Details, including date and source
advertisement - Amusements column in
2 August 1879, The Argus

GRAND EXHIBITION of the ELECTRIC LIGHT

GRAND MILITARY FOOTBALL MATCH between
E.M. [East Melbourne] ARTILLERY CORPS and COLLINGWOOD RIFLE CORPS
on the MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND on Tuesday Evening, 5th AUGUST

When the ground will be lighted up for the match by at least five first-class
ELECTRIC LIGHTING MACHINES and make the
GRANDEST EXHIBITION OF OUTDOOR LIGHTING that has ever been shown hitherto.

Admission 1s. Grand Stand 1s. extra
Gates open 7 o’clock. Commence 8.
advertisement - Amusements column in
5 August 1879, The Argus

[practically the same content as the ad. which appeared in 2/8 issue
except date removed and replaced by THIS EVENING
also additional information near end of ad.
The club has arranged with Mr Simmons, the caterer for the ground, for the supply of coffee, besides other refreshments, in both stand bars and booth during the evening.]
news item in
5 August 1879, The Argus

The football match by the electric light, between members of the East Melbourne Artillery and the Collingwood Rifles, takes place on the MCC ground this evening. A preliminary trial of the lights was made last night. Three machines were kept going, and proved almost sufficient to light the whole ground. When the two other batteries are at work ample light, it is considered, will be provided. The members of the football teams were present, and took advantage of the trial to take some practice. The effect of using a painted (white) football was tried, and was found to be greatly superior to the ordinary coloured ball. The ground will be kept by a body of the local forces, and a large number of police will be present to prevent any attempt to scale the fences. The bands of the Engineer Corps and Collingwood Rifle Corps will be on the ground from half-past 7, and will play alternately during the evening. The match will conclude at half-past 9 pm.
news item in
6 August 1879, The Argus

The announcement that a football match would be played on the Melbourne cricket ground by electric light last evening was sufficient to induce a very large crowd to stand on the damp ground and brave the cold night air for a couple of hours to see the game. The play was announced to commence at 8 o’clock, but long before that time the spectators were arriving in a constant stream. The grand stand and members pavilion were dimly lighted up by a few kerosene lamps, the electric lights not being started until the time arrived for commencing the game. There were a great many boys on the ground, who appeared to enjoy themselves amazingly in the darkness. The grand stand was kept by a detachment of the Garrison Artillery, under the command of Captain Stubbs, while a guard of volunteers kept the outsiders from clambering over the fence. This guard was relieved at frequent intervals, and the marching and counter-marching of these bodies of volunteers gave the place an appearance of a camp.

At last the competing teams from the East Melbourne Artillery and Collingwood Rifles marched from the reserve into the gloom amid a cheer from the few who knew what was going on. The electric light was then turned on from five points surrounding the ground. The appearance of the ground was very peculiar, being something between strong moonlight and twilight, with brilliant points opposite the lights. The Collingwood team took the north side, facing the East Melbourne Artillery on the south, but there were no distinguishing badges by which the spectators could tell the men. The lights were fitful. The one on the opposite side to the stand and close to the engine burned badly from the first, and soon went out altogether.

The play did not excite much interest, as the men were continually going out of sight into dark patches, and the ball, though painted white, required too much of an effort for the eye to follow it. The play was much in favour of the Artillery team, and several times the ball was forced behind so close to the goal posts that the spectators thought a goal had been kicked. At last, just before half time was called, the East Melbourne Artillery team obtained a goal out of a scrimmage.

During the half time there was what is called a “tug of war” between 20 members of the East Melbourne Artillery and the same number of the Collingwood Rifles. The affair caused a great deal of amusement. The Artillery men being used to drawing heavy guns about, were more than a match for their opponents, and slowly but surely drew them over the line. Play was then resumed, and after some time a second goal was obtained for the Artillery team. After playing a little longer the Collingwood players suspected they were opposed by more than 20 men, and ceased playing to count their opponents. They stated there were 21 Artillery men, which was stoutly denied by the latter.

The spectators believing the game was over, thronged on to the ground, and the match ended in some confusion. The evening was bitterly cold, and standing about on the damp ground was so uncomfortable that many left after the tug of war. The attendance was fully as large as was expected. It was stated that at one time there were fully 10,000 persons on the ground. A large crowd of people loitered about outside the ground while the match was on. The electric light was under the management of Lieutenant Draper. The bands of the Engineers and Collingwood Rifles were on the ground, and played at intervals during the evening.