Sunday, May 06, 2012

Lower Hopton v Kirkburton

... a grand Saturday out - beginning with a cheap'n'cheerful train ride featuring a few drinking establishments - a pint of Dark Star "Hophead" in the Kings Head on Huddersfield Station, followed by a pint of Durham "White Velvet" in Dewsbury Buffet Bar and finally a pint of Black Sheep "Bitter" in the Railway at Mirfield (avoided the Navigation" as it was full of 'nuns' - this "Rail Ale Trail" is stopping every bloody where these days !).  Armed with some handwritten directions (and a cute new phone with Google Maps and GPS on it !!) I found the Lower Hopton ground in good time ... only to find a "Tea Room" that sold precisely that ... aaargh !!


The overworked Lower Hopton 'keeper gets in the way of another Kirkburton effort ...

Kirkburton were chasing the runners-up spot in the WRCAFL whilst Lower Hopton were struggling in the lower reaches of the table - and it showed with two goals for the visitors in the first half (true to form, my "one half each" approach saw these goals go in at the other end - c'est la vie !)  The Lower Hopton 'keeper had a blinder mind - coming to the rescue on numerous occasions whilst the visiting 'keeper (who I believe was not even a keeper ?) was relatively untroubled.  The second half saw just one more goal - a 25 yard blinder that beat both 'keeper and cameraman - and the comfortable win puts Kirkburton up into 2nd place (although Bay Athletic - the "Man United" of this league - can still overtake them with their games in hand). Some pictures from the game at

Early kick-off meant early finish - and I did try out the "Navigation" on the way back to the railway station (a pint of Theakston's "Lightfoot") before hopping on the train to Huddersfield, quick change and back to Mossley ... and those bloody nuns were on the prowl again !  Most got off at Greenfield, but a couple got "left on" and ended up in Mossley.  Quick chaotic pint at the "Britannia" (full of ... you've guessed it, gobby noisy, often belligerent rail ale trailers) to watch the rest of the Cup Final (I reckon it was over the line - did us all out of 30 minutes extra time that decision !) before heading down to daughters for pizza and (more) beer.

This morning - got recycling and shopping out of the way (like most of the armchair football fans were doing as well - busy all over).  Noted the "Big News" in the "Non League Paper" - the resignation of Hyde FC's Manager Gary Lowe just a couple of weeks after guiding the Tigers into the Conference National - personal terms and playing budgets appear to be the sticking point, which is hardly surprising as the National is virtually a full-time league, and many a part-time team have been somewhat "embarrassed" when making what is a quantum leap from North/South to National - which is not unlike Championship to Premiership.  So - it's realism versus affordability, and it's certainly gonna be tricky for the likes of Hyde to compete with those clubs with large fan bases and large Chairman's wallets (I'm on about the size of the wallets here - not the size of the Chairmen !!).  One phrase often trotted out in these circumstances is "We might struggle - we might come straight back down - but we're going to have a helluva good time while we're there" - I can only wish Hyde the best of luck, whatever happens - the increased national exposure might bring some more money into the coffers (as there is talk of their deal with Man City ending soon - another "revenue stream" that Hyde are fortunate enough to have at the moment) - personally I reckon it's a sensible move by Hyde supremo John Manship not to going throwing what can rapidly become unrealistic amounts of cash at a project that has on more than one occasion in the past ended not only in tears for clubs but instant relegation on the pitch, or more than one relegation of off it - think Darlington, think Kettering ... think Portsmouth even ... the list is long ... 

Anyroad up the holiday continues just a little bit longer - some Conference play-offs today and tomorrow - the Evo-Stik Final 'twixt Bradford PA and FC United happens today as well (shifted 24 hours on police advice !) - I'll probably just take in a bit of TV football this afternoon - and then think of a football-free Monday - back to work Tuesday - and then (as mentioned previously) maybe another trip "over the hill" on Wednesday night - Marsden FC v Storthes Hall - we'll see how work pans out this week as it's an 1815hrs kick-off - easy on the train mind - 1748 train takes just 12 minutes followed by a swift jog across town to the ground - maybe ...

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