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Saturday 5th May 2018 ko 13.45

Central Midlands League South Division

AFC KILBURN 1 (McCready 84)

SHERWOOD COLLIERY 3 (Wiesztort 26 Sawter 56 Beardsey 80)

Att 207

Entry £3

Programme £1.50

Maybe it’s because I’m a southerner but when you mention Kilburn, I tend to think of the suburb in north-west London near Maida Vale. In fact I think we took the Hellenic Hop there a couple of times back in the day!  The Kilburn in Derbyshire is in the Amber (river) Valley, which made the “Jade” Garden choice of name for the local Chinese takeaway seem rather inappropriate!  To confuse things further until roughly a century ago the village was known as Kilbourne! The area was the setting for ITV tv drama “Peak Practice.”

Nevertheless, this is an area built on mines and the railways even if the former has long since ceased and the station shut to passenger traffic in 1930. The football ground sits behind the Miners’ Welfare and here’s the curio of the piece, the AFC prefix doesn’t stand for “Association Football Club!”

It stands for Ambergate, a nearby village whose club moved into the Welfare Ground in 2015 making use of a ground originally used by Kilburn Miners’ Welfare until they left the Central Midlands League and folded in 1993. AFC Kilburn won promotion from the Midlands Regional Alliance for this season, thus explaining how this ground escaped the clutches of the original Central Midlands Hops!

I’ve no doubt the weather helped both to boost the attendance and the drinks sales. That said, even on a day for ice cream the barbecue seemed to do well, and it was gratifying to see the club do well on their big day. Have there ever been more prizes on offer in a half time draw?

It was a day to slap on the Factor 50, or find some shade and enjoy what looked on paper less than my normal propensity to jinx friendly clubs, and more a tough assignment with Sherwood Colliery top and eventually destined for promotion.

And so it came to pass; the visitors won and won well, and I’m sure Kilburn would have few complaints about the game. They’ll have had none about what happened off the pitch, the staging was superb. In fact the only thing that was missing was sun tan lotion on sale, judging by the red faces as we waited back at the Jade Garden for the coach, they’d have sold a fair few bottles!

But those of us who were in Scotland and Devon know not to rely on the weather!