THE 1888 JERSEY CUP FINAL

14 April, 1888 at Middleton Park

Middleton Stoney (1) 4 -  Deddington (2) 2

Referee: C Shillingford Linesmen: W Smith W Godwin

Middleton Stoney: Rev W H Draper (c) Lord Jersey A Varney R Renn T Emberlin H Pitts C Green F Tugwood J Green H Little C Clayton

Middleton Stoney Scorers: C Clayton 3 C Green 1

Deddington: Rev S. R. Standage (c) W.L.Franklin W Hancock J Wilkins F Sturch J Ell W Bennett J. A. Holiday W Turner J Bennett J Walters

Deddington Scorers:  W Turner 1 J Walters 1

These teams met in the final in this competition on neutral ground in Middleton Park on Saturday last, April 14th, and such was the interest taken in the event, that the proceedings were watched by a large concourse of spectators whose occupation was rendered by no means unpleasant by the fine and more genial weather which prevailed. Winning the toss, Middleton chose the higher ground, and at thirteen minutes to four, Walters set the ball in motion. At the onset Deddington were compelled to act on the defensive, and at the end of five minute’s play, after a corner had fallen to Middleton, the Deddington colours were lowered by Claydon, who received the ball from Pitts. Upon restarting, the scene of operations was transferred to the home quarters, and Draper warded of a good shot by the use of hands. Determined of possible on equalising matters, Deddington made another invasion of the Middleton territory. Bennett, getting the ball up the right wing, centred to Walters, who shot it through amid cheers. After a little unimportant work on neutral ground, C. Green, getting well on the ball, made a good run, and eventually centred to Little, who made an excellent shot, which, however, was successfully met by Standage.

Play continued to be carried on in the Deddington half, and C Green led a vigorous onslaught on their fortress, indeed hereabouts the visitors’ citadel was again and again placed in imminent danger; but Standage, showing rare form in goal, repelled all the attacks. Eventually the pressure was relieved and Bennett succeeded in getting the ball into the home half, and transferring it to Walters who in turn passed to Turner, the last named player placed the Second goal to the credit of Deddington. Soon after restarting “hands” were given in front of the Deddington goal; but the ball was cleverly headed out of danger and worked into the home half. A couple of corner kicks fell to Deddington; but they proved of no advantage, and half-time was called with the score Deddington two goals Middleton one.

After change, Middleton re-doubled their exertions to make up the leeway, and the leather was alternately taken from one half to the other until a corner fell to Middleton, and Clayton took a shot, which however went over the crossbar. Getting the ball from a throw in, C Green forced Standage to use hands. The Deddington backs continued to be pressed, and in the end Clayton succeeded in lowering the visitors colours, a performance which elicited much cheering. Having thus equalised matters Middleton were nerved to greater efforts, and Renn was warmly applauded for a bit of good play, which for a time was confined to the visitors quarters. However by concerted action the Deddington forwards got away with the ball, and a series of attacks on the Middleton fortress compelled Draper to use hands. Little however relieved the pressure, and taking the ball down the left wing, centred to Clayton, who again got it through. three to two. The superior condition of the Middleton team began to make itself manifest, and Deddington continued to be much pressed. Little was again actively engaged on the left, and through his exertions, C Green was put in possession of the leather, which he succeeded in placing between the post. four to two.

Middleton continued to have the best of the play, to the end, and would have scored more heavily but for the magnificent goal keeping of Standage, whose play was undoubtedly the feature of the game. No further advantage resulting, Middleton were left the victors and consequently the holders of the cup for the first year, by four goals to two. For Middleton Varney, Renn, Clayton, Little, and C Green, played best. For the visitors, Standage, as we have already pointed out, did a yeomans service, whilst Franklin put in some good defensive work, and W Bennett, Walters, and Turner did some useful service.

The company immediately gathered round a marquee on the ground, to witness the presentation of the cup and medals. The former is of silver and of handsome design. It has two handles, and is surmounted by the figure of a football player, upon it appears the following inscription. “CHALLENGE CUP presented by the Earl of JERSEY 1888”. With it are a ebony stand and glass shade.

Lord Jersey (who had been joined by her ladyship, and several members of the family) said in asking Lady Jersey to present this cup, under the victory of to-day, he could not say what he should have wished if some other club had won; but felt he must congratulate their side with pride upon the victory they had obtained, and they would no doubt be prouder of it when they thought of the good play which their opponents had shown in order to try and wrest it from them. (Hear, hear.) This pride would he thought be increased by the knowledge that their defeated friends had made so good a game from it and played in such splendid spirits. (Hear, hear,) He ought first of all to take that opportunity of thanking their excellent secretary, Mr Godwin, for the energy and time and trouble he had taken in making that cup competition so successful. They must be aware that the merit of the idea of these cup ties did not lie with him, but with Mr Godwin and other gentleman. He regretted that Mr Godwin’s unfortunate accident at the beginning of the season militated against the success of the club with which he stood connected, otherwise it might have been just possible that he should have had to have asked him to receive the cup instead of holding it for a few minutes. (Laughter) Eight clubs had competed for it and the idea was soon taken up in earnest. There were; Bicester, Stoke, Somerton, Stratton Audly, King’s Sutton, Brackley School, Middleton, and last though not least, their opponents to-day, who had played a very plucky game indeed. (Hear, hear,) This showed that there was a great love of football in the district, and the object they had in view in offering that cup was not solely that one side or the other might win it, they had a twofold object at the bottom of it. Whilst the shouts of victory were welcomed to the friends of the victor’s, they were only expressions of importance at the moment.

