20 April, 1920 at Middleton Park

Bletchingdon (0) 0 -  Launton (0) 1

Referee: Mr Leach Linesmen: Unknown

Bletchingdon: M. Howe Palmer G. Savins Jas Baker I. Savins Jack Baker Timms Herbert B. Taylor J. Taylor A. Howe

Bletchingdon Scorers:

Launton: Timms Carter Ancil Sansome W. Jeacock C.Simons Chappell G.Simons C. Jeacock Castle Cox

Launton Scorers:  Cox 1

The handsome cup offered by the Earl of Jersey for competition between village clubs will this year find a resting place at Launton. The final round of the competition between the two section leaders - Bletchingdon and Launton - took place at Middleton Park last Saturday, before a record crowd. There must have been five or six hundred people present when the game commenced, and with fine (though rather boisterous) weather prevailing a close and good game was anticipated. As things turned out, however, although the game was close the play never reached a very high standard, and in the end Launton were victorious by a goal scored by Cox at the beginning of the second half, to nothing. Unfortunately the game was marred by a regrettable incident, Carter, the Launton Secretary and full back being ordered off the field for unfair tactics after having been cautioned earlier by the referee. Perhaps the least said of the incident the better, but it is certainly unfortunate that a better spirit did not unanimously prevail. The game was typically a cup-tie one, only one or two individuals on either side displaying anything that could be described as science. Launton won by reason of the fact that they were slightly the better balanced team, but had the Bletchingdon attack been as strong as the defence there would have been a different tale to tell. However, the won goal which separated the two teams at the end of the game just about represents the superiority of Launton, for there was no doubt their forwards, taken as a line, were superior to Bletchingdon's, though few would say they held the advantage in defence, for although Bletchingdon were penned in their own half two-thirds of the game Palmer and Savins (G) were, with one exception, equal to everything that came their way. Howe, too, played an extraordinarily good game in goal. But for his display Launton might easily had been a couple of goals up at half time.

Launton won the toss and were the first to attack, M. Howe being called upon to save in the first five minutes. Awakened by this sudden onslaught, the Bletchingdon backs quite early put in some useful work, G Savins being chiefly prominent. It was a long pass by this player that set Howe going down the left wing, but though he made good ground his centre was very weak, and it was cleared without difficulty. For some minutes after this Launton pressed hard, and on one occasion they came remarkably near scoring, the ball being almost rushed into the net by three of their forwards. However, Howe managed to get it away, though Launton unsuccessfully appealed for a goal, several players contending that the ball crossed the line. Launton then forced two corners, but though they were well placed the Bletchingdon backs got rid of the ball as on many other occasions, the Launton vanguard being well held. A foul on A. Howe by Jeacock resulted in the referee administering a caution to that player, though in fairness to Jeacock it must be said that neither before nor afterwards was he responsible for any foul tactics, so that his one infringement of the laws might easily have been unintended. From the resultant free kick the ball was sent well up to Ancil, who was able to clear without being worried. Launton then forced another corner, and directly afterwards C. Simons shot by. There was no doubt Launton were having the best of the game, but their forwards were noticeably weak in front of goal, and though Jeacock, their centre-forward, has earned quite a name for himself in this class of football, he was never able to shine, though on several occasions he tried to force his way through. After a spell of midfield play J. Taylor, who was easily the pick of the Bletchingdon forward line, put in a nice run on the left, but he had no assistance from his wing man, who has yet to learn how to keep his place. The result was that Taylor was robbed, and Sansome lobbed the ball well down the field. Two further corners then fell to Launton, but they, like many others came to nothing. Just before the interval J. Taylor sustained a nasty injury to his eye through being struck full in the face with the ball, but he quickly resumed, though obviously in pain. Before half-time M. Howe saved from C. Jeacock and G. Simons in splendid fashion, and after Timms had put across a splendid centre for Bletchingdon, which the inside forwards failed to take advantage of, the whistle went for the interval with neither side having scored.

