North Devon Football League

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North Devon Association Football League - History
League Tables and Cups

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Hon. Secretary - Mr H Lavis, Chairman - Dr S R Gibbs

Premier Division (Then known as the Senior Division). Champions won the Kirkwood Cup. The title was decided by a play off between South Molton and Torrington, see report below.

Season Division Pos   P W D L F A P
1909/10 Senior 1 South Molton 10 8 1 1 27 4 17
1909/10 Senior 2 Torrington 10 8 1 1 17 5 17
1909/10 Senior 3 Ilfracombe Town 10 4 2 4 22 16 10
1909/10 Senior 4 Holy Trinity 10 2 4 4 15 22 8
1909/10 Senior 5 Combe Martin 10 2 2 6 12 31 6
1909/10 Senior 6 Bideford 10 0 3 7 7 32 3

North Devon Journal - 5th May 1910 - Match report of Senior Playoff Final and Presentation of Cups.

South Molton defeat Torrington.
Never before in the annals of the North Devon Association football has the interest in the Senior League competition been of such exceptional keenness as during the present season, and excitement has been kept at concert pitch right up to the last. At one period of the season it appeared as if the South Molton representatives would carry off the trophy, but the playing by Bideford of an ineligible player put the Torringtonians on equal terms with South Molton, and a final was necessary to decide who should hold the cup until next season, although South Molton had considerably the better goal average.
It was generally expected the match would attract a large crowd of interested spectators, and such was the case, for there was a huge crowd at the old rugby ground at Newport, on Saturday, where the final was fought out. Large numbers of supporters journeyed with the teams from Torrington and South Molton, and the Barnstaple section of interested soccerites brought the number of spectators up to considerably over a thousand. Excellent arrangements had been made by the League officials, the playing ground being roped off. The Misses Houldsworth of Westward Ho, who are generous supporters of the North Devon League, were amongst the spectators.
Both clubs brought their strongest available elevens to do duty, and the teams lined up as follows:-
Torrington - Goal, Heard; backs, Rev H Towl and F Clements; halves, Bennett, Stapledon and Gilbert; forwards, S Hearn, Lile, L Lloyd, Blatchford and Wilson.
South Molton - Goal, C Taylor; backs, F Vicary and R Southcombe; halves, W Tapp, J Loosemore and Kingdon; forwards, C Southcombe, E Truscott, J Pike, R Seldon and E E Hodge.
Mr J B Dennis, of Exeter, was the referee, Messrs F Watts O.R. and J Baker O.R. being the linesmen.
Torrington kicked off, and raced down to the Molton line, where Loosemore, in attempting to clear gave away a corner, which resulted in a dead. A corner against Torrington was well cleared by Towl, and a free kick against Tapp again placed the Moltonians on the defensive. Blatchford contributed a delightful dribble and gave to Wilson, but when he was working his way towards the centre of the field Lloyd got off-side and a fine chance was thus thrown away. Hodge forced a dead for Molton, but the ball was soon returned to the Molton half. The Torrington men were now playing well together, and the attentions of their opponents were for a time mainly devoted to keeping their goal intact. Wilson and Blatchford on the left wing were often times dangerous, their combination being splendid. Towl checked an effort by the Molton forwards to break away, and placed well out to Wilson, who gave a neat pass to Blatchford. The latter placed nicely in front of goal, and when about to shoot R Southcombe slipped across and placed out of danger. Tapp again fouled Wilson, who had beaten him well, and Taylor fisted away a splendid shot from the 'free' by Clements. C Southcombe, for the first time in the game, was seen to advantage, and after a fine run, he put across a perfect centre, which Truscott skied hopelessly over the bar. The Torringtonians had up to this stage had practically all the best play, and continued to do do for some time, giving the Molton defence a busy time. Vickery was prominent for several excellent clearances, while Kingdon, at half, held the Torrington right wing well in check. Both custodians brought off a couple of fine saves, whilst many shots at the Molton goal narrowly missed the mark. A lovely movement on the part of the Torrington forwards nearly ended in the desired effect. Lloyd tricked several opponents, and passed to Hearn, who put across a beautiful centre, but the leather was headed over the bar. The feeding of the Molton outside-right now brought the Moltonians 'into the picture', for he raced up the wing at a tremendous speed and turned the leather across the goal and Hodge shot over. Molton now pressed their backs keeping the leather well in the Torrington half by a series of long kicks. The Moltonian forwards seemed, however, to be at a loss to settle down to their usual game, and generally when within scoring range allowed themselves to be disposed of the ball. Wilson, Blatchford and Lloyd all put in excellent shots at the Molton goal, but neither found the