custodian being under the impression that the sphere would go safely over the horizontal bar. The Athletics were now two goals in arrears but in the succeeding play, they managed to lessen the gap which separated the teams and before half-time was announced, they cried quits with their opponents, two goals each. After the usual breather, the game was resumed with the Athletics bombarding the Minstrels' goal for a short time but the visitors' keeper proved a big obstacle in the way of success and, do as they liked, the Athletics could not find an opening. Beaten back empty-handed, the Minstrels instituted a combined run on the part of their right wing and capped the effort with a third goal to which they added a fourth immediately afterwards. From this to the finish, the game was very evenly contested and no further scoring occurred and the Athletics found themselves defeated by four goals to two. The game was contested on most friendly terms and the Athletics expressed the hope that it won't be long till the Snowflake Minstrels again appear at Montfod. We understand the Athletics will try conclusions with the Kilwinning Abbeygate on Saturday first (30 January 1897) at Montfod and as the Abbies are a pretty fair lot of juniors, the Athletics may depend on getting hard trot.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 29 January 1897

The Kilwinning Abbeygate who, owing to the severity of the weather, were prevented from fulfilling their fixture with Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic last Saturday
(30 January 1897) have, we understand, agreed to play the game at Montfod Park tomorrow (6 February 1897).
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 5 February 1897
There was no match report in the following week's Herald.

The Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic juniors felt a bit 'cut' last Saturday (20 February 1897) when they were informed that their match with Stewarton Star had been declared off. They had all turned up at the station and were just about to leave for their destination when the unwelcome news arrived. A needless journey to Stewarton was thus saved on the nick of time but the disappointment was rendered all the keener by that account. Some explanation might have been given by the Star officials why the match was put off.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 26 February 1897

On Friday evening (26 February 1897), the Snowflake Minstrels gave a concert in aid of local charities. The public turned out well and the Saltcoats Town Hall was comfortably filled with a most appreciating audience. This concert marked a decided advance on the last public appearance. There was more case in action and the choruses was fuller in volume. The programme was varied, consisting of solos, duets, choruses, step-dancing, banjo selections and the usual Minstrel dialogues. All acquitted themselves well. The accompaniments were played by Mr Slater and Mr J Brown. Archibald McClay and Tom Morris from the Dennistoun Amateur Minstrels kindly assisted with songs, sketch and top-boot dancing. We look forward to the reappearance of the dusky brothers next season with new songs and fresh jokes.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 5 March 1897

Stevenston Nursing Society £2; Saltcoats Nursing Society £3; Ardrossan Nursing Society £3; Saltcoats Clothing Society £2; Ardrossan Clothing Society £2; Mission Coast Home £1 10s; Home for Destitute Children - Mr Galloway £1 10s; total £15. This is a very gratifying result of the season's practice and their two public appearances.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 12 March 1897

Though defeated by four to two in their match with the Saltcoats Breweryites (on 6 March 1897), the result says a lot for the Castlehill Athletic juniors and by steady perseverance in the game, success will yet crown their efforts. As yet, the Athletics have no clubhouse but we believe that convenience will soon be placed on their pitch at Montfod and for which some money has already been collected.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 12 March 1897

Castlehill Athletic who entered on their fifth match last Saturday (13 March 1897). The four games were lost but last week they managed to chronicle their first victory. It's a long road that hasn't a turn. On Saturday, they tackled the Snowflake Minstrels. "Tomorrow the sun may be shining although it is cloudy today." This may be said of the Castlehill Athletic who entered on their fifth match last Saturday (13 March 1897). The four games were lost but last week they managed to chronicle their first victory. It's a long road that hasn't a turn. On Saturday, they tackled the Snowflake Minstrels for the second time since the club was formed and with a stronger team than that which represented them in the initial game while the Minstrel lads were also a more capable eleven. There was a good turnout of spectators and both sides received every encouragement from their supporters. The teams were: Minstrels - Todd; Fullerton and Kerr; McDowall, Ritchie and McQueen; Bain, D Harvey, Baird, J Harvey and Wylie. Athletic - Muirhead; Campbell and Greene; Adams, McDonald and Breckenridge; Ingles, Glover, McFarlane, Speedie and Barbour. The Athletics won the toss but selected to play against the wind. For a time, play was dull with the Minstrels having the best of matters and about fifteen minutes from the start, they scored the initial point. Shortly after, the homesters put on the equaliser and from this to the interval, play was pretty even but without any further scoring. Resuming, the Athletics started well by registering a second goal but some two minutes later the Minstrels, not to be denied, replied with the equaliser. Thereafter, the visitors seemed to have 'shot their bolt' as the ground forwards simply toyed with the opposing defence and goal followed goal until the Athletics had scored no less than seven. The Minstrels failed to make any impression on the home defence and a pleasant game ended in favour of the Athletics by seven to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 19 March 1897

