Wednesday, 15 August 2018

POTTY ABOUT THE POTTERS AS STOKE RACE ON

STOKE POTTERS 29 COVENTRY BEES 29
NATIONAL LEAGUE @ LOOMER ROAD
11 AUGUST 2018 --- 7PM
LOOMER ROAD STADIUM
How does speedway continue to do it?  Well I guess here at Stoke you should ask promoter Dave Tattum and a merry band of helpers plus the small band of supporters who continue to turn up every Saturday but what is so clear from my short stay tonight is that speedway oozes out of every pore in their bodies.
This enticing visit to Loomer Road came about after a chance meeting at Wythenshaw Amateurs with Pete from home base, see previous blog, with a lift offered back to base via a Stoke Potters meeting that may not take place due to the rain and the words 'It's not like Owlerton you know'.  The latter being the home of Sheffield Tigers and destination for a couple of visits a season made often now too difficult by public transport restrictions.
Where too start well the bar at the clubs current stadium led me to old memorabilia and a memory trip of Hanley Potters who were based out of Sun St very close to what is now the centre of Hanley the shopping district of the five towns that make up Stoke On Trent.  While situated here the club regularly welcomed attendances in five figures but when the club departed and speedway was no more in the city in 1963 it took a further decade before a re-emergence at the current site.  Adjacent to the Holditch Colliery one of many in this area of Staffordshire there appeared to be an encouragement from the Coal Board for sporting development and being to the north west of the city in Chesterton the club added Potters to its new found base for one year before the current Stoke prefix took hold.  There they have remained save for a break in 1993 and a merger with homeless Cradley Heath for once season in 1996 before returning to their rightful title Stoke Potters.
The club dropped out of the Premier League in 2010 for operational and I guess increasing financial demands and have since traded in the third tier of Speedway, the National League, this season they are fighting a rear guard action being kept off the bottom spot by Buxton Hitmen who could break a record by being the only team to go through a speedway season without a win. 
The stadium previously incorporated greyhound meetings with the dog track being uniquely on the inside of the race track before re siting to the more normal practice of outside although the four legged meets finished here in the 90s, the track still nostalgically displays Chesterton Greyhound and Speedway above the rear of the stand.
ENTRANCE TERRACE AND STAND SIDE VIEW OF THE LOOMER ROAD STADIUM
Having arrived and turned round at Apedale Park, an interesting country park based on pit memorabilia and a miniature railway, just below the entrance to the stadium.  The rain hadn't arrived yet Pete was eager to get in to smell the methanol or is it Castrol oil?  The debate rages but there is nothing more telling that you are at speedway than this and the noise of a meeting, I opted for a walk around before plumping to pay my admission waiting on any rains that at 15 minutes before the start had not arrived.
Fifteen pound had gained me admission and a smart little programme and scorecard and a pleasant greeting ahead of entry through the car park to the stadium.  Grounds of character we love them and this is just that at any moment you expected Elvis, The Bay City Rollers or any other star of the 1970s to appear because Loomer Road is a blast back to the glory days that time left behind.  Sadly there has not been too much upgrading done to the structure but this just adds to the experience of visiting sports stadia how they used to be and of course with finances at a premium over such a large sight the main thing is the stadia is still seeing speedway action thanks to its promoter Mr Tattum.
Ground descriptor is not easy and as is customary a circuit of the circuit was undertaken taking an immediate right around the track side, behind large fences and up to the back straight which is banked and offers an excellent view for those who choose to park their cars their to watch from, a wise choice as the rain swept in at the start of the meeting.  Coming back round to the final bend the pits are located top of the bank with a sloped runway to trackside.  Viewing from the stand terrace is partially obstructed with earth bank built up on the former greyhound track I guess this is a protector from the stock car racing that also takes place here.
So the star of the show the stand and terracing the latter at our entry point continues past the curve of the first bend and takes on a straight line with some crush barriers in a nostalgic mode the far side of the stand offers a higher terrace giving an excellent view of the final bend and in between a terrace that is covered in front of the main stand which offers much more inside.
NO DOUBT WHO HE IS SUPPORTING SOME GREAT WEAR AT THE TRACK SHOP TOO
The lofty bar position, snack bar and excellent track shop are situated high above the track and to the front cafeteria type seats and tables that offer protection from the weather and an eagle eyed view of proceedings.  The walls are adorned with memories of the good old days and most of the patrons can remember those days I guess and have stuck with the team and sport through thick and a lot of thin.  Most of the bar area I suspect has seen little change since its opening in the 1970s and upon creaking into the toilet doors I was careful not to disturb a spiders web which I guess may also date from around the same time.  Humour apart the people involved in running Speedway at this level and its band of followers deserve a medal and to see these many regulars getting together on a Saturday night something they have clearly done for years should be an inspiration for many other sports.  Indeed Pete travels over from North Derbyshire on a regular basis and meets up with a few buddies and tonight the club collected another £15 you have his enthusiasm to thank for getting me along.
With a 5,000 capacity not tested tonight I guess around 200 were in attendance with a few followers from Coventry Bees and there in lies another story.  Homeless and out of their stadium they ride out of Beaumont Leys, Leicester and dream of a return to their Brandon home which by all accounts is under the new homes saga.
The rains came down on schedule at 7pm with drizzle to persistent sharp rain being the flavours on offer the meeting was a close affair as Pete had told me it might be and after a slightly delayed start the whole effort to get through 10 heats in just an hour, some going, produced a result at 29-29 and an abandonment before it got too dangerous but a result of sorts even though Bees take two points for an away win to Stoke a singular for the home win.
EARLY ACTION BEFORE THE RAINS CAME
Understandably in the conditions there were a few un-seatings and a few of the races were well spread out but the longer the meeting went on the better it got with heat ten being the most exciting.
To mix the metaphors heat 9 became a two horse race and Rob Shuttleworth secured three points for the Potters to make it 25-27 and so to heat 10.  Tom Perry lead from the start save for a brief interlude on the third lap on the final bend but the Potters rider recovered front spot more or less immediately to secure three race wins and with Bees Luke Ruddick second the point that Stoke gained From Adam Extance who came in third meant that the meeting was tied at 29 a piece.  At this point a decision was made by referee and riders that enough was enough and health and safety won the day in all honesty this meeting had been well moved through its heats and it was great to see a proactive move to at least get an hours interesting speedway on the books.
In conversation with some of the visiting Bees supporters and appreciating their hard times the general consensus that in three years time this level of speedway would not be around and like any sport this has to be sad times if this prediction comes to fruition for both the committed supporters and the hard working promoters and riders at this level that 'just love the sport' and want nothing more than a night out with the smell, noise and excitement of a speedway meeting.
From the blogs point of view a short meeting but fully enjoyed the experience of the chance to visit and see the Stoke Potters in action I shall watch their endeavours and hope for a return to the glory days for them soon.

