2021/22 Fixtures released & Cup draws!

2 Aug 2021

The OHAFC have now learnt their opponents for the first few weeks of the 2021/22 Arthurian League season, as well as the respective Cup draws for the 1st XI and Vets teams.

With the League season having been cancelled in early spring due to the persistent COVID disruption, all three Harrow sides remain in their respective divisions for the upcoming season.

The 1s have been handed a very tricky start to the League campaign as they seek to cement their place in the top tier of the Arthurian League. The opening day of the season, September 4th, sees the Blues host a KCS Wimbledon side that struggled in the eight fixtures they played last year, but prior to that had been the main challengers to the continued dominance of the Old Carthusians.

And following the break for the annual Festiphil tournament on the 11th, it’s the reigning champions who provide the Blues’ next opposition – nominally an away game, the fixture will actually be played at Harrow, the Old Carthusians continuing to struggle to find a home ground of their own following their exile from the school grounds. The OHAFC have lost their previous twelve League encounters with the Carthusians, an early shock win over the ‘Maroon’ would provide an enormous boost to the 1st XI’s morale.

The following week, the Blues face their first genuine away game of the season, and what remains the longest trip in League football, when they travel to Essex to face the Old Brentwoods. The lengthy trip round the M25, the poor pitches and rugged nature of the opposition make any visit to the Old Brentwoods Club one of the hardest fixtures on the calendar and this promises to be no exception. Unfortunately for the OHAFC, this early League encounter will provide a dress rehearsal for the first round of the Dunn Cup, with the two sides drawn to face each other, at Brentwoods, on October 23rd. Remarkably, this is the first Dunn Cup meeting between the sides since prior to OHAFC stats beginning in 2009. Both sides lost in the first round last season, the OHAFC 2-0 at Malvernians, whilst Brentwoods lost 2-1 away to the Old Wykehamists after extra-time.

The OHAFC 2s will start their 2021/22 campaign a fortnight after the other two sides, skipper Geoff Taunton-Collins requesting September 18th for their first League fixture. And the dubious reward for that delay is, like the 1s, an away fixture against the Old Carthusians. The OHAFC 2s have also struggled against Charterhouse, failing to beat the 2s in eight previous meetings since 2009. Slightly more encouragingly, the past six meetings have seen three draws, including an extraordinary 4-4 the last time the two sides met in Godalming – Will Monroe the unlikely hero on that occasion with a stunning late equaliser.

The following week sees the Old Sennockians visit the Hill for the first time in Division Two. The Sennocks struggled on their ascent into the division last season, although the two teams played out a tight 2-2 draw down in Kent prior to Christmas when Jack Robinson marked his return to action with a spectacular Goal of the Season effort from twenty-five yards out. Both sides will be eager to claim an early win over an opponent they are likely to be in close combat with throughout the season.

The OHAFC 3rd XI, who perhaps fared best of all the three Saturday sides last season, ending the campaign in fourth position in Division Four, albeit having played a couple of games more than most of the other sides in the division. Interestingly, Division Four sees a couple of changes for the upcoming campaign, with Cholms 3s and Alleynians 3s both promoted and the respective champions of the two Division Five sections, Ardinians from the South and Albanians from the North, rising a level. The 3s have yet to meet either side in League football before.

Ed Nicholson’s men start their campaign with the visit of a more familiar foe to the Hill, the Old Shirburnians, whom they have met on three occasions in Division Four fixtures since December 2019, the light blues winning twice, the OHAFC the other. Last season’s sole meeting saw the Shirburnians run out 3-1 winners.

Following the Festiphil competition, the 3s host the Old Wellingtonians in a fixture that produced a 0-0 draw last time out, before the return fixture against the Shirburnians a week later.

Finally, the OHAFC Veterans have been handed a tricky run to the quarter-finals of the Vets Cup with two away trips in the first two rounds: the Old Reptonians provide the opposition in round one, with the tie scheduled to take place on October 10th. Should the Blues prevail, they will then travel to take on the Old Tonbridgians in round two in late November. An eventual quarter-final against either the Old Wellingtonians or Cup holders the Old Chigwellians would at least provide a first home tie of the competition.

Further Vets friendly fixtures will be released in due course.