July 2024

Vitai Lampada

There’s a breathless hush in the Close tonight –

Ten to make and the match to win –

A bumping pitch and a blinding light,

An hour to play and the last man in.

And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,

Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,

But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote

“Play up! play up! and play the game!”

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Sir Henry Newbolt (1862 – 1938)

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Tuesday 2nd July 2024
Pre-Season Friendly
Appleby Frodingham 0
Lincoln United 4
Henry Moore 14, Jack McMenemy 26, 28, Grimes 77,
Referee: James Day.                                      Attendance: 92
Admission: £5.00.                                         Programme: NONE
The hosts play on the football facility of the old British Steel sports complex. Overlooking the ground is a huge social area with snooker and pool tables, two large bars and a ballroom dancing area. The ground, itself, was very basic. Accessible on three sides and with a small stand for perhaps fifty souls. Lincoln United, as befits last season’s runners up in the UCL North division, were stratospheres higher than the hosts, who have just won back their place in the NCEFL after a ten year sojourn in The Lincolnshire League. Three first half goals proved the point, but only one second half strike due to a much better home performance and some woeful misses from the visitors!
With John Main and Stuart Long.
Although there were no programmes for this match, the hosts said that they do intend to issue for all home league games.
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Tony Morehead commented: “I worked at Appleby Frodingham from late ’68 till April ’74. The complex was a hive of activity culminating each summer in the famous show. Funfairs, entertainments of all colour and hue. Even the  Red Arrows putting in an appearance”.
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Sunday 7th July 2024
East Midlands Women’s Cricket League Division 1
Kirkby Portland Women 96 all out (39.5 overs)
lost to
Kibworth Women 98 for 4 (36.4 overs)
by 6 wickets
Umpires: Keith Timpson & Eddie McGeown
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The rare sight of a cricket tea at Kibworth CC!
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Monday 8th July 2024
Ashbourne Summer League
Bramshall 2
Joe Lobosco 40, Josh Ellis 42,
Vaults 3
Freddie Murphy 57, 81, Jake Edge-Lucas 76,
Referee: William Maskery.                                  Attendance: 15
Admission: F.O.C.                                                Programme: NONE
I found the ground, eventually, on the outskirts of Uttoxeter. Little more than a field with a wooden hut for changing rooms – oh, yes, and a stand with seating for about five spectators behind one goal! The playing surface was surprisingly good and well maintained, and the match was a good one, as these two teams – second and third in the league battled it out. The hosts held a two goal interval advantage, but the visitors took the victory and the points with three unanswered strikes in the second half. A smattering of hoppers in attendance, including Martin Hayden and Bob Lillyman.
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The changing “hut” at Bramshall
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The main stand with seats for maybe half a dozen (thin) spectators.
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Tuesday 9th July 2024
Pre-Season Friendly
Opening match at the NEW Ground
Shawbury United 1
Ollie Wispen 45+1
AFC Wulfrunians 5
Ryan Bright 1, 45+2, Freddie Cockerell 54, 74, Jake Webb 88,
Referee: Scott Davies.                                              Attendance: 56
Admission: F.O.C.                                                    Programme: NONE
The first match at Carradine Road, the new home of Shawbury Town, perennial groundsharers, they have finally, after a twenty year journey, reached a home of their own inside the town. There was a very friendly reception, but no alcohol, this evening, as they have yet to arrange a licence. The lady behind the bar told me that when the project for the ground commenced, her children were toddlers and that they are now in their twenties! There is also the possibility that the pitch at the new ground will be replaced with a state of the art artificial surface in the future. So, there is still much to be achieved, but there are two fifty seater stands, a substantial metal rail and hardstanding around the pitch, a large bar and refreshment area and floodlights. Their opponents this evening were from a step higher in the pyramid and it showed. Ryan Bright scored the first goal at the new arena in the first minute and scored again in the final minute before the interval. Three further second half strikes completed a comprehensive victory. With John Main and Graeme Holmes.
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Wednesday 10th July 2024
Northants Women’s Midweek Cricket League (@Irthlingborough)
Finedon Dolben Women 102 for 6 (20 overs)
defeated
Irthlingborough Women (won toss) 96 all out (17.1 overs)
by 6 runs
Umpire: Eddie McGeown
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Saturday 13th July 2024
Heritage Cup
Cray Wanderers 0
Sheffield 4
Alfie Smith 45, Jack Watson 54, 62, Luke Aldrich 58,
Referee: Jack Smith.                                                    Official Attendance: 466
Admission: OMGDS: £5.00 (£10).                           Programme: £2.00
This was a match between the two oldest clubs in England, and, also, marked the opening of Cray Wanderers new home at Flamingo Park. The new stadium is an impressive work in progress. A 3G surface with hard standing all round and a three hundred seater stand down one side and an older club house with ample bar and catering facilities. It was a pre-season friendly and not too much credit should be put to the score line as Northern Premier League Sheffield overcame their Isthmian League rivals mainly because they were more clinical in their finishing. The hosts hit the woodwork at least three times, but were unable to score. With John Main and a fair smattering of hoppers!
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The Heritage Cup
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Matchday Programme – £2.00 
Programmes will be issued for all home matches this season, but it is likely that the price will rise to £3.00
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Cricket U-13 National T20 Cup Competition (@Burton Latimer)
Regional Final
Horton House U13 (won toss) 126 for 3 (20 overs)
defeated
Little Shelford U13 100 for 7 (20 overs)
by 26 runs
Umpires: Keith Timpson & Eddie McGeown
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June 2024

I sat next to a duchess at tea

It was just as I feared it would be.

Her rumblings abdominal

Were simply phenomenal

And everyone thought it was me!