Monday, 13 August 2018

AMMIES OPENING HOME WIN ON THEIR NEW ADVENTURE

WYTHENSHAWE AMATEURS 3 ABBEY HULTON UTD 2
NWCFL SOUTH @ HOLLYEDGE PARK
11 AUGUST 2018 ---- 3PM
COLIN MURRAY [RIGHT] WINS IT FOR WYTHENSHAWE AMATEURS IN STOPAGE TIME
A game that swung first one way then another saw home NWCFL debutants Wythenshawe Amateurs start as opening scorers and finish as winners in a game that included a penalty a collection of cards including two of the red variety for the Staffordshire visitors.
With the football versus cricket dilemma being won over by the amount of new clubs in The NWCFL since its extra league one has been split north and south in flavour, the chance to get along to Ammies a club many people around the area had been encouraging me to do was too much to miss on the Saturday morning.
NEW BIT OF KIT SOON TO BE SEATED
Public transport travel was going very well, surprisingly, that was until we arrived at Sheffield station when screaming kids, screaming mothers and the same family with a couple of dogs allocated themselves a seat close by within ten minutes I had re positioned myself to a drop down seat by the doors to escape this constant barrage.  Grumpy man syndrome is taking over but there does seem  complete lack of ability to control kids today and the rest of the carriage will suffer too is the parental skill adopted.
THE LONG SOCK BRIGADE OUR ON SHOW
Thankfully departure forty minutes later at Stockport had allowed a little time to visit a recommended chippy, thanks Sean, in the guise of 'Grandads' freshly prepared fish and while waiting the eat in side of the establishment was performing a brisk trade to the back drop of old black and white Stockport scenes.
The option to eat on the go was taken and the chance to have a look around Stockport, something I had not done for a while, found a town that from eye blink to eye blink that skipped from modern to run down to derelict and back again.  But its a fascinating town with its hat making history and railway viaduct the old buildings above eye level offer some fantastic look into the towns past glories non more so than the entrance to Robinsons Unicorn brewery.
DOMINIC LILLIE [7] GRABS THE OPENING HOME GOAL IN AMMIES DEBUT NWCFL SEASON
With plenty of time and regular buses by the ground and onto Wythenshawe I decided to take a look at the civic centre of todays named club which is in the Sharston district very close to Gatley on the eastern edge of the town the opposite side to the cross town rivals who bear the 'town' name.  One of the towns claim to fame is that when it was moved into Greater Manchester from Cheshire control and the area developed to allow housing outside the industrial centre of Manchester it was the biggest collection of council house estates in Europe.  However at the time nobody it appeared thought of putting in shops and a mobile van served the area, today though the smart and functional 70's style commercial centre is surrounded by a couple of large corporate stores.  Along side this the town is served by the excellent Metro-link tram and a new bus interchange which strangely on arrival sees the vehicles slow down to the maximum speed limit of 5 mph, the only problem being the small interchange can take a whole afternoon to get out of!  There are a raft of famous people brought up in or born in the area Harry H Corbett, Johnny Marr and more recently Marcus Rashford in an area that saw Channel four film Shameless around the tower blocks.
But all is smart today on a bright sunny afternoon it was time to re trace the wheels of the number 11 to the southern edge of Hollyedge Park where a pleasant walk through the park brought the ground into view.
WythenshaweAmateurs have had a somewhat nomadic existence around their successful times in The Manchester League and indeed moved into their new ground just over a year ago playing the first game there in September 2017 and only in May this year was the ground an smart new clubhouse officially opened by Man United legend Bryan Robson.
WATCHING YOU WYTHENSHAWEAMATEURS
