Cowfold miss out to Hurstpierpoint in the Intermediate Cup final

Hurstpierpoint celebrate. Picture by Terry Buckman
Hurstpierpoint celebrate. Picture by Terry Buckman

Reigning West Sussex League champions Cowfold failed in their bid to upset the odds in the final on Tuesday as Hurstpierpoint lifted the Sussex Intermediate Cup for the first time in their 128-year history.

The County League Division 3 favourites in the end ran out comfortably 4-0 winners, a scoreline that was somewhat harsh on ‘Fold who enjoyed good spells in the Culver Road final down at Lancing FC.

In the final the first chances fell to Cowfold and there were several let-offs for Hurst from three corners in quick succession around the 20-minute mark.

But they finished the half well from the moment left back Simon Whitney had their first shot on 34 minutes.

Two minutes later skipper Dave MacNeill sliced a decent chance high and wide and then the dangerous James Sharp struck a shot into the side netting after catching long throw specialist Kyle Mitchell-Harris in possession.

The deadlock was broken on 41 minutes when Whitney’s attacking tendencies took him clear on the left and he pulled the ball back for Sharp to apply a clinical finish.

Cowfold ‘keeper Matt Beck had not had a shot to save at that point and he was again largely a spectator as his side made a bright start to the second half.

Eight minutes in Dan Dalton fired just wide from a lay-off by centre forward Chris Bellison.

But then ‘Hurst stepped up a gear, with Ed Bartram’s free kick forcing Beck to parry low to his right and then only a marvellous challenge by Greg Brabon denying Macneill a certain goal.

Hurst doubled their lead on 64 minutes and again it was Sharp who was the scorer with a low drive into the far corner after he tricked his way past two defenders.

It was then all up for Cowfold less than three minutes later when Bartram scored from close range and after that the scoring was completed when the overlapping Whitney played a neat one-two before his effort crept in at the far post. Bartram was initially credited with the goal but Whitney claimed it immediately.

No doubt there would have been a big round of applause had Cowfold managed a consolation goal but they were even denied that in stoppage time when James McKemey did superbly to touch Brabon’s close range header on to the bar.

Cowfold: Beck; Easton, Mitchell-Harris (Nash, 73), Pike, Tucker, Parsons (Smith, 56), Skett, Deane, Bellison (Clarke, 73), Brabon, Dalton. Unused subs: Hatton, Wrigley.

Hurst: McKemey; Kempton, Whitney, Macneill, Blackwell, Mates, Wilson (Barthlolmew, 73), Grant, Bartram (Gorah, 79), Andrews (Oladele, 86), Sharp. Unused subs: Webster, Bushnell.

Attendance: 186.