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View from the Cemetery

View from the cemetery - August 2019 - 5

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 31 August 2019

Some of you may be under the impression that in my last column I expressed the view that the Ashes would be all over by last Saturday night, and that moreover the only good batsman between the two sides was one of them Aussies, and he wasn’t playing. This was clearly a printer’s error, nothing to do with me, and I can only apologise on his behalf; the man knows nothing.

The best two batsmen are of course English, the lad Stokes and the imperturbable Jack Leach. Jack carefully cleaning his glasses before facing some maniac Aussie with a deadly missile in his hand has to be one of the sports images of all time. And it was some knock by Ben Stokes to be fair, and according to the press, signals the revivial of Test cricket, and proof that bashing the ball to all corners willy nilly as in Twenty20 is not the only way to go. They may be right, but I am bound to point out that bashing it to all corners is just what young Ben was doing. 

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Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 24 August 2019

I had a quick count up this week of the number and variety of North East Counties League teams we have played in the last few years. Silsden, Liversedge, AFC Mansfield, Bridlington (many times), Handsworth, Garforth, Selby, Hall Road Rangers, Tadcaster and no doubt a couple I’ve forget, Keith will remind me, and of course Hemsworth MW. A good few memorable trips amongst them, including the quaint ground and clubhouse at Liversedge, where the barman struggled with the beer, and conversely the fine beer in the pubs adjacent to Silsden and their remarkably good ground and clubhouse, built up from scratch over many years. The very tight Vase win at Mansfield, last minute home wins against Bridlington, and the splendid victory on a great night here in Ryhope over a very highly rated Garforth team. Yes, some good old memories there alright.

I guess I’m like a lot of people looking at the draws for the FA Cup and later the Vase when they first come out, not sure what I want. A winnable game at home with no travelling and home for tea, or a good bus trip with an early start, blind cards on the journey, new sights and sounds and hopefully a raucous ride back with a few pints somewhere on the way. Of course I’ve only heard about those, what with being somewhat static, but even so travel broadens the mind, even if it is other people’s travel. Yes, I think on balance when you find you potentially have a couple of FA Cup games at home it’s a bit deflating. Don’t suppose a replay up the Colliery counts as travel really. By all accounts we played well for a long time up the road, should have had the game well won, and then were hanging on and maybe lucky to pinch it at the death. That’s FA Cup football though.

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Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 17 August 2019

Well, that was a week and a half wasn’t it? Great, but sad day last Saturday, and a fantastic turn out by the people of Ryhope and the friends, the many friends, of Richie to support his family in their grief. Understandably the game took second place on the day, and it was probably only right that it ended in a draw, it wasn’t a day for winners and losers. The replay took a while to catch light, and was another very tight affair, with RCA probably the better side for the first seventy minutes and the CW coming on strong at the end, and the last few minutes not for the faint hearted. I’m pleased RCA won, but you had to feel for the CW, who continue their steady improvement of the past couple of seasons and will feel they should have won it with that penalty. And we only have to do it a minimum of another three times this season. Can we stand the pressure? Only a fortnight since the start and it feels like a lifetime already.

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Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 10 August 2019

The season always starts with a rush in August, today is our third game, with two more to come next week, and in total eight by the end of the month. A very early make or break time, particularly with the FA Cup, which carries good rewards nowadays, as well as excitement, publicity and sometimes a decent away trip or two into the strange lands of Yorkshire or Lancashire. And a repeat of last season’s FA Cup derby game today. How unlikely is that? The first of at least four RCA v CW derby matches this season.

A very good start last Saturday against a strong North Shields side despite missing a few lads with holidays etc, but that gave the chance for a couple of good debuts by Max Allen and Henry Dorward, fine footballers names, and promising performances. The North Shields Ultras were out in their usual throng, noisy and giving the officials a hard time, as well as enjoying lively discussions with the locals about the current and new laws; but largely behaved themselves, and certainly did their bit for takings in the clubhouse. They were a good deal quieter as they left mind. Canny lads really.

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