Turning right out of the park into the car park I was directed towards the 'pay box' and welcomed at both points a brief chat after purchasing programme [£2] and £3 admission a bargain all round.  The paperwork is smart and professionally produced and does all and a little more than some clubs do so well done.  While walking through the small car park it was noticeable that the club had today well organised and had a plan at this point I was greeted by President John Walker with over 70 years at the club you could tell this was a proud day for him and of course the club, I hope you enjoy your season credit to you.
Ground descriptor then to the right we have a small enclosure on the half way line which apparently will be seated with standing accommodation cover to come behind the goal, walking round the far touchline and two smart dugouts are in situ we arrived back at the clubhouse and changing rooms which is behind the entrance goal, with a front terrace they offer a smart and new feel to proceedings.  With floodlight bases and ducting in the club are on course it would appear to get them in by the end of September deadline.  The ground on three sides is enclosed by high green meshed fencing which offer a clear view of the game from outside the ground something I know lots of step 6 clubs in the East Midlands have been told needs changing before they gained promotion.  Of course some grace has been given on this by the authorities with the amount of clubs coming into this new structure and of course Wythenshawe re more than moving along with their plans, I just hope they don't get the short arms long pockets brigade watching from outside certainly today they didn't with a crowd of 172 it was the top NWCFL crowd.
Surprisingly Chris from the Buxton Parish was in attendance so it was great to catch up with you wearing your old 'Ammies' badge and then out from his car popped Pete from the home parish, more of which later.
ABBEY HULTON IN CONTROL
League leaders Abbey Hulton arrived looking to sweep aside the league newcomers but after a nervous start the home side got into the game and took the lead on 20 minutes when Dominic Lillie swept the ball in from close range.  The advantage didn't last long with three further minutes elapsed when Angelo Errico converted from close range the competitive nature of the game from the visitors was coming to the fore with every decision questioned on and off the field with the 'tactic' appearing to be to unsettle the referee thankfully Ammies kept out of this game.  The visitors were reduced to ten men on 32 minutes when Jake Stribling was sent off and Abbey Hulton would now have to be careful in the second period.
KIERAN LAZENBY MAKES IT 2-1 TO THE VISITORS FROM THE PENALTY SPOT
But of course when that next 45 minutes came the usual happened a sharp challenge in the Wythenshawe box led to Kieran Lazenby being upended the offended against player got up and struck home the spot kick to give the ten men the lead.  Once again the advantage didn't last long as the goal of the game from Joel Aikenhead who crashed home a 25 yard drive to level it at two apiece.
AND RELAX THOSE NECK MUSCLES
The visitors tactics seemed to be continuing but referee Aran Hodgkinson was having non of it when on 82 minutes who reduced their total to nine with a straight red card for Sam Luke for a clash in front of the dug outs.
The home side now pushed on and sensed they might break down the visitors for a memorable victory cheered on by the home and neutral supporters.  The ninety minutes was up but after a host of 'talking too's' and stoppages there must be time to add on, indeed there was in the second minute of stoppage time Wythenshawe Amateurs remarkable day off with a wining goal.  Cutting into the box off the left James Green low cross found Colin Murray who lashed the ball home through a collection of players to send the home fans and players wild and the first home win was secured in their new league.
A nice welcoming club who I shall watch out for this season and one point to remember is that in their 72 year history Wythenshawe Amateurs have never been relegated, onward and upward.
The day wasn't over though as the next blog will tell Pete offered me a lift back to base but it would be via Stoke speedway something that he did not expect to take place with the precipitation forecast but whatever it would be a chance to talk sport or at best take in a new sports stadium.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