Anon

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Saturday 1st June 2024
Wigan & District Amateur League
Laithwaite Shield FINAL
Leigh Foundry 4
Ormskirk 1
Referee: Brian Power.                                             Attendance: 128
Admission: F.O.C.                                                   Programme: NONE
The Wigan & District Amateur League (founded around 1902) is a league that I actually refereed in, in the mid-1960s, although, I never officiated at The Golborne Sports Centre, where today’s final was held. There was a fine shield displayed by Andy Colton, vice president and former chairman of the league (see below) and very helpful officials, who, in the absence of a programme, provided oversight of the team information. Indeed, the referee, Brian Power, has been awarded referee of the season for this league. A goal to each side in the opening seven minutes and a bad penalty miss by Ormskirk after a quarter of an hour, was compounded by an Ormskirk own goal right at the end of the opening period. The Foundrymen added two further second half goals to record an emphatic victory. With John Main amidst a goodly gathering of hoppers!
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The badly missed penalty by Aaron Kirk in the fifteenth minute.
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Andy Colton, Vice-president and former chairman of the Wigan & District Amateur League with The Laithwaite Shield
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Golborne Sports have their main team in The Cheshire League, but they also have a side in The Wigan & District Amateur League.
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Sunday 2nd June 2024 (at Thrapston)
East Midlands Women’s League Division 1
Ockbrook & Borrowash Women  (won toss) 79 all out (32.4 overs)
lost to
Thrapston Women 80 for 4 (23.2 overs)
by 6 wickets
Umpires: Kate Marshall & Eddie McGeown
An opening stand of 60 by the visitors, suggested that a good score was in the offing. However, the next nine wickets yielded a paltry nineteen runs in almost seventeen overs. The hosts did not start confidently, slipping to 18 for 3 after nine overs, but a confident stand of 54 took them close to the winning tape, and eleven balls later, they romped home to win by 6 wickets, in the shadow of St James’ spire on a very warm afternoon.
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Wednesday 5th June 2024
Northants Women’s Midweek League (@ Overstone Park)
Thrapston Yellow 152 for 3 (20 overs)
defeated
Overstone Park Women   (won toss) 90 for 4
by 62 runs
Umpire: Eddie McGeown
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Friday 7th June 2024
T20 Vitality Blast Northern Group Stage (@ Northampton)
Northamptonshire Steelbacks (won toss) 169 for 4
(20 overs)
defeated.
Worcestershire Rapids 163 for 9 (20 overs)
by 6 runs
Umpires: Russell Warren & James Middlebrook
A pleasant evening with bright sunlight at Wantage Road and a half full stadium to see a fairly tepid encounter, only enlivened at the end, when the visitors needed eleven off the last over with two wickets remaining. Three balls later, the deficit was reduced to seven to win. Then the hosts took a wicket and no further runs were scored!
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Saturday 8th June 2024
Northants. Cricket League Division 1
@ Loddington
Loddington 181 all out (46.2 overs)
drew with
Thrapston(won toss) 156 for 9 (53 overs)
Umpires: Terry Owen & Eddie McGeown
Scorers: Simon Blackett & Ned Kelly
The idyllic surrounds of Loddington Playing Fields hosted this close encounter and after a rain delayed start, Thrapston inserted the hosts who posted a pretty competitive total, which included a half century from Jamie Esler. In reply, the visitors were always behind the clock and indeed with twelve overs to go, found themselves 82 runs adrift with nine wickets down. The final pairing managed to hold out for the remaining overs to claim an unlikely draw. An excellent tea provided by the hosts, which was an unusual occurrence since the COVID-19 outbreak as most cricket teams no longer provide teas!
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Sunday 9th June 2024
East Midlands Women’s Cricket League
Division 2 (@ Nassington)
Nassington Women (won toss) 68 all out (31.1 overs)
defeated
Hinckley Women  41 all out (20.5 overs)
Umpire: Eddie McGeown
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Wednesday 12th June 2024
Cricket @ Peterborough Town CC
Northants Over 50s     (won toss) 240 for 3 (45 overs)
lost to
Huntingdonshire Over 50s     243 for 5 (44.2 overs)
by 5 wickets
Umpires: Martyn Dobbs & Eddie McGeown
Scorer: Nathan Armstrong
A closely fought contest which went down to the very last over.  A handsome tea provided by the hosts, Huntingdonshire.
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Nathan Armstrong in the score-box
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It looks like an indoor tennis facility adjacent to the cricket pitch. 
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Thursday 13th June 2024
National Schools U-17 Cup (@ Stamford School)
Stamford School U-17     141 for 8 (20 overs)
lost to
Uppingham School    (Won toss) 143 for 3 (18.2 overs)
by 7 wickets.
Umpires: John Willcock & Eddie McGeown
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Friday 14th June 2024
@ Billericay Town
Lloyd’s Bank 8
Rhys Tyress (og) 24, Simon Walton 26, Harry Talbot 33, 37, Jack Mead 72, 75, George Nash 87, 90
London Police 0
Referee: Mark Jacobs.                                Attendance: 10
Admission: F.O.C.                                       Programme: NONE
New Lodge, home of, Billericay Town, has changed unimaginably since my only previous visit in 2011. It is now a pretty impressive stadium, albeit with a plastic playing surface. Lloyd’s Bank FC were also pretty impressive in their fine victory over London Police. They led 4-0 at the interval and after making eight half-time changes, they doubled that score in the second period. Indeed, were it not for some impressive saves by the police custodian and some incredibly glaring misses by the Bank’s profligate strikers, the score would have been much higher than the attendance! With John Main.
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Monday 17th June 2024
On a cloudless, sunny morning, the way led across the playing field, past the new fitness facility, and over to St James’ Church, standing proudly in the azure firmament. From there, down Church Gap and across the fields – and the railway line – with the village of Thorpe-by-Water clearly visible in the distance. The River Welland was sluggish and opaque, covered in reeds and weeds. Under the railway bridge that once carried the Rugby to Peterborough line and across to the village of Lyddington, passing a convenient resting place en route. More fields with long grass and herds of cows on the way to Caldecott where the parish church of St John the Evangelist, proudly pointed its spire towards increasingly cloudy skies. On the way out of the village, a flower shop by the roadside proudly displayed its colourful wares. The fields were covered in waste high grass and walking was difficult. Gretton Weir was low and cluttered, but it was good to see the tower of St James Church once more and to climb back into Gretton past the new houses on the steep path up to Arnhill. Opposite The Bluebell Inn, the Baptist Church had a graveyard wall bedecked with flowers in commemoration and celebration of two hundred years of service to the community. 8.25 miles and 13 stiles.
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Wednesday 19th June 2024
Northants Women’s Midweek League @ Geddington
Geddington Women 78 for 6 (20 overs)
defeated
Thrapston Women Green (won toss) 47 all out
by 31 runs
Umpire: Eddie McGeown
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Saturday 22 June 2024
Cricket @Uppingham School
Uppingham School Girls 117 for 6 (20 overs)
defeated
Oundle School Girls (won toss) 95 for7 (20 overs)
by 22 runs
Umpire: Eddie McGeown
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Sunday 23rd June 2024
East Midlands Women’s Cricket League Division 1
@ Kettering
Kettering Ladies (won toss) 119 all out (34.1 overs)
lost to
Blyth Women 120 for 2 (30.3 overs)
by 8 wickets
Umpires: Michael Carlisle & Eddie McGeown
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Monday 24th June 2024 Cricket @ Stamford School
Girls Cricket Festival
10.00am Eastbourne College U15 Girls 90 for 9 (100 balls)
lost to
Stamford School U15 Girls 91 for 7 (99 balls)
by 3 wickets
Umpires: Kiran Makwana & Eddie McGeown
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2.00pm Stamford School Girls U15 144 for 6 (20 overs)
defeated
Framlingham College U15 Girls 89 all out (18.4 overs)
by 55 runs
Umpires: Kiran Makwana & Eddie McGeown
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Tuesday 25th June 2024 Cricket @ Stamford School
Girls Cricket Festival
10.00am Framlingham College Girls (won toss) 167 for 3 (100 balls)
defeated
Eastbourne College Girls 114 for 7 (100 balls)
by 52 runs
Umpires: David Tress & Eddie McGeown
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2.00pm Seaford College Girls (won toss) 122 for 8 (20 overs)
lost to
Framlingham College Girls 124 for 4 (14.4 overs)
by six wickets
Umpires: David Tress & Eddie McGeown
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Wednesday 26th June 2024 Cricket @ Stamford School
Girls Cricket Festival
10.00am Seaford College U15 Girls 123 for 2 (100 balls)
lost to
Framlingham College U15 Girls (won toss) 126 for 7 (100 balls)
by 3 wickets
Umpires: Kiran Makwana & Eddie McGeown
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2.00pm Framlingham College U15 Girls (won toss) 103 for 2 (10 overs)
defeated
Eastbourne College U15 Girls 60 all out  (7.2 overs)
by 43 runs
Umpires: Kiran Makwana & Eddie McGeown
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Wednesday 26th June 2024
Northants Women’s Midweek Cricket League (8 aside)
@ Brixworth CC 6.00pm
Brixworth Women (won toss) 104 for 4 (20 overs)
lost to
Geddington Women 105 for 1 (13.1 overs)
by 7 wickets
Umpire: Eddie McGeown
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Saturday 29th June 2024
Northants Cricket League Division 1
@ Weekly & Warkton
Weekley & Warkton (won toss) 229 for 9 (50 overs)
defeated
Overstone Park 135 all out (35.4 overs)
by 94 runs
Umpires: Graham Lawman & Eddie McGeown
Scorers: Catherine Pringle & Lindsey Bates
After a dull morning, the sun came out in force for the afternoon session as the hosts posted a challenging total at Boughton Park. The visitors started positively, but then lost wickets regularly and subsided to a 94 run defeat. It was good to see two very professional and competent scorers (see below) supporting the on field umpires.
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Sunday 30th June 2024
Cricket @ Irthlingborough Town CC
Player Pathway fixture
Northampton & South U15  (won toss) 225 for 9 (40 overs)
defeated
East Northants U15 133 all out (24.3 overs)
by 92 runs
Umpires: Jeffrey Beale & Eddie McGeown
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May 2024

