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In And Out*

We are once more endebted to Lord Rainford's faithful retainer, who returned to pick up his quill once more after a spell on the sidelines with sedan chair carriers elbow

We thank too the local apothecary who managed to sober him up so that he could at least find pen and paper to create this latest offering

October, according to St Helens Council (from whom SHWFC hire our pitches) is the start of Winter. Whilst I cannot comment on whether this is accurate meteorology, it does mean that we now start our 6 months of splitting our Wednesday Sutton sessions between indoors and outdoors

After the latest Executive Committee meeting (yes, it takes 8 of us to sort this sort of thing out!) steps were taken to curtail last years free for all Those members of a delicate nature bagged indoor sessions days (worse case 7 days) in advance causing frustration for all. But so successful was the new online booking system that we had insufficient volunteers to brave the gym This meant that the potential to be deafened by child cheerleaders in the other half of the gym was passed up too Witnesses claim these kids were put through their paces to an ever-repeated soundtrack played at Spinal Tap levels

Eventually through much arm twisting and special pleading we had 2 teams of 6 and only the swish of racket on shuttlecock (I had to be careful with that description) from the badminton players to content with. No earplugs needed – well at least for one week.

All this pre-amble waffle has probably given the game away that your reporter has lost the team sheets and didn’t take any pictures, so an 8-8 draw, played in great sporting spirit by all concerned must remain just a memory for those there.

However, having nicked a page from Referee Lord Rainford's notebook we can record that at the first break for water, scores were even at Red 2 vBlue 2

At the break Blue held a narrow 4-3 lead, with Lee and Andy putting them in front, Joe replying for Red.

Into the third quarter and Red pegged Blue back to level matters up at 6-6, Joe, Kenny and Steve’s 3 goals overcoming two from Gaz and Grav.

Into the final quarter (I know it sounds a bit NFL but it gets hot inside and breaks for water every 15 mins are a sensible precaution) – who would come out on top? It looked as though honours would go to Red who took an 8-6 lead with Kenny scoring from the spot after Andy in goal had come out of box and Joe adding his third of the night. But Blue didn’t give up with Lee getting one back and then – as yet another cohort of badminton players were getting ready to replace us, Roger having already been warned, encroached into the area giving Blue a penalty with the last kick of the game. With ice in his veins Grav showed no signs of pressure and stepped up to put it in the corner to make honours even.

Now to the great outdoors where those playing were delighted to welcome one of the heroes of last years over 65’s National Cup run, Speedo Mick, back playing after a long absence.  Fortunately someone DID remember their camera for that part of the evening, so here are your al-fresco teams:-

Greens: Neil, Deano, Darron, Speedo M and Muller

Reds: Chris 4G, Little John, Roger, Daz and Paul M

Blue: Barry, Martin Mc, Chris Willo, Eileen and Keith

Orange: Chris 10P, Tom Derby, Michelle Wednesday, Haggis, Tom Stretch and Eamon.

We have reports from those games where Cockney Rebel (aka our very own social Sec, Martin Briggs) took charge. In his first game Green overcame Blue 2-1, with Deano scoring both goals for green, and Martin Mc replying for Blue. Green dominated with crisp passing and movement. Blue team had movement issues, that might have been different if Gonzalo hadn’t been transferred to Ref duties (he would have been a Blue).

Blue then, sadly, continued their losing streak, with a 2-4 loss to Red. Martin Mc scored again for Blue with a move started from the first kick off with Keith adding their second. Red scorers were Chris 4G, Daz and two for Paul M. A brave performance from Blue who were struggling to overcome uneven sides all night.

Into the final game on CR’s pitch where Red stayed on and manged to overcome Green in a tight encounter, 1-0. It might have been different had Deano not missed a penalty After Roger went walkabout in the box, with Chris 4G scoring the only goal of the game.

Gonzalo reported great sportsmanship and discipline during his spell with the whistle Orange drew the opening match against Red with Daz back from a spell on tour with a goal to delight his many fans (cheque made out to cash please) Chris 10P levelled as the game finished all square 1-1

Orange were squashed by Green 5-2 Chris 10P Tom Stretch on the mark whilst Deano and Darron with Green goals. In the final reckoning Orange blew Blue away 4-1 Eamon, Tom and Chris 10P prominent in a one sided game

Gonzalo was quick to mention the tremendous performance of Eileen, who continues to improve Neat passing, excellent calm attitude in possession and in her impressive positional play marked her out for these plaudits

Great start to Winter so good we should do it all over again

In And Out* - Willie Hutch (former singer, song writer and producer with Motown records)

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