Wath Wanderers 2
Denaby United 1
FIRST MATCH (3-3) Goals: DU: Gibbs 2, Moralee WW: Davies 2, Morgan
Replay(2-1) Goals: DU: Ardron WW: Robledo, Raynor
Attendance : 5,704
Replay lasted 2 hours& 38 minutes - played to a finish.
The final on Easter Monday 10th April 1944, between Denaby United and Wath Wanderers, had a 3.30pm kick-off.
The Denaby team included players who had appeared for Leeds United, Newcastle United, Rotherham United, Doncaster Rovers, Leicester City and West Ham United whilst the Wath line-up featured players with experience at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield Wednesday, Burnley and Doncaster Rovers. During the Second World War teams regularly included players who were allowed to ‘guest’ for them as well as play for their parent club.
Gibbs gave Denaby a 20th minute lead and, although Wath’s Skidmore shot wide from the penalty spot in the 35th minute, Morgan equalised before half-time. After the interval Davies scored twice for Wath from centres by Jackman and they still led 3-1 after 88 minutes play. In a dramatic finale first, from a Roberts free kick, Moralee found Gibbs who scored Denaby’s second goal and just a minute later Moralee smashed in the equaliser to earn United a 3-3 draw and a replay.
A record crowd of 5,704 paid £136 beating the previous record set in 1932 when the final between Thurnscoe Victoria and Thorpe Hesley Victoria resulted in takings at the gate of £110/8/- (£110.40). The replay took place on Saturday 29th April and was a marathon game which lasted almost two hours forty minutes as it was played to a finish. The Mexborough & Swinton Times reported that Denaby’s team included Walter Ardron and Moralee from Rotherham United whilst Barnsley’s George Robledo, born in Chile, was in the Wath line-up. Wath went ahead when a Walters shot came back off the bar to Robledo whose header found the net. Ardron equalised for Denaby from a penalty awarded for handball and the teams were locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
After 40 minutes of extra time, in the 130th minute, Ardron went past several Wath defenders before being brought down and referee Wesson from Parkgate awarded Denaby their second penalty. Walter Ardron, who went on to be a prolific goalscorer for Rotherham United and Nottingham Forest, now had the chance to win the Montagu Cup from the spot but Wath goalkeeper Hannaby pulled off a marvellous save. In the 158th minute, yes the 158th, Denaby’s Williams tripped Davies on the edge of the penalty area. From Davies’ free kick Wath captain Raynor headed home to give them a 2-1 win and he received the cup from Mr A.W. Young the Secretary/Superintendent of Mexborough Montagu Hospital.
The takings for the replay were over £120 making a total of around £256 raised over the two games.
Tom Roebuck played for Wath in this match. That's what his nephew, Gordon Swann, heard.
1944 First Final
Cyril Hannaby for the Wath Wanderers goalkeeper. He was a Wolves player at the time. He went on to play for Hull City before emigrating to the USA where he played for the Baltimore Rockets.