Journey’s end after a long season

With a cup final at Leylands Park, Burgess Hill and a solitary league game last Saturday (10 May) the Gray Hooper Holt LLP Mid Sussex Football League managed to end its 2013 - 2014 season, thanks to the co-operation of its member clubs, on time despite having to clear a backlog of over 400 postponements brought about by the extreme winter rainfall.

Tuesday, 13th May 2014, 11:20 am
Balcombe players proudly displaying their winners medals and the Mid Sussex Senior Charity Cup.

The season’s last final for the Montgomery Cup, the League’s highest ranking challenge cup competition, saw Rotherfield and holders Peacehaven United go right to the wire before its destination was determined. Goals from Rotherfield’s David Kilby and their opponent’s Curtis Ford and a penalty miss by Rotherfield a few minutes from normal time conspired to take the tie to extra time and ultimately a penalty shoot -out, in which Peacehaven managed to take the the trophy 3-2 in the seventh round of penaly kicks!

Earlier in the week two further cup competitions were decided at Leylands Park. At the first last Tuesday (6 May) the League was delighted to welcome Mathew Major, the recently elected Chairman of the Sussex County Football Association, who at the end of the match presented the Mid Sussex Junior Charity Cup to AFC Haywards, who ran out 5-1 victors over Crawley-based Sporting Elite, together with medals to both teams, the match officials and the man of the match AFC’s Shamen Blythe.

The following evening (Wednesday 7 May) saw local side Burgess Hill Albion taking on Balcombe in the final of the Mid Sussex Senior Charity Cup and, when it looked inevitable that extra time would ensue, Balcombe’s George Evans stepped up to convert a free kick just outside the penalty area with a superb strike to gain his side the trophy by a solitary goal and, for his performance throughout the 90 minutes, Balcombe’s Ryan Davidson receiving the man-of-the match award.

Rob Matthews, a Vice-President of the League, presenting Balcombe's captain Wayne Ruzicka with the Mid Sussex Senior Charity Cup

As a result of its two charity cup competitions the League’s Management Committtee at a meeting on Monday awarded a total of £700 to three Sussex-based charities.