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Tuesday 10th April 2012 ko 6.30pm

North Berkshire League Division One

LONG WITTENHAM 3 (Osbourne 8 Cooper 56 Saunders 70)

CROWMARSH GIFFORD 0

Att 24 (h/c)

Entry FREE

No programme

Coffee-in-a-mug 50p

Mars Bar 50p

I wanted to visit the Bodkins Field for quite a while, I’m not completely sure why, but its probably due to the area’s topological feature, the Wittenham Clumps two hills clearly visible when you’re travelling from Didcot to Wallingford. It’s a delightful rural setting in my favourite local league, one that’s set up for its participants. That’s why I was so pleased that they did such a wonderful job in staging their first groundhop last September, and plans are afoot for this September’s spectacular!

Another reason to go was referee Les Addison. Les is former chairman of the league and was instrumental in getting the hop and running. He believed we could achieve something, and I hope we repaid his belief. He’s now retired from committee duties but remains a referee and a darned good one at that, so I knew the fixture was in good hands.

So what’s at Bodkins Field? The short answer for many hoppers is 2 brands of White Horse brewery bitter at £2 a pint. Remind me folks, when we take the NBFL hop to here, to schedule an early evening fixture! The club are up for it too,and we talked about how a farmer’s field next door could be utilised for parking. In terms of facitilies there’s a clubhouse, and that’s just about it. Mind you what do you expect of what is a rural participatory league?

I spotted a brass plaque in the clubhouse, stating that following a fire,the rebuilt clubhouse was opened by Oxford United’s Jeremy Charles in 1986. I asked about it, and smiled at the response. Apparently he arrived without any idea of why he was there, but perked up quite
considerably when he saw the girls…..

The game looked like an away banker with Crowmarsh top, and rivals Faringdon looking for an opening to push for elevation at the end of the season. I can’t accuse Crowmarsh of not wanting it enough, as I feel that Wittenham made them play the game their way.

Osbourne opened the scoring with a devastating header, direct from a corner, and always looked to have the upper hand as Crowmarsh looked devoid of ideas on a bumpy pitch. With a fair amount of dissent on display it needed a strong referee, and Les was equal to the task, only reaching for the cards when absolutely necessary.

For the second half Crowmarsh started far more brightly but were undone again when a glorious through ball put Cooper clean through and he made no mistake to double the lead. Saunders’ thumping volley, again direct from a corner made it 3-0 and was clearly the highlight of the match. Crowmarsh’s misery was complete when Studwick collected his second yellow for a studs-up challenge, and considering the first was for dissent he and his management will regard the inevitable suspension as entirely avoidable.

But that’s the beauty of this friendly,well organised league. No result can be completely guaranteed. Hopefully you’re all looking forward to visiting this peach of a league in September.