Prospecting for silver in Swindon brings no reward
With a distinct lack of clean sheets and points on the board, the journey back from Swindon on 19th August was something of an autopsy rather than a celebration. The conclusion, and recommendation to the Coroner, was that County Championship sides shouldn’t play in Twenty20 matches.
Although “headless chickens” is a touch unfair, it serves another analogy in that being more used to wide open spaces and three touch football, your free-range walking footballers certainly failed to thrive in the indoor battery environment of cages and unlimited touch that PlayFootball Swindon provided.
Opening against Wiltshire 1, their first team, drawn from across the county, we found ourselves 5-0 down at half-time and “lucky to have nil”. Deciding that we needed to take more shots – as the Special One says, “You can’t win a raffle if you don’t buy a ticket” – Stew Russell took a pot shot straight from second half kick-off, and one wicked deflection later we saw an unlikely comeback on the cards. Then they scored two more, and the comeback didn’t happen. So it finished 7-1.
The next game was against Wiltshire 3, their third team, drawn from across the county, and we quickly went into a 2-0 lead courtesy of Pete Brown’s double. Things were looking up. Then just before half-time they got one back. In the space of two second half minutes Wiltshire 3 managed to score three more, and although Pete managed to complete his hat-trick, it wasn’t enough and it finished in a 4-3 defeat.
Next up were SC Wootton, and once again we were undone by some slick inter-passing and off-the-ball movement. In the blur of it all, it is difficult remember the half-time score, but the final score was another comprehensive defeat, this time by 5-1, with our goal coming from a smart Lloyd Fowler finish.
Lloyd holds court in the bar, no doubt describing his goal,
although his wife seems less than impressed
Now came our final game, and we knew that we couldn’t come second or even third in the five-team group, and therefore the semi-final and final were out of our reach. It was against Keynsham, who had previously beaten Wilts 3 quite convincingly. Déjà vu came upon us again, and we found ourselves 4-0 down at half-time. However, a little more determination in the second half, coup/led with another Lloyd Fowler goal, meant that we ended up at least winning another half of a match, the final score being 4-1 to Keynsham.
The squad for this tournament, depleted by late injuries to Steve Hall and Rich Bishop, was the shell-shocked Colin Jeffery in goal, who was let down by any combination of: Barry Ingram, Pete Dolamore, Stew Russell, Jeff Pickering, Lloyd Fowler and Pete Brown.
A shell-shocked CJ adjourns to the bar
Maidenhead McMillan Coffee Morning – Charity event raises £1300.58
The Many Shades sent a squad up the A3 to Maidenhead again on 29th September, the third year we have attended their McMillan Coffee Morning Event.
Our guest reporter for the day, Pete Dolamore, takes up the story :
We entered the tournament with a playing squad of eight plus Colin Jeffery in reserve. On arrival we registered, changed, and warmed up in accordance with the detailed plan evolved by our coach S Gale. Our coach for the day was Bobby, who should take credit for all that worked well (and blame for all the rest? – Ed). Our team Manager for the day was Peter Dolamore who did an excellent job in relevant areas.
We were in a league of six teams, and our first fixture was an easy affair, it was as though the opposition, Wilts FC, were not there… they weren’t.
The next game was against the hosts Maidenhead United, and the whole squad saw action as we won 5-0. In the third scheduled game we won 1-0 against Rivermead. This game was not without incident, Rich Bishop being pulled up by the referee due to what we would describe as “mild violent conduct” (?).
On to game four against the GX Wanderers side, this one ending in a hard and competitive 0-0 draw, but only after a verbal disagreement by Dave Hall with the referee concerning a high clearance by him. When Dave was calmed down by the eternal diplomat Pete Dolamore, he had to leave the pitch having hurt his back. Dave made a miraculous recovery after some treatment by a young and attractive sports physio. In the last match in the league we lost 2-1 to Abingdon Almost Athletic, this despite some sterling performances by Barry Ingram and Bobby De Ste Croix, with great saves in goal from Dave Rowbrey.
Then on to the semi-finals, indeed a well-deserved position for us. Due to some bad luck we lost 2-1 after a magnificent effort against a very good and well-drilled Highworth side. Unfortunately in the 3rd/4th play-off we lost to Bracknell by the only goal, much to the annoyance of James McIlwaine who wanted a medal and to be photographed with the Mayor of Maidenhead!
In summary a great effort by a good squad of players giving their all for the club, funding the trip themselves, and for all the right reasons being oticed on a charity day by others attending and the organising team.
The squad: Dave Rowbrey, Barry Ingram, Dave Hall, Pete Dolamore, Lloyd Fowler, James McIlwaine, Rich Bishop, and Bobby De Ste Croix. Goals from Lloyd (5) and Rich (3).
Congratulations to Pete Dolamore whose appearance against Maidenhead was his 200th for the Many Shades, a milestone rewarded by presentation of a Hawks shirt named and numbered “DOLAMORE 200”.