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Saturday 12th April 2014 k0 10.10

Notts Senior League Senior Division

WOLLATON 3 (Alls 24 46 Atkins 46)

BEESTON 0

Att 282

Entry £3

Programme £1

Badge £3

Tea 50p

I think the weather was playing tricks on us; it was one of days when you opened the curtains and saw a sunny day but stepped outside into the cold, with a cross-wind to boot! It wasn’t far to Wollaton, a district of Nottingham built around coal mining, but showing not a hint of its past. In fact the site of the pit is now two streets of houses named after the area’s most famous offspring, Olympic Ice Dance Champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Wollaton Hall nearby was used to film the last “Batman” film, “The Dark Night Rises,” the manor’s frontage acting as Bruce Wayne’s Stately Wayne Manor. Of course “Batman” is set in Gotham City, named after Gotham which is, yes, a district in Nottingham!

Groundhop organiser Rob Hornby had warned there wasn’t much parking at the Sports Association Ground so we got there early and found plenty of street parking. Of course as aficionados of the organised groundhops will testify, the first game of the day always has bacon rolls on sale! In fact I do think that’s something that all organisers need to look at. As delicious as those rolls were and are, they do fail to take into account that roughly 10% of the population don’t eat meat, and of those who do, many will be quite happy to eat something meat-free. Perhaps adding egg to the breakfast menu would help, I watched 3 non-meat eaters get offered a Mars bar for breakfast….

I liked Wollaton and its ground. The iconic pavilion was use for the tv comedy series “Outside Edge,” starring Brenda Blethyn and Timothy Spall from 1992-4, and the whole facility has a wonderful sense of Englishness about it. The club did a great job for Rob and the hoppers too. They were the only side to produce a completely accurate teamsheet, and there was always quiet sense of ease about them. In fact they were as in control off the pitch as they were on it.

The key to their win was undoubtedly forward Jordan Alls, who the Beeston defence had few answers to, save for relying on Luke Gibbons in goal. He kept Beeston in the game with a string of fine saves until Alls’ blaster from the outside of the box was beyond even his capabilities. The lead was doubled early in the second half when Alls’ cross was met by Chris Atkins whose choice of header, down and into the deck, looked odd until the ball looped up and over a horrified Gibbons. Alls’ second, and Wollation’s third was a case of him reacting first after his original effort was blocked. It was an fine effort by him and his team, to add to a well-presented hop game. It may have been cold, but the attendance was excellent, and the club had given the day a flying start.