One Perfect Rose

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A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.

All tenderly his messenger he chose;

Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet –

One perfect rose.

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I know the language of the floweret

‘My fragile leaves,’ it said, ‘his heart enclose.’

Love long has taken for his amulet

One perfect rose.

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Why is it no one ever sent me yet

One perfect limousine, do you suppose?

Ah no, it’s always just my luck yo get

One perfect rose.

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Dorothy Parker (1893 – 1967)

 

Cricket (@ Oundle School)

Wednesday 1st May 2024

Yorkshire u14 128 all out (31.2 overs)

lost to

Northamptonshire u14 130 for 6 (29.4 overs)

by 4 wickets

Umpires: Colin Samuels & Eddie McGeown

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Cricket (@ Oundle School)

Thursday 2nd May 2024

Oundle School 1st XI 144 for 8 (25 overs)

tied with

Yorkshire CCC Academy 144 for 7 (25 overs)

Umpires: Danny Crowson & Eddie McGeown

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Friday 3rd May 2024 (@ Aylestone Park FC)
Leicester & Charnwood Sunday League
JD Berrington Griffin Senior Cup FINAL
Westend 5
Lynas King 22, 33, 82 (pen), Greg Mills 41, Shamar Petet 73,
Birstall Stamford 3
Arjun Hundal 16,Andre Article 26, Josh Crossley 69,
Referee: Noel McKenzie.                                                   Attendance: 181
Admission: OMGDS £2.00 (£5).                                     Programme: £2.00
Despite the heavy and unrelenting precipitation, this was a fine match at a surprisingly good standard. Both these teams were a credit to their league, but Westend had the greater fire power in an entertaining encounter!
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The winners (Westend) were accoutred in a fetching shade of pink!
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Saturday 4th May 2024
Peterborough & District League Premier Division
Tydd 1
Stanground Sports 8
Referee: Phil Hayes.                                                       Attendance: 34
Admission: F.O.C.                                                          Programme: NONE
A small changing rooms and kitchen and a field surrounded by a rope, were the facilities available at Tydd St Mary’s Playing Field (there was an excellent village shop at the end of the road supplying very reasonably priced victuals!). This was the hosts final game and perched perilously, just above the relegation drop zone, they now have to rely on favourable results from elsewhere to help them to avoid the drop. High flying Stanground Sports were in total command throughout, scoring four goals in each half, including a hat-trick for Taylor Duthie. Good to see Paul Jeffrey from Ely in attendance on a sunny afternoon.
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Sunday 5th May 2024 (@Thrapston)
East Midlands Women’s Cricket League Division 1 
Blyth Women 72 all out (25.5 overs)
lost to
Thrapston Women  75 for 5  (20.5 overs)
by 5 wickets
Umpires: Keith Simpson & Eddie McGeown
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Monday 6th May 2024
Cricket @ Kettering Town CC
Huntingdonshire u14 157 for 9 (40 overs)
defeated
Kettering & Corby u15 143 all out (33.3 overs)
by 14 runs
Umpires: Colin Megennis & Eddie McGeown
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Tuesday 7th May 2024
Cambridgeshire County League Division 1B
Exning United 3
Alex Prigg 64, 69, 71,
Needingworth United 3
John Gifford 10, Ben Carter 33, Charlie Whitehead 35,
Referee: Carlton Joseph.                                                         Attendance: 18
Admission: F.O.C.                                                                    Programme: NONE
Hansel & Gretel country, the little house in the woods where the players get changed and a football pitch surrounded by trees. The population of Exning is less than 2,000 but they have a football club competing well in the Cambridgeshire League even though the village is situated in Suffolk! The visitors, playing their last game of the season, drew their playing position out of a hat, which meant that their top striker was in goal and central defender in attack! It all worked well in the first half as they powered to a three goal advantage, but the hosts had the better of the second period and the match deservedly ended all square.
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Wednesday 8th May 2024 (@Geddington CC)
Northants Women’s Cricket League
Overstone Park Women (won toss) 103 for 3 (20 overs)
lost to
Geddington Women 106 for 0 (11 overs)
by ten wickets.
Umpire: Eddie McGeown
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Thursday 9th May 2024
Central Midlands Alliance Premier Division South
AFC Normanton 1
Josh Manifold 38,
Linby Colliery Welfare 2
Ashton Bernard 1, Ashley Mellor (og) 76,
Referee: Richard Thompson.                                             Attendance: 49
Admission: £2.00.                                                               Programme: £2.00
Not much to see at Boundary Meadows. There was a railed pitch and a building with changing rooms and a window for refreshments and drinks. This was the host’s third game in six days and a very end of season affair. The visitors opened the scoring within the very first minute. The hosts replied before half-time. A draw would have been a fair result, but, with fifteen minutes remaining, the home centre-half walloped a clearance against the head of his own custodian and the ball ricocheted into the net to give the visitors victory. Good to see Jack Warner in attendance!
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AFC Normanton
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Linby Colliery Welfare 
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Matchday programme
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Friday 10th May 2024 
Cricket @ Stamford School
U13 National Cup
King Edward School Birmingham (won toss) 191 for 6 (30 overs)
defeated
Stamford School 43 all out (18 overs)
by 148 runs
Umpires: Martyn Dobbs & Eddie McGeown
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Saturday 11th May 2024
Cricket @ Oundle School
Oundle School U15A (won toss) 172 for 9 (35 overs)
lost to
Rugby School 173 for 4 (22.4 overs)
by 6 wickets
Umpires: Alan Pearce & Eddie McGeown
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Sunday 12th May 2024
Cricket @ Kettering Town CC
East Midlands Women’s Cricket League Division 1
Kirkby Portland Women (Won toss) 157 for 4 (40 overs)
defeated
Kettering Ladies 140 for 6 (40 overs)
by 17 runs
Umpires: Keith Timpson & Eddie McGeown
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Monday 13th May 2024
Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior County league
Premier Division
Houghton Main 0
Jubilee Sports 1
Jay Evison 39 (pen),
Referee: Andrew Price.                                                       Attendance: 60
Admission:- F.O.C.                                                             Programme: NONE
Quite an attractive ground, railed on three sides with the fourth side open to the cricket pitch and, behind it, the cricket pavilion which serves both football and cricket. There was a quite substantial 120 seater stand on the far side of the pitch, but no hard standing. The match wasn’t a classic. The hosts are in relegation trouble whilst the visitors sit comfortably in third place. The only goal came from the penalty spot around five minutes before the half-time whistle.
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The only goal came from the penalty spot  ………….
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…………….. around 5 minutes before half-time
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Houghton Main
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Jubilee Sports
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Wednesday 15th May 2024
Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division
Adderbury Park 5
Jimmy Hunt 11,  Joe Thornton 15, 21, Durrell Lives 73, Jack Welch 77,
Launton Sports 4
Charlie Bateman 40, 76, 86, Mike Dann 71,
Referee: Adam Morris.                                                          Attendance: 22
Admission: F.O.C.                                                                  Programme: NONE
Tucked away in the far reaches of the village on the edge of the Northamptonshire/Oxfordshire border, in the shadow of the 13th Century parish church of St Mary The Virgin, The Adders ply their trade on a field with a changing and refreshment facility. They raced into a 3-0 lead in the opening half-hour, but were pegged back by the interval. In the second period, Launton came back strongly, never actually reaching parity, but giving a good account of themselves. With son, Jim, and grandsons, Sonny & Kingsley.
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Saturday 18th May 2024
Northants Cricket League Division 1 (@Peterborough Town CC)
Burton Latimer   (won toss) 219 for 7 (50 overs)
lost to
Peterborough Town II   223 for 5 949.1 overs)
by five wickets
Umpires: David Brackenbury & Eddie McGeown
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Sunday 19th May 2024
East Midlands Cricket League Division 1  (@ Thrapston CC)
Kettering Ladies 190 for 5 (40 overs)
defeated
Thrapston Women (won toss) 118 all out (38 overs)
by 72 runs
Umpires: Alan Pearce & Eddie McGeown
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Tuesday 21st May 2024
Herts Senior County League Premier Division
Chipperfield Athletic 6
Charle Danks 16, Dan Griggs 17, 48, Adrian Abramian 56, 72, Louie Griffiths 76, 
Cuffley Seniors 1
Dan Jones 61,
Referee: Ben Soll.                                                                 Attendance: 34
Admission: F.O.C.                                                               Programme: NONE
Heavy, unremitting precipitation, overcast and gloomy, but, a pitch in surprisingly excellent condition, despite the rainfall. There was a wooden clubhouse with a veranda which provided some protection from the elements (and a cup of coffee), and a railed pitch with dugouts, but no hard standing. The visitors started the match with eight players, but it was only after they had increased their numbers to ten, that they began to leak goals. 0-3 down at the interval, they conceded three more in the second half, but did manage a consolation. With John Main, Paul Proctor and Phil Evans.
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Thursday 23rd May 2024
Peterborough & District Sunday League Division 1
Thorpe Wood Rangers 1
Edmunds Grunstein 88,
Orton Wanderers 6
Jamal Nyang 27, 57, 85, 90+2, Spencer Hawkins 30, Louis Freeman 83,
Referee: Jonathan Clayton.                                                     Attendance: 17
Admission: F.O.C.                                                                     Programme: NONE
I once dropped a slip catch off my eldest son’s bowling at The Pearl Assurance ground in Castor. The majestic building is still there, but looking very decrepit. The short, stubby tower of St Kyneburgha’s parish church peaks over the treetops as this evening’s visitors enjoyed a well deserved, heavy victory, going 3-0 up shortly after the interval, but then four more goals were packed into the final seven minutes! With John Main.
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Saturday 25th May 2024
Northants Cricket League Division 1 (@Weekley & Warkton CC)
Weekly & Warkton(won toss) 206 for 6 (50 overs)
tied with
Thrapston 206 all out (49.2 overs)
Umpires: Richard Nuttall & Eddie McGeown
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Sunday 26th May 2024
Rutland League Division 1 (@ Uppingham CC)
Newborough (won toss) 132′ all out (39 overs)
drew with
Uppingham 27 for 3 (7.2 overs) RSP
Match abandoned
Umpires: Andy Watson & Eddie McGeown
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Monday 27th May 2024
Cricket @ Nassington CC
Notts U11 Girls (won toss) 108 for 3 (20 overs
defeated
Northants U11 Girls 47 all out in 18 overs
by 61 runs
Umpires: Simon Clark & Eddie McGeown
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Northants U11 Girls (won toss) 110 for 1 (20 overs)
defeated
Notts U11 Girls 76 all out (18 overs)
by 34 runs
Umpires: Simon Clark & Eddie McGeown
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Tuesday 28th May 2024
Cricket @ Raunds CC
Northants Over 60s 98 for 8 (20 overs0
defeated
Berkshire Over 60s(won toss) 48 for 9 (20 overs)
by 40 runs
Umpires: Paul Bartlett & Eddie McGeown
This was a rain affected game which started off as a fifty overs aside contest, due to begin at 1.00pm. It was reduced to 30 overs aside from 3.00pm and when the rain continued, and it was further reduced to the minimum of twenty overs aside from 5.00pm.
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Wednesday 29th May 2024
Cricket @ Finedon Dolben CC
Horton House Women (won toss) 92 for 5 (20 overs)
defeated
Finedon Dolben Women 89 for 5 (20 overs)
by 3 runs
Umpires: Eddie McGeown
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April 2024

