THE 1921 JERSEY CUP FINAL

20 March, 1921 at Middleton Park

Launton (1) 1 -  Steeple Aston (1) 1

Referee: J. Dance Linesmen: W. Clifton W. J. Kirtland

Launton: T. Jeacock G. Carter T. Ancil R. Sansome W. Jeacock C. Simons Chappell J. Jeacock C. Jeacock C. Hughes T. Cox

Launton Scorers: Unknown Steeple defender (og)

Steeple Aston: S. Jordan F. Stone H. Stevens P. Field W. Harris T. Pratt R. Reeves G. Franks A. Field H. Smith J. Wyatt

Steeple Aston Scorers:  G. Franks 1

The annual local "Derby" was played at Middleton Park on Saturday, in a very summer like weather, before a large crowd, amongst whom were Lord and Lady Jersey and family, the contesting teams being Launton (last year's winners), and Steeple Aston. Launton were very unlucky not to win the cup outright, they being the better-balanced team throughout, and for three-parts of the game had Steeple Aston penned in their own half, and but for the wonderful goal keeping of Jordan, who saved shot after shot in grand style, when the defence was beaten, the local side would certainly have won. The Steeple Aston forwards were very slow to take opportunities, they never really troubling Jeacock, in the Launton goal, the point they did get was the result of a long shot from 35 yards out, which left the Launton custodian helpless, and after this except for a breakaway or two which were cleared by the Launton defence who were on top of their form, their forwards were never really dangerous. Launton's goal was the result of melee in front of the Aston goal, the ball after hovering about was put through the goal by a defender. Jordan being unsighted. For the rest of the game the Launton forwards could do everything but score, with any luck at all they deserved to be three goals up on their play. The game was fought out in a very clean manner, there being but very few fouls throughout the match.

Steeple Aston won the toss, but there was little to choose in the choice of ends as the slight breeze was blowing across the ground. Launton was soon attacking, and were soon around the Aston goal, the way they started it was though they would run away with their opponents, and within five minutes a goal was obtained. A corner was forced, and this was well-placed by Cox, the ball hovered about in the goal-mouth for fully a minute and eventually was put through by a defender, Jordan having no chance. Steeple Aston then tried a run through, but the ball was cleared by Ancil with a timely kick, and after good forward play, Chappell received and taking the ball down centred finely, C. Jeacock meeting the ball with a first time drive, which he had the satisfaction of seeing the ball punched coolly over the bar by Jordan. Nothing accrued from the resulting kick, Stevens relieving with a huge kick, the ball going to Wyatt who beat Sansome, but was robbed in the nick of time by Carter, who cleared, and the Launton forwards were soon on the move again, C. Jeacock on this occasion skimming the bar with a hard drive. There was only one team in the picture at this juncture, the Steeple Aston defence having a very hot time, and how the ball was kept out was a miracle. On one occasion when a goal seemed certain, C. Jeacock shot hard, and the custodian fielded the ball smartly but he had to throw away on being hampered by two forwards. Launton still kept up the pressure, but hereabouts Steeple Aston obtained their point and equalised. From a goal kick Franks received on the right, tricked a defender and then shot, his effort completely deceiving T. Jeacock in its flight, as it passed right over the goalies head into the far corner of the net, a really great goal. This point did not put Launton off their mettle as they were soon at the other end, and Hughes put wide when well placed, and later the same player shot over when a goal seemed certain. The ball was then taken to the other end, when T. Jeacock was forced to run out and clear. Just afterwards the whistle went for half-time, with the score

Launton 1, Steeple Aston 1.

