Some splendid entertainment was served up for the Prawn Sandwich brigade lucky enough to be present for today's Ruskin Drive session. It was good to see a couple of our injured players present to cheer on their teammates. Our best wishes to all who are currently recovering from minor and not so minor injuries. The day started in bright sunshine, warm and sunny despite the doubtful weather warning issued by the weather Gods. We went through preliminaries with zeal and application, warming the heart of Coach Davies, who passed the task of team selection to he Chairman and Secretary with good grace. Using the now familiar Moneyball formula 3 teams of 5 were assembled to do battle for the day's honours.
The teams were:
Sky; Joe, Alex, Steve F, Colin and David H
Red; Phil, Andy, Les, David T and Martin W
Green; Tony, Tom, Jeff, Mike A and Steve R (debutant)
The Moneyball formula seemed to worked a treat with the first game pitting Sky and Reds together in an entertaining game that was evenly poised throughout. Goals by Joe and Colin for Sky with a reply from Andy set the scene for a late leveler from Andy to share the spoils. The game had ebbed and flowed from end to end with great passing and movement from both outfits evident throughout. So an opening draw to whet the appetite of onlookers.
Sky entertained Greens in the next match with Steve Rivers,, another from the Burtonwood conveyor belt of talented players, making his debut. Green playing a slightly quicker pace than their opponents who relied on the firepower of David H and Colin leading the line. Alex missed a rare chance for glory just failing to apply the finish that his movement deserved. Chances for David H and Steve F typified Sky's dominance but lack of end product. Jeff broke the deadlock with a smart snapshot past (Sleepy) Joe (Biden). 1 nil to Green against the run (or walk surely Ed?) Tony fired in another soon after to double the lead, Green now dominating the midfield exchanges. After another midfield surge, Jeff fired a shot that had Alex juggling the ball. Luckily our Treasurer knows how to keep a grip on things and retrieved the ball before it troubled the whitewash. The game ended with Greens surprising 2-0 victors to end the first round of matches.
Greens faced a tougher examination in their game with the very experienced Reds. Andy, who seemed to be everywhere, combined with Les to great effect but Greens endurance held out. As time ran out neither side could find a winner so 0-0 with no goals to show for all the effort displayed.
The final game was a personal triumph for Martin W, who tackled all who dared to venture his way. In the dying moments he unleashed a fine drive that rattled the post but somehow evaded the net. A good performance from Haydock's favourite troubadour. Les scored the morning's last goal with "an excellent goal. Les atoning for a missed penalty from earlier in the session. My thanks to Jeff for this contribution. He's clearly auditioning for the Pundit's role, with one eye on his extended recuperation period post new knee (whenever that might be) Current Pundit hot seat is occupied by Alan McKie. The rumour of a visit to celebrity clinic the Priory is neither denied or acknowledged by this reporter.
In a final act of petulance there was a torrential downpour to bring the curtain down on the morning's proceedings. Some excellent games and play from all.
Can we do it again on Wednesday? Oh go on then!