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STEVE GEE MERIT CUP

Click on the year to see detail of that year's final -

2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

21 August 2014 - STEVE GEE MERIT CUP FINAL - Aston Swallownest to face Brinsworth Whitehill in Merit Final at Stocksbridge - The excellent disciplinary and sporting records of Aston Swallownest and Brinsworth Whitehill has seen them rewarded with an appearance in the Steve Gee Merit Cup Final at the Stocksbridge Park Steels stadium on Thursday 18 September. The kick-off is 7:15 and entrance is free to all.

It is a reward for both sides continued efforts to play the game in the right manner. After having just two cautions in the 2013-13 season, Aston went one better last season by having just one caution all season, while Brinsworth Whitehill had just five cautions for a second successive season. Both achieved the highest average score of 46/50 for their Sporting Awards from the other League clubs in 2013-14.

19 Sept 2013 - STEVE GEE MERIT CUP FINAL - Loxley go close but get Eaton for the feast of Stevens - In a terrific Steve Gee Merit Cup Final at the Stocksbridge Park Steels Look Local Stadium, Division One Loxley led twice and pushed CBC Premier Handsworth Turf all the way, but two goals by Carl Eaton eventually turned the Final Turf's way, leaving their skipper Andy Stevens to celebrate his seventeenth season with the club by lifting the first silverware of the season. Stevens (left) and Eaton (right) are pictured left with the Cup.

Loxley started brightly and they created the first chance for Lee Crampton, but his shot was well saved by Turf keeper Liam Richardson. Turf responded with a good run by Ryan Foster, but Richardson was soon called on again to make a terrific save when Anthony Marshall cut in from the left and shot. Turf skipper Andy Stevens then had to head over his own bar to keep Loxley out and although a good run by Turf's Danny Leesley created a chance for Ben Shackshaft, his shot was saved by Loxley keeper Lee Crabtree.

Loxley were still on top though and Richardson had to tip a cross away to safety and a Jon Rhodes cross saw Anthony Marshall head wide before Lee Crampton had a shot deflected wide for a corner. Crampton then ran at the Turf defence before feeding Anthony Marshall and his shot crashed against the underside of the bar before Stevens headed it out for a corner. Turf hit back and broke quickly for Carl Eaton to have a shot deflected for a corner and a Stevens cross was headed narrowly over the bar by Ben Shackshaft and with Carl Bowler winning everything at the back it was Turf that were now on top, but they were rocked when keeper Richardson had to come off due to a groin injury.

Sam Atkin took over in the Turf goal, but his first touch was to pick the ball out of the net after a Marshall cross was met at the back post by Geoff Mayfield and his header back across goal was expertly finished by Piers Bond to put Loxley ahead. Turf responded with a Ryan Foster free kick that went narrowly wide and although they trailed at the interval, after the restart a Stevens shot was saved. Stevens took the resulting corner and Carl Bowler stooped to head the equaliser. Perry Jackson should then have put Turf ahead when he was clean through, but his weak shot was easily saved by Crabtree and Turf suffered a further blow when skipper Stevens also had to give way to injury.

Loxley quickly took advantage when Anthony Marshall beat three defenders before feeding Steve Mayfield and his shot squirmed under Atkin to put Loxley back in front. Their lead didn't last long though when a Jackson run opened up the Loxley defence and Tyron Wilson smashed the ball home to make it 2-2. Jackson then rounded the Loxley keeper, but he could only shoot wide, but Turf did get their noses in front when Mark Jones' cross caused confusion in the Loxley defence and Eaton smashed the loose ball into the top corner. Loxley tried to respond, but it was Turf that put the result beyond doubt when another Jackson run put the Loxley defence under pressure and when the clearance fell to Eaton twenty five yards out he hit the ball like an arrow into the bottom corner to confirm Turf's first Merit Cup Final victory - see them pictured with the trophy left. Action and more pictures from the game are below: Loxley FC; Referee Pete Henger (centre) with his assistants John Burrows (left) and Paul Cooper (right); the clubs shake hands with each other and the officials before the game; action

Handsworth Turf: Liam Richardson, Mark Jones, Andy Stevens, Ryan Foster, Carl Bowler, Danny Leesley, Tyrone Wilson, Matt Lambert, Ben Shackshaft, Carl Eaton, Perry Jackson Subs: Sam Atkin, Ryan Hardy, Ryan Taff.