On Friday evening last (22 March 1897), the Ardrossan Snowflake Amateur Minstrels held a conversazione and dance in the Lesser Town Hall, Saltcoats. Mr Arthur Guthrie, honorary president, presided at the former and after tea, congratulated the Minstrels on the success which had attended their first year's practice. Their two public appearances, so very creditable in every way, had shown how zealously they had worked and the sum realised after defraying expenses, how much the public had appreciated their efforts. The local charities had greatly benefited and they had brightened the lives of the community by giving entertainments which, while entertaining and amusing, were entirely free from vulgarity in any shape. An interesting feature followed. Mr J Ritchie read a report which showed that from the first concert given on 1 December 1896, the receipts, roughly speaking, were £25. At the second concert on 28 February 1897, £29, a total of £54 and after defraying expenses, they were able to hand over to several charities £15 as reported in the Herald. They were satisfied with the result and hoped that in a coming season, beside giving concerts at home, to go further afield. Mention was made of the able assistance give by Mr Brown of the Dennistoun Minstrels and the gratitude to Mr Craig, their able conductor, they desired to acknowledge by the present of an umbrella. Without him, Mr Ritchie said in conclusion, they were nothing but with him, they had done much. Mr J Craig, in suitable terms, expressed his pleasure at receiving this mark of their approval of the services they had rendered. An excellent programme of songs, selections on the piano and on the violin was gone through and after votes of thanks were give to entertainers and the chairman, an assembly was held. Mrs Manson purveyed an excellent tea and Mr H Stevenson, Sorbie, was a tactful master of ceremonies.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 26 March 1897


            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 2 April 1897
There was no future advertisement in a subsequent Herald.

The Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic recorded their second victory Saturday last (3 April 1897) when they met and defeated West Kilbride Athletic on Montfod Field. There were a few supporters of each team present. Against a cold easterly breeze, the West Kilbride lads started the game. Play was almost entirely confined to their territory during the initial half and Castlehill's backs and goalkeeper had little or nothing to do, all or nearly all falling on the wings to leeward. The first goal of the match was the result of a splendid effort of the part of Campbell, the Montfod Field right-back, his kick from three-quarter field sailing into goal in grand style, placing his team one up. The West Kilbride custodian ought to have stopped the shot but he didn't. Throughout the rest of the first half, play was somewhat slack and uninteresting, good chances being lost repeatedly on both sides. Against the wind in the second period, Montfod Field, with only one goal to the good, had to look out. Their defence was pretty sure, however, and the attacks of the West Kilbride players lacked system and combination. However, a pass from the latter's right wing was at length converted into a goal by Armstrong who was standing almost underneath the bar. Two goals were afterwards registered by the homesters due to the grand play of Speedie, Macfarlane, Inglis and Glover and at the close the scores stood three to one in favour of Castlehill. Tomorrow the Castlehill lads will try conclusions with Galston Athletic at Montfod Field.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 9 April 1897

On Saturday last (10 April 1897), before a fair turnout of spectators, the local juniors tackled the Galston Athletic at Montfod Park and once again suffered defeat, this time to the extent of six goals to nil. The Castlehill team was a little under strength. Still, we can hardly attribute the defeat to this fact for although they had been fully represented, the general opinion was that they would have been no match for the Galston lads who were a good pack of juniors. The game was not long started till the visitors took the upper hand and fairly bombarded the Castlehill goal. Luckily their shooting was a bit 'oph' and the early period of the game was drawing near a close before the Galston youths succeeded in notching the first and only point in this half, a result which says something in favour of the home defence. With the wind and sun in their favour in the second period, it was thought that the locals would be seen to more advantage but it was not to be. The visitors' halves and backs fairly bottled all attempts on the part of the homesters and score the latter could not. The combination of the Galston forwards was really good - the way in which they manipulated the ball, fairly outwitting the home trio and once they got on the run, it was not easy to stop them. After about fifteen minutes play, a second goal was registered for the visitors and to make a long story as brief as possible, another four goals fell to their credit before time was announced and the Galston lads thus retired easy winners by six goals to nil. For a junior team, the young 'miners' are a smart lot - in fact, the best playing eleven that has appeared at Montfod. The forwards know how to play the passing game and hit a good shot as some of the goals they scored on Saturday will testify. We hope when the return game falls to be played at Galston, the same friendly feeling will be shown as that which characterised the game last Saturday.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 16 April 1897

