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April 2021

Thursday 1st April 2021

Grafham Water: A day of cycling, this time with daughter, Claire and grand daughter Lydia (6) on the nine mile circuit of Grafham Water. The weather was considerably cooler than the previous day, but we managed to get round without too much difficulty! Good day out! Very impressed with Lydia’s stamina!


Friday 2nd April 2021

From Manton, on a cold, cloudy morning, leaving behind the railway tunnel – and the bridge that carries the railway across the A6003 which is soon to be closed for three months for major structural repairs, weaving round the edge of Rutland Water to Egleton, passing the black sheep and the church of St Edmund. Re-crossing the A6003 and the railway line, up and over the hill to Brooke and The Church of St Peter, through the village to Brooke Priory and the across the fields to Braunston-in-Rutland, a pretty village with its Saxon church (All Saints) and ‘Blue Ball’ hostelry, continuing along the road past Hibbitts Lodge and America Lodge and into the deserted medieval village of Martinsthorpe, where … I made a wrong turn and ended up at Gunthorpe manor, meeting the squire who’s pile it was, along the way! From there, it was a tricky passage back to ‘The Horse and Jockey’ where I had parked in Manton. Six stiles and 12.55 miles

The Manton Tunnel

St Edmund’s Church, Egleton

The church of St Peter in Brooke

The Dovecote at …

…the former Brooke Priory

Church of All Saints, Braunston-in-Rutland

Gunthorpe Hall


Wednesday 3rd April 1996

Hard to believe that it happened twenty-five years ago! Probably the best game I ever saw at Anfield! Went to the match with sons, James and Mike.


Saturday 3rd April 2021

Chromasport Northants Combination

Dustin Garages Cup Group C

West Haddon Albion 0

Bugbrooke St Michael’s A 4

Richard Mosdell 20, own goal, 59, Adam Greatrix 73, Nathan Simmonds 90,

Referee:- Darrell Horner. Attendance:-24


Tuesday 6th April 2021

Stratford-upon-Avon Alliance – Aquaid Division 1

Bretforton OB 2

Kamil Zieba 49, 80,

FC Wickhamford 4

Nathan Tomkotowicz 6, 62, Mike Jennings 17, Joel Haylock 40

Attendance:- 102

A very healthy attendance this local derby in the cold and blustery, snowy conditions. The match was hotly contested, but the visitors deservedly took the spoils. With John Main.


Thursday 8th April 2021

Stratford-upon-Avon Alliance Ceiling Walls Division 2

Tysoe United 1

Jordan Rooke 83,

FISSC Reserves 1

Ollie Ashley Clarke 26,

Referee:- Malcolm Price. Attendance:- 34

The visitors, in second place in the table, really should have won this game handsomely, but plucky Tysoe pulled themselves back into the game with ten minutes to go and held on for a draw in the rustic Warwickshire countryside. With John Main.

The stile was in use … but only for recovering footballs from the field adjacent to the pitch



Friday 9th April 2021

On a dull, overcast and cool morning, and with rain in the air, Grandad, Ed, son, Mike and grandson, Freddie (10) took to the bikes for a ride around Rutland Water. From Normanton to Manton (and the railway tunnel), to Egleton, for a hot chocolate and St Edmund’s Church, which was surprisingly open, missing out the Hambleton Finger, stopping for a packed lunch at Whitwell, across the dam to Normanton Church, half in and half out of the water and back to Normanton Car Park. Cracking day out! Exhilarating!

Manton Tunnel

St Edmund’s Church, Egleton

Normanton Church


Saturday 10th April 2021

Chromasport Northants Combination Duston Garages Cup Group A

Wollaston Victoria 2

Steadman Whittaker 4, 74,

Moulton 3

Ashley Stewart 8, Harry Beckley 67, 73,

Referee:- Scott Doyle Attendance:- 35

On a cold afternoon with the threat of rain in the air, this match, despite five goals, was a lacklustre affair which the visitors won a trifle fortuitously. With Grandson, Freddie and John Main.


