Saturday 30th March 2013 ko 19.30
Northern Counties East Premier Division
TADCASTER ALBION 5 (Taylor 39 65 Rice 78 Winn 84og Youldon 88) Jeff missed penalty 2, Ward sent off (violent conduct) 61
BARTON TOWN OLD BOYS 1 (Dexter 20)
The North Yorkshire town of Tadcaster was founded by the Romans, who named it Calcaria from the Latin word for lime, reflecting the importance of the area’s limestone geology as a natural resource for quarrying, an industry which continues today and has contributed to many notable buildings including York Minster. The limestone affects the chemistry of the water, which has given rise to the brewing industry here, as the water is similar to that at Burton-on-Trent, another centre of the brewing trade.
There are three breweries here, John Smith’s, Sam Smith’s and The Tower Brewery (Coors, formerly Bass), and I’ve never visited a town so dominated by its industry. Even the ground is tucked away behind a brewery, John Smith’s and one or two hoppers noted that there wasn’t any real ale served behind the bar at the ground!
The ground is quirky to put it mildy. There’s enough overhang on the clubhouse room to house enough seats to keep the ground graders happy, but these were supplemented by an odd looking portable stand bought on Ebay! Unfortunately the welds turned out to be rather weak, so the edifice is shrouded in scaffolding until remedial action can be taken. The great advantage of the ground though is the glass-fronted bar area. It means that on a freezing cold evening many tired hoppers could watch their 8th game of the weekend in the warm.
The game was odd to put a mildly. Two sides slugged it out in a rather turgid stalemate, with Tadcaster missing a penalty, when Callum Ward stamped on an opponent, rather unsuccessfully (he wasn’t injured) and received his marching orders. Most present fully expected Barton to take charge and win the game, instead they imploded, and Tadcaster ran in 4 unanswered goals for a quite unexpected win. You had to feel sorry for Barton. That’s two hop games they’ve featured in a lost both 5-1! At least this time they kept 11 men on the field I suppose.
There remained the drop offs back at the Cedar Court Hotel, then I gave a lift to a hopper to Derbyshire whilst heading back to Oxford, at a frankly ridiculous hour. It was quite a weekend, and I’d like as ever to thank the League, the participating clubs and the legions of volunteers who helped making it all happen. More than anything else though Chris and I would like to thank all those who attended the games. If you’d like to know what GroundhopUK are organising in the future, just email Chris Berezai on firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll add you to our mailing list. See you in Wales!