The Ardrossan Snowflake Minstrels entertained a Saturday evening (17 April 1897) audience in the Assembly Hall last week.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 April 1897

The Castlehill Athletic had a visit from the Saltcoats Rechabites on Saturday last (17 April 1897) when the former had to put up with another defeat to the extent of three goals to two. In the first half, the Saltcoats lads played with the wind and rain at their backs and managed to put on three points while the homesters failed to notch a single point although they had a good share of the play. Resuming the second period, the Athletic hemmed in their opponents and ere ten minutes had elapsed they scored number one which was shortly after supplemented by a second. No further scoring took place and a very uninteresting game ended in favour of the visitors as above stated.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 April 1897

On Monday evening last (19 April 1897), the Athletics were billed to play the Govan Mayfied at Montfod Park but, as the visitors failed to turn up, there was no game.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 April 1897

On Wednesday evening (21 April 1897), the Castlehill Athletic engaged a game with the Stevenston Rechabites and a draw of three goals each was the result. Tomorrow (24 April 1897), the Athletic brigade intend visiting Beith where they will try conclusion with the Rechabites of that ilk.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 23 April 1897

Muir Field, Beith, being closed for the day, the Beith Rechabites took advantage of it to have a friendly game (on 24 April 1897) with the Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic, the Beith management magnanamously granting the use of the filed for the day, a concession which was heartily appreciated. The Beithites picked a strong eleven to represent them but when it came to the time for starting, a number of these, tempted by the good weather no doubt, failed to put in an appearance having gone off on ways of their own. The Ardrossan team, on the other hand, though a little rearranged turned out a good lot which, as subsequent events proved, was strong enough to whip the members of the 'on to victory' tent. The day was a splendid one for football and the pitch was perfectly dry which was decidely lucky for the Ardrossan lads who, had they had found Muir Field in its ideal winter or or wet-weather condition, would have been at a loss how to travel through the mud. The game opened very quietly, the Ardrossan lads at the outset getting possession and keeping play at the Beith end. The Beithites, however, worked their way out and after some give-and-take play, they notched the first point of the match with a good shot. Play kept very open with the visitors having the best of it and soon the equaliser was scored. It looked as if this half would end ina draw but just about the interval, the visitors registered a second goal and thus crossed over with a one goal lead. In the second half, the Athletics had to face the breeze and the hill and though the homesters kept play pretty well from their own goal, still the strangers got in on two occasions, putting the ball through and carried off a pleasant game by the creditable score of four goals to one. The Castlehill lads played well together, putting in some strong work which proved effective. The Beithites intend having a strong team when the return game comes off at Montfod and are determined to reverse the score so a good tussle may be expected when they again meet.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 30 April 1897

The Castlehill Athletic have now managed to erect a neat little clubhouse on Montfod Field and are to be congratulated on the energy and success which they have displayed in carrying out their work in this, their first season. On Saturday last (8 May 1897), the Snowflake Minstrels turned out for the third time this season to do battle with the Athletic. A goodly number of spectators put in an appearance and in this connection we have again to congratulate the Castlehill lads for among those present were a few of the fair sex. Strong and cold was the 'nor'-wester'which blew, against which the Snowflakes played in the initial period of the game and this in some measure accounts for the five to zero record which stood against them at half-time. It was expected that the change of ends would soon reveal a different state of matters and the Snowflakes early raised the hopes of their supporters by notching a point. This goal was the result of a very good effort. Another point was awarded the Minstrels - a goal which, though the sphere did go over the bar, they wrought hard for. Castlehill also added another point to their total and the game ended in their favour by six to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14 May 1897