net, Taylor being very safe. The Torrington left wing was frequently applauded for fine play, Tapp, although working very hard, finding him much more at times than he could deal with. A cannon-like drive from Wilson struck the side of the net. The Torringtonians now had a great slice of luck. Truscott put across an admirable centre, which Heard met, but the ball bounced out of his hands, Seldon gained possession, and almost put into the net, Heard just regaining the ball in time. Pike relieved the excitement by putting high over the cross-bar. Heard a little later brought off another magnificent save, taking the ball from the feet of two of the Molton forwards and clearing amid loud applause from the Torrington section of the crowd. Torrington again assumed the aggressive Stapledon, the Torrington centre-half, who had been playing a fine game up to this, badly injured one of his knees and after a brief stoppage, resumed, badly limping. Play, after being in midfield for a short time, was worked into the Molton preserves. Wilson dropped into centre, whilst Lloyd was performing a pretty and effective piece of play at the position of inside-left. Wilson gave Lile a beautiful over-head pass, which the latter gave to Blatchford, who shot hard at the net. The ball struck under the cross-bar and Taylor caught it on the rebound and kicked away, but the whistle had sounded for a goal, the ball having entered the net. A tremendous shout went up from the Torrington section of vast crowd at the success of their players. Towl robbed Seldon when directly in front of goal, and Lloyd experienced a similar fate at the other end. Half-time then sounded with the score:- Torrington, one goal; South Molton, nil.
The Moltonians started the second half, but lost possession immediately, Lloyd placing well away. Lloyd and Lile broke through the defence, Taylor dealing with a hot shot for the former. Stapledon, who was badly crocked, failed to check Pike, who gave to Hodge when well up. Towl made a feeble attempt to check his progress, and he centred well for Pike to meet and crash into the goal, Heard bringing off a marvelous save, at the expense of a corner. Hodge was again conspicuous, and when he appeared all over a scorer he was badly fouled in the penalty area. Pike took the kick and netted, Heard making a valiant attempt to save. Torrington now re-arranged their side, necessitated through Stapledon's injury. Lile was placed at centre-half, Wilson outside right and Stapledon outside left. Play was of an up and down nature for a considerable period, free-kicks for various infringements of the rules being frequent. Towl dispossessed Seldon of the ball in fine style, but hands against the same player again gave Molton the advantage. Lloyd shot over from a pass from a free-kick for a foul-throw. Blatchford did likewise after he had contributed a sparkling run. Kingdon was often prominent for Molton, and proved a great stumbling block to the Torrington right wing. Taylor and Blatchford were injured in a collision and the game was stopped for some minutes. Molton now held the 'whip hand'. Heard dealt successfully with several shots at this charge. A free for Molton produced only a minor, and Lile put well up the field on the kick out. Wilson almost converted a fine centre by Blatchford. Pike and Seldon were now often prominent for fine play and gave Heard a bust time. Torrington pulled together again and forced two minors in quick succession. Free kicks were again numerous on both sides, and at times brought much needed relief. Molton again pressed with no avail and the time was called with the score:- Torrington 1 goal; South Molton 1 goal.
Extra time.
Having won the toss Torrington re-started, attacking the same goal as in the second half. Torrington made a great effort to obtain the lead, and pressed continuously. Blatchford missed a fine centre from Wilson, and a free for Molton enabled them to reach the other end. Hodge, when in a fine position, shot hopelessly over, much to the disgust of the crowd. Mis-kicking in front of the Torrington goal almost resulted in a score. Molton now had more of play and pressed hotly, but could not score, whilst towards the close of the half Torrington had decidedly the better of the argument. Half-time arrived with nothing further scored:- Torrington 1 goal; South Molton 1 goal.
The second half went almost entirely in favour of the Molton team. Immediately on the kick-off Molton raced to the Torrington end, where play remained. Heard, in clearing the ball, kicked against another player, and rebounded almost into the net. The ball would certainly have done so, but Towl prevented it by catching it in his hands. Pike scored from the penalty with a terrific drive, and the Molton spectators went almost wild with delight. From a free just outside the penalty area Lloyd put over for Torrington. The kick out out Pike in possession, and after a brilliant individual effort he completely beat Heard with a fine shot which found the net. Torrington were now all over a beaten side, and Seldon scored the fourth goal, time being called a few minutes later with the score:- South Molton 4 goals; Torrington 1 goal.

