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You Walk Your Way*

We've taken the unusual step of starting this Blog with the thoughts of our Oirish correspondent Shamus (Seamus is The Irish Forename James btw) O'Hoolihan reporting fresh from the European Socks Festival (finally found a Brexit benefit) in Milan

Shamus conducted an interview with debutant player Brendan just prior to the start of the Ruskin Rumble on Monday morning as the soft rain fell across the green pastures of the Arcoform Arena Noticing that Brendan was sporting a 'Dirty Leeds T-shirt, Shamus asked who his favourite player of that great Leeds team Expecting the answer to come back as Johnny Giles (no Oirish bias then) instead Brendan offered Norman Hunter as his reply Editor's Note - they weren't called Dirty Leeds for nothing and Norman Hunter would hardly register as a footballer to supporters of any other Club (assassin perhaps but he was very good to his Mother) But at least you've been warned We welcome Brendan to the Club and remind all members that shin pads are perhaps a bright addition to session team wear for all coming games

"El Presidente in his second match back following knee surgery, suffered a modelling career-ending coming together with the Chris Kelsall elbow (tennis elbow he claimed) Noses and elbows are not usually a good combination, thankfully no lasting damage was done In other action Harry the Hatchet showed excellent form all session long producing a string of saves to deny the Purple menace (including the said Shamus) Anyway the column will return soon unless the management can think of another distraction or hide my phone"

Monday morning was a challenging session played in constant drizzle at first that strengthened to a downpour at the half way mark and steady rain by the conclusion A session to challenge any faint hearted or fair weather participants 32 brave souls plunged headlong into the now familiar warm up programme encouraged by our Football Manager Andy Man(anger)

Teams were efficiently selected and bibs distributed as follows;

Purple (6) - Eamon, Chris Kelsall, Jill Thomo, Andy Man, Charlie and Triallist

Orange (6) - Harry the Hatchet, El Presidente, Enoch, Cockney Rebel, Little John and Tony Snakehips

Pink (5) - Liz, Margaret, Deggs, Roger and Donal

Blue (5) - Mika, Grazer, Brendan (on debut) Mark NR and Phil Moss

Black (5) - GonzaloTom Stretch, Julie, Paul J and Kirsty

Green (5) - Mike McSpeed, Kenny, Amazon, Eileen and Chopper

The 6 a side game between Orange and Purple was largely determined by the comparative lack of positional discipline with Purple benefitting from better organisation Harry the Hatchet performed miracles at times to deny Purple from at least doubling their eventual 3-0 victory El Presidente battled to block and pressure Jill, Chris K and Eamon but the trio had too much room to pick a pass In sharp contrast Orange struggled to find any offensive pressure Enoch ploughed a lone furrow, Little John and Tony Snakehips didn't pose the same attacking threat The goals were shared by Jill, Chris K and Eamon Andy pulling midfield strings with Charlie and our Triallist steady at the back

On the adjacent pitch Black overpowered Green in a five goal feast Gonzalo, Tom Stretch with a brace shading Green for whom Mike McSpeed also claimed 2 goals Green did shade Pink next game up with Amazon 2 and Kenny hitting 3 to Pink's solitary reply from Liz In the final round up Black battered Pink with 2 each for Tom Stretch and Gonzalo Paul Jennings was also on target with Donal grabbing a consolation 5-1 the result a Black day for Pink?

Monday's remaining action was conducted under the distinctly Southern style of Lord Rainford with Blue claiming a 2-0 opening victory over Pink courtesy of 2 economical goals by Mark No Relation Davies His positional sense presented these chances, rapidly adopting the Meldrew overlapping striker role to great effect Liz toiled to contain the Blue threat, Margaret did create chances at the other end but poor finishing meant Pink closed out without registering a goal

Black thrashed Blue (black & blue?) 4 -1 with Kirsty claiming praise for a wonderous strike Mark NR had equalised with his 3rd goal of the morning cancelling out Gonzalo's opener but 2 more from Gonzalo and Kirsty's Uber goal completed the 4-1 rout

Blue endured a torrid time in the morning's final action Mike McSpeed hit 5 though there was strong refereeing criticism from an on-watching miserly spectator Kenny and Amazon were also on target In sharp contrast Brendan felt the pace of this strange new game too much at times not that his team mates fared any better

Wednesday's Sutton SoccerDome session was played in balmy pleasant evening conditions Games were decidedly faster and at times furious though all agreed it was an entertaining evening's entertainment Thirty players made the task a relatively simple 6 teams of 5

