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Wednesday 26th September 2007 ko 19.45

Northern Premier League Challenge Cup First Round

OSSETT ALBION 4 (Kelsey 7, 32 78p Newton 15)

HARROGATE RAILWAY ATHLETIC 2 (Ryan 64 Hobson 74)

Jones sent off (2nd booking) 69

Att 69

Entry £6

Programme £1.50

Thank heaven for bank training courses. Thirteen years ago I’d just joined a major UK bank’s commercial department and was spending a week on a training course. I was based in a 4 star hotel in Sheffield, and once the day’s work was done there was little else to do but find a beer or ten somewhere. Unless of course you were a groundhopper….

The other delegates were rather nonplussed at my choice of evening entertainment, and only really saw the benefits on Friday when I passed the course and many didn’t. I remember the comment of “Where’s Ossett” and remembered Swedish hop organiser’s explanation a few years’ earlier.

“It’s between Wakefield and Dewsbury” he’d explained in his Stockholm accent and I fear a hint of that phrasing may have found its way into my description. I may also have added that the town hall contains one of Britain’s finest examples of a Compton theatre organ, but that was just me showing off.

The area has no end of football grounds, such as Shelley and Emley–  you can see the Emley Top transmitter from Dimple Wells, and the ground does resemble Emley’s Welfare Ground with both having access from a cricket ground. But Ossett Albion did have Gail Platt!

Coronation Street actress Helen Worth is from Ossett and is sister to former Albion Chairman Neville Wigglesworth. She became club president and was active enough in the role to regularly attend games and ceremonially open the club’s changing rooms in 1988.

The game was a case of a groundhopper taking full advantage of the many cup competitions the Northern Premier League runs. As a casual observer I do wonder how seriously many of them are taken, even if this was an entertaining encounter. Perhaps the only clue may have been the PA man announcing the crowd as “60 thousand… and 69!”

Bu Ossett Albion are no more, the club merged with Ossett Town at the end of the 2017/18 season. The new club, Ossett United play at Town’s former ground The Ingfield with Dimple Wells being converted to 3G and used for training and non-first XI games. It would remiss of me not to mention the court case over a player injured in an Ossett Town game saw the new club held liable for £135,000 in damages. The club have one asset, the Ingfield, and are crowdfunding to raise funds to pay the bill.

The begs the question as to the status of Dimple Wells, presumably the ground is leased or rented, but whilst wishing Ossett United all the best in recovering from an unfortunate setback you do wonder whether Dimple Wells could offer a lifeboat for the club?