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Copy of Shoot From The Hip*

Another week another set of wildly different weather conditions to deal with Monday's Ruskin Sports Village session offered an insight to the fun ahead 36 players in varying states of preparedness assembled in the usual half dozen banks of one line for speedy selection, having endured the twists and turns served as warm ups by Clark Junior (Gaz)

It is amazing how much time is wasted every session by those who, rather than wait for the Slipper Salon feast, decide they need to bend the ears of those around them Others decide to wait until the photographer has performed their duties to then get unwrapped for the game, meaning that the games are further delayed "Its your time" as the Referee used to say to time wasting players who've failed to realise they're actually trailing in the match Oh well we can only control so much

The teams finally persuaded to line-up were;

Sky - Dave Grazer Clark , Paul F, Spiro, Paul Roger Moore, Mike McSpeed and Steve Honeyman

Pink - Triallist, Gonzalo, Harry the Hatchet, Charlie, Eamon, Snakehips in civvies

Yellow - Les Meldrew, Gaz Clark, Tom Derby, Eileen, Alan Aldo and Dave Amazon Prime

Black - Phil the Cat, Deggs, Andy Enoch Powell , Kenny, Ian Lefty Bridge and El Presidente

Orange - Mika Andrews , Kirsty, Geoff P, Barry Wizz, Wickie and Steve Jonah

Purple - Robin, Mark NR, Thatto Dave, Citeh Geoff, Tom Stretch and Haggis (bib or purple trunks or possibly kilt?)

In a change to the recent norm, referees for the morning's excitement were; Jeff Betty, Les Lomax and Martin Cockney Rebel Briggs The Late Colin Williams was unavailable but the troublesome trio handled proceedings with all customary necessary cruelty and the knowledge they had right on their side

When play eventually did commence with first round of fixtures produced some early cautious play as the sides found their feet Purple and Yellow or the bruise Derby, as it is known only to the author, had plenty to admire Loads of great passing, energetic movement but sadly no goals to show Defences standing firm, keepers repelling anything that slipped through those rearguards 0-0 the inevitable result after a promising opening

There was just one goal that separated the Pink from Black with Gonzalo claiming his first of the morning Black were solid but lacked a cutting edge 1-0 Pink blushing with embarrassment

A similar story in the Sky v Orange game, a late penalty conceded by Grazer then valiantly saved before Geoff P somehow scrambled the rebound into the net 1-0 Orange victorious

Round Two and goals all over the place, rather like some of the defending Haggis tucked away 2 goals from his position by the keeper's side His first was a peach A shot diverted into the top corner, the second helped by the keeper going perhaps too early to ground Purple 2-0 winners Black undone by the Scottish sharp shooter, wild red hair under his Tartan bonnet flowing in the wind

Yellow passed Sky into submission with Aldo claimed his first brace of the day and Gaz sealing the deal 3-0 to Yellow full reward for a fine passing display

Pink had too much guile for Orange with Gonzalo claiming both goals 2-0 the result

Black and Green served up a dour struggle in Round Three, with Black unable to put away the many chances created, 0-0 both sides grateful to hear the final whistle?

Purple prevailed against Yellow though it took a goal from Thatto Dave to see off the plucky Yellow who were now struggling to assert themselves on the opposition Pink had too much energy for Sky, Gonzalo and Eamon rounding off the scoring 2-0 though perhaps not reflecting the Pink advantage

There were no winners in Round Four indeed no goals either in the Orange v Yellow or Pink v Purple games

Black at last found some fluidity and took advantage of defence frailty to take a two goal lead over Sky

Ian Lefty Bridge with both goals for Black who then inexplicably surrendered the lead to a typical Mike McSpeed goal and a collectors item goal by Paul 'Roger' Moore 2-2 Sky clawing a share of the spoils from a game where they were clinging on for much of the match

In the final series Pink and Yellow finished goal less, a game that certainly wasn't a boring nil-nil draw Purple claimed the session's highest goal haul with a 4-0 mauling of Sky Goals by Tom Stretch, Haggis, Mark NR and finally a penalty by Thatto Dave (after Roger had invaded the area) secured the icing on the cake

Did someone mention cake? (Literary gold dust) The sumptuous surroundings of the Slipper Salon could barely cope with the surfeit of confectionery on offer post match The decision to de-camp to one of the 'Dining Rooms' meant we had private access and plenty of space to spread out to feast upon the excellent fare And the largesse promises to continue another week as excess stocks remain uneaten at the final countdown Will next Monday prove to be the final attempt or can we count on the calories another week?

Lately our attempts to conduct business as usual has been thwarted to some extent by weather and televised football So it was a pleasant surprise to see 30 members prise themselves away from the warmth of their home surroundings to join our Sutton SoccerDome session in midweek. On arrival the car park resembled a space lottery with the School Open Night and the knowledge that each child has at least 2 cars to ferry them about explained that particular lack of space

When the dust settled we had two sessions with the usual suspects indoors whilst the rough tough jolly brigade were 20 strong plus 2 Refs and a ball boy (term used loosely) taking up the challenge of the AstroTurf tundra

The innards were;

Red - Les Meldrew, Citeh Geoff, Michelle Wednesday, Steve Carine and Grav

Yellow - Lord Rainford, Chopper, Kenny, Joe the Ghost and Andy Enoch Powell

Meanwhile their hard Outward Bounder kindred were;

Red - Deano, Jack McMahon (free signing from knee surgery rangers), Wickie, Tom Stretch and Haggis

Yellow - Kidda (not to be confused with Kiddo), Eamon, Mike Ox and Andy Man(anger)

Blue - Phil the Power, Eileen, Gaz, Jason and Jim

Green - Paul Roger Moore, Little John, Chris 4 G, Pirate Brothers - Mulla and Chris 10P

Referees for the evening were the Cockney Rebel indoor southern softie and El Presidente and Jeff Betty outdoor northern toughies (who writes this nonsense?)