FIXTURES

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love nothing more
than to commune with Mother Nature.
But what can I do? It’s out of my hands:
Nigeria are playing Croatia.

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What’s that? Another meal on your own?
You’re quite right, there is nothing bleaker.
But this is the big one. I’ve waited all day.
Switzerland – Costa Rica.

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Sorry I shall miss your mum’s funeral
but I should be there in time for the wake.
Do understand, it’s Morocco – Iran
and for both teams there’s so much at stake.

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I see that you’ve filed for divorce.
I’ll sign the papers as soon as I can,
just ten minutes more (plus time added on)
of Colombia versus Japan.

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by Brian Bilston
Tuesday 2nd April 2024
Staying at Garth Ucha, a lovely, but lonely old farmhouse near Llanyblodwel in The Welsh Marches, south and west of Oswestry. Our walk took us down to the fast flowing river and across a rickety footbridge. A false turn brought us into contact with an alpaca, before we encountered a steep bridleway with a bubbling stream cascading downwards which making the footage fairly risky. High up at the top was the tiny hamlet of Soar with its own Methodist Chapel … whilst far away, across the valley, we could espy another, much more conventional religious establishment. We descended by waterlogged fields and a narrow road which drew us toward the church of St Michael the Archangel. The rector, Kathy Trimby, has been in charge for ten years, but is shortly moving to Australia. Across the narrow bridge over Afon Tanat (River Tanat), is “The Horseshoe Inn”, but, sadly there was no sign of life. A mile and a half along the riverside and a steep rise brought us back to Garth Ucha. 6.2 miles and three stiles.
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Tom Parkin & Matt Knowles
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Tom Parkin & Matt Knowles
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Eddie at the front and Matt behind
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Wednesday 3rd April 2024
Lock Stock Ardal North East Division
Penrhyncoch 3
Rhys Jenkins 45+1, 72, Dion Phillips 61,
Dolgellau Athletic 1
Isaac Pridmore (og) 32,
Referee: Jefferson Townsend.                                               Attendance: 131
Admission: £5.00.                                                                   Programme: £2.00
The tiny village (1,500 souls) of Penrhyncoch down on the Welsh west coast, houses a pretty efficient football set up. The ground has a stand behind one goal with 200 seats and a stand along one side with maybe 70 seats and a further covered standing area. On the pitch, they sit proudly at the top of Ardal North East by a considerable margin and though they fell behind (playing up the gradient) in this match, they had drawn level by the interval and two second half strikes assured them of victory against their local rivals and a step nearer the championship. Very friendly club and a good contest!
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Thursday 4th April 2024
North East Wales Football League Premier Division
Castell Alun Colts 2
Craig Worthington 79, Daniel Woosey 81 (pen),
Mynydd Isa 3
Jack Aitken 38, Lewis Tudor 42, Braden Lavin 90+2,
Referee: Arthur Smallman.                                              Attendance: 43
Admission: F.O.C.                                                             Programme: NONE
This is the fourth level of Welsh football, the ground is a railed pitch with hard standing down one side and no cover, which was prescient on a wet evening. It was, however, a cracker of an encounter. Last week, the hosts led 1-0 at Mynydd Isa until the 86th minute when they were hit with two goals. Tonight, they went two goals down by half-time and fought back with vigour, as the local railway train chuntered by, to gain parity with less than ten minutes to go. Mynydd Isa scored the winner in the second minute of added time. Very entertaining contest.
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Saturday 6th April 2024
West Midlands (Regional) League Division 1
Bustleholme 3
Ethan Masson 6, 80, Joe Clarke 56,
Wyrley 0
Referee: Ajay Sharma.                                                  Attendance: 25
Admission: £4.00.                                                        Programme: NONE
Bustleholme, in their short history, have played home fixtures at Bilston and Tipton and on Oldbury United’s old ground in Rowley Regis. Now, they are ensconced at the Walsall campus of The University of Wolverhampton on a plastic pitch in a soulless cage with viewing down one side only and no cover or seating. On the pitch, this afternoon, they effectively disposed of the opposition, despite the very windy conditions. The ground is heavily outlined at the foot of the plan of the Walsall campus photo (see below).
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The ‘ground’ is the heavily marked oval to the left of the plan
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Home side
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Away side
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Tuesday 9th April 2024
Northants Combination Division 2
Corby Rovers 7
Dylan Griffiths 2, 21, Danny Ward 29, 53, 62, Kaden McAlinden 67, Damien Allanson 85,
Burton Park Wanderers Reserves 1
Brad Towns 10, 
Referee: Thomas Lilly.                                                          Attendance: 18
Admission: F.O.C.                                                                 Programme: NONE
On a cold, showery evening at Jubilee Park in Corby, mid-table Rovers routed bottom team Burton Park in a contest that was far from one-sided. It just seemed like all the home sides chances went in, whilst the visitors, albeit fewer chances, missed the target. I haven’t seen a match here since my two eldest sons were playing and it brought back some memories! With John Main.
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Wednesday 10th April 2024
EFL League One
Peterborough United 3
Joal Randall 45+2,Harrison Burrows 55, Alex Iacovitti (og) 86
Port Vale 0
Referee: S. Martin.                                                             Attendance: 7,770
Admission: Hospitality.                                                    Programme: incl. (£3.50)
A spot of hospitality with my eldest and youngest sons at The Weston Homes Stadium. For some reason, the newish looking stand behind the furthest goal was not in use this evening. Port Vale are relegation threatened, whilst The Posh are looking good for a play-off spot. It took the hosts until the second minute of added time at the end of the opening period to score the first of their goals, but their increasing dominance saw two further second half strikes to seal a decisive victory.
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Liam and Jim, youngest and oldest sons!
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Thursday 11th April 2024
Spartan South Midlands League
Division 1 Cup Semi-final
Rothwell Corinthians 0
Moulton 2
Josh Adams 23, Andy Hall 79,
Referee: Nicholas Marriott.                                                               Attendance: 161
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£5).
Programme: NONE
Grandson, Freddie, was making his first visit to Sergeant’s Lawn, home of Corinthians, and there was a decent crowd for this cup semi-final – certainly double the normal attendance. This was a fractious, ill-tempered match, especially in the second half, when there were several ‘melees’. Moulton were the better side and deserved the victory, but the hosts had plenty of opportunities but never hit the target!
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Grand son Freddie Arthur McGeown
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Saturday 13 April 2024
Southern Combination Division1
Roffey 2
Ricardo Fernandes 62, Kelvin Lucas 87,
Seaford Town 0
Referee: Ryan Calver.                                                  Official Attendance: 82
