Saturday 12th November 2016 ko 13.30
Dorset Intermediate Cup 2nd Round
CORFE CASTLE 7 (Ricketts 4 10 18 Johnstone 22p 47 Smith 37 Hector 63)
BROADMAYNE 1 (Johnson 54)
You really can’t avoid Corfe Castle on the Isle of Purbeck, the A351, and the steam railway to Swanage has to take a metaphorical deep breath to squeeze past! The 11th century castle built by William the Conqueror, one of the first in the UK to be built out of stone found itself on the losing side in the English Civil War in 1649 and was slighted afterwards.
These days the castle, and the village underneath is owned by the National Trust, and was been the setting for the 1971 film “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” Children’s author Enid Blyton spent time here and so several of her “Famous Five” books make indirect references to here.
There is also a Shrove Tuesday football match here too, but unlike the Ashbourne version, here the tradition of Shrove Tuesday Football Ceremony of the Purbeck Marblers involves the rather sedate kicking of a ball around the boundaries of Corfe to preserve the old right of way along which quarried stone was transported.
More straightforward association rules are played at West Street neatly tucked away from the tourist attractions. That said, there is a National Trust “Pay & Display” car park there, but there’s no need to use it as there’s parking at the ground appropriately named “The Fortress!”
My reason for going was the incredible view of the castle, evoking happy memories of a trip to Harlech FC but with overnight rain putting the fixture in a little doubt, I opted not to park at Swanage and take the steam train in and took the simpler option of just driving there. There was a another type of hopper in attendance here though, the paper chasers were here too.
If you didn’t know the Paper Chaser is the type of hopper who travels to a game on the understanding that there’ll be a programme for sale. The corollary to the principle is that some will simply turn tail and go home if the paper-based souvenir doesn’t materialise or simply won’t count the ground as visited even though they’ve seen the game.
The plain fact is that Corfe Castle produce a 30 page, full colour, professionally produced magazine for a team that plays in the first division of the Dorset League. That division, a nominal Step 9 on the non-league pyramid feeds the Dorset County League, which feeds the Dorset Premier League, then on to either Wessex or Western League. It’s an exceptional effort but this is a club that clearly understands attention to detail. Just look at the water bottle holders on the dugouts, and I wasn’t the only one to spot and appreciate the “Yorkshire” teabags!
The cup game saw top-of-the-table Corfe Castle take on Broadmayne mid-table in Dorset League Division Two, it looked like a mismatch and that’s exactly how it transpired. Dan Ricketts’ 18 minute hat trick set Corfe Castle on their way and it was only the heroics of Antony Frost in the Broadmayne goal that prevented a greater rout.
The second half saw Broadmayne come back into the game as the hosts eased off and their consolation, Luke Johnson tapping in after a fine free kick did at least give the visitors something tangible from the game. But this unquestionably this was Corfe Castle’s day and if they keep producing that programme they’ll certainly meet quite a few paper chasers over the next few months.