TEVERSAL CONTINUE STRONG START WITH WIN AT VICS

BORROWASH VICS 0 TEVERSAL 2
EAST MIDLANDS COUNTIES LEAGUE @ ANDERSON ELECTRICAL ARENA
8 AUGUST 2018 --- 7.45PM
BORROWASH VICS ANDERSON ELECTRICAL ARENA
Teversal made it two wins from two outings confirming their poor pre season form mattered for nothing because its all about winning when the season starts and tonight Mathew Wilkinson and Joel Smith provided the finishing touches that showed that Teversal will be there or there about again this season against a resolute Vics.
An interesting first game of the 2018/19 football season would take me to Derby and for the first time since a few seasons ago when Derby County Ladies played at the ground and Sunday afternoons were spent watching the Rams.  Night games on public transport are becoming increasingly difficult with the loss of many services and tonight I was grateful to intrepid photographer Bill Wheatcroft for travel to and from the game to create an interesting first visit for the season.
THE JOE KELLOGG STAND WITH CLUBHOUSE
Based alongside Graham St Prims on The Asterdale Club site I have covered the surrounds and both grounds before so wont go big on them again except to say Borrowash are a resilient outfit who deserve some good fortune after ground problems with vandals and an expansive 'bowl' of a stadium that must be too time consuming to look after the club have fenced of some of the moor expansive areas.  But overall the volunteers do a remarkable job to keep on going against I guess the odds at many times during.  They now have a steady set of changing rooms, club house area and adjoining stand/terrace with the piece de resistance being the large cantilever stand which sits back a little from the pitch but is absolutely the selling point of the ground.
REFEREE LIAM VAYRO LEADS OUT THE TEAMS
Having paid our admission and gained a copy of the programmes there was time to obtain the teams and also greet a few of the Tevie officials who were enjoying the terrace area outside the clubhouse, as ever a pleasure and I look forward to a Carnarvon St visit soon.
The game started off at a pace with a hard and bobbly pitch, to be expected after the red hot weather of the last few months,  there was much endeavour and the home side were proving to have the upper hand but gradually Teversal got a foothold into the game and the home side were thankful to Lewis Soar for an excellent tip over the bar.  It was the number one who was called into action when he saved from Wilkinson but just three minutes before the break it was the same player who was put through and he chipped the kee to give the Nottinghamshire side the lead.
SOME EARLY MATCH ACTION
On the stroke of half time danger man Wilkinson crashed a header against the bar and Borrowash were relived to hear the half time whistle from referee Vayro.
Vics were giving this game a good old go but the more likely side looked like Teversal and so it proved on 75 minutes when a sharp move saw Joel Smith tap home a neat close range cross from Ben Cartwright doubled the visitors lead.  In the closing stages Wilkinson again found Soar in fine form between the sticks for Borrowash.
A close game at the final whistle but one that Teversal did enough to claim the three points Borrowash showed enough though that if they can keep that level of performance up they ought not to struggle at the wrong end this season.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

LEMON SQUEEZES OUT ANOTHER VICTORY FOR MORTON

SOUTH WINGFIELD 200 FOR 9 MORTON 204 FOR 3
MANSFIELD AND DISTRICT LEAGUE SECTION 1 @ HOLME LANE
5 AUGUST 2018 1.30PM
In the battle of the two near neighbours attention switched to Sunday cricket after Saturdays abandonment a couple of weeks ago in The Derbyshire League but for Jordan Lemon it was a return to normal service as he hit 94 to steer Morton to victory alongside Daniel Caunt who carried his bat for 54 not out with nearly ten over to spare.
JORDAN LEMON GOES BIG FOR MORTON
The outcome may not have looked too good earlier on when South Wingfield had put on a century opening stand with both Alex Briggs [51] and Lee Radford [55 setting the home side up for a big score that never materialised apart from Kyle Mitchell who hit big for his 56.
A BRIEF VIEW OF THE GAME FOR THE EAST MIDLANDS TRAINS LONDON BOUND SERVICE
With the weather holding fine the opportunity arose to visit Holme Lane for the first time for a game although on a few occasions a look at the ground had taken place on local walks including a conversation with the grounds man so it was good to finally make a visit.
A PRETTY VIEW OF THE AFTERNOON AT SOUTH WINGFIELD
The away coach, ok service bus, was boarded to Alfreton and thanks to the lack of bus services, thanks Derbyshire County Council, the couple of miles to our destination was completed on foot on a blisteringly hot afternoon.
WINGFIELD MANOR OVERSEES ONE OF HARRY WILMOTT'S EARY BOUNDARIES
The ground sits just on the edge of the village and close by to Oakerthorpe and with the main Sheffield to London line bustling past on the adjacent embankment there would be additional interest for the train buffs.  I had also forgot the geographical placement of Wingfield Manor in the near distance which made for a good back drop to proceedings.  The Manor had been the 'home' of Mary Queen of Scots for a period of time during here being held at Her Majesty, Elizabeth l's pleasure during their rivalry nearly 500 years ago.
SAM EVANS FOR MORTON FROM THE PAVILION END
So the ground then is gated nicely with club references in the ironwork with to the left the changing rooms which look smart and functional moving further on the clubhouse is cosy and very warm today and beyond this a manual scoreboard and nets plus patio seated area.  The scoreboard is now redundant with a superb electronic effort at the far end of the ground which is just in the right place for games here.  Moving round the steep embankment leads to the main railway line and behind the bowlers arm at the far end is an additional ground for South Wingfield's 3rd team.  In the distance here in a lofty position is Wingfield Manor and as you continue around the boundary edge a view of South Wingfield also set on a ridge and then back towards the business end All Saints Parish Church which also sits slightly away from the village.  So quite a lot to view during any quieter moments in the cricket and a ground that even though I was aware of its placement surprised me.
THREE GENERATIONS OF THE WILMOTT FAMILY IN ATTENDANCE
To the action and after a stand of 104 for the opening wicket with Briggs and Radford completing half centuries it looked as though the home side could go big but apart from Mitchell [K] with a further half century it never materialised and the close of the innings came at just 200.  From the Morton point of view impressive bowling figures came for captain Blair Mathews with 3 for 5 and Jacob Truswell 3 for 25.
HARRY WILMOTT MISJUDGES ONE
In reply the visitors saw Harry Wilmott superbly drive the first two deliveries for four but when he fell with the score on 24 doubts could have set in.  But the calmness and stick-ability of Daniel Caunt who batted through for his 54 not out was complimented by Lemon who rolled onto 94 with some first cautious and then free flowing scoring a minor wobble occurred when he fell after the two had put on 138 and then Jack Talbot was out with just one run added to the score.
JORDAN LEMON TOP SCORES WITH 94 FOR MORTON
But Morton were to reach their target with no further scares with seven wickets and nearly ten overs in hand.
A pleasant afternoon at a pretty and well appointed ground which has to be worth a visit for any sporting hoppers.