Loxley: Lee Crabtree, Lewis Vessey, Alex Armstrong, Ralph Clarkson, Geoff Mayfield, Callum MacRury, Steven Mayfield, Anthony Marshall, Jon Rhodes, Lee Crampton Subs: Piers Bond, John Denton, Mick Smith, Neil Coyle, Karl Taylor.

Referee: Pete Henger. Assistant referees: John Burrows and Paul Cooper

13 Sep 2012 - STEVE GEE MERIT CUP FINAL - Blades just too sharp for Crookes - A Drew Pearson (pictured left celebrating Mo style) strike in the first half proved just enough to give Sheffield United Junior Blades Old Boys victory over Crookes & District and lift the Steve Gee Merit Trophy for the first time. The Blades were first to show and had a chance to take the lead when Jim Allen met a corner, but his header went straight to keeper Tom Garrity, and it was a similar story with Adam Whittaker's volley from another corner.

Crookes responded when Sam Firth's header from a Gareth Morley cross went close, but the goal that was to eventually earn the Blades the cup came soon after. George Rudd's run was only stopped with a foul and when Rudd whipped in the free kick Drew Pearson met it perfectly to give the keeper no chance. The Blades nearly doubled their lead when Nida Luwe's shot was cleared off the line by Mike Hickton and Adam Whittaker fired wide from an Alex Raybould cross. Crookes keeper Garrity then had to come off his line to foil Rudd and Richard Brailey had a shot brilliantly cleared off the line by Jamie Hirst.

Crookes hit back and had a Paul Jackson shot blocked and the Blades keeper Dave Marrison had to be at full stretch to turn away a Mike Dobson free kick. Crookes continued to have the better of things in the second half and a short corner routine gave Michael O'Cain a chance but he blasted over. Marrison then had to turn another free kick away, but he kept his best save until the end when he brilliantly turned away a Chris Cottyn shot to keep his clean sheet and earn the Blades their first trophy. More pictures below.

22 Sept 2011 - Bulls Head triumph in Steve Gee Merit Cup -  After Kerry Dixon had drilled home an equaliser, Alan Mowforth (pictured left) scored the type of goal worthy of winning any game as Bulls Head just came out on top in a good quality Steve Gee Merit Cup Final against fellow Division One rivals Niagara.

After a start that saw both teams getting used to the big Stocksbridge Park Steels pitch it was Bulls Head that had the early chances, but last season's leading scorer missed an absolute sitter when he put the ball over the bar from little more than a yard out. Niagara's confidence grew after that and they began to take the game to Bulls Head and after a succession of corners, when the ball came out to Daniel Campbell his well placed shot skipped off the top of a defender into the top corner. Ash then missed another chance and Niagara went into the interval in front.

The second half saw Niagara looking for a second and after Danny Bainbridge's header was well saved, he looked certain to get it when he went round the keeper, but his shot came back off the post. Bulls Heaed started to have more of the ball and after some pressure the ball came out to Kerry Dixon on the edge of the area and his low shot flew through the crowd of players into the bottom corner.

Bulls Head were on top now and Joe Keighley looked certain to add a second, but his header came back off the bar. Niagara reacted and Bainbridge fired just wide, but it was Bulls Head that got the decisive second when the ball fell to Bulls man-of-the-match Alan Mowforth on the edge of the area he produced a step-over to leave a defender for dead before bending a great shot round the keeper into the net.

With their man-of-the-match Tom Staniforth driving them forward, Niagara did their best to grab the equaliser and Cooper headed wide, Bainbridge hit the side netting, but Bulls Head somehow managed to hold on until referee Matt Tyers final whistle. A final word for the officials referee Matt Tyers and his assistants, James Bell and Dennis Williams as they did a great job in a match that saw two sides play flat out without the need for any cards of any colour.

Teams: Bulls Head: Neil Gasgoine, Joe Windle, Kerry Dixon, Robert Dowber, John Marples, Tom Cocker, Matt Coates, Mark Bryant, Nick Ash, Alan Mowforth, John Kentzer. Subs: John Ward, Lee Smith, Joe Keighley, Matt Wilson, Phil Jenkins.