The Athletics visited Warner Park on Tuesday evening (11 May 1897) and engaged in a friendly with Stevenston Athletic. Victory rested with the latter to the extent of four to zero.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 14 May 1897

On Saturday last (22 May 1897), the Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic journeyed to Galston and played their return fixture with the Athletics of that ilk on the public park. The visitors were late in arriving and consequently the game was one of short duration. The first meeting of the teams at Ardrossan culminated in an easy victory for Galston by six goals to nil and on Saturday, they were again on the winning side. The Ardrossan lads, however, had some comfort in the thought that they came out of their last engagement with more credit than the first, the result being four to two in favour of Galston.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 28 May 1897

The delay in high quarters regarding the request of the Ardrossan Commissioners for the South Beach Green to be handed over to the town has moved a local poet thus:
   When We Get That Esplanade
         When we get that esplanade, my friend, our time of toil will cease
         In fact, I'm sure our days will end in luxury and peace
         For I've just perused the speech again that the scheme's proposer made
         And it won't surprise, should our fortunes rise when we get that esplanade
               They will come from out the Glesga reek, will visitors galore
               We'll charge them thirty bob a week for sleeping on the floor
               We'll knock out Largs and Rothesay too when our Green is nicely laid
               We'll have strolls sublime and a splendid time when we get that esplanade
                     There's those who watch the Saun' Dabs play, that crowd can fairly howl
                     You hear them half a mile away say "corner", "goal" and "foul"
                     Said crowd will cheer their favourites on from a grandstand ready made
                     For from off the wall, they will shout and bawl when we get that esplanade

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 August 1897

In the junior circles, the Ardrossan Castlehill Athletics are looking forward to a hard and, it is hoped, better season that last and if success is only equal to the enthusiasm which prevails, the Athletics will feel justly proud. This club, we may state, was formed only last season and, of course, took no part in any of the Junior Cup competitions but with commendable pluck they has this season entered for the Ayrshire Junior Cup, the Irvine and District and Irvine Herald trophies and thus for the first time, the Athletics are determined to show their paces in these different competitions with what success, time alone will disclose, but being a young organisation, we presume their ambition is of a modest nature although there is no doubt every member will do his best to bring honour to his club and it maybe bring the seaport town of Ardrossan to the front rank in Ayrshire junior football. The Athletics first important engagement will be on 11 September when they will combat with Crosshouse at
Montfod Park in the initial round of the Ayrshire Junior Cup and as a number of years have elapsed since a cup-tie was played at Ardrossan, it is hoped that the lovers of the game in the district will rally round the Athletics next Saturday. The following week on 18 September, the Athletics must journey to Dreghorn to meet the team of that ilk in the first stage of the Irvine and District Cup competition.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 3 September 1897

On Saturday last (4 September 1897), Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic opened the season with a visit from Irvine Caledonia, winners of the Irvine Herald Cup last year, when there was fair sprinkling of spectators to witness the opening match. In the first half, the Caley, with the wind, which was blowing from goal to goal in their favour, scored three goals while the homesters failed to find an opening and so the visitors led at the interval by three goals to nil. With the change of ends, the Athletic taxed the defence of the Royal Burgh team to the utmost but only managed to score on two occasions while the visitors failed to increase their score and a very evenly contested game ended in favour of the Irvine lads by three to two. The result of this match should give the Athletic more confidence in their game with Crosshouse tomorrow (11 September 1897) in the first round for the Ayrshire Junior Cup at Montfod Park when we hope we shall see them pass safely into the second round. We shall see.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 September 1897

