Almost exactly one year on from beginning the competition, the Old Bradfieldian Football Club will finally have the chance to make it seventh time lucky when they contest the final of the Arthur Dunn Cup.
Following a six month delay due to the pandemic, the OBs overcame Old Tonbridgians in the rearranged semi-final, coming through a tense replay to win 1-0 and come within one victory of lifting the trophy for the first time in their history after finishing runners-up in the previous six final appearances. The match against Old Carthusians is due to take place on 24 October, 363 days after the OBs emphatic 4-0 victory over Old Shirburnians in the first round of the 2019-20 competition.
The initial semi-final match finished 1-1 at full-time and, even after 30 minutes of extra-time, a winner could not be found so a replay was scheduled. The match, played at Tonbridge’s ground, was a tense affair with strong winds and an uneven surface contributing to a difficult game.
Bradfield, playing with the wind directly behind their backs in the first half, made good use of the conditions putting the Tonbridge goal under significant pressure throughout. Their persistence eventually told when a whipped in cross from Dan Hodgkinson (H 10-15) on the right wing was met with a well-placed header from Alex Ames (H 06- 11) giving them a slender lead at the break.
Bradfield started the second half well, but the better chances came to the Tonbridgians. Benefitting from the swirling conditions, the opposition forced a superb double save from Michael Hutton (A 99-04) before Nick Watts (C 10-15) and Ames in midfield started to dominate proceedings with well-timed passes, dribbles and vision, making light of the challenging surface. Another save from Hutton kept Bradfield in front before the team played effectively in the last 15 minutes to close out the game with Tonbridge tiring and unable to create any further chances.
Well done to Captain Tom Martin (H 06-11) and his team on a well-deserved victory and we wish them the best of luck in the final.