Sunday 14th May 2017 ko 15.00
North Devon League- Senior Division
COMBE MARTIN 3 (Taylor 6 Z Humphries 25 32)
STRATTON UNITED 0
There are no end of hoppers who simply wouldn’t have discovered this little gem. Why I hear you ask? The North Devon’s second tier nominally slots in at the 9th step of non-league and so many hoppers’ radars won’t register below Step 6. Their loss……
The beauty of the North Devon League is its isolation, Combe Martin is a good hour’s drive from the M5. It’s valley location is a classic case of ribbon development, the main street is two miles long and when it finally opens out into its cove, the beach evokes childhood holidays complete with buckets, spades, and multi-coloured ice creams.
The village does have an unusual feature though. One of its pubs is supremely well named. The “Pack O’ Cards” pub dates from 1700 and originally had 52 windows, 13 rooms and four floors. No, I didn’t check….
Hollands Park is tucked away near to the Parish Church of St Peter Ad Vincula, and is just close enough to the coast to boast a sea-view. The ground is superbly appointed, with cover on both sides, but the real beauty of Combe Martin is the hill at the far side. I did regret not bringing a picnic, it would have been the perfect spot for a car blanket and a cream tea!
The game was shunted to a Sunday due to a final being played here the previous day, and there was a level of pressure on the hosts, struggling against relegation. Not that you’d have known it though, as Combe Martin were clearly the better side on a warm afternoon, and won the game easily.
It was by any standards a lovely spot, so after the final whistle Robyn and I strolled to the front and bought an ice cream; it was only fit and proper.