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National Express*

Updated: May 7, 2023

It’s that time of year again Spring is firmly in the air; each week a little warmer than the last More Bank Holidays than is strictly necessary and the WFA launch their annual National Cup with Clubs the length and breadth of the country pitched into a frenzy of playing seriously competitive matches against other Clubs from their general geographic area

Until 2022 SHWFC had a sketchy record in the competition, making little progression or impression, apart from being jolly good sports and having nice kits

Our Over 50s had barely registered a goal, our Over 60s had performed only marginally better But then last year our Over 65s had a great run all the way to compete in a regional final and a magnificent victory that sealed a trip to Last Eight Land at Lilleshall in September

That day demonstrated a sharp difference in our approach to our games and those of other Clubs

We learned that day that being jolly good sports will get you only so far

Then you’ll face Clubs with equally nice kits, tracksuits, and disciplined playing structures, tactics and gamesmanship that would make a EUFA B Coach envious Their players aren’t bad either; Internationals, Regional players and battle-hardened league players In sharp contrast, SHWFC players play twice weekly if they can, enjoy the camaraderie and craic with their team mates Above all they generally walk off with a smile on their faces

So this year’s Cup campaign kicked off and promptly ended for the Over 60s on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat at Haywood Sports Village to Kingsmaid WFC on Saturday The team were out gunned throughout and might have lost by a landslide if not for the superb display of goal keeper Mark Gravener He was unanimously declared MoM by both teams Deggs crashed one effort off a post but Kingsmaid merely brushed themselves down and continued their relentless stranglehold on possession Kingsmaid are rightly one of the favourites to win the entire competition

The SHWFC Squad was -

Mark Gravener, Andy Houghton, Phil Middleton, Martin McNevin, Geoff Painter, Derek Taylor, John Penders, Kenny Nolan and Tom Parr

Sunday saw our Over 65s take on their near rivals from Winstanley Wigan at Little Lane This new look SHWFC side has performed well in the Tournoi internal games so far this term The axe was weirded after the 2022 campaign with some veterans jettisoned by ruthless management The game, which attracted a decent number of spectators and a video camera, started brightly for the Old Saints (still not to be confused with the New Saints) Kenny Nolan held up the ball to slip a great ball through to Eamon O’Donnell who drilled a low shot through the keeper 1-0 and a good opening to the game Winstanley hit back and were more clinical when on top

The second half brought a change of impetus as Saints took control for periods but couldn’t find the goals to match their dominance The 4-1 defeat was not the rout that the score would indicate but Walking Football can be a cruel game

The Squad was - Dave Barrow, Eamon O’Donnell, Dave Bates, Tom Derbyshire, John Hawkins, Kenny Nolan, Martin Briggs, Geoff Painter and John Penders

Video of Over 65s v Winstanley Walkers

Watch this game from Winstanley Warriors V St. Helens O60s for free on Veo!

A reminder that the National Cup action continues this weekend with Droylsden Town Over 50s visit to Sutton Leisure Centre AstroTurf for a fixture with SHWFC Over 50s Kick off is 1:30

Get along and support your Club if you possibly can There is evidently alternative ‘entertainment’ on TV all day with “Man In Hat Sits On Chair’ as Private Eye described the Royal shenanigans Perhaps an hour watching Walking Football might be favourite

National Express* - Divine Comedy

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