They had another and further object- and he thought he should be expressing the opinion of all those who had helped to bring the matches to a successful issue- Mr Godwin, Mr Draper, Mr Standage, Mr Shillingford, and others whose names he could not for the moment recollect- he thought he was expressing their minds when he said they had a further object in view and that after to-day’s play a very useful result would remain both to competitor’s and spectators – for they all liked as Englishman to see a good game and they always praised winners whoever they might be, and even those who were defeated liked to praise victors. They had carried that competition on in a very honourable spirit indeed-in the best possible spirit, with the result that they had won. They had shown the contest of that kind could be carried on in a friendly way and he fully believed they tended to increase that friendship which should exist between individuals and places. (Hear, hear,) Morever, there was the satisfaction of knowing that the courage and concerted play the desire to work together in unison and the honourable feeling which had been shown, must have a beneficial effect upon everyone, competitor’s as well as spectators. (Cheers,) They were sometimes told that these were degenerated day’s of England; but he would venture to say that during the contest in this small nook of England they had proved themselves conspicuous for that determined character which had not been surpassed in the oldern time. They liked to keep up those old English and manly sports amongst them. (Hear, hear,) He might also add his own personal satisfaction and pleasure at the way in which these football matches had been carried on, and he would only add this, that it would be a great satisfaction for him to feel that he had rendered assistance in any way to their sports; and he hoped that as this cup took its turn round the district-which he hoped it would do – it would become to be looked upon not only as a sign of football spirit, but as an inspiration for every man to do his best at all times(Cheers,).

He would ask Mr Renn to accept this cup on behalf of Middleton, and he would ask that eleven and everyone present to give three hearty cheers for Deddington, and wish them better luck whenever they played again. (Loud Cheers,) Lady Jersey then presented the cup to Mr Renn who said he begged to thank her ladyship, on behalf of the Middleton team, for the grand cup which he had just received. Bronze medals having been given to each member of the winning team.

The Rev Standage said he should like to say before they departed a few words as captain of the defeated, though not disgraced team. (Hear, hear,) He should like to propose a vote of thanks to his lordship for the kindness and trouble he had taken in getting up these matches. He ventured to say that he had done great good amongst the eight clubs. He hoped more clubs would enter next year and that the interest in local football would not grow less but rather increase and extend more and more. The competition had excited a great deal of interest amongst the clubs, and had offered a great amount of enjoyment to those who had taken part in it. On behalf of the Deddington club he could say they were very sorry they had not carried of the cup; but they would try the next year and keep on trying till they did. (Hear, hear.) They had played an exciting, pleasant game and had worked hard. They hardly expected to win; but they came with the intention of fighting hard for it, and he thought they had fought hard for it. (Hear, hear.) He would ask them to pass a vote of thanks to Lord Jersey and give him three hearty cheers and hope that he might live many years and see the cup given year after year after as spirited a contest as they had seen to-day. (Loud cheers.)

The Rev W.H.DRAPER said he should like to make a correction in Lord Jersey’s speech. Although he had very kindly said that the origin of the cup was not with him, he thought his lordship was the first one who dreamed of it. (Hear, hear and laughter.)

Mr W.GODWIN explained that the origin of the cup arose this way. They thought of getting a scratch team for the County cup, when Lord Jersey kindly offered this cup, and they readily made way for it. He thanked his lordship for his kind gift, and having alluded to the misfortune that had befallen him (the speaker), he announced that he had received a message from Mr Wing, who suggested that the winners of this cup should go in for the county cup next year. (Hear, hear.)

Lord Jersey thanked previous speakers for their kind remarks about him and observed that they had seen how difficult it was to write history, because they could not even get the origin of this cup. (Laughter.) However, there was, and it was certain that Mr Godwin, the secretary, had been instrumental in its having been contested for in an honourable manner. He hoped to see many of these games. His football days were over he had thought many years ago, but it was a great thing to know that there were plenty of others to take his place, and he should have to give in and be content to look on and give the cup to those who deserved it. It could be said for football that it was not an expensive game, and did not take up much time, and anything they could do to bring about a friendly feeling and knowledge of the people, who in their games and work, must be a good thing. (Hear, hear.) He hoped they should have many as nice days, and that the result would be equally as satisfactory as at any rate it would be to those who won. (Cheers.) Cheers having been given for Mr Godwin, and also on the proposition of that gentleman, for Lady Jersey, her lady ship said she thanked the company very much. The gathering then dispersed, and by the kindness of Lord Jersey, the competitors partook of a capital meat tea, provided by Mr Todd in the cricket pavilion in Middleton Park

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