The selections were;

White - Lord Rainford, Kirsty, Keith, Chris 4G and Paul Henesy

Blue - Cockney Rebel, Little John, Wickie, Nigel and Disco Deggs

Red - Simon, Michelle Stunning, Tom Stretch, Chris 10P and Martin Mc

Green - Robin, Dave Markland, Steve C, Enoch and Gonzalo

Orange - Eamon, Jeff Betty, Phil the Power, Andy Man and Haggis

Yellow - Tony Snakehips, Joe the Ghost, Les Hewitt, Darron and Daz

Orange and Lemon (Yellow perhaps?) met in the night's first action with the game soundtracked by jet liners from nearby John Lennon airport A tetchy affair at times but ultimately scoreless The game featured the most spectacularly impressive corner ever conceded, when Daz fired a retaken corner from one end of the pitch to the other end evading every player on its journey Orange profiting only briefly before messing up the surprise gift

Red met Yellow in the next up match with El Presidente evoking timely reminders to Slow Down After Monday's sprint ridden session it was most necessary to restate the obvious This is Walking Football Red took an early lead thanks to Simon when Red overloaded the Yellow rearguard to fire home Yellow had enjoyed lots of possession but were unexpectedly a goal down Yellow's gung ho style was good to watch but a dangerous gamble that was broken down too often At 2-0 down Yellow might have been aggrieved to be denied the services of Kenny (who had been delayed arriving to the session) But the sides were numerically even Tom Stretch sealed the victory with the third 3-0 an unexpected result on paper at least

Blue took an early lead in the next game Deggs firing home against Red The lead looked secure with Blue playing with some clever possession stuff But that lead was squandered when Deggs decided that he really knew better than the Referee and continued arguing when clearly he was not going to persuade the official to alter his decision Despite warnings to be quiet on the tirade continued and inevitably a period to reflect on the folly of dissent was issued The stupidity of ignoring the maxim that the Referee is always right was compounded when Michelle fired home an excellent equaliser 1-1 There's a certain justice in seeing persistent poor behaviour punished, but you can't help feeling sorry that the team has been punished rather than just the individual Naughty step to far perhaps?

Red and Orange produced a fitting end to the evening The lead changed hands on several occasions before Red took control as time ran out

Jeff Betty was first on the mark, found by a sharp pass by Haggis, the goal a fine team effort Chris 10P replied to level 1-1 Haggis nearly found the far corner curling a shot beyond Tom Stretch and the far post Chris 10P made it 2-1 with a cool finish Phil powered home an equaliser fed by Andy Man and then encouraged to shoot His obliging drive made it 2-2 Chris 10P made it 3-2 with a smart hat-trick shot into the bottom corner Simon created a chance that Chris 10P didn't waste 4-2 as normal time elapsed Eamon didnt waste the chance to close the gap 4-3 before Red regained their 2 goal advantage 5-3 to seal an excellent win

Les Meldrew agreed to offer his refereeing services to enable Jeff Betty a rare chance to play before his knee surgery but to also put his whistle where his mouth is on the great refereeing debate The games under his spell included a 4-1 rout for Green over Orange Goals by Gonzalo 3 and Steve C to pip the Orange despite a Haggis goal in reply Green dispatched White 5-0 with Gonzalo and Steve C each with a brace Andy Man claimed a well deserved goal for his evening's work

Green were pushed harder before seeing off Blue Gonzalo and strike partner Steve C on the mark with Deggs replying for the Azzuri 2-1 the result

Blue claimed the last win of the night in another close 2-1 game Wicky and the Huyton hitman enough to win despite Chris 4G finding the net for White

We give the last word (if only the last word) to Shameless O'Hoolihan with a lengthy ramble over Wednesday's proceedings (second thoughts Dear Reader a degree of editing might be helpful)

Wednesday was of course just the latest step on the Lionesses route to world domination and we keep our fingers firmly crossed that they'll complete a remarkable success this Sunday morning

Shameless was invited to attend the official setting up of pitches for Wednesday's fun hour, joining Steve C, Gonzalo and Wickie to place markers around the playing areas Unconfirmed rumours that Wickie, just returning from a back injury, might not have pulled his weight in the task "One cone it's all I can manage" were circulated by the Gaelic Games correspondent At the end of the evening as most members helped retrieve the said markers Wickie was seen labouring with that self same cone, clearly taking no chances for a further period on the sidelines There'll be more from Auld Country next week if we can make sense of any of it remains unclear

You Walk Your Way* - The Isley Brothers

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