The Southern Independent Schools Lent Term League has been completed for the 2017 season and it is Tonbridge, St John's and St Paul's who have lifted the five trophies between them.

The Charles Alcock Cup for the 1st XI was won by Tonbridge who completed an unbeaten league season with a 3-2 win at Haileybury on Saturday. St John's won the race for second place with a final day win against Wellington who have enjoyed an excellent season.

The 2nd XI Cup was also won by Tonbridge after both they and second placed Harrow were defeated in their final matches against Haileybury and St Paul's respectively.

St Paul's have been the side to beat throughout at 3rd XI level and they completed their championship winning, unbeaten season with a goal fest and a 5-4 win against Harrow.

In the Under 16 tournament, St John's were the comfortable winners having won seven and drawn one of their eight fixtures. They finished five points clear of Berkhamsted, Harrow, Tonbridge and St Paul's all of who finished on 10 points.

Finally the Under 15 league was won by Tonbridge who completed an unbeaten season in coming from 1-0 down at half time to beat Haileybury 2-1 and stay ahead of league runners up Berkhamsted.


The Lent Term Southern Independent Schools League is up and running again after the mid-term break and has again thrown up some exciting games. At Radley a last-gasp equalizer from Eden saw the home side earn a draw against St Paul's in the 1st XI encounter. Carter and Williams were also on target for Radley.  Radley shaded the 2nd XI fixture 4-3, with goals from Muir, Jewell, Anderson and White, whilst in the 3rd XI honours were even at 2-2. St Paul’s ran out 3-1 winners in the U16 fixture, despite Barrow scoring for Radley, whilst St Paul's U15s ran riot, winning 9-0.

Tonbridge meanwhile recorded a clean sweep of successes against Oratory. In the 1st XI match Michael Meadows-Smith, Olly Turner, Beni Elombi and Sinlay Smart were amongst the scorers, whilst in a tight Under 15 game Jake Wareing and Lachlan Baker hit the net for Tonbridge. Both Harrow and Berkhamsted recorded victories in their fixture. Harrow 1st and 2nd XIs secured 3-1 and 4-1 wins respectively, whilst the 3rd XIs drew 2-2. Berkhamsted edged to an impressive 3-2 win in the Under 16 match whilst Harrow recorded a 4-0 success in a crucial Under 15 fixture.

In the St John’s v Haileybury fixture there were wins for St John’s in the 1st XI match, the Under 16 match and the Under 15 match, all by the same scoreline of 4-0, but success for Haileybury at 2nd XI level where they came out 1-0 winners. The 3rd XI fixture ended in a 2-2 draw.

Finally on Tuesday 28 February, Wellington 1st XI continued their impressive form with a 3-1 victory against St Paul’s. Wellington also secured the points in the 2nd XI game thanks to a 2-1 win, whilst St Paul’s recorded a 3-1 win at 3rd XI.


St Paul's had a successful day at the Oratory, recording victories in all four fixtures. The 1st XI went two goals up in the first five minutes, before adding a further two later on to win 4-0. The second XI and 3rd XI recorded 5-1 and 3-0 victories respectively, whilst the U15s scored four in each half to run out 8-1 winners. Back in Barnes the U16 fixture went the way of the home side, 3-1.

Meanwhile, Berkhamsted faced Haileybury in a string of closely contested matches. The 1st XI fixture was a very open game in which both teams had numerous chances. Benny Andrews scored 4 and Kyran Worrell got 2 as Berkhamsted came out with a 6-3 win. The 2nd XI was a tighter affair with Berkhamsted running out 1-0 winners, whilst Haileybury got the points at 3rd XI level with a 3-1 success. The U16A match was won 2-1 by Berkhamsted and their U15A carried on their unbeaten start to the season with a win by the same score line.

Finally, Radley and St John's met with victories for both schools. The 1st XI and 2nd XI games were won by St John's, 3-0 and 2-1 respectively despite Henry Andreson’s fine goal for Radley. However Radley secured the points in the 3rd XI game and stand top of that league after three wins out of three. St John's Under 16s head their league with a similar record after a comfortable win, whilst St John's also took the points in the Under 15 league.


The third weekend of the league season saw most matches postponed owing to frozen ground, but three games survived in the St John's against Berkhamsted fixture. At 1st XI the points were shared after a Fin Crips goal for Berkhamsted helped them to a 1-1 draw. In the Under 16 game, St John's maintained their excellent start to the year with a 4-0 win, whilst Berkhamsted moved level on points with Tonbridge at the top of the Under 15 league thanks to a 2-1 win.


Despite snowfalls across England during the week, all 16 league fixtures were completed on Saturday so that all nine schools have now opened their season.

In the 1st XI league there were wins for St Paul's, Radley, Harrow and Tonbridge. Tom Eden and Benedict Weldon were on target for Radley as they secured a 2-0 success over Haileybury, whilst Beni Elombi and Oli Balcombe hit the net for Tonbridge as they won by the same score line at Wellington.

Radley also took to points in the 2nd and 3rd XI games with Rufus Wallis hitting two as their 3rd XI edged to a 3-2 win against Haileybury. All of the fixtures between St Paul's and Berkhamsted were tight, with Berkhamsted edging the 2nd XI match 4-3 and St Paul's gaining revenge in the 3rd XI with a 3-2 win. Harrow secured two wins in their 2nd and 3rd team matches with Oratory as did Tonbridge in their fixture against Wellington.

