LOB Cup Victory

LOB Cup Victory

The Background

The London Old Boys Cup Competition has five cup competitions relevant to a club's specific team. This is the same as the Amateur Football Alliance (AFA) cup competitions. For example, the Intermediate Cup is for club's second teams, the Minor Cup for third teams etc.

Many other leagues have a cup competition for each division which makes the competition of an equal standard. The way that the LOB and AFA cup competitions are structured means that the traditionally weaker clubs such as ourselves are at a disadvantage as invariably we will play a club further into the competition who are higher up the football pyramid. For example, Old Meadonian's first team are in the Premier Division while our first team are in Intermediate North- some four divisions below them. Their second team are in Senior Division Two - some three divisions above our second team who are in Division One North. This is an extreme example but you can see that at one stage or another we will be playing teams who play to a much higher standard than ourselves.

This has largely been the reason for our lack of cup success in recent years (I can't really comment in bygone years) and while in the past we have reached several quarter finals and one semi final of the LOB Cup, which was our second team under Rob Runciman, this was before the Old Boys League (as it was then) merged with the Southern Olympic League in 2003. The merger raised standards even higher and we have not featured in the latter rounds since then. The same scenario also applies to the AFA cups competitions where success is even harder to achieve as these competitions attracts entries from the whole of the AFA membership, some 320 clubs. That said our first team did reach the final of the AFA Essex Intermediate Cup under the captaincy of Ewen Thomson in 1999/2000 before losing 3-2 to Hale End Athletic, although as the cup was in its infancy at the time and only four teams entered (it has since been merged with its Middlesex equivalent).

The Cup Run

It had been an impressive run of victories by the second team on the way to the final with all their opponents apart from Old Manorians playing to a higher standard. Their beaten opponents include Old Uxonions II (2-1), Parkfield II (6-2) Old Manorians II (on penalties after 3-3 draw), The Honourable Artillery Company II (3-0) before defeating Old Wilsonians II 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the semi final. This was probably their biggest scalp as Old Wilsonians are a very strong club in the Southern Amateur League with their second team playing to the equivalent of several rungs about them.

Enfield OG II play in Intermediate North (the same division as our first team) and defeated Clapham Old Xaverians II (2-1), Old Ignations II (5-0), Old Challoners II (3-1) and Old Edmontonians II (2-1) in the semi final. They also recently defeated Old Manorians II to win the AFA Intermediate Cup which is the senior of the two competitions. History was against them as far as I am aware nobody has won both competitions in the same season.

Beati Mundo Corde