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Sunday 31st July 2016 ko 10.30

United Counties League Division One

BUGBROOKE ST MICHAELS 2 (McNeil 53 Richard-Noel 85)

BOURNE TOWN 1 (Munton 39)

Att 241

Entry £4

Programme £1

Teamsheet 20p

It didn’t feel like a lazy Sunday morning even if in the pretty village of Bugbrooke St Michaels the only signs of life seemed to be at Birds Close. We’d all had an early start not least all those at Bourne Town, who’d met at 7.30am to fulfill this fixture. Thanks therefore to them, and their gesture has not been forgotten- they’ll get their chance as hosts.

It’s becoming clear that the Sunday fixtures are becoming the big draw in the UCL/PDFL hop. This year that tendency was amplified by there being more Saturday fixtures this time round, and it is to Bugbrooke’s great credit that they not only coped with the crowd but made it pay for them.

Traditionally the catering for any first game of the day of a hop is breakfast-themed, but few clubs have been able or willing to do the full English breakfast. Those at Benson Lions’ first hop game will remember the military-style breakfasts and these in a very different way were their equal. Sat in hospitality at half time I could hear the order numbers being called,

“Sixty-eight…. sixty-nine,” told its own story, at a fiver a time!

It summed up what was a beautifully presented, if unobtrusive hop game. As organiser you love a game where all you have to do is drink tea and count the crowd, and that’s exactly what happened here.

And while I have a lot of time for Bourne I was pleased to see Bugbrooke win this one. There’s been many a time when I’ve watched a host club get everything right off the pitch then fall to pieces on it, who remembers Marcham who did wonderful things before losing 7-1?

People chatted, people smiled and Bugbrooke made friends. The game was completed and I watched people buy a club mug as they left. Perhaps that’s my new way to measure charm, is there a better measure?