21 March, 1902 at Middleton Park

Middleton Stoney (2) 2 -  Bletchingdon (0) 0

Referee: J. Ray Linesmen: C.H. Grimsley A.R. Grimsley

Middleton Stoney: T.E. Emberlin A. Varney N. Crowder C. Shouler J. Varney T. Bliss (c) N. Draper T. Priest G. Neame A. Whetton T.H. Barclay

Middleton Stoney Scorers: Rainbow (og) 1 Whetton 1

Bletchingdon: F. Matthew R. Collett (c) S. Rainbow W. Wing H. Saving B. Sanders G.N. Bartlett E. Baker J. Baker C. Collett H.Taylor

Bletchingdon Scorers: 

It will thus be seen that Middleton had, before the match on Saturday, won the cup on four previous occasions. Their opponents, Bletchington, had not before figured in the final.

When Middleton first won the cup the players included Lord Jersey, and the Rev W. H. Draper. A Varney, who also played in the match, took part in the one on Saturday, and at times exhibited some of his old form.
Middleton qualified to participate in the final tie by defeating Heyford on the latter’s ground; while Bletchington had won Launton and Deddington, both these teams being vanquished on the Bletchington ground.


was played on ground, which was in good condition, in Middleton Park and near the Home Farm, and the attendance of spectators was a good one. Mr J. Ray, O.R.A. of Oxford, had charge of the match, and gave every satisfaction.

The winning of the toss was an important feature in the match, as there was a strong wind blowing down the field. The Middleton captain won this, and naturally decided to play with the wind. Middleton right wing was the first to take action, and Draper was tripped. The free kick was taken by Shouler and Rainbow kicked out. After Taylor had made a good run on the left wing, Middleton gained a corner, which proved fruitless. However, they continued to have the better of matters for some time. Then the Bletchington right was engaged, and Bartlett endeavoured to break through, but was checked by Crowder. Barclay was next given off-side, and shortly afterwards Matthews ran out to save, and missed his kick the first time, but cleared on a second trial. Shouler stopped his wing, but directly afterwards Emberlin had to save from Collett. Next the Bletchington goal was visited, as was also their opponents in turn. Then Barclay centred well, and Matthews had to run out and kick away. The ball hit Rainbow and re-bounded into the net, thus securing


Soon after the game had been re-started, Shouler put in a good shot, which Matthews saved, but Neame missed a rather easy chance of scoring. Bletchington again made tracks for Emberlin, but were repulsed by Shouler. Then from a centre by Priest Whetton had a good opening. He took advantage of it, and notched the


This reversed aroused Bletchington, and they played well for a time. However, Middleton gradually assumed the upper hand. Good work on the part of Rainbow kept his opponents out, and the whistle blew for half-time with Middleton still leading by two goals to none.
Bletchington played so well against the wind, that many thought that they would be able to wipe off the score against them. They started strongly, and pressed their opponents for a time, but through the good work of the Middleton halves, the two backs and Emberlin were never sorely troubled. When Middleton took up the field several mistakes by their opponents almost let them in. On the other hand J. Baker put in a good shot which went over the bar. Bletchington then pressed, and A Varney was conspicuous for some fine defensive work. Then Shouler got his wing to work, and Matthews had a somewhat anxious time. Next several good centres from the Bletchington left were allowed to go begging. Shouler kicked up the field, and the Middleton forwards fastened on to the ball, but Collett put the ball out of danger by kicking it out. Another attack by Middleton, well led by J. Varney, ended by Neame placing behind. Jesse Varney was not to be denied, for he executed a brilliant run, shot into Matthews hands, but on receiving the ball a second time he placed it over the bar. Following this, Neame had hard lines in not scoring after Matthews had vacated his goal. Then Middleton goal had a narrow escape. Shouler made a good opening for Neame, who, however, put over. The game continued to be of a give-and-take character, till time was called, with Middleton the winners by two goals to none.


The Middleton defence were chiefly responsible for the victory. Emberlin, in goal, had little to do, but when he was called upon to save he placed the ball well out of danger, either with a good kick or a huge throw. A Varney and Crowder both played well at back. The three half-backs were a tower of strength, and by dint of hard work they gave the backs but little chance of showing their prowess. The forwards, on the whole, were rather poor. Both the outside men put in some good centres, and Whetton worked very hard.
On the Bletchington side Matthews was not nearly so safe as Emberlin. He saved some good shots, but did not always effect a clearance. Rainbow was the better of the two backs, his colleague being too fond of kicking into touch. The halves were poor. In the forward line the two outsides were good, Both Taylor and Bartlett having some neat runs. E Baker was also in very good form.


Lord Jersey, in making the presentation, spoke of the plucky manner in which Bletchington had played. They were very glad that Middleton had won the cup, but they would not begrudge Bletchington it if they had had the good fortune to win it. Bletchington had fought its way forward, and he hoped that when they were able to win the cup he should have the pleasure of presenting it to them.
His Lordship then handed the cup to Mr T. Bliss, the Middleton captain, who, in response, said that Bletchington were rather unlucky, as they played against the wind in the first half, and the wind dropped considerably in the second half, however, it was better to have played and lost than not to have played at all.
His Lordship kindly invited the teams to a meat tea in the pavillon.

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