Friday 7th October 2016 ko 19.45
Western League Division One
BISHOP SUTTON 0
KEYNSHAM TOWN 1 (B Harris 90)
For a league whose hop inevitably means I’ll be revisiting most of the grounds I’d found myself anticipating this weekend for quite some time. A lot of that was down to its friendly clubs, and the gentleman that is league General Secretary Mark Edmonds, and some that it is my Bristolian girlfriend Robyn’s “Home” hop. She made sure that at least 2 family members were at each and every game which was some going! That isn’t to say though that this hop was straightforward to organise….
The first difficulty was the Saturday’s fixtures. We like a 4 game day to defend the middle host club from people drifting off to other games, the 4 games means that to go off-piste the hopper has to miss 2 games. Both Chris and I were at Whitehaven on the first Northern League reunion hop, where half the attendance disappeared between the first and third games, and we aren’t the only hop organisers to have taken heed.
The other difficulty was solved by Freddy, or was it Rod or Jane? The geographical spread of the 4 Saturday clubs meant that our normal coach would have been over hours from our base at Pontins’ Clevedon, so we hired one of the minibuses we used on this year’s North Berkshire Hop and Chris and I used our cars to carry the extra hoppers. That won’t be an issue for next year’s event, and it was fun to see Eddie driving once again
Friday night was a visit to Bishop Sutton, or in the case of one hopper, very nearly Bishops Sutton! His lack of attention to detail nearly saw him drive to Hampshire! That would have put him a mile away from WESSEX LEAGUE Alresford a mere 83 miles due east of our game in Somerset, but he could have at least gone for a ride on the Watercress Line I suppose! Thankfully he made it to the Lakeview Ground in time for kick-off.
It was good he did, and the little ground was buzzing utterly belying the drubbing they took at last year’s hop game at Chipping Sodbury and this year’s difficult start to the season. It wasn’t that everything you’d want to see and more had been provided, it was that it was done with wit and charm too.
Now it must be said I hold Keynsham Town, and their secretary Julian French in the highest regard, it was good to catch up, and I still don’t quite understand why his side are playing are Step 6! Mind you judging by their start to this season, promotion looks a distinct possibility, even if just about everyone not involved with Keynsham felt sorry for Bishop Sutton when the last-minute winner went in.
I assume that included our geographically-challenged hopper, perhaps he was hoping for a Melksham Town win?!