Monday 12th April 2021

Hope Valley League Premier Division

Bamford 6

Tom Ibbotson 24, 41, 53, 59, Luke Woodhouse 27, 84,

Baslow 3

Ben Norman 35, Sam Cooper (og) 36, Scott Austin 82,

Referee:- Stuart Gould Attendance:- 33

In the idyllic and rustic surroundings of The Peak District, these two close rivals are languishing in the nether regions of the division. It was the hosts who triumphed, but not as easily as the score suggests. Baslow retrieved a two goal deficit before half-time only to concede a third just before the interval. They lost two more second half goals before replying themselves only to concede a sixth at the death. Good match. With John Main.


Tuesday 13th April 2021

Bedfordshire County League Supplementary Cup Group C

Crawley Green U23. 5

Oliver Brennan 26, Elliot Sunday 41, 54, 76, Jakeim Bakinson 86,

CS Rovers 1

David McLeod 70,

Referee:- Steve Hart. Attendance:- 14

On a chilly evening which grew cooler as the sun disappeared, Crawley Green’s youngsters made mincemeat of their opponents. After a slow start, they gathered momentum and really ought to have scored several more. Star of the show was hat trick hero, Elliot Bunday! What does the “CS” stand for? Apparently, Oasis had a hit with “Champagne Super Nova”, so the club named themselves “Champagne Super Rovers”! John Main also in attendance.


Wednesday 14th April 2021

A gentle stroll from the church of St Helen in Gumley on a beautiful, warm and sunny morning, the sky dotted with cotton wool clouds; passing the Saddington Reservoir, which services the Grand Union Canal on the way to Saddington village, where, on the final rise, a lonely white horse grazed alongside the path. Another church of St Helen was just visible upon entering the village, before crossing the fields to Smeeton Westerby amongst an unusual breed of black and white sheep. The Kings Head in the village was shuttered and barred and The Leicestershire Round wound its way up to The Grand Union Canal and Foxton Locks for a welcome cheese roll and a fine pint of local ale (my first of the year!). Climbed the locks and repaired back to The Bell Inn in Gumley. 14 stiles and 7.85 miles

Church of St Helen, Gumley

Saddington Reservoir


Smeeton Westerby – The Kings Head


Friday 16th April 2021

Nuneaton & District Sunday League Division 2

Coniston Tavern 6

Matt Lamb 17, Alex Evans 21, 50, Shane Hunter 24,

Torran Sippets 84, Kyle Hunter 88,

Bedworth Liberal Reserves 1

Morgan Lewis 27,

Referee:- Sean Divitt. Attendance:- 28

Paul’s Field hosted this encounter on a drab evening with West Coast main line trains thundering by on the other side of the fence. It was an even contest for about half an hour, but five home substitutes in the second half produced four unanswered goals and boosted the home side’s 2-1 half time score line. With John and Lee.


Saturday 17th April 2021

Stratford-upon -Avon Alliance Aquaid Division 1

Claverdon 1

Barney Knight 29 (pen),

FC Wickhamford 5

Joel Haylock 4, Nathan Tomkotowicz 8, Sean Cooke 66, Mike Jennings 72,77,

Referee:- Gary John-Lewis. Attendance:- 26 Admission:- F.O.C. Surprisingly, a free programme was available for this top of the table clash. There was never any doubt about the winners. Two goals in the first ten minutes signalled the determination and intent of the visitors and three more in the second half completed the rout. The hosts solitary reply came midway through the first period. With John Main.


Saturday 17th April 2021

Stratford-upon-Avon Alliance Aquaid Division 1

Feckenham Reserves 1

Dan Williams (og) 20,

Redditch Borough 1

George Morris 10,

Referee:- Martin Schembri. Attendance:- 32

There should be staggered kick-offs every Saturday! Mind you, this was not a game for the purist. Too much thud and blunder, like the tumultuous clash of two dinosaurs. Both goals came early in the first half and, after that, there was little to keep up any interest … except, perhaps, that the referee’s son, James, had earlier in the day played for FC Wickhamford in their match at Claverdon (see above)! With John Main.


