Here is an excerpt from the Sydney Mail of 9 July 1892 which describes a game of Australian Football in Sydney in 1892 (it might be noted that games were played in two halves, goals had the value of one point and behinds, whilst shown, were not included in the score in those days:
“The Sydney and West Sydney Clubs met for the first time this season at Moore Park for the Flanagan Cup, in the presence of over 4000 spectators, and one of the finest exhibitions of the Australian rules ever seen in Sydney was given.
The spectators were roused to the highest enthusiasm, especially in the last quarter. J. Arnold captained the Sydney, and J. Byrne the Wests. During the first half the game was very evenly contested, the West having slightly the best of the game, and scoring a goal through the agency of Thorburn. The scores at half-time were — West Sydney, 1 goal 3 behinds ; Sydney, 2 behinds.
In the last half the Sydney men rallied up and played a splendid game, and the game was made very fast. The Sydney scored 3 goals (one disputed) through the agency of Crisp, Young, and Shipton, and the West 1 goal by M. Ryan. Some good play was shown by both sides, each striving to obtain the winning goal. The final scores were — Sydney, 3 goals (one disputed) 6 behinds; West Sydney, 2 goals 7 behinds. Shipton, Giles, Arnold (2), Sullivan, Tobin, McKellar, and Loughnan played splendidly for Sydney, and Gavin, Gill, Thorburn, Newell, Byrne, and Port for the West.
A few more such games as this would give the game a strong hold over the Sydney public. The game was not marred by any rough play. The duties of umpire were satisfactorily filled by Mr. Murray. The result of this match places Sydney at the top of the list for the Flanagan Cup.
(Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 – 1912), Saturday 9 July 1892, page 101)