Monday, 6 August 2018

KIRKBURTON PARTNERSHIP MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

GOLCAR 172 ALL OUT KIRKBURTON 211 FOR 8
HUDDERSFIELD CRICKET LEAGUE PREMIER @ SWALLOW LANE
4 AUGUST 2018 --- 1PM
GOLCAR CRICKET CLUB TOWARDS SCAPEGOAT HILL
The visitors were grateful for a partnership of 87 between Toby Booth [67] and Rohan Randhawa [54] which made the difference between a win and a loss today which saw Golcar fall shot of the four an over target thanks to frugal bowling from Alex Scholefield with 4 for 18.
TOBY BOOTH TOP MATCH SCORE FOR KIRKBURTON
Big decisions with the start of some non league football today it was the pull of the Huddersfield League that won the day hands down especially with some once more glorious weather.
The day could be placed into two pots dreadful and wonderful the latter will feature large in the blog a superbly set cricket ground and village, with the former the woes of public transport coming once again too the fore.
The journey started off with a late bus to base station followed by a delayed train all was well when boarding the Penistone Line at Sheffield until Barnsley when the train overloaded with standing throughout, apparently this was due to a food and drink fayre in Huddersfield.
WILL HINCHLIFFE PUTS IN THE EFFORT FOR GOLCAR
Upon arrival this was self evident placed in the square outside the station the whole site was packed with a wide and varied selection of food and drink to sample.  Time was tight of course and with a smart walk to the adjacent bus station a First Bus 301 was used for the journey three miles to the west of Huddersfield and our destination today.  The first challenge was local pronunciation for Golcar and luckily I got away with it 'return to Goker' a bargain at £3 and with Yorkshire Tiger seemingly in competition on the route it was a very well served destination that took you up hill down dale and around some tight streets until final departure in Golcar just short of 1230pm.
IF ITS YORKSHIRE ITS CRICKET WITH WHITEWASHED WALLS
Golcar sits in a lofty position in the Colne Valley with the village and ground offering fine views over to Emley TV mast, again, Holme Moss and into the valley below.  The village is not quite top of the hill though with a selection of views offered to the even more lofty Scapegoat Hill.  As with all these villages some of the small nooks and crannies offer 'last of the summer wine' references and with a scattering of former mills still in place the areas past is well represented.
EXCITEMENT IS HIGH AS GOLCAR APPEAL
As usual a Yorkshire village isn't a Yorkshire village without a Coop and Golcar is well catered for here with a smart store indeed three of its central buildings have coop stonework on their fascia.  Moving along Swallow Lane the short distance to The Commerical public house who in years gone by the club rented a smaller version of todays ground from you gain entry by a lane at the side.
With a driveway to the left that leads to a dour coloured clubhouse with a newer changing room block and smart scoreboard, which was very well operated today, beyond the business end a fine view down the valley and on to Holme Moss is there for all to enjoy.  White stonewashed walls well in evidence again today with to the right a double banked raised viewing area, much like Delph and Dobcross offering a fine view and a selection of raised bench seating, there clearly was more seating in the past but todays coverage is more than enough for the 50 or so who gathered during the afternoon.  The view beyond here is really what makes the setting the back yards of stone terraces that climb Swallow Lane towards Scapegoat Hill towering above the ground with its houses offering a view back over Gods own county.  The latter statement is something that constantly has me throwing objects at the TV when local BBC programme Look North describe Yorkshire, of course being from a neighbouring county, but today I have to relent alright it is!
Back to the clubhouse which is well operated and is a saving break for a couple of hefty soft drink refills during the afternoon and outside a friendly chat with a gentleman whose friends run 'cricket heritage' blog which is well worth a viewing, indeed much of the afternoon was spent passing the time with a friendly local bunch of spectators as another circuit was completed.
ALEX SCHOLEFIELD 10 WITH THE BAT BUT WATCH OUT WITH THE BALL
Kirkburton fancied a bat and when they fell to 9 for 2 and then 76 for 5 they maybe questioned the call but when Randhawa joined Booth in the middle the innings stabilised and then progressed Booth his 67 off 80 balls and the former 54 off 70 balls.
RANDHAWA MATCH WINNING PARTNERSHIP FOR KIRKBURTON
It wasn't looking easy to score runs too quickly and after the start made the visitors would be pleased with their final total.  For Golcar Australian Sam Mills took 4 for 58 and a few of the home side appeared happy with this score and suggested they would have taken that before the start and indeed it did look an achievable target.
Tea interval saw the one and only visit to the Coop and alongside the usual food culprits there was a chance to sample a Jones of Huddersfield pie something that I had not experienced since Denby Dale last year.  With the final crumbs mopped up the umpires were on their way back out to the middle.
SAM MILLS GOING ALONG WELL
It had a familiar start to the second innings of the day with openers Abdul Wahid and Staurt Whitwam back in the pavilion before the score could reach double figures, indeed the first run did not come until the fourth over and at 27 for 3 Golcar were in need of a Kirkburton stand.
It fell to Ifran Amjad [30] and Mills [32] who were gong along nicely and having put on 59 they looked to be developing the partnership that could get the home side close that was until the latter got a leading edge of the bowling of William Reeves to be caught by Andrew Smith.
IFRAN AMJAD PRODUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP
Wickets fell at regular intervals and at 138 for 8 all looked lost and indeed it was when just shy of 7.45pm Will Hinchliffe was bowled by Alex Scholefield who returned with 4 for 18 in a tremendous effort.  There was a spirited effort from Liam Rothery [29*] at number 10 but it proved futile as Kirkburton wrapped up the victory by 39 runs.
JACOB MULHALL GOLCAR CC
The setting here made it one of those ground that you just didn't want to leave a superb afternoon and with one of the backdrops about to disappear, I'm told, with building of 17 houses in the adjoining field much of the view of the terraces rising up to Scapegoat Hill will be lost so if you fancy a trip get along now to take in a further unique ground in the Huddersfield league.
Back to the town centre and having squeezed through the masses at the food fayre who were now slightly the worse for wear there was enough time to board the train back to Sheffield and as the train became fuller at departure time the well oiled customers sang and shouted their way back down the Penistone line with strangely a more acceptable noise level being returned after departure from Barnsley.
Arrival back in Sheffield found the connecting train cancelled and when finally returned to base station  there was nearly an hour wait for a bus the visit to that famous fast food take way was undertaken before the final journey of the day, on time[!] saw arrival at base just after 11pm,.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

