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Tuesday 22nd April 2014 ko 18.45

North Berkshire League Division Three

HANNEY UNITED 4 (Bishop 3 22 N Pimm 11 Harris 66)

BENSON LIONS 0

Att 3

Entry FREE

No Programme

I think Premier League pitches should take a leaf from Hanney’s book and have daisies in the grass. I’m not sure whether it would improve the football, but perhaps the quintessential Englishness could manifest itself in fairer play? Maybe not, but this was a wonderful excuse to watch a game in a location that could only ever be in England.

There are two Hanney’s West and East, and only a field separates them. The villages grew during the 19th century with the construction of Dandridge’s Mill, initially powered by Letcombe Brook. The mill produced silk, but when that trade died, it was converted to grain, and during the Second World War it was converted into a small engineering works and used for building parts of the Mosquito Bomber aircraft. These days its luxury apartments, but the water wheel is still there, and used as means of producing Green power for the site.

The football club play in East Hanney, and play behind the War Memorial Hall, despite wearing the kit of the Royal British Legion Club a mere 200 yards away. There’s a pitch, changing rooms and a pavilion, and quite honestly what more do you want? The ground was used this season by the Appleton Stars, and whilst they folded after completing their fixtures it looks like there will be a team be returning to the league, still sharing at Hanney, but under a Hanney RBL banner. That of course will be subject to all kinds of ifs and buts, not least approval at the league’s AGM, held at Hanney RBL! Incidentally referee Darren Hill has an NBFL claim-to-fame, he was the referee at the game that saw Appleton pick-up their first point in 3 years at Crowmarsh Reserves, only for Crowmarsh to withdraw their reserves the next week…

I make no secret of my regard for Benson Lions. The side from RAF Benson did a superb job hosting the first game of this season’s North Berkshire League Hop, report here but on this evening they were shorn of all their players in the RAF, as an inter-services match took precedence. They played with great spirit even after conceding two goals early on, but Hanney seldom looked troubled. It was a result that won’t affect either side’s division for next season. They’re both comfortably in mid-table, and no doubt next season the two sides will slug it out again here. That’s the beauty of football on the village green.