Tuesday 2nd August 2016 ko 18.30
Faringdon Memorial Thursday Cup 1st Round
HATHEROP 3 (Crocker 37 Embling 48 Own Goal 82)
POULTON 1(? 45)
Lets’s face it football isn’t the usual reason to visit the Cotswolds. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, you come here to walk, admire the views and if you’re anything like me, brandish a camera. Of course every rule should have its exceptions, and the village of Hatherop is definitely one of those.
The village lies in the centre of land owned by the Hatherop Trust. The trust holds land that was formerly the estate of the Bazeley family, but is now owned by the Ernest Cook Trust, a charitable entity encouraging children and young people to learn from the land through hands-on educational opportunities on its estates and by offering grants.
In local groundhopping terms Hatherop Park was the former home of CHQ United. Coln St Aldwyns, Hatherop & Quenington United played Cheltenham League football until before last season when there was a schism.
Some of the players left and Hatherop were formed, entering the Cirencester League (a feeder to the Cheltenham League), CHQ played out the season before folding altogether, with Hatherop inheriting Hatherop Park.
It has to be said that whilst a visit here is highly recommended, you do need to do your research, as it isn’t easy to find. A tip is to find Hatherop Primary School, then look for the gateway between that and Hatherop Castle School. If you reach the church you’ve missed it! Another tip is to turn up late enough to spot the line of players’ cars!
The tie saw something unusual for the Faringdon Thursday Cup, two Cirencester League clubs, normally the bulk of the competition is made up of North Berkshire League clubs. That said CHQ United were regular entrants in this competition which plays it’s first two rounds in pre-season then hibernates until the end of the season when the semi-finals and final are played at Faringdon Town’s Tucker Park.
It was a good game to watch, with Hatherop correctly prevailing in the drizzle. The cows in the adjoining field sheltered under a tree, the spectators picked another, but the horses and the dog were altogether more hardy. It was how grassroots football ought to be.