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Hot Dogs & Quads*. (Matt Gerdes)

It's been another epic week for those gentle folk aligned to St Helens premier Walking Football Club Monday morning's Ruskin session was hampered by rainfall that could have deeply impacted attendance but as is now standard our hardy ladies and gents turned up in numbers to mark the occasion For the record a very respectable 32 players turned out in testing circumstances

On Tuesday evening a group of 16 were LCFA guests at crisis Club Everton's Goodson Park to watch Engerland's Under 21s defeat plucky Norn Iron Under 21s in a Euro qualifying fixture A cold chilly night but good entertainment for all present El Presidente, who regaled anyone daft enough to listen to him, reminisced with tales of the Goodson games played in 1966 World Cup whilst threatening to deport a posse of Scallies who offered a chorus of Vuvuezuelas and Whistles for the game's entire duration The Hot Dogs at the interval were Premiership fare declared Kenny with no one disagreeing with his findings A picture of the Hotdog in question being demolished by Kenny's Grandson is below


Midweek and Sutton SoccerDome was a tester in windy conditions Happily there was no named storm to distract Instructions prior to play commencing implored everyone to make sure they adequately stretched their bodies in preparation for the session The photos of Gonzalo's bruised Quads were deemed unsuitable viewing before the water shed Sensibly he stayed at home though he did make a late guest appearance at the Boot Room for the Guinness Zero Love-in that followed the evening's entertainment

Quads are, of course, a hot topic with SHWFC members no fewer than 4 recently injured

So are Quads the new Knee injury?


But what of the Walking Football I hear no one ask?


Well Monday as might have mentioned was a tough start to the week

But undeterred the following teams took to the Arcoframe Arena to battle for the morning's honours;

Orange (6) - Tom Stretch, Citeh Geoff, Les Meldrew, Jill Tomo, Kenny & Sheila


Black (5) - Lord Rainford, Eileen, Grazer, Wickie and Phil the Power


Pink (5) - Grav, Les H, Donal, Charlie & Brian


Purple (5) - McSpeed, Willo, Harry the Hatchet, Enoch and Roger


Green (5) - Mika, Paul F, Kirsty, Eamon & Triallist


Sky (5) - Michelle Monday, Mark NR, Haggis, Amazon and Thatto Dave

Under the guidance of the Cockney Rebel, resplendent in flip flops and swimming shorts in preparation for his holiday just 24 hours later, games tight low scoring affairs In Game One Sky overcame Orange courtesy of a solitary strike from the Scottish hitman Haggis Game Two and a doubling of the goal action with Sky being held to a 1-1 draw by Green Mark NR hit the Sky opener but Paul Findlow (there we've said it) replied with a Green goal Fair result we are assured from poolside Costa Adeje

Game Three was scoreless but certainly not dull or uneventful Black matching Green throughout There was a flood of goals in Game Four Pink shading Purple thanks to two Grav goals, McSpeed found the net for Purple 2-1 the final result


In his last Refereeing session for some time Cockney Rebel officiated over another goal less draw with Orange and Black unable to find a winner before the lure of Slipper Room cake overcame all players and officials alike


On an adjacent pitch Ref Jeff Betty Birchall did witness rather more goals but plenty of tight games too In Game One Pink overcame a resolute Black side thanks to goals by Grav and Les H Game Two was settled by a strike from Wickie Black beating Purple in the Bruise Derby 1-0 In Game Three Haggis and an excellent goal by Michelle Monday handed Sky a 2-0 win over Orange


Game Four saw Orange recover to beat Green by the same two - nil margin, Tom Stretch and Kenny on target as Orange squashed the Green In the final match Green fared no better losing to a Donal goal as Pink prevailed one - nil


The Sutton SoccerDome threw a new curve ball with our bib provision failing to adequately offer the coverage expected The debut appearance of Mark Daverin's manly frame set a challenge that stretched our Mitre bibs to the limit Eamon, our reigning Clubman of the Year, decided to come out in sympathy as the Orange team photo shows only too well So the outside teams lined up in a slightly off-key manner