RAIN THE WINNER IN TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH

MORTON CCC 184 FOR 5 SOUTH WINGFIELD [MATCH ABANDONED-RAIN]
DERBYSHIRE CRICKET LEAGUE DIVISION 2 @ BACK LANE
28 JULY 2018 --- 1.30PM 
The return of the 'real' English summer saw this mouth-watering top of the table clash called off by the umpires with Morton still unable to complete their innings after the second lengthy interruption.  First placed South Wingfield had set a enthralling challenge for their third placed hosts and neighbours who had reached 184 for five before the outfield had taken a further deluge.
BEFORE THE RAINS AT MORTON ASHLEY CAUNT GETS A GOOD STRIDE IN ON HIS WAS TO A HALF CENTURY
Cards on the table and today was planned for a trip to see some Yorkshire Rugby League in Nottighamshire!  The Outlaws have found themselves a new home following the loss of the Midlands League however they have lost three recent league fixtures with clubs defaulting the night before games and with Bramley Buffalos the visitors this weekend all were confident of the challenge being on, that was until I noticed their social media had the game off on Friday afternoon with the visitors unable to raise a team.  Its a sad state of affairs for the Nottingham club who have a new ground and facilities that are being left vacant on many a weekend now when the vital revenue a first team fixture offers them falls by the wayside.
With the overnight weather relatively kind the forecast for Saturday around the East Midlands was for sunshine and showers and after an early morning downpour all looked good for a trip to the home of cricket MCCC, ok there is one to many 'C's' but it always feels like home as I'm sure I've mentioned before thanks to the friendly set up.
IT ALL LOOKED SO GOOD EARLY ON WITH THE SUN SHINING
More so supported by a warm welcome from all and a refreshing mug of tea, thanks Tony, while the excitement of the coin toss was awaited.
OPENER BLAIR MATHEWS AMASSES THE RUNS
With a strong breeze, ok near gale on the far side, the red hot summer days of the last two months had left us but we got away on time and Morton were asked to bat by the visitors.
The start envisaged was all that Morton made a reality as openers Ashley Caunt [56] and Blair Mathews [39] made a cautious and then increasingly positive impact on the scoreboard,  The former celebrated a confident half century which included a remarkable 10 fours and with his opening partner the pair put on 102 for the first wicket when Mathews was run out with both batsman finding themselves at the non strikers end.
ASHLEY CAUNT TAKES THE PLAUDITS FOR HIS HALF CENTURY
The dismissal brought in Jordan Lemon [8] who we were not too witness in the middle too long today when he gloved Ahmed Bashir to Steven Shuttleworth the score was 113 for 2.
Wickets normally slow the run rate down and from 5 and a half an over Morton were drifting back down to 4 and over and when Caunt went seven runs later there was a moments doubt when John Aspinall [6] and Jack Stone [5] both fell lbw to Kyle Mitchell  the score was now 164 for 5, however the saving grace was Alexander Eyre [51*], including nine fours and when he was joined by big hitting captain Paul Holmes [5*].
ALEXANDER EYRE ALSO ENJOYS A HALF CENTURY FOR MORTON
Hopes of moving the score along briskly in the remaining overs were alive.   For the visitors Mitchell returned a creditable 3 for 53 from 14 overs.
THE LEAST FAVOURITE SIGHT AT A CRICKET GROUND
The first break in play at 3.45pm resulted in an early tea interval to try and placate the now angry and wet clouds with a complete loss of the breeze they were going nowhere except over Charlie Wrights outfield.  An hour later when play re started it was only for just under half an hour [5.15pm] with frustratingly 4 overs still to be bowled Morton were parked up on 184.
MORTON CAPTAIN PAUL HOLMES SPOTS THE CAMERA AGAIN
So to the joys of rainy days in cricket pavilions chats, sugar induced confectionery, tea and of course the all too regular popping outside in the pouring rain to convince yourself it was definitely getting brighter over our Bills Mothers.
All around there seemed to be lighter weather and blue sky but this little so and so would not move off from Morton and when Umpires Roper and Armishaw took at look an hour after coming off the game was abandoned.
CAPTAIN AND UMPIRES DISCUSS THE BENEFITS OF CHESSE SANDWICHES OVER CUCMBER
As all cricket lovers know the inevitable happened within five minutes the rain stopped the blue sky returned and delivered a beautiful summers evening good enough for a game of cricket, if of course the outfield had not been so wet.