Admission: £6.00.                                                        Programme: Included
Chennells Brook, home of The Boars, is a small, sparsely furnished stadium, which nonetheless has both charm and appeal, giving the feel of Hansel and Gretel in the woods with the added welcome and friendliness of the club officials. Roffey are already champions of this division looking forward with relish to step 5 next season, the visitors are favourites for the runners-up spot. The first half was best forgotten, but the champions stamped their authority on this game with two decisive second half strikes. With John Main.
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Yours truly at the entrance!
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Monday 15th April 2024
Premier League 2
Leicester City U21 3
Oliver Ewing 4, 7, Logan Briggs 79,
Stoke City U21 0
Referee: Dale Baines                                                              Attendance: 322
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£5)                                         Programme: free team sheet
A fairly straightforward stroll in the park for the young Leicester team. Two goals in the first seven minutes laid the foundation and from then on they were never unduly pressured. A third goal came ten minutes from the end to add icing to the cake. It was nice to see Sammy Braybrooke back from serious injury (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and also Chris Popov. Very cold with a biting wind and patches of heavy rain.
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Tuesday 16th April 2024
Northants Combination Division 1
Crick Athletic 5
Mikey Hall 41, Carlton McKinley 70, Mate Karolyi 76, 89, Dom Gallagher 84,
Bugbrooke St Michael B 0
Referee: Paul Martin.                                                      Attendance: 11
Admission: F.O.C.                                                           Programme: NONE
A rare evening fixture on The Crick Playing Field with its well equipped facilities – changing rooms and social centre – and amidst the showers and the rainbows, they managed to get a full match in despite the gathering gloom of a spring evening. These two teams are becalmed in mid-table with equal points, until tonight’s match which saw the hosts score a well deserved, convincing victory.
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Thursday 18th April 2024
Cricket @ Stamford School
Girls T20 Knock-out Cup 1st Round
Stamford Girls 113 for 4 (20 overs)
lost to
Greshams Girls (won toss) 116 for 2 (14.2 overs)
by 8 wickets
Umpires: Colin Megennis & Eddie McGeown
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Thursday 18th April 2024
Northern Premier League Midlands Division 1
Anstey Nomads 2
Zayn Hakeem 44, 53,
Corby Town 2
Jack Keeble 42, Tristan Thompson-Matthews 83,
Referee:                                                                         Attendance: 337
Admission: OMGDS £6.00 (£10).                          Programme: on line
Fairly wet and miserable – and cold – for this match which had suddenly become important to the hosts with leaders, Harborough Town, deducted six points and losing top spot in the division. Nomads are in second place now and quite capable of achieving automatic promotion. Two goals late in the first period saw the game finely balanced at 1-1 . Early in the second half, Nomads took the lead and held it until seven minutes from full time, when The Steelmen spoiled the party by equalising. The draw was a fair result. With eldest son, Jim.
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Anstey Nomads
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Corby Town
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Saturday 20th April 2024
Cricket @ Stamford School
Stamford School (won toss) 307 for 9 (50 overs)
defeated
Oundle School 184 all out (43.5 overs)
by 123 runs
Umpires: Colin Megennis & Eddie McGeown
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Tuesday 23rd April 2024
Spartan South Midlands League
Division 1 Cup FINAL (@ Newport Pagnell FC)
Moulton 4
Luca Iciafano 4, Josh Melling 7, 84, Nat Ansu 88,
Northampton Sileby Rangers 2
Nathan Burrows 14, Iain Blake 45+5, Dean Love s/o 40,
Referee: Ben Bright.                                                 Attendance: 129
Admission: £8.00.                                                   Programme: F.O.C.
These two clubs are barely three miles apart as the crow flies. Quite why they had to play twenty miles away was beyond me! Three goals in the opening 15 minutes saw Moulton take the advantage and then, Sileby had their goalkeeper sent off for handling the ball outside the area. The ten men pulled level just before the interval and battled determinedly throughout the second half, but couldn’t prevent two late goals which gave the tie and the trophy to Moulton. The free programme had lots of information on Sileby and none (apart from squad names) about Moulton. With grand son Freddie.
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Wednesday 24th April 2024
Bedfordshire County League Premier Division
AFC Oakley 5
Chisom Amani 17, 70, Emoji Seoluwa 26, Joel Ives 43, Jonathan Tite 90+4,
Elstow Abbey 3
Joel Simpson37, Lamar Smithson 51 (pen), Craig Damon 80,
Referee: Shabz Hussain.                                            Attendance: 41
Admission: F.O.C.                                                       Programme: NONE
A well appointed, football community at the small village of Oakley just north of Bedford, with a railed pitch and dug-outs and a very modern social club. The hosts, in fourth place, were hoping to overtake the visitors, one point and one place above them. Oakley raced into an early, two goal lead, were pegged back, but restored their two goal advantage by the break. In the second period, four goals were shared and the hosts gained the victory, the points and third place in the table. With John Main.
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Saturday 27th April 2024
Velocity Wessex League Division 1
East Cowes Victoria 5
Jacob Reynolds 3,Jake Wright 45+2, Jez Conway 49, Ji Nash 62,  Raff Boyd-Kerr 76,
Frimley Green 0
Referee: W. Prior.                                             Attendance: 231
Admission: £3.00 (one price).                       Programme: on line.
An hour on the ferry down the Solent and across to The Isle of Wight and a brisk 25 minute walk uphill to Beatrice Avenue, home of The Vics. There was hard standing all round the pitch, a hundred seater stand and some further cover along the same side. Play-off chasing Vics needed to better Fleetlands result by at least two goals to overtake them into the play-offs and although they scored five against relegation threatened Frimley Green, it wasn’t enough as Fleetlands also won by 4-0. With John Main.
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The ferry that carried us across to The Isle of Wight
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The author in solemn splendour in the outdoor stand!
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Sunday 28th April 2024
Vanarama National League North
Play-off Semi-final
Brackley Town 1
Riccardo Calder 78,
Chorley 0
Referee: Will Davis.                                                    Attendance: 1,889 (378 away)
Admission: £15.00.                                                    Programme: £3.00
On a cold and wet afternoon at St James’ Park, neither of these two teams played well and at the end of a dour encounter, the hosts progressed to the play-off final with a goal fifteen minutes from time. In the final, they will host Boston United, who eliminated Scunthorpe United in the other semi-final. With son, Jim and grand sons, Sonny and Kingsley.
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An unseemly meleé at the end of the match
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Grandsons, Kingsley (left) and Sonny
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Tuesday 30th April 2024
Cricket @ Stamford School – U17 Knock-out Cup
Retford School (won toss) 275 for 6 (35 overs)
defeated
Stamford School 214 all out (35 overs)
by 60 runs
Umpires: Martyn Dobbs & Eddie McGeown
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March 2024

