Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ardsley Celtic v Bay Athletic

Last game of the season ? Maybe ... I was told yesterday that there might be some stuff in the Spen Valley League - and I haven't picked up a "Non League Paper" yet ... so ...

Anyway - yesterday - hit the road (OK rails) at 1047 and headed for Huddersfield where, after half-an-hours wait (and a pint of Glentworth "Lightyear" !), it was off to Wakefield. Free bus from railway station to bus station, one Greggs sausage roll (eek !! solids !!) and then a 15 minute bus ride up to East Ardsley, where most of the cars had Leeds United stickers on them. Just an easy 10 minute walk to the ground - I felt like I'd been there before, because, thanks to Google StreetView I'd done a "virtual walk" from bus stop to ground - it's all in the preparation y'see !!

It was a big open complex with three pitches - there was a "footballathon" happening on one of them (Tingley Athletic Juniors), and the posts were being erected on the other two (as well as the game I was going to see, Ardsley Celtic Reserves were also entertaining Storthes Hall Reserves on the other pitch - for those interested, Storthes Hall won 10-2 - and I believe Celtic Reserves finished with only 9 on the pitch !). Before the game I had a bit of a natter with who could only have been the League Chairman (got the full rundown of the history of the trophy as well !) before the championship trophy presentation - and then we began what turned out to be something like a 35minutes each way game (apparently with full agreement of all - it was bloody hot !)

In the end, an easy win for the Champions - but they took their time getting going ! Obviously nowt to play for - and it was bloody hot - but I'd say it was probably the introduction of ex-Lilywhite Paul Quinn as sub early in the second half that finally got Athletic out of second gear, showing some of the hard-working midfield skills and vision that we saw at Seel Park a couple of years ago. Before the game I was told "the race was on" for top scorer between another ex-Lilywhite Kitson Gayle and Paul Pyke. Unfortunately Gayle had to go off, but Pyke managed to score a couple of the goals - one very "intense" single-minded player indeed (who almost got himself in trouble with the ref near the end !!). For the pictorial view of the game ...

Ardsley Celtic 1 Bay Athletic 5

That I believe was the final ever game for Ardsley Celtic - next year they return as Tingley Athletic.

An early start - a short game - meant I was back in Wakefield in time to see the last 15 minutes of the Blackpool/Cardiff game in the "Elephant & Castle" (Timmy Taylors "Landlord" !) across from the railway station - some reckon they're already dead certs for relegation from the Premiership next season - but weren't they favourites for relegation from the Championshipship this season ?? I wonder how Fleetwood feel about this as well - with them having gained promotion to the Conference Prem, they'd expect an upsurge in attendances, but with Blackpool now entertaining the delights of Chelsea and Manchester United - and with "plenty of room" at Bloomfield Road (averaging under 9,000 this season) - many might take the short tram trip down there instead - we'll see ...

So - home early, and another quiet night in (Mrs Smiffy is away this weekend - how else do you think I got such a lengthy trip in yesterday ?!?). Today - a bit of shopping, and then if this weather stays glorious, I might just dust off the "big bugger lens" (170-500mm) and find a bit of cricket this afternoon - Saddleworth CC 2nd XI are at home and it's an easy stroll from home ... need to decide what to do for tea first though - hence the shopping !

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