24 March, 1899 at Kirtlington Park

Kirtlington (2) 2 -  Middleton Stoney (0) 1

Referee: T. J. Horn (ORA) Linesmen: Godwin Hayes

Kirtlington: G. Pearman A. Walton J.Young Jamieson W. Walton A. Collett E. Kirtland J. Harwood P. Scarsbrook G. Edgington G. Norridge J. Edgington

Kirtlington Scorers: Unknown 1 Harwood 1

Middleton Stoney: T.E. Emberlin Furmidge A. Varney Timms Barclay E. Draper Shouler Tanner J. Varney A. Creed Kerwood

Middleton Stoney Scorers:  Kerwood 1

As the Kirtlington captain stated at the finish of this match, the Kirtlington team has reached the height of its ambition. It has tried for the jersey Cup for three seasons, and has now gained its possession for one year ( that is, if it does not come off best in the final next season).

The win was a well-deserved one, and it was not obtained without strenuous effort. A large number of people from the village and surrounding district assembled in Kirtlington Park on Monday to witness the match, which took place on a capital piece of ground, lent by Mr H. G. Close, the outgoing tenant of the estate. The game had an exciting opening. Middleton won the toss, and elected to kick with a strong wind. Play had not been in progress more than two minutes, when Middleton were pulled up for a foul in front of their own goal. A scrimmage took place near to Emberlin’s charge, when that player came out and the “ball was shot into the Middleton net. The enthusiasm displayed by the supporters of the home team was exceedingly hearty, and the players showed their delight in shouting, cap throwing, and acrobatic performance. Scarsbrook did a good run down, but the ball went out of play. Eventually Middleton goal neared, and Furmidge kicked away. This player continued to be conspicuous in sterling defensive work, in which he was assisted by Draper. Now the ball was continually out of play in the Kirtlington right-wing corner, and the interest lagged a bit in consequence. Play, however, soon settled down and some smart exchanges took place. The relative worth of the teams could then be very well judged, and the homesters were slightly the better lot.

The first of numerous fouls was then given – not that the play was unusually rough, but Mr Referee Horn is commendably keen to stop all resemblance of unfair charges, and this accounted for the frequency of his whistle being heard on this score. The next piece of good play was on the Kirtlington left-wing, where Norridge did a good run, but the final shot went wide. J. Varney arrested another forward run. Tanner next took to Kirtlington goal, and shot without success and J. Varney shot behind. Scarsbrook ended a scrimmage in front of the home goal by sending into mid-field, and shortly afterwards fouls were given against both teams. Norridge put in some capital work, but was faulty in front of goal. Greed tried unsuccessfully for the visitors. Another run by Norridge was stopped by Timms, but, not to be denied, he tried again, and Furmidge gave a corner. This was well placed, and Harwood secured “the second goal for Kirtlington” by heading into the net. Matters were getting exciting. No sooner had the game resumed than little Norridge challenged his opponents again by a rush, and he succeeded in passing Furmidge, but A. Varney transferred the ball out of danger. Play was then uncomfortably near to Pearman, to whose relief Jamieson cleared. Another futile corner fell to Kirtlington, and half-time was called.

The visitors did considerably better in the second portion of the game, although having to contend with the strong wind. J. Varney was tripped, and from the free kick, he took the ball near to the home goal and shot wide, but the try was a good one under the circumstances. Middleton pressed for a time, until a long shot formed the commencement of a turn in affairs. A good shot at Middleton goal was headed out by Furmidge. Tanner was pulled up in a smart run for being off-side. Kirtlington pressed, and Emberlin displaying good form, returned all shots. Middleton were rewarded for their hard work. Some tricky play was shown by J. Varney, and passing several Kirtlington men he shot; the ball went against Kerwood and bounded by Pearman, who came out to meet it, into the net. This “Goal for Middleton” gave the visitors encouragement, and they were urged to equalise. Play was stopped owing to an injury to Kerwood, who, however, was soon on his feet again. Middleton were within an ace of scoring again, and a corner was kicked by Walton to advert the danger. In the kick to centre, the ball fell just in front of the cross-bar, and Jamieson headed out. Creed then received from Shouler, and kicked a yard to the outside of the left up-right. When the Kirtlington goal was the scene of play, Barclay missed a chance, and the leather was quickly taken the length of the field, and Emberlin saved. The Middleton centre worked his way to the opposing backs, and Walton thought himself justified in giving a corner to save anything worse happening. In this he was successful. The visitors still pressed. Shouler found Pearman too good for him. Then the home eleven broke away, and Fermidge’s head again did his side good service. A scrimmage followed in front of Emberlin, and two corners were obtained in quick succession.

At length Draper and J. Varney altered the aspect of play, which was among the home backs. Tanner hit the upright, and another shot went into Pearmans hands. During the last few minutes the visitors worked exceedingly hard, but “Middleton failed to equalise”, and the game ended in favour of Kirtlington by 2 goals to 1. The Varneys, Draper, Shouler, and Tanner played exceedingly well for the losers; and A. Walton, Jamieson, Norridge, and Scarsbrook were the most conspicuous among the home side.
The challenge cup was presented immediately after the match by the Earl of Jersey, the donor, amid great enthusiasm. His Lordship said he had very great pleasure in presenting the cup to Mr Collett, the captain, on behalf of the Kirtlington club. He was quite sure all those who had played for Middleton were equally pleased, although probably they would have liked to have won the cup themselves, yet they were pleased their opponents had. (Laughter.) The Kirtlington team had played good games in the passed years and he was glad they had won at last. (Applause.) When the list of players was sent him, he would see that the names were engraved on the shields on the stand of the cup. (Applause.)

Cheers were given for Lord Jersey and family, and “for he’s a jolly good fellow” was heartily sung. Mr Collett said his team were glad they had won at last. They had tried hard for a long time, and now they reached the height of their ambition. He thanked Lord Jersey for presenting the cup, and wished him “many happy returns of the day; and a long and happy life”.

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