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Tuesday 12th October 2021 ko 19.30

South West Peninsula League- Premier East

HOLSWORTHY AFC 1 (Penberthy 24p)

Carter sent off 72 (Serious Foul Play)

CULLOMPTON RANGERS 2 (Wilkinson 3 Hawkings 81)

Att 82

Entry £5 

Programme (hybrid) included

Badge £4

With Robyn and I enjoying a week’s rest and relaxation in Penzance the idea never was to watch game after game while we were there. I know some find it hard to believe that there is more to our lives than football, but a planned trips to the Minack Theatre, and the Isles of Scilly left us one gap for a match on the Tuesday should we decide to take the plunge. It soon became clear that there was an issue with that idea.

It was that there wasn’t a single game available to us in Cornwall! Now a lot of it was that the Peninsula League’s western division had no games, but the eastern side did. Now Holsworthy is only a few miles into Devon, and it wasn’t exactly difficult to make the sightseeing head north even if the direction of travel did seem a little counterintuitive!! 

We found a thoroughly charming market town, and has enough time to have a somewhat odd Indian meal before parking up at Upcott Field. You’ll no doubt be impressed by what’s on offer here, the club have played in the old South Western League from 1971 to 2004 before transferring to the (old) Devon County League, that league became Division One East of the Peninsula League in 2007. The club played have the unusual destinction of having played in both East West, and Premier Divisions of the league, no doubt being this close to the Devon/Cornwall border is a major factor!

Of course these days the Peninsula League operates at Step 6, with the new Devon, and St Piran Leagues running parallel beneath. It still feels that the facilities are better than the league’s level to the extent that just before the SWPL hop in 2015 I remember one hopper telling everyone that was foolish enough to listen to him, that since that all the grounds would be “Fields” and so it wouldn’t be worth going. He’s unlikely to be taken too seriously again after those of us with either open minds or knowledge enjoyed the likes of Wendron United. And if League Secretary Phil Hiscox is reading this, we only got soaked once on that hop!

And just like many other grounds in the league, there’s so much to like here, although the sadness is that the pitch is a little too small for them to be allowed in the FA Cup or Vase. As a hopper I like clubs whose company I can enjoy for a couple of hours and on that basis Holsworthy come highly recommended. It was the little things I enjoyed, the finding of the key to the glass cabinet to sell me a badge, the ladies in the tea bar dispensing hot drinks at an amazing rate, and the spectator who was quite literally sitting on the fence!

As ever I managed to jinx a friendly club, and I’m of the opinion that if some clubs knew I was coming, they’d lock the gates! I knew what Cullompton are about having watched them win well against Plymouth Marjon a few weeks earlier. Here they were equally impressive, winning a hard fought encounter.

We fought the fog on our way back to the A30, and 90 minutes or so later Penzance seemed deserted as we headed past the harbour. It was hardly the relaxing evening out we’d had liked, but we had absolutely no regrets at our choice. Holsworthy are everything you could wish for in a community club.