Saturday last (11 September 1897), was a big day for the Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic being the first occasion on which the club competed for the Ayrshire Junior Cup. That the luck of the ballot was in their favour when drawn to play Crosshouse at Montfod Park, no-one will deny but despite this advantage, the Athletics had some qualms about the result of their first attempts at Cup honours. Crosshouse, on the other hand, who seemed to be the weightier lot when the teams appeared on the somewhat 'lumpy' pitch may have felt more confident of success than the homesters who were to be excused for any over-excitement caused by the importance of the occasion. When the teams trotted out, it was seen that several of the Crosshouse players wore jerseys too much alike in colour to those in which the Athletics appeared which ought to have been avoided and which with many teams would most certainly have been objected to. As far as we are aware, the registered colours of the respective teams differ as much from each other as night from day and by Crosshouse failing to turn out in their true colours, the Athletics no doubt presume they have found a strong pin whereon to hang a protest. But to the game. In the presence of a rather limited attendance of spectators, the teams lined up thus. Crosshouse - Heron; Cook and T Fulton; Richmond, Beattie and Kennedy; Fulton, Milligan, Brown, Murray and McChristie. Castlehill - Muirhead; Campbell and Greene; T Breckenridge, McDonald and Barbour; Inglis, Stirling, G Breckenridge, McFarlane and Clasper. The home team lacked the services of two of their usual players, Speedie and Ballantine, Clasper and G Breckenridge filling the vacancies. The game started briskly and, playing down the hill, the Athletics forced the pace for some time causing the Crosshouse custodian to save his colours. This he did easily enough for the simply reason that he got sufficient time to do so. Crosshouse got over the hill different times but Barbour as half-back and Greene in the rear were largely responsible for keeping the visitors at bay. The home forwards and especially Stirling and Inglis continued to make inroads on their opponents but failed badly at goal. Crosshouse broke away on their right and the first raid they made ended in the first goal of the match being scored by the visitors which was well taken. The homesters, however, were having the best of the play and by this time ought to have been leading in the matter of goals. Twice they had the sphere between the posts but on these occasions, Breckenridge in centre unfortunately punted the ball home with his head and the honours were lost. Other attacks by the ground team were recklessly thrown away through inaccurate shooting. Play was eager on both sides and now and again, Crosshouse came within shooting distance of Muirhead and had several good tries but their efforts to increase their total were successfully nullified. The Athletics still had the best of matters and after repeated failures to find an opening, they were at length rewarded with a point. It came none too soon as, two minutes later, the signal was given for a halt. The teams thus retired at the interval with one goal each though on the play shown, the Athletics ought to have been in the ascendant by several goals. With the restart, the Athletics were first in evidence, but their visit was both short-lived an unsuccessful. Crosshouse soon took up the running and pressing the homesters back on their lines, Muirhead had to acknowledge himself beaten with a second shot. The friends of the ground lads, however, did not lose hope in their pets yet but when Crosshouse bracketed goal number three a few minutes later, these same hopes received a rude shake. Although two goals in arrears, the Athletics fought gamely and if they did not succeed in augmenting their score, it is but fair to state that their efforts deserved some measure of increased success. Crosshouse had got the lead but they were not allowed to have a monopoly of the play which, if not brilliant, was at least very well balanced. As time advanced, Crosshouse scored a fourth point and the Athletics' exit from the competition now seemed a certainty. In the play which followed, both teams sent the sphere between the uprights but these efforts were disallowed on the plea of offside. The game ultimately finished without any further scoring and Crosshouse emerged victorious, by four goals to one, a result which does not give a true indication of the run of the game. For the winners, Heron in goal played his part well and of the two backs, Fulton on the left excelled his mate. The trio were a fair lot and Fulton, Milligan and McChristie were prominent in the front rack. For Athletic, Greene at back was more effective than Campbell especially in the first half. Barbour and T Breckenridge were the most pronounced at half back and in the quintet, Stirling, Clasper and Inglis carried off the honours.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 17 September 1897

The Ardrossan Castlehill youths travelled to Dreghorn last Saturday (18 September 1897) and engaged the team of that name in the first round of the Irvine and District Cup competition. This was a heavy undertaking for a team of juniors of last year's formation and there hopes of chronicling a victory must have been very remote. Win or lose, the Athletics faced their more experienced opponents and, as expected, Dreghorn retired easy winners by eight goals to one. Rather heavy, Mr Editor, but this is not to be wondered at when the merits of the teams are taken into consideration, Dreghorn ranking among the best junior elevens in the shire. Though defeated, the Athletics have displayed commendable pluck in forming a connection with the leading junior associations in the county and it is to he hoped the spirit which urged them to move in these directions will yet reap more encouraging and successful rewards than those experienced in the Ayrshire Junior and Irvine and District competitions this week. Regarding the protest lodged by Ardrossan Castlehill against Crosshouse which cropped up at the recent junior tie between these teams, a decision on the protest was delayed at the Association meeting held last Thursday evening week (16 September 1897) on account of the referee failing to put in an appearance. The Athletics await the issue with composure.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 24 September 1897

Ardrossan flew a lot of bunting yesterday (30 September 1897) in honour of the marriage of Mr George Stewart, son of Captain James Stewart, Eglinton Street. George is an old Ardrossan boy. He learned to play football in the Ardrossan Ensign teams of ten or a dozen years ago and since going to South Africa, he has had the ball pretty much at his feet. He is now connected with the Bulawayo mines, we believe.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 1 October 1897
George Stewart was mentioned in Ardrossan and Saltcoats Heralds of 19 August 1887 and 1 August 1890.