Springtime casts a spell of green,

Paints flowers opening to the sun,

Rains falls softly, saying ‘Wake’,

In a fresh world just begun.

Grow and burst, hatch and run.

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From “Seasons’ by Jo Peters.

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Friday 1st March 2024
Premier League 2
Manchester United u21 2
Zac Baumann 31, Ethan Williams 67,
Derby County u21 4
Tony Weston 22, 38, Cruz Allen 44, Bayo Fapetu 45+2
Referee: Elliot Bell.                                    Attendance: 956
Admission: F.O.C.                                      Programme: NONE
On a bitterly cold evening at Leigh Sports Village, Manchester United’s youngsters were well beaten by a rampant Rams team who might easily have added to their already emphatic victory. Entry was free, but complicated by having to acquire an on line ticket. There were no programmes or teamsheets, nor was the official attendance available. Made me quite pleased that Derby County won!
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Saturday 2nd March 2024 11.00am.
North West Counties League Premier Division
Longridge Town 2
Morgan Homson-Smith 20, Mitchell Marshall 45+1
Padiham 3
Jack Price 27, Joel Brownhill 38, Tyler James 78,
Referee: Joe Hind.                                           Attendance: 438
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£7).                  Programme: £2.00
Cold and wet, but a great welcome from the club and a pretty good match with a decent atmosphere. Padiham probably deserved the victory, but the hosts made them work hard for it. All square at 2-2 at the interval, Padiham struck a late winner around ten minutes from time.
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On the far side of the ground was the cricket pavilion with the foothills of the Pennines looming behind.
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There was snow on the hills in the distance, but no more than a thin drizzle below!
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Saturday 2nd March 2024, 2.00pm
East Lancashire League, Bob Little Trophy – Group B
Peel Park 4
Joe Shaw 17, Ryan Bramley 36, Ash Adair 74, Jimmy Broadhurst 85,
Hapton 4
Shane Kennedy 40, 64, Charlie Trickett 70, Steve Burbeck 81,
Referee: James Sykes.                                                  Attendance: 31
Admission: F.O.C.                                                         Programme: NONE
A first visit to Peel Park, former home of Accrington Stanley FC, on a wet, rainy afternoon. The referee had teamsheets, but none of the numbers corresponded to the numbers on the players shirts! This was step ten or eleven, after all. There was some small evidence of the old ground and The Peel Park Inn was serving drinks to take to pitch side. The match was a rip roaring tussle with neither side managing to gain the upper hand on a mud encrusted match. In this trophy, these two teams are 3rd and 4th out of five, so not a lot rested on the outcome, but both sides gave it their all in an eventful match.
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The Peel Park Hotel
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The forbidding brick built changing rooms with not a window in sight!
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Accrington Stanley FC played in The Football League from 1921 until 1962. Their predecessor, simply named Accrington, were founder members of The Football League in 1888, but resigned in 1893 rather than accept relegation to Division 2. They folded in 1896. Accrington did not have a Football League club again until in 1921/22, when the Lancashire Combination’s Accrington Stanley, who used to be rivals of the original Accrington, were promoted to Football League Division 3 North. Accrington Stanley resigned from The Football league in March 1962 (before the end of the season) with debts of around £60,000. The present club were founded in October 1968 and regained Football League status in 2005/06 following promotion from Conference National. Peel Park is the original home of Accrington Stanley, though little now remains to identify it as such.
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Sunday 3rd March 2024 11.45am
North West Counties League Division 1 North
Euxton Villa 3
Dan Singleton 24, 63, Joshua Briggs 37,
Darwen 0
Referee: Sam Oldfield.                                                  Attendance: 618
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£6).                               Programme: £2.00
Spelt “Euxton” pronounced “Exton”, three or four miles from the great metropolis of Chorley, they moved to their present ground in 1986, a gift from a benefactor and joined The NWCL in 2022. The attendance today set a new record for the club, who are presently ensconced in mid-table security. On the other hand, Darwen have the pedigree of being a former football League club, but today it was the parvenu who had the upper hand with a convincing victory on a fine sunny morning.
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Sunday 3rd March 2024, 2.30pm
North West Counties League Premier Division
Charnock Richard 7
Luke Power 5, Spencer Bibby 32, Nathan Nickeas44, 55, 64, Fenton Davies 79, Kevin Spinelli 87,
Skelmersdale United 1
Jacob Rodrigues 89,
Referee: Thomas De Prez.                                         Attendance: 534
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                            Programme: £2.00
More than just a motorway service station on The M6 and more than just whipping boys for Chorley’s pre-season preparations, Charnock Richard were promoted to the NWCL in 2016 after several very successful seasons in the West Lancashire League. They were immediately promoted to the Premier Division and have remained there ever since gradually improving facilities at their Mossie Park home. Skelmersdale United, despite the inclusion of former Wigan Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland (amongst others) defender Pascal Chimbonda in their defence, as player coach, were no match for the home sides clinical and devastating attack. Seven goals were plundered before the visitors purloined their 89th minute consolation!
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Monday 4th March 2024, 7.00pm
Premier League 2 (at Seagrave Sports Complex)
Leicester City u21 2
Silko Thomas 15, 45+1,
Leeds United u21 0
Referee: Greg Rollason.                                                 Attendance: 260
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£5).                                 Free team sheet
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Saturday 9th March 2024
Western League Division 1
AEK Boco 1
Sam Thomas 25,
Cheddar 0
Referee: David Trevaskus.                                             Attendance: 82
Admission: OMGDS £2.00 (£6).                                 Programme: £1.00
The hosts, with their Greek/Argentinian derivation, too esoteric to explain concisely, are enjoying only their third season at Step 6, and have constructed a small, but comfortable stadium which sadly will not support the team above Step 5. They hope to gain promotion to The Southern League and have plans for an alternative stadium and a 3G surface. Today’s contest was not a classic. Cheddar, along with Bishops Sutton, are well adrift at the foot of the table, but they fought well and the hosts were restricted to a single early strike. The groundsman and Trustee, Jack Winter, was very forthcoming on information about the club and its ambitions. He also gave both me and John Main a club badge!
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The ground (True Clarity Walton Pavilion) is owned by South Gloucestershire Council and leased at a peppercorn rent to the club, who have built the club house and erected floodlights. However, it is in a public park and rights of way have to be observed, so, should the club reach a higher standard than Step 5, they will need to find a new home!
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Yours truly, captured from behind by John Main!
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The 2024 Scottish “Hop”

