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I Go To Extremes*

In a week of extreme heat bathing St Helens in napalm sunshine it was fitting that Wednesday's Sutton session was considerably cooler and played in welcoming breezy conditions The session broke new ground with the splitting of the warm up activity in two portions The static stretching warm up exercises conducted at registration before the dynamic exercising and ball drill work out on the AstroTurf meadow The new approach presented slightly more actual playing time as Moneyball churned out its selections However the calculations were then thrown into disarray with the sudden appearance of a ghostly presence back from a toilet visit So instead of 4 teams of 5 that on paper at least looked well matched suddenly Yellow were gifted an extra player to help their cause Would players please make the effort to attend to their comforts before expecting to play?

The teams were:

Yellow - Chris Willo, Lord Rainford, Grav, Deisco Deggs, Citeh Geoff and Dave Bates Motel

Pink - Bally, Jeff Betty, Les Meldrew, Mike Bates and Mike Ox

Blue - Chris 4G, Haggis, Gary Griff, Phil and Martin Mc

White - Joe the Ghost, Steve Honeyman, Gonzalo, Tom Stretch and Lee Thomo

First up was the match between Yellow and Pink which was a tight affair eventually decided by a solitary strike from the Huyton Hitman Disco Deggs He responded quickly (but not by running) to hold off a challenge from Jeff Betty to fire home Yellow made the most of the extra player to snuff out all Pink attempts to draw level The extra man was a factor throughout the evening but Pink gave a good account of themselves and the game was very even

Next door the White and Blue cancelled each other out with a spirited 1-1 draw Joe found space to slide home for White whilst Gary Griff produced Blue's leveller This result represented the high water spot for Blue who played the remaining part of the night with injuries to Chris 4G and Gary Griff restricting their ability to compete

White met Pink in the second round of matches Almost from the start White grabbed the game thanks to Gonzalo who found the early breakthrough that gave White the platform to dominate Tom Parr dominated the midfield areas and his supply of passing set up Gonzalo to double the lead soon after Joe the Ghost produced a sublime turn but then wasted a golden chance by delaying his next contribution (waiting for the applause?) Gonzalo spared the net with a succession of shots that instead troubled the woodwork Pinks rallied with Mike Bates prominent but it was the best football of the night that wrapped up the result Tom found Gonzalo who played a one-two with Lee before a smart layoff gave Steve the Honeyman the sort of chance he thrives on 3- nil and some magical play from White

Yellow's second match was a comprehensive win with a slight hint of menace over the injury stricken Blue Despite their numerical advantage there was evidence that Yellow might resort to the dark arts to ensure their win Coach Davies was faced with some token dissent (that was later regretted) but the 3-0 win with goals by Huyton's finest, Grave and Dave Bates Motel sealed the win By this point Blues were certainly running (sic) on empty

The final flourish showcased the White and Yellow whilst El Presidente officiated in the Pink v Blue horror show Blue were effectively playing with 2 passengers and were quickly behind to strikes from Bally and Jeff Betty In a rare foray Blue looked set to threaten the Pink goal only for the wily Meldrew to fall in the act of defending Play had to be immediately stopped to ensure that Victor was OK Play then restarted with the keeper, threat gone job done! Bally repeated his early goal scoring trick of firing across the injured keeper into the far corner 3-0 Mike Ox was next on target as Pink bossed the possession, goals and more goals through Bally again and the Ox Normal service was briefly punctuated when Haggis scored in a rare Blue attack but 6-1 was the final outcome Even the brief appearance of El Presidente as a stand in Blue couldn't prevent the rout

The Yellow v White showdown was an end to end thriller but inevitably the extra player told and Yellow secured a 1-0 win with a strike from Lord Rainford

The Boot Room session post game included a demonstration of Lord Rainford's most effective shooting technique with El Presidente delighting the packed audience with his lordly impression The left foot dispatching the ball in a tangent easier to visualise than describe The night ended with the England Lionesses victory over signoritas by the score and even El Presidente applauding the plucky gals!

Whilst talking of International horizons remember you can stake your place in history by being part of the Club's visit to Llandudno FC on Wednesday 10th August A minibus will leave St Helens in mid morning to Llandudno to play their Walking Footballers at the OPS Wind Arena in early afternoon Thereafter retiring to the Clubhouse to enjoy refreshments and a BBQ The minibus will depart Llandudno about 6/6:30 to drive back to St Helens arriving in good time to catch Coronation Street/East Enders or Emmerdale (other TV programmes are available) If you would like to be involved let one of the Executive know or post on the Group Social WhatsApp site

I Go To Extremes* - Billy Joel

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