THE 1904 JERSEY CUP FINAL
Date unknown, 1904 at Middleton Park
Weston-on-the-green (0) 1 - Bletchington (0) 0
Referee: T.J. Horn Linesmen: J Varney Mr Martin
Weston-on-the-green: T. Locke H.F. Rowles W. Rowles E. Jones B.R. Porter W.H. Read G.E. Lapper E. Hathaway A.W. Holton F. Brain R. Read
Weston-on-the-green Scorers: R. Collett (og) 1
Bletchington: J. Taylor R. Collett S. Rainbow E. Potter W. Wing F. Matthews H. Taylor C. Collett W. Savin E. Baker H. Kirtland
Those keen encounters in the Jersey Cup competition between Middleton Stoney and King's Sutton will almost be forgotten, now that the latest final has been played off between Weston-on-the-green and Bletchingdon, for rarely has a harder struggle for supremacy been witnessed. With Middleton Stoney ineligible this year for the competition, and King's Sutton knocked out the first time of asking by Fritwell, new blood was introduced into the later stages of the competition, and this proved to make the contests even more interesting, and the stimulus that Mr Johnson (the secretary) has so longingly been looking for will, doubtless, be given to the competition in future, more especially so as the winners proved to be a new club.
The partisans of Weston and Bletchingdon were all fairly sanguine as to the respective team's success, but outside that area Bletchingdon were the favourites, chiefly because the team were more experience than their opponents, who only started this year; in fact, if it had not been for Mr Johnson's energy, they would not have entered the competition at all. Bletchingdon have also been in the final on three previous occasions, but they have never lifted the cup. The encounter took place on the ground of the Middleton Park club, at the front of the Earl of Jersey's residence, on Saturday. The weather was far from being everything that could be desired, but, nevertheless, there was a large attendance, and much excitement was manifested. After a little preliminary practice, in which every neat kick was applauded by the enthusiastic supporters, the respective captains (B. Porter,Weston and R. Collett, Bletchingdon) tossed, the spin of the coin favouring Weston, who took advantage of the wind and slope.
THE FIRST HALF
The opening exchanges were, like the weather, very gloomy, the backs of both sides easily clearing their lines. After a few minutes play it was soon evident that both sides meant business, but the activity of the defence showed that neither quintette were likely to gain much ground. At length, a good run and shot by C Collett roused the spectators to greater enthusiasm. Bletchingdon gained a corner, but it was the Weston supporters time to cheer, as Porter came away in swinging style, and for a while the Weston team had the better of the play, but weak shooting spoilt their efforts. Their light forwards also adopted the foolish method of charging the heavy defence of Bletchingdon, as a result of which they were continually being floored. The Westonians gained a corner, which was cleared with difficulty. Then two free kicks awarded to their opponents transferred the play, and at the end the leather remained for some considerable time. Two corners were gained, and Locke also had to handle, this being the first time either goalkeeper had touched the ball. A sharp run down by the Weston forwards resulted in Lapper forcing Collett to concede a corner, which was splendidly placed by Jones. Holton caught the ball on his head, but could only sky it, and when it fell down again it was sent high over the bar. Bletchingdon then attacked strongly, the Weston defence having a busy time. At length, Weston took the ball to the other end, and forced matters, and certainly held the upper hand till half-time, which arrived with no scoring having been accomplished.
During the interval the merits of the team were frequently discussed, and much amusement could be had by watching the actions of several yokels. One Bletchingdon enthusiast was offering to bet with two old dames from Weston, but the latter, though vigorously shaking their umbrellas and saying "Weston will win," refused to take the bet on. Bletchingdon, though playing against the wind and slope, had had rather the better of the game, and were favoured as likely to be the winners.
THE SECOND HALF
Play in this portion opened in Weston quarters, but there was a air of dogged desperation in their defence, and at last their opponents had all their work cut out to defend their citadel. Both sides tackled well, ceremony being dispensed with. Both teams had good efforts nullified through infringements of the off-side rule. At Weston end, a corner was gained, but this was cleared, while later a mis-kick by W. Rowles let in Kirtland, who kicked over the bar. From a run up, the Weston forwards got close in, and a good centre was put in from the left. R. Collett, unfortunately, heeled the ball, and it rolled gently into the net, just out of the reach of the goalkeeper, though any ordinary custodian would easily have cleared. Loud shouts of "goal" greeted this success. There was now about twenty minutes to play, and Bletchingdon tried their utmost to wipe off the score. W. Rowles several times mis-kicked, and conceded one or two corners. His brother, however, played a cool and confident game. Kirtland and others narrowly missed scoring, while the Weston forwards continually engaged the attention of Collett and Rainbow. Nothing more resulted, and Weston thus won a stubbornly contested game by a goal to nil. While congratulating Weston on their victory, it must be said that the losers played quite as good a game; but fortune favoured Weston, who smiled, "the smile that won't come off."
THE PRESENTATION OF THE CUP
Immediately the whistle blew for time, the Weston supporters rushed on the field, and there was much hand-shaking and cheering. The donor of the cup, the Earl of Jersey, then handed the cup to Mr B. Porter, captain of the Weston-on-the-green team, in words to the following affect:- of all the matches that had been played here you will agree with me that there has been no better one than that played to-day. Both sides have been full of what are known as good triers. Every one has done his best; fortune has decided that the cup is going to Weston. (Applause.) Though fortune may be against Bletchingdon, you will heartily agree with me that Bletchingdon has not lost any honour in what her sons have done for her. (Applause.) There ought, indeed, on an occasion like this, to be two cups. (Laughter.) However, let me say once more I am very glad indeed to see this cup so worthily won. I hope that as years go by Bletchingdon will be more favoured than she has been today, and that there will always be such teams in the competition as Bletchingdon and Weston, who have fought with energy, and manliness, and courage, and with honour. (Applause.) Porter, I am very glad to hand to you this cup. (Applause.) I am told also that lots of good things await you at Weston, when your team take the cup home. (Laughter.) I only hope they will have good appetites, if what I am told is true. The medals, with the names of yourself and those who have helped you to win the cup will follow.
Mr Porter said I am sure we are all greatly indebted to Lord Jersey for the
kind words he has spoken to us. We are also very pleased to see him present
the cup to the winners. I hope another year Bletchingdon will have good fortune
to take the cup away with them. I am also very pleased we have won. (Applause.)
His Lordship, having called for three cheers for Bletchingdon, which were heartily given, said I am sure we should all like to thank Mr Horn for coming here today and acting as referee. It is very kind of him to again come to Middleton .I need hardly to say that wherever Mr Horn goes he gives satisfaction to both sides. (Applause.)
Cheers were then heartily given for his Lordship. Both teams adjourned to the pavilion, where they were photographed, and afterwards the teams were entertained to tea by his Lordship. The Rev W.H. Draper remarked that as the oldest vice-president of the association he must say that was one of the best games he had ever seen. It had been well contested, and he was rejoiced by the spirit in which it was played. (Hear, hear.) It was praiseworthy of the winners, and more so of the losers, for it was more difficult to lose in a good spirit.
Weston had reached the final through victories over Launton and Fritwell while
Bletchingdon had defeated Kirtlington