The Under 16 league looks wide open, with five sides leading the table on two points at this early stage. Haileybury secured a valuable 1-0 win against Radley, whilst Berkhamsted and St Paul's shared the points in a 2-2 draw. Tonbridge and Harrow meanwhile picked up their first wins against Wellington and Oratory. Finally, in the Under 15 league, Radley went down 5-2 to Haileybury, despite a brace of goals from Williams-Bulkely, Tonbridge overcame Wellington, with goals from Harvey, O'Connell, Salt, Wareing and Allen, Berkhamsted edged another tight game with St Paul's and Harrow eased to a win over Oratory.


The opening weekend of the league season saw plenty of goals as well as excellent sportsmanship, as Oratory met Radley and Tonbridge faced St John's. In Oratory's 1st XI game with Radley, Williams was on the score sheet five times as Radley's version hit a hat trick and Oratory's a brace. Birkholm also hit the net twice as Oratory won 5-3. Tonbridge however top the 1st XI league at this early stage as goals from Hutchins, Elombi, Weston and Wilkinson saw them to a 5-1 win over St John's.

In the 2nd XI games Oratory and Radley drew 3-3, whilst Tonbridge overcame St John's. At 3rd XI level, Tonbridge also secured the points, whilst a Carter hat-trick helped Radley to beat Oratory.

St John's look like they may be the side to beat in the Under 16 league, having secured an impressive 5-0 win over Tonbridge. Goals from Barrow and Jewell helped Radley to a 2-1 success in their match with Oratory. Finally, in the Under 15 league, Oratory secured a 5-3 victory over Radley, whilst Tonbridge came from two down to win 4-2 at St John's with goals from Balcombe, O'Connell (2) and Harvey.


The Lent Term Southern Independent Schools League will enter its tenth season in January. In 2016 Harrow became the 1st XI champions and raised the Charles Alcock Cup for the first time since 2010. Tonbridge won the 2016 2nd XI trophy and Haileybury were Under 16 champions, whilst Harrow also won the 3rd XI and Under 15 leagues.

St Paul's will be looking to win back some of the silverware this time around, having held the Charles Alcock Cup in 2015, whilst three time champions St John's along with Berkhamsted, Radley, Oratory and Wellington will also be competing for the five different trophies.

The new term then promises an exciting level of competition, with results and reports available on this page throughout the term.

For more information on this competition, please contact Andrew Leale on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..







  1ST XI 2ND XI 3RD XI U16 XI U15 XI
2008 Haileybury Harrow   Haileybury Harrow
2009 Harrow Harrow   St. John's Harrow
2010 Harrow Harrow   Harrow Harrow
2011 St. John's Harrow   Harrow Haileybury
2012 Tonbridge Harrow   Harrow Harrow
2013 St. John's Tonbridge   Haileybury St. Paul's
2014 St. John's Tonbridge   Harrow Harrow
2015 St. Paul's Harrow   Harrow Haileybury
2016 Harrow Tonbridge Harrow Haileybury Harrow
2017 Tonbridge Tonbridge St. Paul's St. John's Tonbridge 


Charles Alcock, who had been a schoolboy at Harrow and a member of Druries House (of whom the current ISFA Chairman was housemaster for many years) was instrumental in the development of international football, the FA Cup, and indeed, the Football Association itself. He was an early committee member of the Football Association which was formed in 1863, joining it in 1866. He was elected, at the age of 28, to the position of FA secretary. In 1871 he proposed the FA Challenge Cup, the first 'knock-out' type tournament. Fifteen teams entered the inaugural competition and Wanderers (a now defunct London team) won it, captained by Charles Alcock who played at centre-forward and had a goal disallow for handball. The FA ‘Challenge’ Cup was so called at that time because Wanderers, as winners, automatically qualified for the final and all the teams played a knock out competition with the winners ‘challenging’ the holders in the final. 

Charles Alcock was also instrumental in the development of the first international fixture. He did this by writing an address through the Glasgow Herald, inviting representatives to a game at the Kennington Oval, which was then, as now, the home of Surrey Cricket Club (Alcock was Secretary of Surrey CCC). Because the game's basis was completely amateur at the time, financial considerations meant that the Scottish team ended up being composed entirely of Scots living in England, and England won 1-0. There were three further matches, all in England, before the first match to be held in Scotland. 

However all those early matches were considered unofficial, largely because the English FA were running everything, even the selection of the Scottish side. Both the English and Scottish Football Associations record the first Scottish-based match, at the West of Scotland Cricket Club at Partick on 30th November 1872, as the first ever official international match. Charles Alcock was down to captain the side, but was injured and had to be content with umpiring. The match ended at 0-0. 

In 1875 Charles Alcock captained England against Scotland in a match played at the Kennington Oval. It ended 2-2, with Alcock scoring England's second goal in the 65 minute. England had had to play without their goalkeeper initially as William Carr was 15 minutes late because of delays on the trains on his route from Sheffield. 

Charles Alcock remained as Secretary of the FA until 1896, instigating, amongst other things, the International Selection Committee in 1887. This committee selected England sides until Walter Winterbottom and then Alf Ramsey took over the duty. From 1896 until his death in 1907 Charles Alcock was Vice President of the FA. Unlike David Elleray who only refereed one FA Cup Final (Manchester United v Chelsea in 1994) Charles Alcock ‘umpired’ a number of finals.


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