Football, Gaelic, groundhopping, Irish, Leicester, Leicestershire Senior League, Northfield Emeralds, St Andrews
Tuesday 19th November 2019 ko 19.45
Leicestershire Senior League – Division Two
NORTHFIELD EMERALDS 7 (Carter-Fell 10 MacIntosh 33 Kewmoss 33 Claricotes 37 Turland 83 Boumedi 83 87)
ST ANDREWS RESERVES 0
Here’s a groundhopping top tip. If you fancy an unusual midweek fixture then keep an eye on the Leicestershire Senior League. For a league whose top flight is at Step 7 there are a surprisingly large amount of grounds with floodlights. Moreover, this season the league has expanded so there’s more teams, more grounds and more floodlit games!
The Emerald Centre is, unsurprisingly an Irish Centre in the northern suburbs of Leicester. I suspect the reason for the ground being relatively unknown to groundhoppers is that the pitch and rail is clearly to the dimensions needed for GAA sports, ie Hurling, Gaelic football, and Shinty. Clearly there’s no reluctance to “Foreign Sports” being played here.
The club are new to the Senior League after finishing third in last season’s Leicester & District League. As such they felt they were worth a spot in Division One (champions Fleckney are top of Division One after all) and have rather proved their point by possessing a 100% record going into this game.
It was of little surprise that the game attracted the hoppers, specifically those who a matchday programme isn’t a prerequisite for their attendance, although one hopper did produce a programme for himself which does show a certain level of commitment! I’d advise that if a programme is an absolute must for you then I’d phone the club you’re looking at before heading out. The Leicestershire Senior League is fairly well-known for not producing programmes and at Step 7 why should they?
The car park soon became full, I suspect street parking is a good move here, but save for the scoreline what I’ll remember Northfield Emeralds for was the lovely friendly welcome we all got. The offer of tea was gratefully received and on a cold, dank night the additional warmth was handy.
It don’t think even St Andrews’ Reserves thought this would end up as anything other than a convincing home win and even though Emerald’s team was significantly weakened through injury and suspension that’s exactly what happened.
You wonder what the potential is for Emeralds. They have a ground with the biggest stumbling block to progress- floodlights- already in situ and a team that looks set for promotion. It doesn’t take much though to think of a side in a large city, playing in green representing the Irish diaspora doing well after all!
Whatever the future holds for Emeralds, I hope they never lose that sense of welcome. They gave us all a lovely evening.
Dedicated to Andy MacMillan who definitely won’t read this!