Friday 22 April 2011


The North and Mid Herts Football League Greg Cup Final was played on Thursday at Hitchin Town's Top Field stadium between current league leader's Probuild and third placed City Hearts. For the cold end it was cup final number four in a week and despite the one sided scoreline this was a really entertaining game.

The League was formed following an amalgamation of of the North Herts Football Association and the Mid Herts League in 2006 after both leagues had experienced a decline in numbers and facing the possibility of folding. The Mid Herts League had it's roots in local football from 1892 and the North Herts FA in 1910 so it was thought that the combined league should retain their own individuality and heritage. This was carried out by having two separate cup competitions for the Mid and North clubs with the retention of the Bingham Cox cup for the Mid clubs and the Greg Cup for the North clubs. For 2006/07, 07/08, 08/09 and 09/10 two divisions were run but due to ever dwindling numbers the league has only run one division this season. John Burlison the Chairman of the NH&MHFA writes in the programme "New blood is desperately needed to keep the league from folding completely as two of the present member clubs have decided to move on to a higher league." The cold end hopes some more teams come forward and that the league remains active.

City Hearts originally called Carousel became members of the NHFA in the late 1970's and are the longest continuously serving club from the former league. Thurday's match was their first appearance in the Greg Cup Final. Special mention must go to manager Geoff Pettengell who has managed the club since the early 80's along with his wife Sue who copes admirably with washing the kit in all weathers.

Probuild were formed in 2007 on the back of their succesful Sunday League side and have dominated the NH&MH football league over the past few seasons.

The Greg Cup of North Herts Junior Cup as it was originally known was instigated by Mr Greg (whom the competition is now named after) in 1910/11. One of the unique rules he stipulated as that any player having received a winner's memento in the competition would not be allowed to play in future competitions. Hence the fact, prior to Thursday, only one club has ever won the cup in two successive seasons (Fishers in 2002 and 2003). Four years ago this rule was relaxed and now there is no longer such a stipulation.

The strong and rich heritage of the competition is demonstated in the list of winners which include Stevenage Town in 1920, Letchworth Town in 1922, Knebworth in 1923, Buntingford Town in 1931, Biggleswade United in 1967 alongside lesser known clubs such as Hitchin Union Jack in 1911, Kayser Bondor in 1960, Seta Sports in 1982 and Benington in 1995.

Probuild had made the final by beating Wodson Park Seniors 3-0 in the Semi-Final and City Hearts had beat St Ippolyts 7-2 in the Quarter Final and then FC Letchworth in the last four.

North and Mid Herts Football League Current Premier Division Table 
                      P  W  D L  GF GA  GD PTS 
Probuild              20 18 2 0  78 22 +56 56 
Potters Bar Crusaders 20 16 2 2  87 20 +67 50 
City Hearts           21 13 3 5  69 52 +17 44 
Global                21 13 2 6  37 29 + 8 41 
Wodson Park Seniors   22 11 5 6  45 31 +14 38 
Inn on the Green      23 11 3 9  49 58 - 9 36 
Asia                  20 8  3 9  44 49 - 5 27 
St Ippolyts           22 6  5 11 39 62 -23 23 
FC Letchworth         19 4  4 11 32 44 -12 19 
Warriors X1           21 6  4 11 32 57 -25 18 
St Albans Wanderers   23 4  5 14 35 48 -13 17 
London Colney 'A'     20 4  4 12 25 82 -57 16 
Shephall Centre       24 2  2 20 22 40 -18 8 

As you can see form the league table Probuild are unbeaten at present and prior to last night they had already lifted the Benevolent Shield on the 14th April by beating Asia 2-1 at London Colney. The only defeat they have suffered was in the Herts FA Junior Cup Round 3 when they played and lost 5-1 against Hertford and District League side Bengeo Trinity on January 15th. The league meeting between the two sides on the 30th October finished in a 12-2 victory for Probuild. When they scored in the first minute on Thursday, were 3-0 up in twelve minutes and 5-0 up at half time it was looking like double figures again but massive credit must go to City Hearts who plugged away despite the scoreline, they struck the cross bar in the first half alongside a few chances before scoring their own goal right on 90 minutes to loud applause from the crowd gathered at Top Field. The loudest cheer came when certain to score after going round the keeper, a probuild player's shot was blocked on the line by a hard working City Hearts player who celebrated with his keeper afterwards.

Many who had assembled at the ground were WIGWAMS (Woman including Girlfriends, Wifes and Mothers) who supported their nearest and dearest throughout the game which is always good to see. Many thanks to VETRAN on the nonleague messageboard for the updated term on WAGS!!!

Probuild play City Hearts in their final league game on FA Cup final day 14th May. Will it be another high scoring game???

Their scorers on Thursday were Terry Pateman (3), K Rabland, Steve Teale and Carl Thompson (2).

The last of the league's three cup finals is the Bingham Cox Cup which takes place on Bank Holiday Monday the 2nd May at St Albans City FC where Potters Bar Crusaders play Inn on the Green with an 11am kick off.


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