On a frosty, and occasionally foggy, day, the Ed Farmer Trophy returned, with two teams of Old Oakhamians facing the 1st & 2nd XIs. Cancelled last year due to Covid, the trophy is dedicated to the memory of Ed Farmer, who tragically lost his life while at university.
It proved a mixed day for both sides, as the first XI avenged their loss two years ago with a thumping 5-1 victory over the old boys. The second fixture was one for the neutral, with goals galore as the OOs ran out 8-4 victors.
This meant an aggregate score of 9-9, and the OOs retaining the trophy they won in January 2020.
The Director of Sport, Iain Simpson, spoke afterwards about the importance of taking care of each other, both at school but especially when moving to university and beyond. The Headmaster, Henry Price, presented the Ed Farmer Trophy, accepted by Jamie Thorpe on behalf of the OOs (pictured above).
David Russell’s match report on the First XI vs OOs fixture is below:
After a near two-year hiatus it was tremendous to see competitive football return to Wilson Fields. But the old adage ‘men against boys’ did not apply on this occasion, as the current Oakham 1st XI upset the odds by sending the Old Oakhamians packing on a cold and foggy mid-January afternoon.
The first half was evenly matched, with both sides playing high quality, attractive football. After nine minutes a long shot from Medcraft hit the underside of the bar and Braybrook followed in to give the youngsters an early lead.
However, only four minutes later a class finish from one of the youngest of the OOs, Russell, who finessed the ball, side-footed, from outside the box into the top right hand corner, drew the OOs level.
The OOs then tried to press home their advantage with a succession of dangerous long throw-ins by Davies and corners, but Kelly and the back three of McNulty, Pinder and Amende stood firm. In fact it was Wood who came closest to re-establishing the School’s lead as his shot ricocheted off the bar.
All to play for at half time. With the home side showing impressive cohesion and shape after only two training sessions, coach Wilsher confidently predicted the OOs were there for the taking.
The first half of the second half continued to be evenly contested and it was only after 20’ that a superb long shot by Bland went in off the underside of the bar. This demoralised the OOs and with their stamina sapping and captain Lewin pulling the strings in midfield, the School increased their lead when Braybrook squared for sub Jones to make it 3-1.
The last ten minutes saw Jones and Bland each grab their second, the latter with the help of a deflection, to give a final scoreline which somewhat flattered the hosts. Sterner tests no doubt lie ahead but the team spirit and resilience of this group impressed immensely on this first outing of the season.