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Sunday 9th October 2011 ko 10.30am (approx!)

Upper Thames Valley League Premier Division

KINGS ARMS WHEATLEY 3 (L. Cuff 27 Sackey 30 85)

BARTON UNITED 0

Att 18 (h/c)

Entry FREE

Nothing for sale

This was another Peter Hack inspired choice and another of those Sunday League grounds that you can’t do on a Saturday. And this time he decided to come along!

The side plays on the main pitch at Wheatley RUFC just opposite the Wheatley Park Sports Centre, the other pitch was being used by King & Queen Wheatley giving me an excuse to return. The elevated position made it blustery but the view on a clear day would be spectacular.

I have connections with the Barton estate, having grown up on the Risinghurst estate, the other side of the A40 from it, and went to Bayswater School, on the Barton estate itself. I wondered while I was there why the local Saturday side, Headington Amateurs was never mentioned, but the Sunday side was. Nowadays its clear, the Sunday side had the locals, and represented the estate, and bluntly had a fairly fearsome reputation. Barton played Kings Arms in the final game of last season, a shoot out for the championship. The game was switched to Sutton Courtenay for security reasons, and a strong team of referees took the game. Barton lost, amongst much acrimony and alcohol, and so this game we approached with some interest, but trepidation.

We needn’t have worried as that Barton United it transpired have folded, this version is in fact Masons Arms from Headington Quarry, rebranded and moved to Barton Rec’. They’re a friendly enough much, no Stella or Strongbow to be found, but the edge has gone. No players remain from “Old” Barton, and frankly they looked flat.

Kings Arms never looked like be troubled and Referee Neil Evans had little or nothing to do. Three goals went in, each beautifully crafted, and Barton showed little or nothing, other than frustration.

I did find out that many of the “Old Barton” players went to Kidlington Royals. Perhaps I should check them out sometime.