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Tuesday 2nd April 2019 ko 18.15

Banbury Charity Cup 2nd Round

BODICOTE SPORTS 3 (Reeves 37 81p Kiss 83)

CHASEWELL PARK 3 (Robertson 43p Beales 52 Harding 64)

Bodicote won 5-4 on penalties (No extra time)

Att c20

Entry FREE

In groundhopper parlance the last part of the season when the clocks go forward and clubs without floodlights can play evening fixtures is known as “Silly Season.” It sounds like a pejorative term, but isn’t meant to be, it refers to the ability to watch leagues you can’t do midweek in the winter. By reputation it evokes summer evenings, watching a game in pleasant rural surroundings in your shirtsleeves. I allowed myself a grim smile as the sleet lashed against my car’s windscreen as I headed the 20-or-so miles north.

Bodicote lies at the southernmost edge of Banbury on the road out to Adderbury. These days the village is almost subsumed by the larger town and there’s a set of council offices behind the village sports ground on White Post Road. I managed to forget until half time that once upon a time I got married in those offices. Suffice it to say that next January near Bristol will never, ever be forgotten!

Perhaps the more pertinent fact was the sight of Banbury Cricket Club in the background, one of a few stamping grounds during my stint of living in the town, and now sadly neglected now I live elsewhere. I do miss Banbury, with it’s vibrant Arts Centre, it’s people, and yes, lunchboxes from just about every local chippy!

Being on the edge of town during golden hour and between heavy showers did make for some exciting photographs- well until the light faded so much you could hardly make out the penalty-takers in the shootout. There certainly wasn’t enough light for extra-time.

The Banbury Charity Cup is almost exclusively played for by members of the Banbury & Lord Jersey League, the Lord Jersey FA covers the Bicester area, and since this year’s final was played at Easington Sports you could see the floodlights of where the two sides wanted to be.

In the end neither side got there, Chasewell Park threw away a winning position here, and Bodicote lost to Hardwick here in the next round also on penalties, and also after a 3-all draw! Bishops Itchington beat Hardwick 3-2 in the final.

But even though the rains soon returned, and the cold was biting, the pitch was close enough to the road to retrieve my brolly and enjoy a game at grassroots level. And even I did take quite some time to warm my bones afterwards, it was lovely to take things back to basics.