The indoor pressure cooker atmosphere produced another goal laden and occasionally tetchy trial for Mr Rebel our Refereeing hero The goals flowed at regular intervals with Steve Carine claiming a seven goal haul for the Red! The remaining goals were scored by Michelle, Grav and Joe with two Eleven goals in all

Yellow hit 6 in reply thanks to a Kenny hat trick and Lord Rainford It would be appear that Joe claimed a goal for Yellow as did Grav for Red but whether this is the result of a cunning plan aimed at levelling up or a reporting oversight remains unclear

In a feisty encounter Kenny was awarded the dubious honour of a spell on the naughty step for a Blue Card (now the subject of 5 days analysis on Sky Sports)

Our Referee, through the haze of a rare Chelsea victory and with the aid of an interpreter, was impressed with the quality of play throughout the evening and summed up the night's controversy with a shrug and comment that 'Boys will be boys!' 11-6 to Red

Outside we had the luxury of 4 teams of 5 and set two pitches to allow battle to commence

Jeff Betty blew his whistle to get Blue v Green underway The game pitched a strong Green outfit against a resilient Blue and included a maiden goal for Paul Roger Moore as his Green team edged to a 3-1 victory Chris 10P and Mulla were also on target with Jim firing in Blue's solitary reply

Next up a much tighter game as Blue were just squeezed out by Yellow by 2-1 Goals by Mike Ox and Thatto Dave sealed the win though Jim did pull one back before the end

In Jeff's final match he presided over a 3-1 win for Yellow (playing in Blue to ease a likely colour clash) against the Green (or lime possibly) Goals by Andy Man(anger) and Eamon plus another by Chris (at this point it was clear Jeff needed a lie down as Blue had no Chris in their ranks) There was a Chris - the 10P for Prout variety in the Green line up and he claimed the Green consolation 3-1 the final countdown as Herr Betty was led away too exhausted by his honest endeavours to even make it to the Boot Room for the post match media session

El Presidente officiated over the night's other outside fixtures Yellow v Red were first under the microscope Jack on debut started well displaying a good range of passing The opening game featured Yellow and Red A tale of sizing up the opponent before delivering the Coup de Grace Haggis almost hit an early goal before Kidda seized a lucky break off Wickie to put Yellow ahead Deano struck shortly after to level up before Andy Man claimed a deserved goal to steer Red to a 2-1 victory

Red played Green in the next game and for long periods were left struggling to clear their decks Chris 10P hit a hat trick taking full advantage of Haggis ' lack of goal keeping experience The last goal a smart move across the area steering a shot against the grain of travel Haggis frustrated made a couple of good stops but the 3 goal lead was probably fair reflection Mulla struck twice in quick succession but Wickie stole in to register Red's solo goal before time ran out 5-1 the score line Green on top throughout

The night's final game was much closer result, in doubt until the very end of play

Blue (having switched shirts to assist the identification difficulties on the adjacent pitch from their earlier Yellow livery) matched Red from start to finish as the result reflects

Haggis swept Red into the lead, though there was a strong suspicion Deano had been a tad too enthusiastic in the build up As the dust settled Phil the Power the Yelow closest to the questionable advantage granted, took a sweet revenge shooting a deserved equaliser 1-1 Yellow back on terms Deano claimed a good second to put Red into a narrow 2-1 lead as Gonzalo arrived to offer his coaching insights for the remaining match Phil produced a fine long pass to set up Jason for a chance he didn't waste 2-2 Jim claimed the next to push his team ahead 3-2 Gaz stretched the lead to 4-2 before Jack marked his debut with a fine strike to make it 4-3 to Red

Undaunted by the deficit Tom Stretch equalised with some powerful approach work in midfield to made it 4-4 Inthe dying moments Tom then stretched every fibre to find a winner 5-4 and a classic contest settled at the death by Tesco's Cake Aisle's resident Walking Football Meister

All agreed that Walking Football was the real winner The final game a classic that might have gone either way The Boot Room was stripped of one of its regulars with the unavailability of Taylor D

His lacklustre display on Monday morning meant he had to report for extra training and realignment Jeff Betty was also a late call off with a flimsy excuse of over exuberance on Monday evening the unconvincing excuse Nevertheless the media duties were shared with relish by the surviving reprobates

Talk moved swiftly to discussions of Tuesday's Heart Event and whether Pilkington could weather FFP considerations to fulfil their appearance obligations We wait with bated breath to discover the outcome

A reminder Burnley FC Community Walking Football Group plus Farnworth Foxes will play SHWFC finest with Pilkington Masters providing a reminder/distraction of the Old Days in a special fund raising/awareness session Ruskin 11:00 to 2pm All for a genuinely worthy cause the British Heart Foundation

Shoot From The Hip* - Brothers Osborne

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