I started the day deflated. As the radio alarm kicked in I learnt that what was a relatively secure and stable country a few weeks ago had been plunged into a political maelstrom by May.
It’s June though, I thought and the day of our long awaited entry into the Over 65’s Rochdale Knockout Cup. Things can only get better.
They didn’t really. Although I was more disheartened by the politics than the walking football we never really got going at Heywood today. True, we looked magnificent in our retro black and white but the team photo was perhaps the most successfully structured part of our day.
We kicked off against a Widnes side who have played quite a lot of competitive walking football. We never looked overawed and we were holding our own well, yet not really striking any fear into the hearts of our opponents. I won’t go into in depth analysis because I’m not qualified, and hopefully, in due course the video’s of all of our games will tell the story far better than I can.
Widnes got their noses in front, and as we barely summoned a threat to their goal we have to admit they deserved the win.
Next up was Chadderton. We did a little better but were still a bit toothless up front. The defence was containing what little threat came from the men in red. Again the video will tell a better story when it materialises. This one ended nil-nil.
Team: Pearce (Capt.) / Nixon / Richards / Lancashire / Smith */ Jarvis Sub. Partington*
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
In the third match we found ourselves up against Rochdale Strollers once more. A good passing team but they certainly did not shame us. Edging us out one-nil in the end. The addition of David Wilson up front didn’t improve our goal threat.
Bill Lancashire was substituted for Partington mid way through the game but try as we might we made no impression on the Strollers, and they walked out worthy winners by the odd goal.
Team: Pearce (Capt.) / Fielding / Cooper / Lancashire* / Wilson / Jarvis
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Only Blackpool Senior Seasiders to come now and they had looked the weakest team in our group. We were better. Much better in this match. either the quality of the opposition or the make up of the team altered the dynamic. Possibly a mixture of both. Barry Smith came on a substitute just in time to take penalty – awarded for defender encroachment. Barry blazed his spot kick over the bar, but made up for it in fine style within minutes when he opened our account with a well taken goal. Our whole passing game and approach play was snappier and more accurate and we had more chances to increase the lead. With just a couple of minutes to Partington (I think) replaced Richards. Our interest ended with the final whistle, and we were eliminated
Team: Pearce (Capt.) Nixon / Fielding / Jarvis / Wilson */ Richards */ Smith / Partington
Disappointed ? No doubt. But not dejected I hope. Lessons are being learned. Our brotherly brand of inclusivity means we don’t always have our best players on the field at the same time. We rotate. There were no stand out peformances today – but most of us did OK in our own way.
If you think this is the right way to go about matters make your feelings known. Likewise, if you don’t then please state your case, by email or in person. Maybe even raise the matter at the A.G.M. in August. Bear in mind though that if we get a good turnout, the majority will not be interested anyway. they just play for fun and exercise. We should remember that, because it’s what this walking football is really all about……..
Did any of us ever think we’d be playing a game resembling football on pristine pitches in the autumn of our lives when we turned sixty five? Did we ‘eck as like. It’s a surprising bonus – nothing more, nothing less. Think on that if you’re down in the dumps tonight.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
Thanks to Tony Cravagan for his sterling filming ( I’m looking forward to the commentaries)and to Mike Conroy for coming out to support and taking some photographs. Great work Mike.
Likewise to right hand man Stewart White who took over team selection and tactics as the day wore on. We may have been better with tictacs because let’s own up , despite the humbug effect of our hosiery the performances today were less than mint.
Perhaps we will be back next year – we may have a stable Government by then but don’t bank on it.
The semi-finals featured Vintage Celtic, who lost three-nil to Rochdale Strollers and Widnes, who beat Blackpool VERY Senior Seasiders by two goals to nil. It must be remembered that some of these teams had wafer thin squads of just six or seven. We had the luxury of having ten players, but of course that brings its own dilemmas, it’s own problems with the nature of our group.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
The final was decided on penalties when Williams and Charlton converted both their spot kicks for Rochdale Strollers with Widnes missing twice.
So, appropriately the inaugural Rochdale Knockout Cup was won by the home side. Well done. I have some photo’s and video to sort over the coming days. Keep visiting this site for links on our ‘NEWS’ page.
•- – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – –
FRIDAY JUNE 9th….REMEMBER YOU NEED PHOTO I.D PROVING YOUR DATE OF BIRTH
AND UNLIKE WIGAN – A BUS PASS WILL NOT DO.
no i.d. YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO PLAY
THE ORGANISERS HAVE BEEN HANDED A CHEQUE AND A COMPLETED OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM FOR THIS COMPETITION. £3 per player payable on the day (may vary according to turnout)
TAMESIDE STRIDERS Provisional squad – maximum TEN.
Barry Smith * David Partington * Colin Fielding * Gordon Nixon * Alan Richards *
David Wilson * Garry Pearce (guest ‘underage’ goalkeeper 64yrs.335 days- ish) *
Peter Jarvis * Bill Lancashire * Hadge Cooper *
If more want to take part we could field two teams with another three or four names.
MEET AT KING STREET DENTON 9.6.17 9-30am. OR be at Heywood Sports Village for 10-15am. please.