South Yorkshire Times, June 7, 1969
Seventy– three years of Montagu Cup history
When Houghton Main defeated East Dene 4-2 on the Mexborough Athletic ground on Easter Sunday to win the Montagu cup for the first time the club’s history, they became the 44th team to win the coveted trophy
Four wins have been achieved by Manvers Main, Mexborough and Parkgate; three by Goldthorpe United, Denaby United and Rawmarsh Welfare; two by Swinton Athletic, High Terrace, Dearne, Silverwood, Kilnhurst Colliery, Thurnscoe Vics, Darfield Bridge, Kilnhurst Town, Doncaster Rovers and Hickleton Town; and one by Ecclesfield Highthorne, Wombwell Main, Kilnhurst Town, Hickleton Main, Mexborough Rovers, Kimberworth 0.B., Swinton Discharged Soldiers, Parkgate Christ Church, Barnburgh Main, Kilnhurst W.M.C., Askern Road W.M.C., Ashwood Road W.M.C., Bolton Albion, Thorpe Hesley Vics, Cudworth St, Mary’s, Wath Road Athl., Conisbrough Northcliffe, Yorkshire Tar Distillers, New Stubbin, Wath Wanderers, Jump Home Guard, Hickieton, Bowbroom, Tom Hill, Ford United, Maltby M.W. and Houghton Main.
The victory of Houghton Main was not before time. It was their third appearance in the final and it proved third time lucky, although East Dene looked to be well in control at half-time. Houghton lost 0-2 to Parkgate Welfare in the 1962 final, and went under 0-4 to Ford United in the 1960 final – after defeating holders Tom Hill in the second replay of the semi final.
The early Montagu Cup finals were dominated by Mexborough F.C. who won the cup in 1899, 1904 and 1905.
Hickleton clubs compete in a three timer in 1912, Hickleton Town defeating the strangely named Cottage of Content by the only goal of the match, retaining the trophy for the second year and complementing the 1908 victory of Hickleton Main over Rawmarsh United.
After the Hickleton Dominant came a period in which small clubs held their own. Kimberworth Old Boys won the 1919 final, defeating Denaby United (with Bob Shephard in goal) by 2-1, the goals coming from Whightman and Dobson after Garthwaite had given Denaby a first half lead. The cup was presented by Mr. F. J. O. Montagu.
After Kimberworth came Swinton Discharged Soldiers in 1920. The Swinton team, the same year, had been involved in a troublesome dispute in the semi-final of the Swinton and District Alliance League play – offs, having walked off the field with five Minutes to go, a goal down to Goldthorpe Comrades. The Swinton team refused to agree with a penalty decision of the referee, and the result was the suspension of captain J Finney for the rest of the season.
After Swinton came the village team, Barnburgh Main, and then the dominance of Dearne teams – first Darfield Bridge, who defeated South Elmsall United Services 3-2 in 1925, and retained the trophy against Goldthorpe United the following season – the score was 1-0, and then the Goldthorpe team, who scored successes in 1927 and 1930, Defeating South Yorkshire Chemical Works 3-0 and Highgate Half Way house 3-1 (Replay) respectively.
In between Darfield and Goldthorpe Kate Thurnscoe Vics, won twice and were beaten finalist once, and also little Cudworth Saint Mary’s, who won in 1935 after Cudworth Village had lost in the final two years earlier.
The followed the war years and the hat-trick of Rawmarsh Welfare, Parkgate Welfare, near neighbours, continued the dominance of Rawmarsh clubs, but they are now out of existence and the present setup is dominated by Swinton Athletic, who beat Silverwood Colliery 6-1 in 1964 and High Terrace 3.0 in 1968, and Ings Lane — winners of a number of trophies this term but unfortunate to meet East Dene in the semi-finals this season, and also Conisbrough Northcliffe.
This competition has sprung from humble beginnings, but it has developed to such an extent that it is now the cherished prize of the season, the trophy that every club would like to win.
After 73 years the Montagu cup has become South Yorkshire’s “little F.A.Cope”, respected by all, and a major prize of the season as far as the nonleague clubs, the top brass breeding grounds, are concerned.
The team that wins a trophy can feel justifiably proud of their heritage, following in the footsteps of great club teams, and winning a place in the annals of South Yorkshire soccer history