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Thursday 24th April 2014 ko 18.30

Banbury & Lord Jersey League Premier Division

HEYFORD ATHLETIC 4 (Blenford 6 73 Bone 13 Clack 68)

HEYFORD UNITED 1 (Douglas 82)

Att 35

Entry FREE

Programme NO

As far as I’m concerned the end of the football season isn’t complete without a midweek trip to watch some Lord Jersey League football. The league covers the villages around Banbury and Bicester and I’ve seen some real gems over the last few years, try clicking on GYFTID and Hanwell United, although both have since folded. However this one had a little more riding on it, in fact so much so the league paid for two appointed linesmen.

Heyford United are based at the King George Playing Field, in Lower Heyford. The village is one of those bucolic settings I’m fortunate to live 30 minutes drive from. The village has been around for a long time, Harborough Bank, an Anglo-Saxon burial mound southwest of the village dates from the 6th century. The current Church of England parish church of Saint Mary was built in the 13th century, and rebuilt in the Decorated Gothic style in the first half of the 14th century, and it replaced a structure built in the 11th century!

It’s a place of stone houses, narrow streets and fields and rather gets overshadowed by its neighbour Upper Heyford. The main reason is the former airforce base, which although closed after the United States Air Force left in 1994 still stands as a gigantic mausoleum to the Cold War. I’ll deal with all of that when pay Heyford United a visit, as part of what made this game delicious was that it pitted Lower against Upper Heyford. If that wasn’t enough, Athletic were top and United second, so the anticipation was obvious when I arrived, even down to the club creating extra space for cars pitchside.

There was a special guest too with ABBA Athletic’s Tony Bagnall there to watch the action. Tony is a real hero of football in Oxfordshire, and if you’d like to know why his team are called ABBA, just click here, it’s quite a story! ABBA also have a side in the BLJFA League Premier Division, they now play at the Oxford Road Sports Ground that used to be home to Bicester Town, now defunct. It was a pleasure to catch up and watch the best in village football on a warm evening.

I seem to find myself typing that the game was tighter than the score would suggest but yes, that’s how it was with Athletic being just that little bit sharper when it mattered. Wes Bone reacting first to a scramble to head home the second goal summed the difference up neatly. You need luck too and Lee Clack admitted the series of rebounds that resulted in him getting the ball in the perfect spot to fire home was fortuitous to put it mildly!

I  was pleased that United got a consolation, their performance merited that, but as Tony himself put it. “They’ve all played for each other and for me, they don’t hold back for 90 minutes, but afterwards its back to being mates, and a beer.” And that is what is really all it should be about.