Monday 19th April 2021

Bedfordshire County League Supplementary Cup Group D

Luton Allstars 8

Jordan West 2, Alfie Gray 6, 85, L’Shiah Augh 47, 52, 72,

Bradley Allunga 62, Tapiwanashe Maumbe 75,

Catsbrook Wanderers 0

Referee:- Antonio Santasiero. Attendance:- 34

A lovely warm afternoon turned chilly as the sun dropped over the horizon. The hosts were far to good for the Wanderers and had scored twice in the first four minutes. Thereafter, they squandered chances like confetti on the bride and it was still 2-0 at the interval. In the second half, L’Shiah Aguh (sic) helped himself to a hat trick, should have had more and Allstars ran in six unanswered second half strikes. A goodly array of hoppers, too many to mention them all, but John, Lee, Martyn and Frank were amongst them!


Tuesday 20th April 2021

On a gorgeous morning, sunny, bright and warm, the route to Harringworth Lodge was bone hard and cracked. The lake was cool, calm and clear – all the way down to the bottom. Onwards to Spanhoe and across the limestone quarry, catching a glimpse of the Welland Viaduct on descending the cart track down to Turtle Bridge. From there, the path followed the Welland to Harringworth, where the church of St John the Baptist was open. Under the viaduct and across the fields to Seaton as an East Midlands Railway passenger train gingerly negotiated the viaduct. Cherry blossoms in full bloom and the Church of All Hallows presiding over the village. In Lyddington, a fine draught of Nene Valley Ale at The White Hart hostelry, with broccoli and turnip soup and a very old vintage Bentley adorning the car park. Gretton Weir was very low! Three stiles and 14.28 miles.

Harringworth Lodge

The Welland Viaduct

Barrowden Windmill

Turtle Bridge


Tuesday 20th April 2021

Stratford-upon-Avon Alliance Aquaid Division 1

FC Wickhamford 4

James Schembri 40, 63, Louis Brown 44 (pen), Mike Jennings 49,

Feckenham Reserves 0

Referee:- Ms Levi Gray. Attendance:- 36

There was a lovely club house with a bar, but … not allowed to have a beer unless you were a member! Can I join? No. Can a member buy me a pint? No. Not best pleased! The game was a slow burner with the hosts taking a long time getting into their stride. Then, two goals in the final five minutes of the first period were followed by two more early in the second half and the demolition was complete. Very efficient referee and good to see John Main and Mike Squires!


Wednesday 21st April 2021

Cambridgeshire County League Kershaws 30 Year Senior Cup

Sawston Rovers 2

Jesse Luff 22, Will Bailey 28,

Cambridge University Press 2

Daniel Heron 48, 65,

Referee:- Cameron Rayment. Attendance:- 33

It was a chit billy this evening deep in darkest Cambridgeshire, but Sawston Rovers started hesitantly, gained confidence and by half-time, held a two goal advantage. The interval pep talk inspired the visitors to draw level after an hour, but despite plenty of end to end action, there were no further strikes.


Thursday 22nd April 2021

Stratford-upon-Avon Alliance Walls & Ceilings Division 2

Shottery United 2

Sam Weaver 41 (pen), Jake Wroley 51,

Bearley United Blues 4

Ben Earls 8, George Ross 16, Michael Drummond 64, 73,

Referee:- Gary John-Lewis. Attendance:- 30

Under a cerulean firmament in the leafy Warwickshire village of Ilmington, these two teams played out a robust fixture littered with errors. The hosts pulled back a two goal deficit only to concede a further two goals and the visitors had two men sent off in the final moments of the match.