The Ardrossan C
astlehill Athletics travelled to Dalry on Saturday last (2 October 1897) and engaged the Dalry A team in a friendly. Victory rested in favour of the homesters by four goals to two.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 8 October 1897

The members of the Castlehill Athletic Club held a function of the above nature under the auspices of the Castlehill Tent Independent Order of Rechabites in the Assembly Hall, Ardrossan (shown below as the Winton Rovers' Club in 1974)
on Friday evening last (29 October 1897) when there was a large attendance. The hall was prettily decorated with banners etcetera for the occasion and the display reflected much credit on the taste of those having the supervision in this matter. Mr T B Stevenson, C R of the Tent, occupied the chair and in the course of a brief though neat speech expressed his regret that he was not able to call all those present 'brothers and sisters' and concluding by pointing out the benefits accruing from a connection with the Order. A lengthy programme of vocal and instrumental music etcetera was them entered upon and was much enjoyed by all present. The following contributed to the programme - Misses Osborne and McCummin, Glasgow; Miss Green, Galston; Miss Craig, Saltcoats and Messrs H Jamieson, H Hughes and W McFarlane, Ardrossan. A dialogue was cleverly produced by several members of the Tent. The usual votes of thanks brought this part of the proceedings to a close. A word of praise is specially due to Mr A McMillan for the splendid way in which he did the purveying and it is hardly necessary to say that it could not have been in better hands. An assembly followed which was also well attended. Mr J Barbour made an efficient master of ceremonies and to the strains of Mr Finlay Hannah's quadrille band from Saltcoats, dancing was kept up with the greatest enthusiasm till an early hour in the morning. The dance programme was pleasantly interspersed with songs, step-dances and games. The committee in charge of the general arrangements are to be congratulated on the completeness of these, everything passing off without a hitch.

            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 5 November 1897

Castlehill Athletic had as their opponents at Montfod Field on Saturday last (6 November 1897) the Irvine Meadow XI in the first round of the Irvine Herald Cup competition, second game. The first game of the tie was played off at Irvine as reported in our columns and resulted in the Meadow lads drubbing their visitors to the extent of eight goals to nil. It will be apparent that a big account fell to be squared up by the latter and that they meant to settle up if possible in the return match was evident in the team selected for duty on the occasion. However, to select a team is one thing. To line up the selection on the field in time for the whistle is quite another. It was so in the case of the Athletic at least as four auxiliaries of 'Saun' Dab' fame sported the white shirts on Saturday and a very good account they gave of themselves, without doubt. From the commencement, it was seen that the play was not to be all one-sided. For a time, both teams had a fair share of the ball till a shot from the right brought down the Castlehill colours somewhat easily. Strong pressure on the Meadowites' stronghold ensued from the kick-off and a well played for goal which equalised matters kept the interest keen and was the signal for no slight outburst of cheering. A penalty kick against the visitors was well taken, returned to the goalkeeper and after a few exchanges was banged through. The ground team with their one goal lead were playing a hard game seemingly much encouraged by their success. Ere the interval, Irvine's defence was again beaten and the Athletic chalked up their third and last goal. The change of ends was followed by good play on both sides. From the smart right wing, again came efforts which added another goal to Irvine's score gain and which concluded the match so far as goal-getting was concerned. The closing stages of the game were characterised by determined pressure on the Athletic's goal, their opponents playing hard for a draw but the defence was too strong and on several occasions the Meadow XI's goal seemed on the point of downfall as the result of breakaway. The result, three goals to two in favour of Athletic, when compared with the result of the previous game seems to suggest something very far wrong down Irvine way or something as it should be in the Montfod district. The finished and more systematic play of the Meadow representatives was such as might be expected from a team of their experience but there was on their part a lack of the 'dash' which, for the greater part of the game, was displayed by the opponents who throughout the tie must have been pleased to wipe out that eight-nil defeat and record a win in its stead. The performance of the Athletic team on Saturday may serve to stimulate local interest in the matches at Montfod Field. True, a pretty fair number of spectators witnessed the above game but the admission was 2d and many of them witnessed it from outside the 'dyke'. The Ardrossan Castlehill youths felt a bit proud over their win of last Saturday but the general opinion is that the outside aid which the Athletics called into play had a large say in the victory scored against the Irvine Meadowites. Rumour has it that a disturbance cropped up in the Meadowites' camp lately and perhaps this explains why the Irvine lads had been found on the wrong side in some of their latest matches, Saturday's included.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 12 November 1897