Niagara: James Shepherd, Craig Lonsdale, Matt Edwards, Daniel Bonnick,Ryan Sorby, Simon Staniforth, Craig Foster, Tom Staniforth, Daniel Cooper, Danny Bainbridge, Chris Smith. Subs: Bren Burns, Rikki Parsisson, Paul Cadman, Paul Bennison

Scorers: Daniel Cooper (Niagara 30 mins), Kerry Dixon (Bulls Head 75 mins), Alan Mowforth (Bulls Head 82 mins)

Referee: Matt Tyers. Assstant referees: James Bell, Dennis Williams

 

16 Sept - Steels re-Ward-ed with their first Steve Gee Merit Cup - Four Nick Ward strikes helped Stocksbridge Park Steels come from behind to defeat Colley 7-2 and win the Blades Super Draw League Steve Gee Merit Cup for the first time. Lee Grocock hit a real thunderbolt from twenty five yards to give Colley the lead, but it lasted less than a minute as Ward hit his first. Ward then put Steels ahead and although Colley skipper Neil Whitworth briefly levelled, Ward's third had Steels ahead at half time. After the breakColley almost levelled again when Lee Campbell hit a post, but class began to tell and as Colley began to tire, Steels took full advantage with Ward's fourth, two from skipper Adam Todd and one from John Ward. The sides shake hands before the game and Steels scorers Nick Ward, Adam Todd & John Ward celebrate with the cup. More photos from the game are below.

3 Sept - Laycock Sports lift the Steve Gee Merit Cup

Despite the torrid downpours of rain the Look Local stadium at Stocksbridge was in perfect condition to stage the Steve Gee Merit Final and a thrilling game saw Laycock Sports beat The Vine 4-2.

Laycocks fell behind in the first minute when James Mitcham's shot left Grant Parkin flat footed, but they almost equalised when Sam Read had a shot well saved by Vine keeper James Marshall. Marshall then produced another great save to stop Craig Woolley heading into his own goal, but The Vine edged the first half though and deservedly led at the break.

The second half wasn't too old though when Read danced his way past three defenders before coolly slotting the ball past Marshall to equalise and Read was again involved when he met John Kilcoyne's corner with a volley that looked to be going into the net before Stavros Kontou made sure to put Laycock's in front. Their lead was extended when Steve Morris took the ball off a defender in the penalty area before beating Marshall, but The Vine hit back when Steve Wilkinson's superb free kick beat Grant Parkin in the Laycock's net. With the clock almost up The Vine had another free kick just outside the area, but this time the ball was blocked and Read pounced on the clearance to outpace The Vine defence and cap his Man of the Match performance with his second of the night.

Pictured far left is manager Mark Plumtree, veteran Andy Register and secretary Alan Parkin, while the photo second left shows Man of the Match Sam Read and skipper Steve Morris.

 

18 Sept 2008 - Steve Gee Merit Cup - Service have a Ball

The Steve Gee Merit Cup Final produced a real thriller between CBC Premier Blue Ball and Division One Sheffield Civil Service at the Look Local Stadium Stocksbridge and it was last season's Division Two champions Civil Service (pictured right) that came from two down to win a penalty shoot out 5-3.

Service were first to show and thought they had the lead when Danny Fowler headed home, but referee Ian Cox had spotted an infringement and it was disallowed. Ball then took the initiative and when a Ben Cook corner was played in, after a bout of pinball in the six yard box, Joe Shaw tapped home the opener. Ball were now on top and Adam Podmore twice nearly extended their lead. After a flowing move, his first shot was blocked and soon after it needed a brilliant Carl Whitby save to keep him out. Fowler then put a half chance wide for Service, but they went into the break behind.

The second half wasn't too old when Ball looked to have the game won. Podmore collected a ball on the edge of the area before cutting inside and drilling home a low shot. Service had other ideas though and when Adam Firth played a free kick to overlapping full back Simon Hall he made it to the line and crossed for Matt Meaney to flick on for Ben Brown to stab home. Service were now on top and they soon drew level when Adam Firth hit a quick free kick into the top corner.

Meaney then went through only to lose his footing at the crucial moment, but it looked like Ball would win it with almost the last action of the game when Podmore was clean through, but Whitby saved with his legs and although the rebound fell to Joe Barker, he hit the ball wide. That took the game to a penalty shoot-out and after seven successful penalties, Ian Stacey's spot kick was saved by Whitby and Adam Firth strode up to score the clinching penalty for Service.

