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There are more questions than answers*

Some days the best laid plans just don’t work as out as expected Ruskin’s Monday morning session on balance should have been a joyous celebration More players in attendance than ever, despite the number who are still on holiday or injured The pitch marked out to within a millimetre of its life Dry and warm conditions Footballs inflated to regulation efficiency and bibs galore What more could a tyrant referee require? Well maybe an equally evil twin but we’d to wait a little before the arch villain from Huyton appeared to fulfil his destiny as the sorcerer’s apprentice.

Just two new faces were added to the Club’s Monday roster with Joe Giblin (another from our new Rainford conveyor belt of youthful talent) and Andy Zachariades (Gonzalo’s Father in Law) imported from Cypriot football academy The picture at 10:55 changing by the minute with late arrivals and those returning from their customary late ablutions After warm ups and pitch marking 28 hardy souls declared themselves ready to play Simples But no 2 stranglers swelled the numbers to 30 and so 2 teams of 8 a side and 2 of a mere 7 a side were selected to contest the morning’s honours

There were several gates that presented their own challenges on the road to ultimate glory

Pitch gate - the Red marked pitch - a challenge evidently to some colour blind participants A challenge too as one hapless individual lost the corner location and relevant touch line during proceedings

Bib gate - another colour blind challenge apparently

Numbers gate - when 7 plays 8 there will always be an imbalance so accept it and get on with it We don’t need to constantly adjust the sides by definition there’s an advantage to the 8

Running gate - whether it’s the Sky little scamper or full on Exocet running is not allowed

The teams were (eventually)


Sheila, Cockney Rebel, Willo, Tony Kenny, Anita, Mark (No Relation) Phil the Power and Steve Honeyman


Citeh Geoff, Colin the late, Lord Rainford, Trialist (possibly guilty by now), Charlie, Tony Snakehips, Joe Giblin and Dave Seagull


Gonzalo, Andy Zac, Donal, Jeff Betty (at times), Andy Capt., Margaret and Dave Prime (Amazon)


Eamon, Mika, Tom Derby, Clint, John Pidgeon, Kirsty and Les

As Coach Davies prowled the arena before having to leave for a prior appointment we were ‘honoured’ with the appearance of Huyton’s finest to put in a stint as whistle-less Referee He soon stamped his mark on proceedings with a firm hand and good line in frontier gibberish (Blazing Saddles reference)

In truth there was some excellent performances Special mention to Margaret who won full praise from Club Captain Andy for the manner of her role She constantly found space and linked well with the Orange front line Joe Giblin put in an impressive shift for Purple A side packed with defenders but with little threat in their opponent’s final third Lord Rainford chipped in with his usual unorthodox

goal, whilst Colin grafted in his usual manner. Andy Zac linked up with Gonzalo and Margaret and notched a goal on his debut despite often finding his feet slipping from beneath (dimpled soled trainers or AstroTurf boots the solution) Chris Willo produced a series of excellent saves Tony Kenny was solid in defence Mark (no relation) Davies scored a superb goal in a rare burst of energy, The Honeyman was ever eager in his lone striker role, Gonzalo led the line with his usual deadly accuracy, Dave Prime worked well in the wide spaces particularly. Yellow with Club model Eamon in the thick of the action were busy as you’d expect from a side including; Mika, Clint, Tom Derby and Kirsty Les had a superb session too with some great defensive work

For the record the opening salvo of games boasted 2 goals from Gonzalo to ease Orange to victory over Yellow. Colin claimed the winner for Purple v Pink There was a goal fest in Round 2 with Pink and Yellow sharing six goals and the spoils. Orange and Pink ended in a goal less stalemate. The last series featured a thrilling 3-2 win for Orange over Purple Yellow prevailed in a close match with Pink

It was a tricky morning with plenty of action most of it high quality and some of it high intensity. The whistle got a full run out as at times some forgot about the Club’s Code of Conduct. Nothing serious just banter. Great to stretch the lungs and the legs at the start of a new week

A reminder that Friday night now features a new session for the energetic 7pm at Whiston’s Edmund Arrowsmith School Cumber Lane L35 2XG. A number have already expressed their interest Might be a good way to get set for the weekend!

There are more Questions than answers* - Johnny Nash

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