The teams outside (those who were happy to play rather than wake up at daft o clock to secure an indoor place) were;


Orange - Mulla, Ox, Eamon, Mark Dav and Wickie


White - Neil Stretch, Phil the Power, Andy Man, Jason and Eileen


Red - Little John, Thatto Dave, Deggs, Tom Stretch and Michelle Wednesday


Blue - Nigel, Chris 4G, Chris 10P, Haggis and Jim Murph

As will be now obvious, to those paying attention, we had the luxury of four teams, therefore two parallel games on two adjacent pitches Ref Jeff Betty and El Presidente offered Refereeing guidance (dictatorship) to ensure that play flowed throughout


First up was a feisty encounter with Red and Blue serving up a cracker Nigel was an early casualty, his AstroTurf trainer catching on the surface as he moved swiftly to clear Deggs claimed the first goal for Red, using all his skill and prowess to toe in the opener Chris 10P hit back shortly after seizing a loose ball to fire home 1-1 Blue took the lead shortly after with Jim lining up Haggis to fire home 2-1 Blue


A good test for both teams before Chris 10P claimed his second 3-1 to Blue Tom Stretch stuck back for 3-2 his shot finding the bottom corner Thatto Dave levelled soon after 3-3 Elsewhere there were doubts about the adjacent pitch markings quickly resolved with an eloquent explanation Chris 10P found his distance to drive in from half way 4-3 Blue with 10 minutes gone Play moved from end to end, chances were few and far between and as time expired Chris 4G found the decisive strike to ensure Blue held out to claim a narrow victory 5-3


Having struggled to understand direction about the pitch markings and number of permitted touches Orange and White found little time to play But goals by Mulla and Phil the Power meant the opener on Pitch One ended all square 1-1


Game Two with bib-challenged Orange playing Blue Eamon took full advantage of an excellent clearance from Dav to fire home 1-0 for Orange A wonderful finish by Haggis drew Blue back on terms 1-1 in less than 5 minutes explosive play The wind intensified as play continued making passing accuracy a growing challenge as time passed Chris 10P swept another shot in to the corner to put Blue 2-1 up The score line extended briefly after as Wickie went missing in action to leave his goal untended Haggis rolled the ball in to the empty net 3-1 Blue Quite why he decided to retrieve a ball that wasn't in use we might never know?


Red and White served up a close contest in their meeting The game finally settled by a solitary goal by Neil Stretch


The night's last action was a 1-1 draw with Red and Orange locked level at 1-1 Tom Stretch's goal for Red cancelled out by a Mulla strike for Orange


Blue and White was a very close game with both sides having spells on top, whilst struggling to judge the pace that the wind impacted accuracy Eileen had a fine game, defending from the front to great effect and claiming an excellent side foot goal for her efforts Phil powered a good afford just off target Andy grafted throughout White matching the previously unbeaten Blue Chris 10P eventually stole the lead with quick feet leaving White defenders beaten 1-0 Blue Jason went close for White before Eileen's strike 1-1 With less than 90 seconds left Jim Murphy fired home when a pass was intercepted in midfield Phil almost levelled but was narrowly wide Play ended with White searching for a leveller they thoroughly deserved but Blue held out to finish the night unbeaten


The Pipe and Slippers brigade indoors, as now christened by The Green Room's Seamus O'Hooligan enjoyed a little football under the iron grip of Lord Rainford There was a warning for Les Meldrew who had almost dropped a doughnut whilst attempting to offer an alternative refereeing interpretation The inclusion of all three Peaky Blinders; Enoch, Grav and Kenny in one team was testing for M'Lord but passed off by the combatants themselves as 'a bit spicy' There was plenty of action too even though it was well past their bedtime having been awake since placing their towels on the indoors sun beds at the crack of dawn



Hot Dogs & Quads* - Matt Gerdes Australian singer/song writer Another first for SHWFC!



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