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10th June 2012 ko 13.00

Division 7 Södra Sörmland

RÅBY-RÖNÖ 7 (T Andersson 19 84 M Karlsson 48 58 Holmsell 49 Svehn 56 Fahlén 77)

STJÄRNHOVS 3 (B Andersson 63 Ekström 75 R Karlsson 90p)

Att 105

Entry & Programme, Badge and T-shirt Hop Ticket

Can Coke 10sek

After the usual gargantuan breakfast, Thomas and the coach arrived in plenty of time to gradually make out way back towards Nyköping, and eventually Skavsta. The other 23 hoppers were talking about their evening’s out, but I knew just how early Thomas must have left southern Stockholm to be in Eskilstuna at 9.45. I found him a strong coffee which was gratefully accepted.

As we set off I quickly calculated the distances and times involved. With Råby being fairly close to Nyköping, we were going to be there far too early. Kim being Kim he had a surprise. We made a stop along the way at the Swedish Tramway museum in Malmköping, and so 24 football fans had a whale of a time riding on a 1935 German built tram, and looking at the vintage trams and buses on display. One of our number, a keen train enthusiast was particularly pleased!

From there we reached the pretty village of Råby around an hour before kick-off. I say it’s a village, but it looked to only consist of about 5 houses, and a football ground! I assume nearby Rönö is larger, as otherwise I can’t see how this charming club sustains itself. We were given a speech by the club’s oldest committee member, and were treated to another T-shirt, together with a pin badge and a sticker. We had a kick around on the pitch, and made copious use of the barbeque, and tea hut!

Råbyborgen is a typical Swedish village sportsground. With football being a summer sport there’s not much in the way of cover, but there’s plenty of seating and of course trees come in abundance! It was a setting with no lack of the “Wow” factor, and the locals were pleased to see their normal crowd augmented for this fixture. With the weather at best changeable, the clubhouse overhang was made use of, the rain ponchos thoughtfully provided in the hoppers’ goodie bags were opened, so all stayed dry. At least most of us did!

At half time, I’d been told that for the best view you needed to be stood on the far side, so over I went. It was a good tip, and John and Geoff from Birmingham, new to the hop joined me. Of course with  no cover over there, the heavens opened, and for about 10 minutes we got thoroughly soaked through. Clearly John had been told about Swedish weather as he remarked, ” Never mind, that’s us initiated!”

As for the game, well at half time no one could have predicted the rout that was the second half. Any side that scores 3 second half goals should win the game, but shipping 6 will give the Stjärnhovs defence nightmares! Easily the best of the bunch was Henrik Svehn’s effort, a mazey run through what seemed like the entire visiting defence before beating keeper Tobias Pettersson from an acute angle. You actually got the impression that Råby-Rönö were doing it to impress their visitors.

What ever the truth of that last statement, it was a great game to watch, and if the visitors had arrived happy after their tram ride, then we left ecstatic.