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(Football) Lover’s Holiday*

Its that time of the year when even some of the hardened Walking Footballers of St Helens WFC decide that need a bit of R ‘n’ R and disappear off for a few weeks in the sun. Although some of them (mentioning no names…) do seem to have been on perpetual holiday for most of 2023!

Despite that we had enough to have four teams playing at a hot ‘n’ sticky Ruskin Drive on Monday; and lined up as follows, with all matches adjudicated under the benign (?) control of Jeff Betty and Lord Rainford: -

Pinks: Tom Stretch Parr, Paul J, Mags, Mark (no relation) Davies, Amazon Prime, Eamon

Reds: Donal, Mark, Enoch, Cockney Rebel, Grav, Dave ‘Grazer’ Clark

Blue: Monday Michelle, Anita, Little John, Les ‘moneybag’ Meldrew, Tony’ Snakehips’ and Charlie

Green: Phil the Power, Citeh Geoff, Andy Man(anger)Haggis, Mika, Geoff

Now the eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that one or two players appear twice in the piccys accompanying this (rather belated – sorry) blog. This is caused that perennial hazard of players-moving-about-a-bit-when-we-are-trying-to-sort-out-teams; and efforts to even things up, so we get no too one-sided thrashings. Which, I am glad to say, mostly works.

On to the action. On the far pitch, Reds took on Greens overseen by Lord R, with neither side finding the net, although both Donal and Phil made the goalposts quiver with shots which then rebounded pout to safety. Haggis had one of those frustrating days when the ball always gets stuck under your feet when you find space and a good position, Dave Grazer Clark in goal blocked everything that came his way. Some classy moves all round and the ref’s eye was particularly caught by Geoff P’s passing, finding the Monday Ruskin groove more suited to his cultured feet than the sometimes frenetic pace of Sutton on a Wednesday.

On the near pitch however, Pinks did find the net over Blues, 3 times. After a long absence it was a great welcome back for Mags who got herself on the score sheet (good preparation for the Dick Kerr cup at the weekend) with Tom ‘Stretch Parr’ and Paul also contributing.

The 2nd round of games didn’t see a goal between them. Overseen by Jeff, Pinks and Reds cancelled each other out with Donal again hitting a post, this time both of them with the ball failing to cross the line. Meanwhile on the far pitch a great defensive display by Blues – with Charlie outstanding in nets - kept Greens out. However Blues were always on the back foot as the defensive discipline of Citeh Geoff and Andy Mann in Green meant Michelle, Tony and Little John never had a sniff.

Into the last 20 minutes and on the near pitch Greens finally got the win they deserved but they had Harry Haggis in goal to thank for some fine saves. Not the favourite position for SHWFC’s youngest, but he put in an excellent shift to make up for his earlier frustrations. This was topped off with goals for Phil the power (was he running? Not according to Jeff B!) and – in a rare sortie up field - Andy Mann.

Meanwhile, under a bit of shade from the trees on the far side Blues could not continue their heroic defensive efforts as heat and tiredness took their toll in their attempts to keep Pinks at bay. The blue defence went awol near the end of first half giving an unmarked Mark the chance to make it 1-0; and then after the restart a bit of a mix up ended with Little John managing a back pass into his own net. Oh Calamity! At that point our brave Bleus knew the game was up, conceding a 3rd (sorry 3rd Pink scorer, who were you?) (... Joe the birthday ghost we've been informed) before Lord R ended their morning with the blessed sound of the final whistle.

(Football) Lovers Holiday - Change

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