The following report has been shamelessly pinched from the Hawks Walking Football forum. See here
Sadly, due to the inclement weather, there are no photographic records of the event so I’ve broken up the report a bit with a few old photos of some of the goalscorers. Enjoy.
It was a wild, wet, and miserable Sunday morning on January 29th, totally befitting our Many Shades 50+ Winter Festival “as advertised”, with the emphasis on “Winter”. In spite of the dreadful morning, things seemed to be looking up by noon, and the 1.00pm kick-off time approached with a (relatively) mild breeze and just a hint of a spit in the air.
Undeterred by the weather forecast, half a dozen teams gathered at Park Community School, coming from as far afield as Bristol, Emsworth, and Portsmouth. It was a good reunion with our old friends from Bristol City, not seen since our great adventure in Brittany last October. Mountbatten WFT, Pompey ITC, and Emsworth & Hayling completed our guests, with two Many Shades teams playing – the Many Shades of Yellow and the Many Shades of Blue.
Naturally enough, the day started with the Blues and Yellows facing off in an opener designed to negate our usual poor start, and confidently predicted to end 0-0. Sadly for the Blues, it was the Yellows who dashed out of the traps and sprinted into a dominant position, being 3-1 up at half-time (great goal from Rich Bishop to briefly equalise for the Blues), and ending as 4-1 runaway winners.
The Blues, unbowed, then met the reliably competitive and skilful Bristol City, who took an early lead through an excellent Keith Gwilym finish. Fighting back, the Blues equalised through Mick Sidwell, and midway through the second half Rich Bishop sealed the win with an amazingly precise finish from an incredibly tight angle.
Rich Bishop Mick Sidwell
Now on something approaching a roll, the Blues met Pompey ITC, and a tight match was decided by an excellently worked move that created acres of space for Derek Pope to calmly move into and beat the keeper for a 1-0 lead. The roll that had been approaching disappeared soon enough though, as next up were Emsworth & Hayling, who were coming off the back of a 4-0 win over the Yellows. The Many Shades of Blue put up a strong performance against a very good side, and it took a defensive mix-up to let them through for the only goal of the match and a 0-1 defeat.
Sadly a now-depleted Blues squad was beginning to tire quite noticeably, in particular Rich Bishop and Stew Russell, who had played every minute. A somewhat younger Mountbatten side took full advantage of the Blues’ reduced fitness and concentration to run out 4-1 winners. Derek Pope can take some comfort from a brilliant breakaway goal, nutmegging a defender on his way through to a crunching finishing shot past the helpless keeper.
The Many Shades of Blue squad was Colin Jeffery in goal, John Hicks, Richard Bishop, Martyn Bishop, Stew Russell, Derek Pope, Mick Sidwell, and John Morgan, and were managed by Dave Richards doing a passable Steve McLaren impression. You’d have thought that with two Bishops and a Pope in the team that God would have been on their side, but apparently not.
Meanwhile, the Yellows (remember them?) beat Pompey ITC 2-0, lost 0-4 to Emsworth & Hayling, lost 0-1 to Mountbatten, and beat Bristol City 1-0. Their squad was Dave Rowbrey in goal, Bobby De Ste Croix, James McIlwaine, Joe Mair, Rob Kelly, Barry Carter, Pete Dolamore, Barry Ingram, and Barrie Gray. Their goals were scored by James McIlwaine (3), Bobby De Ste Croix (3), and Joe Mair.
James McIlwaine Bobby De Ste Croix Joe Mair
After the games were played we retired to the Westleigh to find that Suzette Gray had prepared a stunning buffet for us, including home-made cakes good enough to make Mary Berry eat her heart out! Not a soggy bottom in sight, which made a pleasant change after playing through the misery of the pouring rain!
Inevitably, if you keep score, then someone will always win, and on our return to West Leigh Park the final placings were worked out from the referees’ soggy scoresheets. Perhaps the surprise result was that Pompey’s team most unexpectedly lost every game, and finished last in the mini-league. Bristol City’s only win was against that hapless Pompey side, so they had travelled a long way in dreadful weather for little reward. The two Many Shades sides finished third and fourth, the Yellows coming out on top in that particular clash.
The two men between the sticks, Dave Rowbrey & Colin Jeffery, had a busy afternoon
At the top of the league it was very close, with only goal difference separating Emsworth & Hayling from Mountbatten. The winners of our prestigious plastic cup (£2.50 for 8 from Asda) were Mountbatten WFT, who whose goal difference of +10 beat E&H’s +8 tally.
Following the presentation, and several top-up visits to the buffet tables, a raffle was held to help raise funds for the Many Shades of Grey’s training kit fund. Our debt to an unnamed sponsor stood at £750 before this Festival, so we are trying to reduce this as quickly as possible. James McIlwaine and Suzette Gray worked the crowd wonderfully and raised an amazing £94 towards paying off that debt! Needless to say there wouldn’t have been a raffle without the generous donations of prizes from players and guests, including a bottle of single malt and a bottle of champagne!
Alternative Facts – the Many Shades’ Winter Festival
Rob Kelly, spokesperson for the Many Shades of Yellow, writes: “here’s how I remember events on Sunday……
After beating H&W Blues (Ed: that’s the Many Shades of Blue, Rob, get it right) comfortably 4-1, the next game was against Pompey ITC. Superb goalkeeping from Dave Rowbrey and goals from Joe Mair and Scotty James McIlwaine (I think – need to be confirmed) saw the Yellows to a 2-0 victory.
Next up were Emsworth, who were fielding a strong side. Early in the game Rob Kelly took a rocket shot in the ‘nether regions’ and took no further part in that game. The Yellows struggled to contain Emsworth, who ran out 4-0 winners.
Mountbatten were next, and the Yellows committed defensive suicide by passing the ball across the goal… straight into the path of their centre forward who dispatched a hard shot low into the corner of the net. Yellows piled on the pressure, but couldn’t score the equalising goal so lost 1-0.
The final game paired the Yellows with Bristol City. After a very tight first half, the Yellows pushed up in the second half and a delightful chipped goal by Bobby De Ste Croix secured a 1- 0 win for the Yellows.”
Thanks to Rob’s report, by a process of elimination, we can work out that the goals against the Many Shades of Blue were scored by James McIlwaine and Bobby De Ste Croix with two each.