Tomorrow (4 December 1897), the Ardrossan Castlehill Athletics will journey to Largs and engage the Thistle of that ilk in a friendly. Several weeks have elapsed since the Athletics last figured in a match but with a good representation they hope to make the Jags trot the full ninety minutes and if the latter have no objections to place a victory to their credit.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 3 December 1897

We have a letter, received too late for publication, from 'Willing Helper' calling upon the public to encourage the forthcoming concert by the Snowflake Minstrels on account of the laudable object the members have in view.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 3 December 1897

On Saturday last (4 December 1897), the Castlehill Athletic journeyed to Largs and engaged in a friendly with the team of that ilk. The visitors were strengthened a bit for the occasion having the assistance of Quinn of Stevenston Thistle and Robertson of Stevenston Athletic, both of whom rendered good service. The ground was in a fearful condition being very heavy on account of recent rains. The game was late in starting and Largs commenced with ten men but it was not long till the absent 'junior', one whom we know has done duty for a senior team in his day took the field. Right after the start, it was seen that the pl
ay was inclined to be rough as McWhirter of Largs and Muirhead of Castlehill, the goalkeeper, were at loggerheads before the game was five minutes old. The Thistle's centre had no cause whatever for the manner in which he made on Muirhead on different occasions and had the referee known his book, he would have ordered McWhirter to the pavilion which might have ended of mended matters. As it was, no goals were scored in the first part and the teams, of course, started the second part on level footing. It was in this half that damage was done. About half an hour after the restart, McColl opened the scoring for Largs. Shortly after this, the Castlehill custodian, Muirhead, after he had punted the ball out, was kicked from behind by one of the Largs players and naturally a show of fisticuffs was a result. The game was stopped for a few minutes and the spectators rushed onto the field. The committee cleared the pitch and the game was resumed in darkness. Largs added two points to their total and the victory rested with them by three to nil. The result is credible to the Montfodians considering that the last two goals were scored in darkness and when time had expired, had the field been dry, the issue might have expired differently. As to the referee - pardon me for using the term - he was simply lead away with the crowd and allowed the players to do as they pretty well liked. When the scene between Muirhead and the home player occurred, the referee ought to have ordered both men to the club-house but, instead of that, he was heard to ask one of the Largs players if he would order Muirhead to the pavilion - just fancy! Moreover, after Largs scored their third goal, the referee came forward to one of the Castlehill team and asked how long they were playing. The first half was finished in something like thirty-nine minutes while it took about fifty minutes to complete the second period. Truly, he is a referee the Largs team would do well to preserve. We are convinced that if the secretary of the Castlehill club had known the treatment that was likely to be meeted out to the team, a fixture would never have been arranged with Largs. Both on and off the field, the treatment was anything but friendly. However, it is to be hoped the return match will be fought out in a different spirit. At the time of writing, the Castlehill boys are without a fixture for tomorrow (11 December 1897) but they are endeavouring to get the Ardeer Rangers to visit Montfod Park. Should they succeed, a full team is expected to turn out in view of their cup-tie with Vale of Garnock a fortnight hence.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 December 1897

On Saturday (11 December 1897), the Athletics had a visit of the Ardeer Rangers, a team in which there are some smart juniors and who defeated the Ardrossan lads by four goals the last time the teams met. In the first half of the game, the Rangers played with the wind in their favour but only managed to put on one goal while the homesters succeeded in lowering their opponents' colours on two occasions. During the second portion, the Athletics took the game in hand and fairly monopolised play - the visitors very seldom having a look-in. The Montfodians added another three goals to their score and won a pleasant game by five goals to one.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 17 December 1897

