Tuesday 12th May 2015 ko 18.30
Coventry Alliance Premier Division
A.E.I. RUGBY 2 (Linton 13 Newman 48)
A tip for those visiting Coventry, always allow plenty of time to negotiate the suburbs, it took me 30 minutes to negotiate the final mile to the Dunlop Sports and Social Club, in Burnaby Road! As the joke goes, the Luftwaffe did horrible things to Coventry during the Second World War but the town planners did worse afterwards!
At first the glance the ground looks like a typical factory sports ground, but the area’s history is interesting. The factory on Burnaby Road, was built by White & Poppe during the First World War for the manufacture of fuses and their insertion into shells. There was a railway specifically for it, running across Burnaby Raod, just to the right of the entrance to the sportsground in use today.
After the war, the factory was gradually taken over by Dunlop, with the railway closing in 1963 and the factory itself closing in 2013 with production moving to Prologis Park on the eadge of the city, on the site of the former Peugeot factory. But the sportsground remains, with both rugby, cricket, and a large social club as well as the football.
The game proved to be more interesting than just the players and their antics. Dunlop are second from bottom of this feeder to the Midland League with just Bulkington below them, the basketcases of the division with no points and a goal difference of -105. Second-to-last should point to relegation, but the club seemed confident of survival without the need to rely on the lottery of the AGM cup!
In contrast AEI are the defending champions, winning the title in a rout against Woodlands WMV at Shilton FC. I was there and the article does give the story of why they’re called AEI. Since then two things have changed, the first being that Folly Lane are prime position to take the title, 7 points ahead of Whitnash, with AEI a further point back. Folly Lane have just one game left, against Whitnash, the others three.
The second is that the club have moved back to Rugby from Dunchurch having taken residence at Rugby Town Juniors ground at Kilsby Lane, and have dropped the former sponsor, “The Bell” pub’s name from their name.
Potentially that could mean a tilt at the Midland League, the facilities are easily good enough for promotion, but the club have no ambitions in that direction citing the increased costs of travelling. Certainly they were a cut above their hosts on this occasion, two-nil being a fair reflection on the passage of play.