THE 1926 JERSEY CUP FINAL

30 April, 1926 at Bicester Sports Ground

Middleton (1) 5 -  Kirtlington (0) 1

Referee: J. D. Dance Linesmen: W. Clifton A. H. Clifton

Middleton: F. Parker F. Varney Chris Varney C. Varney A. Keen E. Cuthbert (c) F. Varney P. Varney Joe Varney A. Coles Eaves

Middleton Scorers: P Varney 1 E Cuthbert 1 A Coles 3

Kirtlington: W. Scarrott C. King A. East P. East (c) A. Giles E. Palmer J. Edginton W. Norridge G. Loft A. Loft F. Loft

Kirtlington Scorers:  Unknown 1

Middleton confounded the prophets on Saturday by winning the Jersey Cup. They gave a convincing display, and thoroughly deserved their victory. The team was like the Middleton of old: they gave their best in the final tie. On the other hand, Kirtlington, who had been in the final five times in successive years, seemed too confident, and never settled down to their usual game. After the first quarter of-an-hour, in which Kirtlington should have established a lead of quite three goals, they never shaped like winners, their forwards being very poor in both passing and shooting. The game was never very interesting, especially in the last half-an-hour, when Kirtlington were three goals down. This is the fifth occasion that Kirtlington have been in the final, and only once have they won the cup in that time. Middleton were not so impressive as the score suggests, though they took the chances that came their way. Coles was the best forward on the field, and besides doing the hat-trick, he was responsible for some smart footwork and neat passing, Parker, the winners goalie, was a splendid keeper, and it was solely due to him that Kirtlington did not score in the opening stages of the game.

Mr J. Dance was the referee, with Mr W. Clifton and Mr A.H. Clifton linesman, and the teams were:

Kirtlington won the toss, but Middleton were first away, F. Varney putting across from the right, for Scarrott to punch out. At the other end Parker saved from G. Loft, and Palmer was pulled up for charging him after he had cleared. Kirtlington kept up pressure for a time, but their forwards indulged in too much short passing. Parker effected a brilliant save from G. Loft, and from the corner kick Cuthbert sent eaves away on the left. The winger showed a turn of speed, and beating King cleverly, flashed across a perfect centre which P. Varney met, and shot in, Scarrott failing to hold the ball, and Joe Varney finishing the effort off by kicking through. It was a goal before the latter touched it. This goal was hardly deserved, as Kirtlington had had most of the play. From the kick-off Kirtlington forced a corner but this was put behind. Parker punched out from a scrimmage in the Middleton goal, and Chris Varney stopped Norridge when he was almost through. It was odds on Kirtlington getting a goal, but the Middleton backs were kicking well, if not a little wild, and Parker was showing brilliant form. Kirtlington then had three corners, Edginton placing all three just in front of goal. From the first G. Loft shot in, but Parker punched over the bar. From the second Norridge shot in, but the Middleton goalie again pushed the ball behind. He punched the third clear. After this pressure Middleton had a turn, and Coles sent Eaves away, and from his centre Joe Varney hit the side net. The same player put over the bar a few minutes after. Kirtlington attacked, and G. Loft put into the net, to the wild excitement of the Kirtlington supporters, but Mr Dance had blown for offside a second before. G. Loft should then have opened Kirtlington's account, but from close in shot over. At this period it was all Kirtlington, but their forwards were to close to one another, and consequently the two Varneys at the back for Middleton broke up their attacks repeatedly. F. Varney put across from the right but A. East punted the ball clear. Coles tricked Giles, but King checked him and cleared. At this period Giles went off through an injury, and when he returned some moments later he went to right half and P. East moved to centre half. Mid-field play was the order for some time, neither custodian being seriously troubled. F. Loft put across, but Chris Varney cleared his centre, and G. Loft was pulled up by the other Varney when going through. Kirtlington were attacking when half time came with Middleton leading by one goal to nil.

Middleton forced a fruitless corner from the kick off, and at the other end, Chris Varney cleared a dangerous situation. Norridge put a shot in but Parker saved. After ten minutes play Cuthbert sent in a long shot from quite 40 yards out, which entered the top corner of the net completely beating Scarrott. Kirtlington changed their team about, but this made little difference to them, for though having as much of the game as their opponents, they could not force home their attacks, Middleton soon added to the score, F. Varney putting the ball across for Coles to shoot through. Eaves flashed a centre across the Kirtlington goal, but it was put behind, while at the other end Parker cleared a shot from Edginton. Play became uninteresting, Middleton having practically all the game. Coles was responsible for some clever dribbling, but after tricking two players, he put over the bar. He made amends, however, soon after, for meeting the rebound of a shot from Joe Varney, which hit the bar, he notched Middletons fourth point. Kirtlington made a brief raid, but the ball was soon back again, where Joe Varney just failed to turn the ball into goal. Cuthbert sent in a stinger, and Scarrott punched out to the feet of Coles, who completed the scoring for Middleton, and incidentally his hat-trick. Nothing much exciting happened after this, until about two minutes from time, when Kirtlington managed to scramble a goal through. The end came with Middleton deservedly winners of the cup, by 5 goals to 1.

Mr H. Budgett, in a short speech, said he felt it an honour, to have been asked to present the cup and medals in the absence of Lady Slessor. He was naturally disappointed in not being able to hand the cup to his village, Kirtlington, but he congratulated the winners on their display, and also was sure that both teams had played cleanly and sportingly. He then handed the cup to Cuthbert, the Middleton captain, and presented the medals to both teams.

E. Cuthbert thanked Mr Budgett for coming to present the cup, and Kirtlington on the clean and sporting game they had played. He called for cheers for Mr Budgett, and the losing team, which were given.

R. East, the Kirtlington captain, congratulated Middleton on their victory and also the way in which they played. He was sorry they had not won the cup, as they had been to the final five successive times, but hoped for better luck next year.

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