Muratti Final

29th April 1920, Westmount, Jersey

Alderney 1 – 0 Guernsey

The Alderney team arrived on the mail boat Reindeer on the back of a fine result beating Guernsey 6-2 to win the Peace Cup earlier in the month in Guernsey the scorers in this game were Longhurst, Le Burn (2), Baker (3), there was much talk of Alderneys chances winning the Muratti based on this.

Alderneys team included J. Lihou and S. Allen who were due to emigrate to America, they had to be booked on the mailboat to the England the next morning. It shows their commitment to the competition and to represent Alderney.

4500 spectators were in the Westmount, Alderneys team were greeted with a tremendous cheer, led by captain W. McLernon, Alderneys mascot came out with the team, Master Tom Smith, he was decked out in blue and white as well as black and gold.

Guernsey started the game well and quickly forced two early corners, Alderney hit back on 10 mins when Aubert saved from Gadie. Alderney’s Baker then missed a glorious opportunity from a yard out but put his shot wide, the game then became a more even contest. Alderney’s Pike broke into the Guernsey half and was well stopped by Le Cheminant after 25mins, Pike was taken off injured leaving Alderney with 10 men in the days of no substitutes! Alderney kept pressing and Baker had a shot that went just over the bar, Lihou then came close on the half hour mark, his shot hit the side netting. Guernsey responded as the ball was slipped to Chappell, but it was taken up by Warr instead, but he put his shot widely past the post. Rich then had a great chance to open the scoring for Guernsey, but he failed to score with only Jennings to beat. Alderney’s goal came when Lihou got the ball near the half way line he beat McAvoy then sent in a soft delivery between the full backs that ended up in the net to put Alderney 1-0 up!

Guernsey started the 2nd half well causing the Alderney defence a few problems, finding space due to Alderney having only 10 men.  Alderney then had a break with Lihou firing a shot that Albert did well to save. Jennings then brought applause from the large crowd by saving a bouncing delivery from McAvoy. Guernsey continued to press with some excellent attacking play from Brown, but Alderney’s defence was holding firm. Alderney continued to break away in an end to end game, Gadie passed to Baker who sped away, but Guernsey’s keeper Aubert threw himself at his feet and the attack was averted. Alderney ended the game slightly on top, the math ended with Alderney winning the Muratti 1-0.

After the final whistle pandemonium broke out with spectators swarmed the pitch and the enclosure where Lieut-Governor of Jersey who presented the cup and medals. Alderney’s keeper Jennings was carried shoulder high by his teammates. The win was a very popular one and even the Guernsey fans were heard to agree. Pike the injured player was assisted to the enclosure by two men to receive his medal, the match ball was presented to Alderney as an additional trophy!

Alderney: Jennings, W. McLernon, (c), Catts, S. Allen, Oliver, Gadie, Hammond, Baker, J. Lihou, Attewell, Pike

Goalscorer: Lihou

The Guernsey Evening Press wrote an article on 30th April 1920 heading:

“Well played Alderney”

A quote: Alderney has been a dark horse this season. Her insular play has undoubtedly been on the upward grade throughout this season, and this improved form found a reflection in the Peace Cup game. The Channel Islands Football Champions met with a hearty reception on returning to Alderney with the much-coveted trophy on Friday 30th April, hundreds of people turning out welcome back their victorious team except for J. Lihou and S. Allen who were on their way to America. The school children were all given a special day’s holiday.

The Courier, appropriately adorned with bunting in honour of the occasion, arrived in Alderney at about 12.30pm. After a warm interchange of greetings and congratulations from the crowd a procession, headed by a voluntary band and the team, in two wagonettes, was formed, and the beflagged St Anne’s was paraded amid exultant enthusiasm. Before the dispersal of the crowd the Muratti Vase was filled with lemonade and offered to happy bystanders in celebration of the famous victory! 

Will a similar celebration occur in 2019?

Lee Sanders

Reproduction of this article with the kind permission of Frank Cusack author or Muratti Vase, Centenary Celebration. ISBN 1-869833-53-8