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Kirsty will save the day/It’s a (sky blue) curse (*)

Updated: Apr 2, 2023

Sometimes at SHWFC’s sessions you get one moment that needs to feature. Then for many weeks you get great games, fun sessions, but no real stand out events. But just recently we’ve had two champagne moments:-

1) Lord Rainford’s ball of God (that passeth all understanding); and

2) Les Meldrew’s goal that shook the world (or, at the very least, next door’s Badminton players).

To those entries to the SHWFC hall of fame must now be added a third from March 2023, Kirsty Stockton’s double save. So spectacular that (I’m told) her own players wanted to transgress the rules and invade her own penalty area to congratulate her. “Get out of me box, get out of me box” shrieked our panic stricken net – minder-ess; anxious lest her good work be undone by some over-officious refereeing. Fortunately this did not come to pass; and we knew what you meant Kirsty; we knew what you meant.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Ruskin, Monday morning and another bumper turnout from SHWFC’s members meant we again had 6 teams spread out over three pitches. The new Briggs/Houghton/Brack/Fitz selection method again worked a treat – and quickly - which meant over the course of an hour every team played every other. And below, thanks to some of my snap-happy colleagues, you will see the team and line ups.

Well, don’t take the above photos as gospel as in another Cockney Rebel innovation we introduced a system which meant that no team played with one less player throughout the whole hour. This was after the previous week where, CR’s own team had 6 players, but most others had seven. Fought the good fight they did, but by the last game constantly being one player down meant they were dead on their feet.

The new innovation meant if your team started off with one less player than your opponents in the first game, you then took one of their players for the next game. For Monday’s session that meant if you started off with 6, for the next game you had 7. That way, playing with one player less was shared throughout the morning, but does mean that in some cases players may have scored for more than one team.

Of course, if you are reading this on a Saturday night having had the odd alcoholic beverage or two, your reaction to that explanation may well be ‘eh? You what?’ But trust me, it did work and with a little refinement we may well be using it from now on.

So, on to the football. And to illustrate the success of our new innovations I am happy to report that there were no real one sided games, with the biggest margin only being two goals. So, the proof of the pudding was in the eating; or rather the cake – this week celebrating both Gonzalo and Gaz’s birthdays in the Slipper Room afterwards with a bumper post-match attendance.

In the first session Pinks narrowly pipped Blacks 1-0 in a game packed with incident. Gonzalo got the goal, had one spectacularly tipped over by Lord R and Chris was denied a 2nd goal for Pinks only by the ref’s final whistle. In between time, Blacks hit the post twice, including one of those agonising ones which hits one post, then runs all along the goal line before going past the other post! Michelle on her debut looked as though she’d been playing for years. Our other debutant, Viv also had a fine first outing and we look forward to both of them featuring regularly in the future.

In the other opening games Orange beat Sky 2-0 with Kenny getting both, and Greens edged out Purple with Sheila being the only scorer.

Into the 2nd round and here the evenness of teams and the swapping players jiggery- pokery showed its uses, as there was only 1 goal, Mark (no relation) for Pinks against Orange. Both Blacks v Purple and Sky v Green finished goalless, and this theme continued in round three when between them all of our 6 teams failed find the net., partly due to the aforementioned Kirsty S’s heroics, plus another fine goalkeeping performance from Anita.

Into round 4 and two of our regular goalscorers decided it was about time they hauled up their slacks and redeemed off their reputations. Steve Honeyman got both goals as Greens beat Orange, and Gonzalo (not him again) 2 as Pink triumphed over Purple. Sky and Black, however, continued the SHWFC goal drought, but mainly thanks to an unusually misfiring Tom ‘Stretch’ Parr; and Lord R’s hands again coming in useful as he tipped a Gaz stinger round the post – ouch!

Now if you’ve been paying attention you may have noticed a theme here, and that is “Sky Blue 0”. For the 2nd week running Sky Blues were now in danger of finishing without having scored once. Apparently, there was at least one common factor in both weeks…...Julie. But although we won’t blame her, our selectors have been told to make sure she wears a different coloured bib next week!

And so, to the final round. Pink got another 2-0 win over Greens with you know who again getting both goals. Blacks finally got on the score sheet with Phil the Power getting the only goal of the game v Orange with Referee Les deciding that as BOTH Phil and Dave B were running he couldn’t make a decision, so the goal stood. Phew! In the other game it was, inevitably, Purple 0……..Sky blue 0!

(* Whitney Houston/ The Fall - now there’s two acts you don’t often see quoted together!)

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Points 1 & 2 are going to run and run aren’t they The Mousetrap of Walking Football Promise not to mention them again unless money changes hands (Anon)

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