Presentation of the Cups
The presentation of the League Cup, together with that of the Soares Cup to the winners of the Junior League, took place at the Royal and Fortescue Hotel after the match. The ceremony was performed in the spacious billiard room, in the presence of a large number.
The secretary of the League (Mr H Lavis) explained the positions of the Torrington and South Molton clubs, which were equal before the final, each having 17 points. Speaking of the season which had just been brought to a close, Mr Lavis said that he thought it had been a great success (hear hear) both financially and otherwise. In fact, he thought they had never been in a better financial position. (Hear hear and applause.) This was undoubtedly due to a large extent to the generosity of the Misses Houldsworth of Westward Ho. (Applause.) He regretted that the Chairman of the League, (Dr S R Gibbs), was unable to be present that evening. He thought Torrington ought to be congratulated on the plucky fight they had put up that afternoon, but with all due regard to them he thought South Molton deserved to win the trophy, seeing that Torrington had obtained a point by Bideford playing an ineligible man. He then asked the Mayor of Barnstaple (Mr F W Hunt, c.c.) to present the cup.
The Mayor handed the beautiful silver cup to Mr C Southcombe, the Captain of the South Molton team, amidst loud applause.
Mr C Southcombe, in returning thanks, said he had come quite unprepared for a speech, as he thought that the response would have been the privilege of the Rev Towl. (Laughter.) He thought Torrington had made a splendid fight for the trophy that afternoon, but his contention was that there should not have been a final, as his club had a better goal average than Torrington. He thanked the Mayor very much for presenting the splendid cup, and also the donor (Mr J H M Kirkwood, M.P.). The game that afternoon had been a splendid one throughout, and he quite thought at half-time that Molton would end the losers. But thanks to Mr Pike (hear hear) they managed to pull off a splendid victory. (Applause.) He announced, amid further applause, that he has just received a telegram from the Misses Houldsworth congratulating South Molton on their victory.
The Rev H Towl, the Torrington captain, called for three cheers for the Molton club, which were heartily given, as were cheers for the Torrington club.
Mr Lavis then gave an account of the doings of the Junior League during the season. Never before had the Junior League consisted of so many clubs, the number being eleven. Newport stood well ahead of all the other clubs, Holy Trinity Juniors and Bideford Parish Church being equal second, and YMCA, the winners of the Westward Ho Cup, next. This competition had been fought out in the same spirit and sportsmanlike character as the Senior League had been. The season had been one of marked progress in the North Devon League, and there had been fewer protests than they had ever had in the past. This, he thought, was due to the Secretaries, who had taken more interest in the league and had studied deeply the rules of the EDFA. Newport were the winners of the cup given by Mr E J Soares M.P. having played 20 matches, won 15, drawn 3, lost 2, goals for 52, against 22, having 32 points to their credit.
The Mayor then handed the Junior League trophy to Mr B Creek, the Newport captain, amid loud applause.
Mr Creek suitably returned thanks, expressing the opinion that it was due to the whole of his players and to the able support of their Secretary (Mr J Thorne) and Committee that his club had won the cup . (Hear hear and applause.) Without their help he was sure the club would not have stood in the proud position they were that day. (Applause.)
Silver medals were then presented to the players of the Newport Club, the following being the recipients - Messrs B Creek (Captain), E Hallett, W Sanders, S Sanders, L Hill, J Shaddick, H Bower, T Baker, J Harris, A Passmore, A Gould, E Lewis and A Songhurst.
A vote of thanks to the Mayor for his kindness in presenting the trophies was proposed by the Rev Hugh Towl. He was glad to see the head of the borough present that evening to give his benediction - that was his term, being a parson - (laughter) and support, and he thought it was a good thing for the League. Having Mayoral recognition ought to do the League a lot of good. (Applause.)
Mr F Day, an ex-Mayor of South Molton, seconded. He thought it very kind of the Mayor, who always had a multiplicity of duties, to come amongst them that evening and associate himself with their League. (Applause.)
The vote was heartily accorded.
The Mayor suitable acknowledged the vote. He could assure them that it was a very great pleasure to him to be present that evening, and regretted he was not able to attend the match in the afternoon. Everyone whom he had met had told him what an excellent match they had had, and one that had been fought out in a thoroughly good and sportsmanlike way. He thought football, if played in a proper spirit, was a game which most certainly ought to receive general public support (applause) because a young fellow could not got in for football and be successful at it unless he went for training, and this had a moral as well as a physical effect upon him. (Hear hear.) He congratulated the South Molton club on their success, remarking that he had been told they played remarkably well, and that their success was due to a large extent to their great staying powers. (Applause.) He was glad to learn that funds of the League were so good, and that there is every possibility of football being carried on successfully in North Devon. (Applause.) There was one thing he did not like about any kind of game and that was the introduction of too much professionalism. (Applause.) Games should be played for the love of the game, and that was the way to keep interest in them. (Applause.)
A hearty vote of thanks to the Secretary and Committee which carried out the arrangements for the match, was accorded on the motion of Mr A J Bulled, seconded by Mr F Watts, Mr J Thorne and Mr Lavis both suitably acknowledging. Mr Thorne referred in eulogistic terms, to the great interest taken in the League by Mr Lavis, who had been secretary for three years and whose service he regretted they were losing this season.
Mr Lavis, in responding, said that all he had done for the League had been done in the interest of football. (Applause.)
About 30 afterwards sat down to an excellent dinner, the catering of Mrs Toller giving general satisfaction. After dinner the loyal toast was given by the Secretary, Mr H Lavis, whilst Mr M Ffoulkes submitted "Success to the South Molton Football Club." The toast was acknowledged by Mr C Southcombe, whilst the Rev H Towl responded to the toast of "Success to the Torrington Club" proposed by Mr F Day, president of the South Molton Club. The health of the referee (Mr J B Dennis) was also drunk.