Friday 23rd April 2021

Nuneaten Sunday League Division 2

Bedworth Liberal Reserves 1

Gavin Harding 66,

Ashby Road Sports 4

Nick Richardson 14, 58, Stu Heathcote 45+1, Anthony Cartwright (og) 52,

Referee:- Stuart Royle. Attendance:- 14

The Nicholas Chamberlain Academy hosted this match, but the home side were, once again, heavily defeated (they lost 1-6 last time out at Coniston Tavern). Two goals from the visitors’ man of the match Nick Richardson, at the beginning of each half, one from Stu Heathcote at the very end of the first period and an own goal put Sports in an unassailable position and they played the final half hour out at a comfortable pace and withheld a late Liberal onslaught! With John Main.


Saturday 24th April 2021

Cricket at Uppingham School

Oundle School (won toss) 146 all out (47.4 overs)

Uppingham School 147 for 1 (24.5 overs)

Uppingham School won by nine wickets

Oundle were missing several first teamers for this opening match of the 2021 campaign and it showed! They lost early wickets, posted a mid-innings mini revival, but their total was nowhere near enough to trouble the hosts who polished off the victory in the twenty-fifth over.


Monday 26th April 2021

Hope Valley League A Division

Hathersage 0

Pilsley Community 1

Curtis Sharples 28,

Referee:- Archie Anderson. Attendance:- 22

Deep in the Derbyshire Dales, after a fine pint at The Plough, the stage was set for a tense basement battle, bottom of the table, Pilsley taking on third bottom Hathersage. The only goal came midway through the opening period and, thereafter, despite laying siege to the visiting goalmouth, the hosts could not conjure up an equaliser.

Hathersage, they say, is the final resting place of “Little John”.


Tuesday 27th April 2021

Along the Brampton Way on a cool, overcast morning, the former railway line from Northampton to Market Harborough passes through the Oxendon tunnel (418 metres), with a “pepperpot” halfway along to let air into the tunnel. A torch might have been useful for the intrepid traveller! At the far end The Jurassic Way led out of the village across fields and along roads down to the picturesque village of Arthingworth, the English flag flying above Arthingworth Lodge, the church of St Andrew and The Bull’s Head hostelry. Out along the Harrington Road, before cutting across the fields to the thunderous A14, with access across the carriageway now denied to walkers. The Kelmarsh tunnel is 480 metres long and is paralleled by a second tunnel not open to wayfarers. Then the return to the car park at the former Kelmarsh Station. Four stiles and 9.38 miles.

Oxendon Tunnel

Kelmarsh Tunnel

The alternative (and parallel tunnel) at Kelmarsh – not open to the public


Tuesday 27th April 2021

Bedfordshire County League Supplementary Cup Group C

CS Rovers 4

Ethan Chuhan 44, Karl Dearden 45+1, Connor Hasson 80, Jordan Money 90,

FC Polonia 2

Pawell Seliqa 83, Marcin Bator 89,

Referee:- Oguz Isak. Attendance:- 7

On a cool evening at Stockwood Park in Luton, a match between the also rans in Supplementary Group C produced six goals, two of them from the hosts in the final two minutes of the opening period and two from the visitors in the final two minutes of the second period. In between, the heavens opened and rain fell getting heavier as the game progressed. Two additional second half goals to the hosts, ensured that they took the victory and the points.


Thursday 29th April 2021

Stratford-upon-Avon Alliance Division 2

Blockley Sports 0

AFC Bromsgrove 2

Brigen Beqi 17, Dominic Martin 66,

Referee:- Ms Levi Gray. Attendance:- 38

The BBC are housing their production team and vehicles for the ninth series of “Father Brown” at The Blockley Sports Club and on the far side of the pitch the allotments resembled desecrated graves as bottom of the table Blockley took on third placed AFC Bromsgrove and the expected avalanche of goals never materialised as the hosts stuck doggedly to their task and frustrated their opponents at every opportunity.


Additional match:-

7th April 2021


Needingworth United 3 Over Sports Reserves 4 Attendance:- 25

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