The wind in the second half had dropped slightly, so that Bletchingdon did not have the full advantage enjoyed by their opponents in the first half. Launton got away quite early, and M. Howe was called upon to save from G. Simons. The ball was returned to the centre of the field, but Jeacock got to it first, and then Launton forced two corners, and from the second they scored the goal which gave them victory. Chappell took the kick, and planted the ball beautifully into the goal mouth, where Cox, standing slightly to the left but well in, took it on the volley and left the Bletchingdon custodian helpless. This was after five minutes play, and the successful marksman was immediately besieged by the remaining members of the team, receiving vigorous handshakes and hearty congratulations at his success. Bletchingdon then livened up, and after a couple of minutes in the vicinity of the Launton goal gained a corner, but Ancil cleared. A sudden rush brought the Launton forwards to the other end of the field, and here Cox had hard luck in not increasing Launton's lead, his shot going just wide of the post. The Bletchingdon defence was now having an anxious time, and Jack Backer was responsible for some useful work. For what reason the referee awarded Launton a penalty kick after twenty minutes play does not appear to be definitely known. Whatever infringement was committed was not very glaring, for before making his final decision Mr Leach consulted both linesman. C. Jeacock took the kick, and naturally it seemed as if Launton were to go further ahead, but to the disappointment of the supporters and players of his team he failed to place the ball accurately, and so Bletchingdon were let off lightly. J. Taylor was next conspicuous on the Bletchingdon left, sending a nice pass into the centre, only for his effort to be wasted, for Carter cleared. Bletchingdon came again and forced a corner, but this also was unproductive. After Launton had visited the Bletchingdon goal zone again J. Taylor again secured, and tricking two opponents, was going through when he was brought down heavily in a most foul way, and the crowd did not forget to let the offender know it. He took some few minutes to recover, being completely knocked out, but when he resumed he was soon conspicuous again. Carter then committed the offence again on Taylor, for which he was sent off the field, and but for a shot from C. Jeacock which went over the bar, Launton finished the game in their own half. In the closing stages B. Taylor shot by for Bletchingdon, who ultimately forced two corners, but try as they would they could not overcome the Launton defence, and so the game ended in a win for Launton by Cox's goal.

As stated previously, Launton Just about deserved to win, for they really were slightly the better team. Timms had an easy task in goal; he did not have more than half -a-dozen shots to save during the whole of the game. Ancil played a clean game at right back, and had a knack of being in the right place at the right time. The halves got through a lot of work creditably, Jeacock being the pick. Cox was the pick of the forward line, C. Jeacock failing to produce his usual form; as a matter of fact the whole team played a much better game against Bicester in the early part of the season. M. Howe, in the Bletchingdon goal, was well up to form, and G. Savins was the best back on the field, though his partner deserves praise for his share of the work. Jack Baker was as good as any of the halves, and J. Taylor was by far the pick of the forwards, the remainder of the line being distinctly off colour.


After the game the earl of Jersey presented the cup to T. Ancil, the captain of the Launton eleven, and in so doing congratulated the Launton team on their success, but expressed his sympathy with Bletchingdon, who, he related, had been in the final four times in recent years without carrying off the trophy. His Lordship shook hands with the Launton captain as he handed him the cup.

Mr Ancil, in replying, said they had had a hard game, and expressed the hope that the efforts of Bletchingdon would be rewarded next year.

The Bletchingdon captain also expressed the hope that his team would carry off the trophy next year.

After the presentation the players and officials, by the kindness of Lord Jersey, sat down to an excellent tea in the cricket pavilion.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Bicester meet Bletchingdon, the Jersey League finalists, in a friendly match at Bicester, the game being in aid of charity. Practically the whole of the first team have been selected to play for Bicester, and after Launton's splendid fight with the home team at the beginning of the season it will be interesting to note how their opponents of Saturday will shape. The game will commence at 3.15pm. and will be refereed by Mr W. Clifton, the old Bicester player. The Bicester team selected is :- Castle, goal; Palmer, and Hillsden, backs; Holiday, King, and Ally, Half-backs; Dagley, Blencowe, Dean, Symons, and Litten, forwards

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