Saturday 25th April 2015 ko 10.10
Notts Senior League- Senior Division
BINGHAM TOWN 0
RUDDINGTON VILLAGE 0
Breakfast-in-a box £3.95
I hadn’t paid much attention to Rob Hornby’s schedule for this hop, but when I received my ticket (It always pays to pay in advance for these events) my eyebrow raised a millimetre. Trying to take in 4 games in a day is normal, but achieving the feat with not one of the clubs having floodlights isn’t. It’s been done before, the South Wales Amateur League Hop in 2005 saw a start at Rhydyfelin and a finish at Cwmaman Institute for example, but it does require the clubs to be close together. Still 4 games is always good for value-for-money, and the early finish gets everyone home at a reasonable hour.
Bingham Town’s rather unfortunately named Butt Playing Field is to be found at the back of an Industrial Estate if you arrive by car or the Hop coach, and adjacent to the station if like many you arrive by train. I walked over to the ground and was immediately impressed by how well prepared the club was. The breakfasts were popular, a queue formed, but the staff managed to find another gear and soon enough the bumper crowd was sat eating, jotting down the line-ups and looking forward to the game.
And let’s look at the score line for a moment. Yes, it finished nil-nil, and a few hoppers get far too hung up on it. It is a perfectly legitimate result, and god forbid we ever go to the American system of resorting to penalties to force a win in a league game. I think that sometimes some see the goal-less draw as inevitably boring.
This wasn’t boring, far from it, rather a case of Bingham creating chances but missing each and every one of them. I’ve seen far worse games than this, the following fixture being a good example, this was a couple of hours where for 2 hours for a few the OCD took precedence over the actuality.
I’ll remember Bingham for many things, the trains, the breakfasts, and the well-presented hop game. Rob and the club deserve the highest praise for how well our time went here. Whilst the game wasn’t a classic, it was more than adequate, and as any hop organiser will tell you there are only two things you can’t alter; the weather and the game.