Stars

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Saturday 16th September 2017 ko 16.15

North Berkshire League Division One/ James Rennie Trophy

WESTMINSTER 5 (Connolly 18og Younie 26 72 75 78) Hughes missed pen 5 Hickey sent off 65 (Serious Foul Play)

NORTH OXFORD 1 (Hamis 19) Ward sent off 88 (2nd booking)

Att 108 at Appleton Sportsfield

Entry by programme £4

In planning this event I’d come close to drawing a blank with where to head for our last game. An option was Ardington & Lockinge but I want the hop to visit there next season, and another was Hagbourne United but the Parish Council’s habit of booking out their clubhouse at short notice causing late postponements made that a non-starter. The answer came when I was doing a spot of stadium announcing for the NBFL’s War Memorial Cup Final, and Westminster were one of the finalists. Continue reading

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Belfast

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Saturday 16th September 2017 ko 13.15

North Berkshire League Division One

HARWELL VILLAGE 1 (Churchouse 75) Tyler sent off 69 (2nd booking) P Powell missed penalty 89 

LONG WITTENHAM ATHLETIC 1 (Cheong 50)

Att 117 at AEA Sports Ground, Chilton, near Harwell

Entry by Programme £4

I’m not sure we even changed postcode during our trip from the R.A.L. Ground, round the Science Park to the Atomic Energy Association Sports Ground, one or two even walked it! Once we’d got the first game organised in Chilton, it was an obvious choice to head here although I’m fairly sure one or two people misunderstood Harwell’s reason for playing here.  Continue reading

Diamond Lights

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Saturday 16th September 2017 k0 10.45

North Berkshire League Division 3

DRAYTON 7 (Dennis 8 29 55p 68 S Bolton 15 C Bolton 51 Hughes 57)

UFFINGTON UNITED 1 (Harfield 66)

Att 112 at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Pitch, Chilton, near Harwell.

Entry by programme £4

In so many ways the North Berkshire Hop is the Hummingbird of the organised hops. We’re off pyramid, we’ve only ever been a one-day event, and we’ve even had another league schedule a rival “Hop” against us. But despite some folks turning up their noses up at us, and a few even telling us it wouldn’t work, just like the hummingbird, that the laws of physics say shouldn’t fly, we’re still here, and still doing things our way.  Continue reading

Intrigue

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Friday 15th September 2017 ko 19.30

Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy First Round

MILTON UNITED 2 (Morgan 23 Davies 75)

STANFORD-IN-THE-VALE 0

Att 91

Entry £5

Programme £1

It seems that part of the ritual of the North Berkshire League Hop is a precursor game. The tradition started in 2014 when I wanted to do something to help Abingdon Town, and despite the lack of floodlights in the league, just Uffington United this season we’ve managed to stage one every year since. Who could forget the Wally Bus? Continue reading

Stretching It

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Tuesday 5th September 2017 ko 19.45

Eastern Counties League Division One

DOWNHAM TOWN 1 (Sykes 66) Bailey sent off 59 (2nd Booking)

NORWICH UNITED RESERVES 3 (Stewart 7 Will 21 Jackson 74p)

Att 95

Entry & Programme £5

 

A fixture in the Norfolk town of Downham Market is just about as far as I can manage midweek, and it did help that was a slight delay to kick off for a rather unusual reason! Continue reading

The Island Line

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Saturday 2nd September 2017 ko 13.30

Isle of Wight League – Division One

SHANKLIN 2 (Nash 7 14) Sam Hart missed penalty 31

COWES SPORTS RESERVES 2 (Holdsworth 55 83) 

Att c35

Entry FREE

If you’re the kind of person who looks for the cheapest and easiest way to do things, you’d never use the hovercraft to get to the Isle of Wight. The parking in Southsea is just too expensive, and its so much more straightforward to take the car across from Southampton to Cowes. But life isn’t about treading the path most trodden, and it was Robyn’s birthday after all!

Continue reading

Finale

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Monday 28th August 2017 ko 17.00

South Wales Alliance Division 2

LLANRUMNEY UNITED 3 (Cachia 19 Raymond 61 Beckley 76og)

CARDIFF COSMOPOLITAN 1 (Ramasut 51)

Att 215

Entry £3

Programme £1

So all good things must come to an end, and so two coaches slowly picked their way through Cardiff towards the city’s north-east. By repute the area is the birthplace of Sir Henry Morgan, privateer, governor of Jamaica, and inspiration for Captain Morgan rum. But I had plenty to think about.  Continue reading

The Carpenter

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Monday 28th August 2017 ko 13.45

South Wales Alliance Division 2

ST JOSEPH’S 0

CARDIFF AIRPORT 5 (Richards 7 Caton 35 73 90 Fallas 64)

Att 258

Entry £3

Programme £1

It didn’t take long for the coaches to get from Penarth to Cardiff, despite the usual bank holiday traffic. In fact the only issue was working out exactly where the ground was, tucked away as it is behind the suburban housing. The fact that this was for a hop game helped, after 9 games I could recognise many of the hoppers’ cars! Continue reading

The Two Fences

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Monday 28th August 2017 ko 11.00

South Wales Alliance Division One

COGAN CORONATION 0 Boulton sent off 71 (2nd Booking)

AFC WHITCHURCH 6 (Bould 11 Spencer 27 Woodman 49 Fry 54 90 Brazier 74p)

Att 227

Entry £3

Programme £1

Monday dawned, and I half-showered, half used the warm water to breath life into my tired legs. Just the 3 games left, in what has become something of a tradition, Cardiff Monday, scheduled for a coach drop after the final game at Cardiff Central Railway Station. I found myself wondering why I and others were so tired after 7 games when at Maine Road we’d felt more sprightly after 10? Continue reading

Brecknock

Sunday 27th August 2017 ko 18.00

South Wales Alliance Premier Division

BRECON CORINTHIANS 2 (Bain 54 C Jones 83)

PONTLOTTYN AFC 0

Att 236

Entry £3

Programme £1

We headed north from Cwmbach heading past the site of the Tower Colliery in Hirwaun. It was quite a poignant moment as one of our coach drivers Nigel, was and is a shareholder in the workers’ buyout that saw the mine re-open in 1995 and continue work until 2008, and even now the site is being used for open-cast mining.

From there, we left the valleys crossing the Brecon Beacons National Park, and to my way of thinking at least, we left South Wales, entering Mid-Wales in the process.  Continue reading