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Moneyball the winner as talk turns back to Walking Football

As the dust settled on Monday’s controversial session, spirits were raised with Wednesday’s Sutton Leisure AstroTurf session taking centre stage for SHWFC

The Chairman spoke passionately to remind players just why we play A brief tribute was paid to Alan Richards of Tameside Striders, who died playing the game he loved on Tuesday

Coach Davies assembled the 18 declared runners & riders in 3 teams of 6 and employed the Clubs favourite algorithm Moneyball to select exceptionally fair and even teams for the night’s entertainment

The teams were;

Dark Blue - Jeff, Nigel, Lord Rainford, Deggsy, new boy Andy Howell and Chris

Sky Blue - Grazer, Geoff, Les, Gaz, Tom and Joe the ghost

Red - Phil, Andy Capt, Lee, Steve, One More John and Gary

So accurate was the Moneyball algorithmic tea leaves that the first three games of the evening produced lots of excellent football but zero goals A demonstration of the carefully formulated balance of the playing strengths and weakness in evidence for all to admire In truth the formula presented very closely contested match ups with lots of great passing, movement and endeavour Gaz had the best early attempt to make a breakthrough but was thwarted by Huyton’s finest with a smart save So Dark Blue v Sky ended deadlocked, as did Sky v Reds in game 2 German Uber Referee Herr Pitt stamped down on running infractions with a renewed vigour The message seemed to get through

In game 3 Dark Blues v Reds finally started to apply some pressure but could not find the net, despite the best efforts of Gonzalo Higuan look-a-like Chris

Lord Rainford produced a worthy save to deny Joe, who in typical fashion had ghosted into a good position but was unable to find the net

In the Dark v Sky re-match of the Blue tones we had at last a classic goal, a flowing back to front goal with some great passing served up from keeper to striker, Higuan burying a half chance with real venom Whilst adjusting to the news of a goal, Gaz levelled with a 25 yard effort that zipped past Lord Rainford into the corner of the onion bag You wait all night for a goal then it’s 2 in less than a minute! The contest was settled with the last kick of the game with the Dark Blues now exerting a measure of control working a chance that was cleared for a corner Chris Higuan delivered a sweet pass from the corner that Nigel swept into the bottom corner Great movement and passing with Nigel displaying good technique for his finish

The final 10 minutes of play took in 2 shortened games with Gaz sealing a close win for Sky against Red with well placed shot that he later described as Beckhamesque The Audience fell apart at that description as Gaz talked us through his goal in the sanctuary of Turks Head Boot Room

In the last match One More John claimed a notable goal with Reds opener against the Dark Blues But controversy is never far away and the action finished with Chris Higuan evading a hefty challenge by One More John to drill a shot past Andy Capt. Much to the Dark Blues dismay Herr Pitt decided to invoke the ancient (so old no one had ever heard of it) sportsmanship enchantment Evidently Reds were in the process of switching keepers so the goal wouldn’t count After much muttering and a thorough examination of the Marquis of Queensbury Rule Book, the original goal stood A creditable 1-1 draw to round off the evening

A further Boot Room discussion of the ‘Beckham’ goal determined that Lord Rainford had been about a week too late in his afford to save Another wag suggested that the noble Lord wouldn’t have saved the effort if his Butler had been standing alongside him

We will never know

So the night produced some excellent matches good entertainment for the ever-growing crowds, a touch of controversy but most importantly lots of smiles on faces

I must confess it was a pleasure to be involved Well done all

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