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HomeFOOTBALLHalls AFC and Kemsing United revel in Sevenoaks Charity cup success

Halls AFC and Kemsing United revel in Sevenoaks Charity cup success

Green Court Sports Club in Crockenhill, and formerly the home ground for Orpington FC, hosted their first Sevenoaks Charity Cup finals day on Good Friday with over 200 supporters turning out for both the Junior and Senior finals.

The Senior final was contested by Hawkenbury, from the Sevenoaks & District Football League (SDFL) Premier Division, and Halls AFC Reserves, who play in the Kent County Football League (KCFL) Division Three West.

Halls started the match with possible the fastest recorded goal in the Senior Charity Cup final thanks to a fantastic half volley from Frankie White in the first minute. White then provided a beautiful assist to George Booker for the second goal in the 11th minute, which made it look like Hawkenbury were in for a tough afternoon.

However, in the 15th minute, Hawkenbury scored a goal through Julius Walker, bringing the score to 1-2 and reigniting hope for the away team. The excitement continued to mount, and in the 41st minute, Hawkenbury scored an unlikely equaliser through Jack Ailles to make it 2-2 at halftime.

The second half started in bright sunshine, with a much more cautious style of play from both sides. In the 70th minute, Hawkenbury turned it around to take the lead for the first time in the game with a goal from Jason Hinkson. However, just five minutes later, Halls forced an own goal to even the score at 3-3.

Heading into extra time, Halls took the lead with a well-timed shot from the number 20. In the 110th minute, Halls’ number six was sent off for raising a hand during a heated altercation with a Hawkenbury player.

Despite having an extra player, Hawkenbury could not capitalise on their advantage, and in the final minute of extra time, an error from Hawkenbury’s defender and keeper allowed Nathaniel Oni-Okeke to score what looked like the winning goal for Halls, making it 3-5. However, Hawkenbury managed to score a last-second goal through Reece Beecroft, making the final score 4-5 to Halls.

Halls AFC Reserves celebrate their prestigious Sevenoaks Senior Charity Cup win over Hawkenbury which saw nine goals and a sending off.

In the Junior final, Weald Wolves and Kemsing United Reserves took to the field for a 10am kick off, and with both sides hailing from SDFL Division Three, it was always going to be a tight game.

Weald will feel hard done by as they had the majority of the chances and took the lead from the spot. They would have fancied their chances but Kemsing held on and after a good spell of possession, Tom Middelboe equalised to send the sides in level at halftime.

In the second half, Kemsing’s experience started to show and although Weald still looked like a serious threat on the attack, it took a long ball by Kemsing that was spilled by keeper Luke Wilson after what was judged a fair challenge by Middelboe, who simply tapped it home to decide the game.

For the first time in the clubs 100 year history the SDFL Junior Charity cup was raised by a Kemsing United player with captain Andy Logan lifting the trophy after a hard fought battle.

Both finals were a thrilling spectacle that showcased the talent and heart of four determined teams. The matches drew huge crowds and served as an excellent advertisement for Kent non-league football.

The history of the Sevenoaks Charity Cup
The Sevenoaks Charity Cup began in 1894 and is one of the most prestigious and oldest Competitions of its type in England. It was originally designed to provide funds for the local Holmesdale Cottage Hospital at St Johns, the site of the present Sevenoaks Hospital. At the time it was run entirely on the generosity of local subscribers.

A group of hospital trustees, among them Lord Sackville and Lord Amherst, took up the idea of combining sport with charity. A working committee was formed and the Sevenoaks Charity Senior Cup was launched. Winners of the first competition in 1894-95 were Shoreham United followed by Cray Wanderers and South Ashford Invicta.

The largest ever crowd to watch a senior final was 3,500 who attended Knole Paddock on 18 April 1949 (Easter Morning) to watch Crockenhill win the trophy 2-0 against Borough Green.

The Sevenoaks Charity Cup, which started in 1894, is one of the most prestigious and oldest competitions in England.

While few players know the competition’s history, it is the ambition of every footballer to take part in a final and for the captain of the winning team to receive and hold the magnificent trophy.

The solid silver trophy was procured from Spinks, the well known London Silversmiths. The trophy along with another one were originally purchased for 70 Guineans and made by Thomas Bradbury and Sons of Sheffield.

What has caused a lot of confusion over many years with the public is that at the same time the second trophy was to be known as the Sevenoaks Trophy Competition.

The Sevenoaks Trophy was open to professional teams and in 1898 was won by Woolwich Arsenal. However, it was proved to be unsuccessful, running for just one season and then returned to the silversmiths.

Over the years many well known local people have been associated with the management of the Sevenoaks Charity Cup Competition, the Junior Cup was introduced in 1923 largely through the good offices of a certain Mr Harry Wright.

A local school master namely Mr W Weth, well known in Riverhead, was Chairman for several years. Others who have played important roles over the years include Col J Laurier whose father was one of the founder members, J Zealey, F Marshall, Secretary Frank Green and in more recent times John Bellamy for 20 years, Cyril Baker, Chairman, John Weller and Eddie Diplock.

The centenary Cup Final was held at Raleys Field, Knole Paddock, on Easter Monday 1994 with holders Platt United becoming only the tenth club in the history of the Competition to successfully defend the trophy with a 3-2 win over Sevenoaks Town.

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