Monday, 23 July 2018

DELPH AND DOBCROSS WRAP UP EARLY VICTORY

DELPH & DOBCROSS 207 ALL OUT CAWTHORNE 97 ALL OUT
HUDDERSFIELD CRICKET LEAGUE PREMIER @ HUDDERSFIELD RD
21 JULY 2018 --- 1PM
DELPH AND DOBCROSS CRICKET GROUND
Delph & Dobcross had wrapped up this win against Barnsley based Cawthorne by 5.30pm and 20 overs in thanks to a superb batting display from Mosun Hussain [79] and an excellent bowling performance by Umer Yaqoob who returned 5 for 36 as the visitors fell 110 runs short.
Having previously only visited this area of Lancashire for NCL Rugby League at nearby Saddleworth Rangers the visit to Delph about another 5 miles further north had been on the cards for a few seasons.  Forecasts of rain last season and then moor fires a few weeks ago had constantly seen a diversion somewhere else but the clubs positive contribution to its social media account and the lovely ground finally saw the day arrive when all things came together for a visit.
Departing from base at 1020 a comfortable change for the connection in Piccadilly saw a delay at Stalybridge which put the tight bus change at Greenfield station in jeopardy, however with three minutes to spare the Olympic sprint over the rail bridge saw the Saddleworth Rambler service awaiting me.
LOOKING TOWARDS DELPH VILLAGE
Travelling through the delightfully busy Uppermill this service veered off around the exquisitely named Diggle and back through the narrow streets of Dobcross before I even knew it and once it had negotiated the crossroads at Delph a departure one stop before the village saw arrival at the nearby ground having just missed the first three overs.
The Huddersfield League has certainly become my 'pet' league and once again the ground supports my theory that this league throughout its clubs has the prettiest grounds of any in the country.  As ever with the day long event that cricket is and the travelling involved it was only a shame that the area could not be explored a little more however tea break did allow for a dash for a look at Delph village centre.
THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT WHERE YOU ARE
Some grounds are hard to describe there is so much going on in around them and the Huddersfield Rd site is no different situated over the boundary in Lancashire the club sits by the main road back into Yorkshire.  Delph was once in the West Riding but it often amazes me how the 'Yorkies' try to claim everything I believe they could even make an excuse for Plymouth being historically in the West Riding too!
Down the slope leads to the clubhouse and upper deck changing rooms with to the side the tea room which offer on the slate roof a whitewashed notification that you are at Delph and Dobcross CC.  As we entered the ground to the right a sharp bank leads up from the pitch and the first plateau offers a selection of blue tip up seats, the next rise offers some bench seats with the area boundary being the obligatory white washed stone walls that are so often present in Yorkshire and Lancashire.  Coming down behind the bowlers arm a flat area backed by the grazing sheep and into the far corner a scoreboard and scorers box above the grounds mans office, again this area is back dropped by sheep and the rising fields lead to a row of semi detached houses beyond on Dale Fields.  Coming back towards the clubhouse this area again offers a selection of tip up seats, memorial benches and picnic tables all of which became nicely populated during the days play.  Additionally just adjacent to the ground is the local crown green bowling home with a few matches on today the whole site had a busy feel about it.
THE REVERSE LOOK BACK TO THE GROUND FROM DALE FIELDS TOWARDS HUDDERSFIELD RD
The back drop to the ground offered hills, mill chimneys, fields and a low cloud that threatened rain but one you felt you could almost touch this was a ground that just created that wow feel and one that hopefully I can get too again soon.
MOSUN HUSSAIN ON HIS WAY TO A TOP SCORE OF 79
To the action then and Delph won the toss an elected to bat and after a steady start the first wicket fell when Nathan Jones was run out and after a miss-field at the stumps had the home sides opener kept running he would have made his ground up but opener Hussain was joined by the experienced Graeme Simpson [49] and the score jollied along before the latter was caught with the score on 131.  A controlled performance from Hussain was looking all the way like a three figure contribution was coming but with the score on 153 he misjudged one and was caught by Iqbal Khan off the bowling of Jacob Deavin-Baker.  Although annoyed with himself Hussain had set up what would be a comfortable victory for Delph with his contribution which contained 11 fours and one maximum in 80 deliveries.
