Two decades of near dominance in the Herts Ad Sunday League for Chequers

Herts Ad Sunday League side Chequers celebrate in 1987

Chequers won both Division One and the Knockout Cup in 1987. - Credit: BRIAN HUBBALL

When you remember the last two decades of the last century in the Herts Ad Sunday League, one team comes to mind - Chequers. 

The league's font of all knowledge, Bubs Hubball, recalls a side that were regularly among the honours. 

He said: "Chequers were one of the top teams throughout the 80s. Although they joined the league in 1970, it was from 1987 that they won the majority of their trophies." 

The early years saw them play mostly in Division Two and Three, winning the former in 1979, but in the 1986-87 season, it suddenly all clicked and trophies started to arrive more regularly. 

That year they won the Division One crown and the Knockout Cup, beating Michaelians 5-0 with goals from Barry McCarthy (two), Steve Murphy, Charlie Holmes and an own goal. 

Holmes led the club's scoring charts with 23 that year followed by Tony Caines and McCarthy on 15. 

Their stay in the Premier Division would last 16 seasons but started with another league and Knockout Cup double, Queens Head beaten this time 3-2, John Colfer getting two and Neil Scott one. 

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A Challenge Cup success ended the decade, defeating Grange 4-0 with Pat Drysdale (two), McCarthy and Jeff Gascoine on target, but their first trophy of the 90s didn't arrive until 1992, a third Knockout Cup win. 

McCarthy and Gary McShane hit a brace each in that one, a 5-0 win over Queens Head, with Mark Watts getting the other and it signalled a purple patch in the club's history. 

For the next 10 seasons they were never outside of the top two in the Premier Division, winning the top prize four times and claiming seven cup wins, five of them the Knockout and two Challenge Cup crowns. 

Dave Cutmore was their ace marksman in that period, topping the charts in six successive seasons and scoring a total of190 goals. 

Their final Premier Division title came in 2001 and they won the challenge Cup a year later thanks to a penalty shoot-out success over Queens Head Logic. 

In total Chequers won nine championships, five Premier Divisions and Division One and Two twice each. 

There were also eight Knockout Cup wins and two Challenge Cups. 

Cutmore ended his Chequers career with 249 while McCarthy managed 156, McShane 115 and Caines 79. 

Tony Lye (left) and Pete Ord of Herts Ad Sunday League side Chequers

Tony Lye (left) and Pete Ord of Herts Ad Sunday League side Chequers. - Credit: BRIAN HUBBALL

McShane also took over as secretary in later years while among the many people behind all this success was former player Peter Ord and club chairman Tony Lye. 

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