On resuming Steeple Aston began in more promising style than in the first half, but still their forwards would not follow the ball up, as did their opponents, and many fine chances were also lost by wild kicking. Wyatt had a nice run down on resuming and Carter was forced to concede a corner, but this was easily cleared. At the other end after a pretty piece of work on the Launton right, Chappell put across a square centre which Hughes lifted high over the bar. Launton still kept up the pressure for a time and the and the forwards could not penetrate Jordan's charge, he being "all there" on every occasion, some of his efforts coming in for rounds of applause. Stevens did some good work hereabouts but on every occasion the ball was returned. The only forward to shine on the Steeple Aston side was Wyatt, and this player was often in the picture in this half although he received very poor support, one of his efforts, after a splendid run, he centred from the corner flag, but there was no one up and this chance went begging, the ball going right across the goal and was cleared by Ancil. Cox received, and after a nice run centred, but J. Jeacock put behind. Launton were very determined, and first Chappell had a shot punched over the bar, and then C. Jeacock had a grounder blocked by a defender with the goalie unsighted, in short Launton could do nearly everything but score. Wyatt had a run for Steeple Aston, and centred, but Franks was to slow in shooting, and was charged off the ball, on another occasion the same player essayed a long shot, but this lacked sting, and the Launton custodian cleared easily, Cox shot wide when well placed, and in another attempt by the same player Stone conceded a corner, but this was cleared with difficulty, the ball, after hovering about for a time eventually went behind. W. Jeacock did good work about this time, his untiring work in breaking up the attacks of the Aston forwards relieving his backs of a lot of work. The final whistle went with Launton still pressing, but the score was still 1 - 1.

It was decided to play an extra half-an-hour, and Launton won the toss for the choice of ends. This was a repetition of the previous half, Launton giving Steeple Aston defence a sorry time, and even when the backs did clear the forwards muffed chances by dallying with the ball instead of slinging it about. C. Jeacock looked all over a scorer but he finished up a good solo effort by shooting over with only the goalie to beat, an unusual thing for this player, who is nearly always a sure shot. Wyatt had another run, but spoilt a good effort by centring behind. Jordan brought off three clever saves in succession, two being grounders which he fielded smartly and the other a high shot which he put over the bar with an effort. Just afterwards the whistle went for time with the score still 1 - 1, after two hours play.

On consultation, the teams agreed to play still another half-an-hour, but the pace had already begun to tell on some of the players, most of the Aston men seemed very tired after such a struggle. Launton went straight away on restarting, and Cox centred for Hughes to put over the bar, and the pressure was still kept up, the ball being rarely out of the Steeple Aston half for any length of time, and the Launton goalie was never sorely troubled, the few shots he did get lacked vim. As time went on it was thought that Launton would score, and they did through Hughes, but the whistle had previously gone for offsides. Jordan had a bit of luck with a shot which he knocked against the cross-bar, and caught it on the rebound, but he had to throw away when hampered by the forwards. However the whistle went with the score still unaltered, and the game ended.

That Launton deserved to win no one could but admit, many of their efforts deserved a better fate. T. Jeacock, in goal was never sorely tested to see what he could do, the backs Ancil and Carter defended well; whilst W. Jeacock was the pick of a good line of halves; and the forwards played very well, although C. Jeacock seemed a little off colour. On the Aston side the goalie was the outstanding player, and his side can only thank him that they didn't have a big score run up against them, on his play on Saturday he is good enough for something better than junior football. Stevens was the only player to really shine, although Wyatt got through some good work at times.
At the conclusion of the play Lord Jersey approached the captains of the rival teams with a view to fixing a replay, or weather both clubs should hold the cup jointly for six months each, but nothing was decided on the ground and an adjournment was made to the pavilion. After some discussion between the players and officials it was decided not to have a replay, and the clubs should hold the cup jointly for six months each.

His Lordship, in presenting the cup, said they were very pleased to witness such a sporting game. He congratulated Launton on repeating their performance of last year, and Steeple Aston after a absence of 10 years. He had great pleasure in presenting the cup to the captains. The question then arose as to who should hold the cup for the first six months, and it was decided to toss, and on this being done the Steeple Aston captain won.

Afterwards the players and officials sat down to an excellent meat tea in the pavilion to which full justice was done, after which the company dispersed.

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