Took a hire car – a little one litre VW Golf – up to Scotland with John Main doing most of the driving, because I was not feeling particularly well. I’ve had a bad chest for a couple of weeks and I just can’t seem to shake it off! We had booked in at The Premier In south Stirling at junction 9 on The M9 motorway for two nights, but before that we went to the first match!

Friday 15th March 2024 7.45pm
East of Scotland League Division 2
Armadale Thistle 3
Kameron Jackson 13, Colin Strickland 83, Declan Wood 85,
Ormiston Primrose 2
Jacob Riley 11, 42,
Referee: David Gallagher.                                         Attendance: 436
Admission: OMGDS £5.00 (£8).                            Programme: £2.00
Armadale FC once graced the Scottish second tier, but they faded and Thistle took over the mantle without ever reaching those dizzy heights. They presently ply their trade in the eighth tier of Scottish football at their eccentrically named Volunteer Park. This season, they are pushing for promotion, whilst their opponents are several points adrift of safety at the foot of the table. It was squeaky bum time tonight. The visitors, demolished 5-0 by tonight’s hosts on their own ground, twice took the lead, deservedly, in the first half and only succumbed to two very late strikes to save the host’s blushes. They deserved better! Good game, good to see so many friends once again.
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Saturday morning at 9.15am we set out for the first game of the day at Luncarty, north of Perth. It lies between the A9 to the west and The River Tay to the east.
Saturday 16th March 2024 11.15 am
East of Scotland League Premier Division
Luncarty 5
Kyle Woolley 21, Ross McLachlan 33, Jamie Mackie 34, Rhys Davies 41, Ben Scarborough 82,
Crossgates Primrose 3
Jake Sutherland 3, Cameron Muirhead 31, 74,
Referee: Daniel Graves.                                         Attendance: 386
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£7).                        Programme: £2.00
Nestling in the morning sunshine, but with minimal facilities and cover (gravel behind the near goal, the only hardstanding), Scotrail trains chuntering over the viaduct down one side, this match between two of the graveyard sides turned into a thriller, 4-2 to the home side at the interval and a mere two second period strikes provided a healthy crowd, (some eight times the clubs average attendance this season), with a very entertaining encounter!
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A Scotrail DMU passing by on the embankment!
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Michael Squires sitting in noble splendour!
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Saturday 16th March 2024 2.00pm
East of Scotland League Premier Division
Kinnoull 0
Pencuik Athletic 0
Referee: Robert Bowie.                                              Attendance: 356
Admission: OMGDS £3.00 (£7).                             Programme: £2.50
A very basic ground on Tulloch Road in Perth with no cover, no hardstanding and no floodlights (although new ones have been acquired and will be installed when funds allow). There were no goals, either, in a poor match where neither side seemed to be able to shoot accurately and the home side gained only their fifth point of the season from twenty-one games. The final whistle was a relief!
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Saturday 16th March 2024 4.45pm
East of Scotland League Premier Division
Jeanfield Swifts 1
Fraser Smith 6,
Dunbar United 1
Taylor henry 90+2 (pen)
Referee: Terry Ormiston.                                            Attendance: 385
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£7).                               Programme: £2.50
A compact ground with good facilities, but still no hardstanding round the pitch, apart from a fine covered terrace down one side. This was a dour encounter between two sides on the fringe of the promotion race. The hosts struck early in the sixth minute and the visitors replied late with a penalty right at the death. A fair result. Towards the end of the match, ominously, the rain began to fall.
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The away team strip was turquoise and navy
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The heavens opened on a foul evening and the drive to the final match – maybe an hour in the dark and wind and rain and pot-holed roads was very challenging.
Saturday 16th March 2024 8.00pm
East of Scotland League Premier Division
Sauchie Juniors 3
Danny Smith 10, 35 (pen), 45, Ross Kavanagh s/o 43
Hill o’ Beath Hawthorn 2
Daniel Watt 46, Jordan Tosh 83,
Referee: Chris Hobbs.                                                    Attendance: 447
Admission: OMGDS £5.00 (£10).                               Programme: £2.00
In filthy weather and on a seriously waterlogged pitch, at Sauchie Juniors fine Beachwood Park stadium, these two teams played out a rumbustious encounter with the hosts establishing a three goal first half advantage despite the dismissal of one of their players. Hill o’ Beath started the comeback within seconds of the restart and attacked the ten men with determination. Sadly, their only reward was a Jordan Tosh strike in the 83rd minute and Sauchie narrowly took the points and the victory.
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Sunday 17th March 2024
East of Scotland League Division 1
Whitburn 1
Darren Liddell 65,
Whitehill Welfare 0
Referee: Richard McCartney.                                               Attendance: 540
Admission: OAP £5.00 (£8).                                                Programme: £2.00
Central Park in Whitburn is a generic junior Scottish football ground. Indeed, Whitburn were a junior side until a couple of seasons ago, since when they have enjoyed two promotions. The pitch was heavy and undulating and not conducive to good football as these two sides slogged it out, aided and abetted by a concatenation of drum beating. A 65th minute strike settled the encounter in the host’s favour and they just about deserved it! Many thanks to Chris and the team for a very enjoyable weekend!
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Craig Dabbs at the entrance to Whitburn 
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The main drum band whose cacophony was kept up throughout the match
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Matchday programme
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Sunday 17th March 2024
Scottish AFA Inter League Trophy 1st Round
Scottish Premier AFA 13 (thirteen!)
Connor McCabe 3, Shaun Rodgers 25, 34, Danny McBath 30, Mark Taylor 33, 37, 49, Liam Rowan 56, 86,Brandon Carmouche 60, 67, Connaire Dawson 80,
Andy Gilmartin 83
Dundee Saturday Morning League 0
@ New Tinto Park
Referee: Joe Cheney.                                          Attendance: 52
Admission: F.O.C.                                               Programme: NONE
Scott Struthers found this little tit-bit to round off the weekend oop north and it was a first visit to New Tinto Park, home of Benburb, after visiting the original ground almost exactly ten years ago. Houses cover the earlier footprint and the new home of Benburb is little more than a 3G pitch with no seating and a small covered stand on one side of the ground. The contest was a mismatch. Scotland’s premier amateur association demolished a pedestrian Dundee side with six first half goals and seven second half strikes.
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Saturday 23rd March 2024
Velocity Wessex League Premier Division
Hamble Club 1
Clayd Roach 77,
Brockenhurst 1
Ronan Moore 90+3
Referee: Christopher Cass.                                         Attendance: 95
Admission: £7.00 (£4).                                               Programme: On Line
Twelve years ago, I went to see GE Hamble play Fareham Town at Folland Park. Today’s team have no connection with that side (who are now called Folland Sports). Hamble Club play at The Abbey in Hamble-le-Rice in Southampton and are nicknamed (not surprisingly), ‘The Monks’. Brockenhurst, the visitors, are considerably higher in the league, but, today, they were fortunate to escape with a point, garnering an equaliser in the third minute of added time at the end of the match, having had a first half penalty saved.
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Tuesday 26th March 2024
Northern Premier League Midlands Division 1
AFC Rushden & Diamonds 4
Cairo Taylor 31, Tarik Dallas 35, Ryan Inman 69, Scott Jacob 79,
Cambridge City 1
Ryan Ingrey 6
Referee: Manesh Gupta.                                       Attendance: 269
Admission: OMGDS £8.00 (£11)                       Programme: On Line
The heavens opened on approach to the ground and the precipitation continued all evening. Hayden Road has been considerably improved by the hosts, but the iconic main stand is still out of use. Diamonds have endured a hellish season and before the match were rock bottom of the division. They went behind early on, but recovered to take a 2-1 interval lead. Cambridge then lost a player to a second yellow and the hosts drove home the advantage to win deservedly and convincingly …… but they only moved up one place and the threat of relegation still hangs over them!
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The South West Peninsular ‘Hop’