The Winners Arrival Home.
Although the Moltonians did not arrive home until nearly 10.30 on Saturday night, they had a most cordial reception, the town being "all alive." The team was met in North Road by a torchlight procession, which was headed by a band, and the Club's flag, and escorted around the town. A huge crowd followed the procession, and the cheering was almost deafening. The Captain of the club, Mr C Southcombe, held the handsome silver cup aloft in the front of the conveyance, in which were the players, and on reaching the Square the team alighted, Pike (the hero of the game, scoring three of the goals) being shouldered, together with other members of the team. It was long after the Band had played the National Anthem that the huge crowd began to disperse

Division 2 (Then known as the Junior Division) Champions won the Soares Cup

  P W D L F A P
Newport (Barnstaple) 20 15 3 2 52 22 33
Holy Trinity 20 11 3 6 33 23 25
Bideford Parish Church 20 12 1 7 38 28 25
Barnstaple YMCA 20 9 5 6 32 26 23
Braunton 20 8 3 9 33 29 19
Bishops Tawton 20 7 5 8 30 31 19
Lynton 20 7 5 8 25 29 19
Park Rangers 20 5 5 10 26 47 15
Chittlehampton 20 6 3 11 10 29 15
South Molton 20 7 0 13 24 31 14
Fremington 20 5 4 11 23 31 14