JONATHAN BENNETT PUTS HIS BACK INTO IT FOR CAWTHORNE
Frustratingly for the home side they fell away with Lancashire contracted player Arron Lilley was out first ball the last seven wickets would fall for just 54 runs and the total of 207 would look an mouth wateringly 'do-able' for the visitors.  With three Cawthorne bowlers taking three wickets the stand out bowler with economy taken into account was Jonathan Bennett 3 for 14.
The latter stages of the Delph innings had seen the clubs programme come around the ground and once again a creditable effort to welcome all for a small contribution was to be given many plaudits alongside Hoylandswaine this is the only paper work seen so a fantastic effort by the club.
A BRIEF INTERVAL IN DELPH VILLAGE
The mad dash interval break to take a brief look at Delph took me down Rumbles Lane and around to the High St and the view of The Swan Hotel, Coop, Library that dissects two roads and amazingly the fish and chip shop that doesn't open on a Saturday or Sunday!  The centre was a hive of activity and can be seen on the Good Friday band displays in the much acclaimed Brassed Of film featuring of course the excellent Pete Postlethwaite alongside Tara Fitzgerald and Ewan McGregor, it was also featured in The Parole Officer movie too.  Alongside this the amount of building that just make you go 'oohhh' and 'aaahhh' number many in reality this whole area is a definite trip or short stay break must.
UMER YAQOOB THE FIRST OF HIS FIVE BOWLS LEWIS SKELLY
But with the Cawthorne reply beckoning a sharp return with a picture opportunity from Dale Fields back to the ground saw an arrival just in time for the umpires return to the field.
During the first innings it had been a pleasure to speak to Johnny Barker from Cawthorne and we spoke many things cricket and local sport and once again I had the virtues of a visit to the ground at Cawthorne extolled on me plus apparently excellent teas.  Thanks for the chat I must make it and as the club next season align to the South Yorkshire League hopefully I can get along before they leave the Huddersfield League, thanks for the chat Johnny!
MORE DELPH CELEBRATIONS AS YAQOOB DISLODGES THE BAILS AGAIN
The visitors reply started with the experienced Khan joined alongside by Lewis Skelly who was first to go for 17 bowled by Yaqoob for his first of the day.   Ben Simpson [4] was out with the score on 40, once again to Yaqoob caught behind and with the patient Khan [14] out to Wasim Qasim at the opposite end the three early wickets were now making the chase look shaky.
Four more ducks followed for Cawthorne as Yaqoob just got better and at times unplayable non more so when Deavin-Baker got an unplayable delivery that sent the bails flying.  With Adam Wiles [31*] the only player offering resistance as wickets fell around him Yaqoob secured his 'fifer' when he bowled Michael Burgess the score had fallen away to 64 for 7.  The inevitable became reality with Yaqoob continuing to bowl his supportive strike partner Qasim, 2 for 34, was given a rest and spinner Xander Selby finished the innings off with 2 for 20.  The closing stages had also seen an excellent run out by Lilley with a direct hit to send Jonathan Bennett back to the pavilion.
THEY THINK ITS ALL OVER IT IS NOW AS KIMSON DALZELL IS TRAPPED LBW
The whole game rattled along at a pace and with a pint of Blackburn brewed Thwaites to enjoy it was all happening as play came to a close around 5.30pm.  In some ways this was a saving grace because had a late finish occurred like Kirkburton last week this would have entailed a return around midnight, however when you visit a ground like this you don't want the experience to end.  Again another recommendation to visit Delph and Dobcross check the weather but if its anything like conducive to cricket get along for a look.
There was a brief moment to disturb the home scorer and purveyor of a fine social media account, thanks for your updates always interesting to see them and a club using them well to inform.
A steady walk back into the village for the 350 First bus back to Greenfield were with half an hour to spare a brief look at Saddleworth RL clubs new clubhouse and the burnt moors above it was time to join real ale train revellers, Wigan St Jude fans, Manchester night time revellers and mad old hopper aboard the train that would see an arrival back in Piccadilly with half an hour to spare before being sped back through the Peak District to arrive at base station just before 9pm. 
A thoroughly enjoyable and unique experience I know its an over used modern day descriptor but this league 'just keeps on giving'!