 

13 Sept 2007 - Steve Gee Merit Cup Final Redmires take Merit Cup

The Steve Gee Merit Cup went to CBC Premier Redmires as they overcame their Division One rivals Handsworth Old Boys 3-1 in a top quality final at the  Look Local Stadium, Stocksbridge.

The game was just five minutes old when Sean Downing raced onto a through ball to stroke the ball calmly past the Handsworth keeper, but if Redmires thought they were going to have it all their own way, they were very much mistaken. It was Handsworth that dominated the rest of the first half and after both Dean Smith and Trevor Jones had gone close, just before the break, Jones side-stepped a defender and the keeper to chip the equaliser.

They weren't level for long though as Redmires again started the half quickly and after an almighty scramble in the Handsworth  penalty area that saw the ball hit both the bar and a post, the ball fell to Danny Lindley to smash Redmires back in front. They extended their lead soon after when Andy Birks swivelled to fire home and only a terrific goalline clearance by Karl Atkins stopped Rob Womack adding a fourth. Handsworth (pictured left)  did their best to get back into the game, but Redmires keeper Karl Tiler only had one save of note to make and the trophy went to Redmires. 

 

Thursday  7 Sept 2006 - Steve Gee Merit Cup Final

FAIRBANK RHODES 'BASH'ED BY TRAVELLERS

Ecclesfield Travellers lifted the Steve Gee Merit Cup for the first time as two Paul Bashforth goals and one from Craig Senior gave them victory over Fairbank Rhodes.

There was more than an element of good fortune about Bashforth's first as his cross seemed to deceive the keeper to go straight into the net and there was some doubt as to whether he meant the second which flew over the stranded keepers head.

Dean Grayson did well to set Mitchell Robinson up for a chance he couldn't miss and Fairbank Rhodes were nearly back on level terms when Matt Nestor shot just wide, but Travellers settled their nerves with a third when Craig Senior got onto the end of Scott Johnson's cross for a real poachers goal.

On an emotional night the trophies were presented by the late Steve Fairbank's parents Janet and Keith Fairbank.

 

2005 Final at Stocksbridge Park Steel's, Bracken Moor 8 Sept

GEORGE HIT BACK TO DENY VILLA CUP DOUBLE

In May, Hemsworth Villa came from behind to win the League Cup at Bramall Lane, but in the Merit Cup Final the boot was on the other foot as Wes Pierce and Michael Towey goals helped Woodhouse George come from behind to lift the trophy for a second season in succession.

 

2004 Final at Stocksbridge Park Steel's, Bracken Moor 9 Sept

WHAT A MATCH, BY GEORGE
Woodhouse George 5 v 3 Stannington Village

George take Merit Cup in thriller

The The first trophy of the season went to last season's Division One champions Woodhouse George when their power in front of goal proved to much for a Stannington Village looking to be only the second side to complete the treble.

Village started brightly and went ahead after just four minutes when Nick Phelan fired home and it only looked a matter of time before they added to it, but just after Simon Howe's head stopped got in the way of one of his team mates' goalbound effort, they were pegged back by a brilliant chip over the keeper by Wes Pierce.

That gave George the belief they were sadly lacking early on and on the half hour it was Pierce again at the back post to stab home Michael Blythen's cross, but their lead lasted little more than five minutes as Simon Howe beat the offside trap to beat the keeper with ease.

It stayed like that until the break, but the second half was less than a minute old when Pierce crossed for Chris Towey to restore George's lead with a powerful header.

George really got on top and it was no surprise when they extended their lead with a brilliant solo goal from the outstanding Michael Blythen and soon after the best move of the game saw the Village tore open and Blythen couldn't miss from Michael Towey's cross.

Village were stunned, but they gave themselves some hope when new signing Jimmy Munday provided a good low finish to Howe's through ball and they poured forward in search of further reward, but it wasn't to be and it was George that collected their first major honour.

It had been a terrific advert for Sunday football, helped enormously by a superb Stocksbridge Park Steels, Bracken Moor pitch and the handling of the game by referee Alan Streets and his assistants Paul Wilson and Simon Hunter.