Thursday 28th March 2024. 250 miles to Exeter, booked into hotel. 25 miles to Honiton Town v Sidmouth Town. Arrived in plenty of time. Despite torrential rain, earlier in the day, the pitch looked perfectly playable. A lot of work had been undertaken by club volunteers, and yet, the referee called the match off at 6.45pm. He should have been at Sauchie juniors or Whitburn Juniors, two weeks ago. THEY PLAYED on surfaces substantially inferior to Honiton’s pitch. He could AT LEAST have started the match and called it off if conditions demanded. Was he frightened of a league referee’s assessor?
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Friday 29th March 2024 – 11.30am
South West Peninsular League
Premier Division East
Torrington 1
Tom Davey 19,
Crediton United 0
Referee: David Middleton.                                                 Attendance
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                                      Programme: £2.00
The parish church of St Michael and all the angels commands the skyline at Vicarage Field. In 1646, after the Roundhead capture of Torrington, the Royalist captives were imprisoned in the church …. along with 80 barrels of Royalist gunpowder. Sadly for the captives, they were blown to kingdom come when somehow, the explosives ignited! The hosts – The Supergreens – considerably lower in the division, nonetheless took a deserved interval lead. They contrived to miss a penalty in driving rain in the fiftieth minute, but hung on till the end for victory and the points. Yours truly won the raffle worth£50.00!!!
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Eddie McGeown at the gates of Vicarage Field, Torrington.
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Eddie McGeown adorned in his Doctor Who scarf
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Friday 29th March 2024 – 3.00pm
South West Peninsular League
Premier Division East
Torridgeside 0
Okehampton Argyle 3
Brad Ausden 8, 12, Luke Mortimore 23,
Referee: Krzysztof Wegrzynowski.                                   Attendance: 451
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                                     Programme: £2.50
The only hard standing at the ground is down (most) of the near side, but there is a good covered area and a small seated stand. Torridgeside are the junior of the two Torrington sides having been formed in 1989 and the major improvements to the ground were begun in 2020. They are struggling however around the foot of the table and a first half comical error by the home custodian started a mini goal spree for the visitors who held a three goal advantage at the interval. In the second half, the hosts were considerably more competitive, but the damage had been done and the hosts, try as they might could not pull back even one strike!
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Laurence Reade, right next to the stand with his satchel.
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Friday 29th March 2024 – 7.00pm
South West Peninsular League
Premier Division West
Holsworthy 0
Bude Town 0
Referee: Luke Dennis.                                                              Attendance: 906
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                                           Programme: £1.00
The ground staff worked wonders on the sodden turf and the referee allowed play on a pitch that was not as good as Honiton, last evening. These two teams, less than ten miles apart served up a rip roaring first period, but lacking in goals despite the visitors having the edge, playing up the slope. The second period was more of the same, except that the hosts contrived to fluff two clear cut chances. Good game, despite the lack of goals!
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Saturday 30th March 2024 – 11.30am
South West Peninsular League Premier Division West
Liskeard Athletic 2
Ruben Kane 23, Max Gilbert 50
Dobwalls 0
Referee: Paul Redding                                                                Attendance: 508
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6)                                              Programme: £1.00
Liskeard are flying high in the West division and took this game very comfortably despite the match opening with a monsoon of Biblical proportions. That had died away by the time the hosts scored the opening goal. After that, it was all plain sailing.
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Saturday 30th March 2024 – 3.00pm
South West Peninsular League
Premier Division East
Elburton Villa 1
Bentley Alcantara 56 (pen), Bentley Alcantara s/o 90+10
Bovey Tracey 2
Josh Haynes 15, 31, Mitch Thomas s/o 56, Neil Last s/o 90+10
Referee: Murat Kaymaz.                                                Attendance: 311
Admission: OMGDS £4.00 (£6).                                 Programme: £2.00
A minimalist ground with no cover, except that provided by a fifty seater Meccano stand. Two mid table teams and the visitors were comfortable winners despite having a man dismissed around the hour mark. The referee was exceptionally fussy and did not endear himself to a host of hoppers, and there were a further two dismissals deep into stoppage time!
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