Saturday 5th November 2022 ko 14:00
North Berkshire League Division One
FRILSHAM & YATTENDON 1 (Johnson 61)
STEVENTON 4 (D Burgess 27 33 McKenzie 80 Craft 90)
Over the years since the last North Berkshire Hop I’ve made the effort to visit the clubs that for one reason or another the event didn’t get to visit. There was Cholsey whose ground wasn’t in use, and Grove, on their normal ground, but the game proved to be their last. With Frilsham & Yattendon, the reason for the hop not visiting, was that they weren’t in the league. That’s a source of regret to me, as what a wonderful ground it is.
You’re just north of Newbury, but with the M4 to the south and the A34 to the west, and significantly are in the estate of Lord Iliffe, who gifted the playing field to the village of Frilsham in 1951. Adjacent to the pitch is the Lord’s deer park, and I can’t think of anywhere else where I’ve watched a stag watching a game of football! Have you?
Now with my committeeman hat on, I knew the club were struggling for players. The club were Frilsham & Yattendon Old Boys, but most of the team retired at the end of last season. As with so many grassroots clubs recruitment has been a massive issue, and games have been postponed this season due to lack of players. Fortunately a team has now been recruited, mainly from the Newbury Sunday League.
The club are bottom of Division One, and took another defeat to the club at the very centre of the league, all mileages in the North Berkshire are measured from Steventon Green. I’ll always have a soft spot for Steventon, they were the first hosts on the first North Berks Hop after all, but I left this lovely part of the world just happy that football will continue to exist here.