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That rather opaque reference to a 1973 top ten hit will become clear when you read on to SHWFC’s last Wednesday’s doings at Sutton.

But let us start with SHWFC’s annual crown green bowls afternoon last Saturday, kindly hosted by our ex-coach John Davies and organised by our Social Secretary par excellence, Cockney Rebel. Although CR decided that he’d had enough of a country where you have to put the heating on in June and where mittens, waterproofs, and galoshes are now de rigueur summer wear; and escaped south the day before for yet another holiday. Whether he is trying to challenge Liz and Julie in the informal SHWFC who-can-have-the-most-weeks-away competition I could not say, but he must be running them pretty close.

And as Saturday dawned, most of those who’d planned to go bowling could not blame him. It tipped it down in the morning and it began to look as though John Davies would be better off organising a session of synchronised swimming on the Haydock rink rather than something more genteel.

But 14 of us showed willing and were rewarded by the rains stopping and the crown green rink swallowing the deluge with ease and nary a burp. No competition as such, just a series of best to 11 matches by those who attended, all under the watchful and kindly guiding eye of coach John, so much so that by the end us tyros were saying ‘thumb;’ or ‘finger’ to our opponents as though we knew what we were talking about.

Honourable mentions to some pretty impressive accuracy from Brian P and Andy Man (who claimed it was just a fluke) as the following pictures will show. The weather Gods did smile on SHWFC’s bowlers as, not 30 minutes after we’d packed up and said our thanks to John it started raining again.

On Monday 34 of us were at Ruskin for our usual fix of walking football, the teams being as follows:-

Sky Blue: Mark NR, Alan A, Speedy-Spiro, Keeper harry, Chris Willo, Les Meldrew

Pink: Andy P, Dave P, Eileen, Tony, Gonzalo, Grazer

Green: Phil, MikeA, Grav, Thatto Dave, Eamon

Purple: Monday Michelle, Little John, Mike McG, Chris G, Phil the power

Orange: Steve Honeyman, Donal, Anita, Tomo, Geoff P

Black: Simon, Andy Manager, Haggis, Paul F, Roger Moore, Charlie

Purple and Orange played the full hour in a 5 v 5 game with the final score being approximately 10-8. And after last week’s hat trick heroics we had another from Michelle. I have heard she actually got 4, but sorry Michelle, own goals don’t count! Chris Gourdji with 2 and with Donal and Phil were also amongst the scorers.

A partial report from the other 4 teams playing each other means that I can feature the sky blue team in all their games; for whom speedy Spiro as top scorer and Harry his customary cool self in goal were the big stars. Spiro and Mark scored in their first game, 2-1 v Pink(Chris replying) and they then beat Black 2-0 with the same two scorers. Sky’s 100% morning was rounded off with a 4-1 win v Yellow with Mark, Alan and Spiro with 2 this time; Phil replying for yellows.

On Wednesday we were able to play a 7 a side a game (reds v whites) and a 6 a side blue v green. Teams as follows:-

Blue: Chris 4G, Eileen, Joe the Ghost, Gaz, Grav, Haggis

Green: Tom Stretch Parr, Robin, Little John, Phil the power, Simon, Deano

White: Steve Honeyman, Graham, Wednesday Michelle, Subbuteo Dave, Andy Manager, Keith, Les

Reds: Andy P, Chris P, Disco Degs, Jason, Eamon, Roger Moore, Lee

And before we go any further hats off to Phil The Cat who has now added groundsman skills to his baking ones, with some excellent work in making most of the nest in the Sutton goals a little bit less bedraggled (NB I have contacted the Council about this to see if we can use some of the goals lying dormant on the 3G pitch next door).

No reports have reached me of reds v white, although in his post-match interview in the Turks Head Disco Derek claimed both (1) to have scored and (2) passed the ball. One of those two statements is more believable than the other……

And so, to the match of the week, Blues v Greens. The ref (moi) wasn’t sure the sides were even, but the first half did not turn out as he predicted. Blues steamed into a 5-1 half time lead, both Joe and Grav scoring twice and Haggis getting a 5th, with kindly Tom Parr keeping greens in the game with a late strike just before the half time oranges. Ably marshalled by Gaz (i.e. he shouted a lot), Blues kept it tight at the back and played as a team with some impressive passing.

Before changing ends for the 2nd half, the ref asked if anyone thought it was worth switching around the teams given the 5-1 scoreline. ‘No, we’ll get back into it’ said a glass half full Tom. ‘No, they’ll get back into it’ said a glass half empty Gaz.

And the pessimist was right! In the space of 15 minutes Deano had turned the game on its head with 4 goals to even up the scores. Phil put team into the lead for the first time and then Deano got his FIFTH of the half to give Greens a comfortable cushion into the last few minutes. The ref did stretch the game out as long as he dared in the hope Blues would get at least one consolation goal in reply, but it was not to be.

Well, what went wrong? Blues did seem to get more separated in the 2nd half, forwards much more detached from the rest of the team meaning Greens could pick off long passes at their leisure, and pre-Scotland big match nerves seemed to affect Haggis. And then as panic set in Blues attempts at building on rapidly diminishing lead left gaps at the back. But let’s not take anything away from the evening’s top scorer and match winner, and the reason for that obscure title to this week’s blog.

One final thought. As Seamus has said in his latest excellent Green Room report, there seems to have been a change in attitude all round since our hiatus last month. Much less physical contact, and much calmer all round. Now all we need to do is to tie one or two players shoelaces together to sort out the running and we will have achieved Nirvana! Seriously though, well played all, well played.


(*) The Dean and I – 10CC


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