STEVE GEE MERIT CUP FINAL - 2003

(Played at Stocksbridge Park Steel's, Bracken Moor on Thursday 11 September 2003, kick-off at 7:30pm)

I SAY OLD BOYS COME OF AGE
Despite their oldest player being just 21, Handsworth Old Boys came of age by beating Hemsworth Villa 4-1 in the Steve Gee Merit Cup Final to lift their first ever trophy.

Stocksbridge Park Steels' Bracken Moor stadium gave the perfect setting for the final and in the early stages it looked very much like ACC Milk Cup holders Villa would go on to complete a cup double, but, after having the lion's share of the possession, they were rocked back on their heels when Robert Pratt refused to give up a lost cause and crossed for Shane Rollinson to flick on for Alex Whitham to make no mistake from close range.

Villa worked hard to get back into it and were rewarded when levelled in style before half time and just after the break they had a couple of good chances to take the lead, but they were again stunned when Danny Franklin restored the Old Boys lead from the edge of the area.

The Old Boys then had a spell when they could do no wrong. Whitham hit his second when he cut inside before unleashing a left foot drive and a few minutes later the left foot of Robert Pratt made it four.

Villa tried hard to get back into it, but it was the Old Boys night and it was their skipper Mark Barnsley that stepped forward to collect his club's first ever trophy.

Click on the year to see detail of that year's final -

2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

In 2009/10, the League tried to play the Merit Cup as a secondary Cup competition and below is detail of how it was to be run and results of games played, but, due to the amount of postponed league and cup games in 2009/10 season, the management decided to abandon the competition and revert back to it's original format of inviting two teams to play in the final. The management has decided to keep the original format for the future.

The Sheffield & Hallamshire FA have sanctioned the League to change the format of the Steve Gee Merit Cup to become a knockout competition for teams knocked out of the Macron Cup in Rounds 1 and 2.

This season 20 teams will contest Round 1 and the winning 10 clubs will contest Round 2. Two of the winning five clubs will then play off to reduce the number of clubs remaining to four and they will then contest the semi finals. The two winners will then contest the final. All ties, up to and including the semi finals, will be played on the home pitch of the first drawn clubs, while the final will be played on a neutral venue before the end of this season.

The rules for the competition are similar to the League Macron Cup. Players must be registered before the ties takes place and any player that has played for a club in either the Macron Cup or the Steve Gee Merit Cup cannot play for another club in the Steve Gee Merit Cup during the same season. Ties will be played over 90 minutes, but if the scorers are still level, extra time of a maximum 15 minutes each way should be played and if the ties are still level, penalties as per FIFA rules will decide the winners.

STEVE GEE Anston Athletic 5 v 1 Birley Moor News
MERIT TROPHY Sargeant, Bayou 2, Lawton, Gabbitas       Ho Shing
ROUND 1 Bulls Head 2 v 3 Aston Mayerton
  Barton, Burlaga       Sills, Connelly, Smith
  Civil Service 4 v 3 The Park
  Meaney 3, Griffiths       Walker, Bridges, Lee
  Colley Club 4 v 1 Old Harrow
  Jackson 2, Grocock, Winkworth       Jones
  Crookes & District 2 v 7 Red Lion
  Garnett, OG       Turner 2, Barker, Jarvis, Von Wurbach 2, Ellis
  Handsworth WMC 2 v 3 Heeley Crown
  Simmonite, Gallagher       Higginbottom OG, Sidebottom
  Junior Blades 0 v 2 Handsworth O B
          Travis, Fairchild
  Laycock Sports 5 v 4 Stocksbridge P S
  Morris, Read, Parkin, Wesney, T Register       Ward 2, Savage, Shaw
Oughtibridge Village 1 v 3 Loxley
J Hague       Delaney 2, OG
  Southey Social 9 v 3 Highfield Old Crown
  Pass 3, Jebson 2, Mellor 2, D Lindley 2       Milner, Rowntree, Baker
         
ROUND 2 Anston Athletic   v   Red Lion
Civil Service   v   Laycock Sports
Handsworth Old Boys   v   Aston Mayerton
  Heeley Crown   v   Loxley
Southey Social 4 v 2 Colley
  Roberts 2, Mellor, OG       Grocock, Campbell
           
Competition abandoned due to number of postponed games        
           

 

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