Tonight (10 December 1897), the Ardrossan Snowflake Minstrels give their first entertainment for the season in the town Hall, Saltcoats. We understand they have been giving steady practice and their programme will be found to be as entertaining as their last season's which gave unqualified satisfaction to large audiences. It should be remembered too that the Minstrels devoted the surplus proceeds to charitable objects such as the local nursing associations and the homes for destitute children. Their attractive programme and their worthy aim should commend the entertainments tonight to the general public. For the convenience of Ardrossan attenders, a special train has been arranged to leave Saltcoats at 10.20 pm calling at South Beach.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 10 December 1897

The Ardrossan Snowflake Amateur Minstrels presented a fine array of woolly wigs and coloured countenances to a crowded audience in Saltcoats Town Hall on Friday evening last (10 December 1897) and also presented a very entertaining programme. The opening overture by the orchestra followed by the Marche Pour Entier and the opening chorus by the company were well received, the youthful voices at the rear being very effective in last. The songs comprised in the initial part of the programme were varied and the singers acquitted themselves very creditably indeed. The tall nigger who warbled forth his Bid Me To Love appeal gave a good account of himself as did the nautical individual whose shipwrecked On The Mediterranean The Mighty Deep was well rendered. Local bids and hints, unmistakable in their application, were interspersed throughout and part one was well sustained by all taking part in it, deserving the appreciation evinced by the audience. During the interval, the Washington Post March by the orchestra under Mr James Blair MA, received pleasing and spirited interpretation and part two of the programme started with one of the features of the entertainment - dancing by Little Chick. Everyone present was anxious of course to keep the dancer's feet in view and this accounts for the twisting and neck-stretching noticeable in the body of the hall during Little Chick's two clever performances. We experienced the sensations of the unfortunate who chanced to be seated behind a splendid example of the extension and expansion of the milliner's art.
   'Twas a grey felt hat with towering crown
   Like a six inch flower post upside down
   Over locks of lovely golden brown
   With an ostrich plume o'er all
   Quite a nice hat mounted neatly
   But it blanked us out completely
   And we couldn't see the Little Chick at all
      'Twas a restless hat jerked to and fro
      Where e're we turned that hat would go
      It would have gone to Jericho
      If wish could have made it stir
      Though that girl near drove us frantic
      We forgive her every antic
      She was dodging someone's hat in front of her.
The two little fellows who sang a plantation duet and who acted as pupils to the music teacher were worthy of all the applause they evoked and the Twin's banjo case selection was excellent. Messrs Brown and McLay of the Dennistoun Minstrels in their mournful wall of woe brought down the building. To them must be accredited some of the most amusing and mirth-provoking incidents of the evening. A sketch written by one of the members and acted by the company concluded the programme. Altogether, a pleasant evening's amusement was provided by the Minstrels and a broad grin was visible on not a few blacks visages as they viewed the large audience which had responded to their appeal to encourage local charities.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 17 December 1897

At Montfod Field on Saturday (18 De
cember 1897), Castlehill Athletic met Stevenston Athletic in a friendly. Stevenston lacked the services of some of their usual players but the places of the absentees were filled by substitutes. Two forty-fives were played. Play was not of an uncommonly brilliant description throughout though at times good combination was shown by the visitors but both teams had their share of the play and both missed good chances. The score stood two-nil in favour of the Castlehill lads till well on in the second half when the Stevenston representatives scored their only point. The goalkeeper of the Castlehill had no chance whatever to save his trust being 'grassed' in the course of the pressure on his goal. There seemed a little inclination to 'lay on wait' particularly towards the close and this the referee checked pretty efficiently any suspicious tactics being promptly penalised. The final result, two goals to one in favour of Castlehill, is an improvement on their last appearance against the Stevenston boys.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 24 December 1897

The Ardrossan Castlehill Athletic expects to have a game on Monday first (3 January 1898) and in view of their coming Consolation Cup tie with the Vale of Garnock which has been postponed till a future date, a match of some kind is desirable. Montgreenan is mentioned as the expected visitors to Montfod Park on Monday first.
            Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 31 December 1897
There was no report in the following week's Herald.