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Normal Hunters - bite yer legs?

Those with a reasonable memory might cast their thoughts back 12 months when SHWFC resumed post lockdown sessions initially in Sherdley Park The tranquil setting of the municipal gardens was the scene of feverish activity as an ever-growing group of mature players plowed through the long grass of the savannah Quite apart from the frustration of trying to play football even our gentle walking version in the over grown parklands the indigenous population of midges decided that they too were entitled to their sport Les Brack was singled out for their wrath and spent his post match warm down applying copious amounts of bite relief creams and potions


So 12 months on I regret to report a fresh outbreak with our unfortunate Health & Safety Officer the victim once more of unprovoked insect fury A quick scan of the Wikipedia assures me that the incident is a mere freak one off, Les begs to differ His legs provide evidence of the damage inflicted but in the words of Windsor Davies (no relation to Coach) 'Oh dear How sad never mind'


The threat of heavy rain and tales of a mystery illness sweeping the camp kept numbers to 20 players with 2 non-playing officials (Coach & Chairman) After a whirlwind warm up by the Coach and the selection via Moneyball of 3 teams of 6 we were ready to play Regular Referee Herr Pitt was unavailable having taken the waters at Baden Baden to aid his preparation for the ever approaching Oktoberfest So it fell to the Chairman to offer his unique version of refereeing to the night's entertainment


The teams were:

Reds - Deggsy, Chris, Les, Thatto Dave, Nigel and debutant Jimmy

Blues - Lord Rainford, Tom, Andy, Jeff, Joe and Alain

Orange - Mark, Grav, One More John, Phil, Grazer and Ian B


The first match included the first (of many?) goals by Jimmy Callery for the Reds, a cooly slotted effort that sailed across the goal to nestle in the far corner A great start for the Reds who looked a very comfortable outfit in the early exchanges Undeterred the Blues found their feet and soon matched the Reds levelling with a trademark stunner by Ian B 1-1 and a great start to the night


Match 2 pitched the Reds against the much fancied Blues, on paper 2 very even matched sides As we've often remarked walking football isn't played on paper and Reds proved too strong with a brace by Chris taking the game out of reach Tom did rattle the post with a great effort, Blues passed the ball around with great effect but ran out of luck before goal A 2-0 win to Reds in good match with great credit to both sides for their organisation and application as the heavens opened to a deluge of rain


Arguably the best game of the night was the Orange and Blues in game 3 a classic 2-2 draw with excellent play from both sides with Phil and Mark showing the way for the Orange. Two goals by Ian B were cancelled out by a rare gem by Joe and vintage finish from Jeff The Blues fight back led by Andy and Tom who locked down the defence to seal the draw


In the Orange v Reds match to follow Chris hit his 2nd brace of the night after good work by Jimmy and Nigel but it was Team Orange that produced the pass of the night with Grazer (either by luck or great play) finding a pass to dissect the Blues rearguard to set up a superb goal by Grav Orange then produced a great team effort for Phil to supply One More John with a opening which he grabbed with some style 2-2 another fine reward for both team's enterprise


The now torrential rain led to the withdrawal through injury of Ian B (groin knack) Grazer (rest on laurels) Alain (just poorly) and so the last action of the evening was a re-convened 7 -a-side invitation affair with Lord Rainford called up to play for the Reds whilst Phil was shoe-horned into the Blues The game was as close as any on a night of spell binding football Blues led through a Tom goal but were soon behind after Chris claimed a further brace and six goals on the night There then was perhaps the best save ever witnessed at Sutton Leisure with Thatto Dave getting down to divert a certain goal over the bar with a strong hand following a crashing effort by Tom

The scoring ended with Jeff dispatching one step penalty Another 2-2 draw on a night of high drama and excellent football

'A pleasure to referee' purred the Chairman and in all seriousness that was an understatement

Well done to all who took part

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