Counter installed 29/9/19
The season has been delayed and in truth it may well be September when it can reconvene as an Autumn league but we wait to hear from the organisers. Obviously this is a disappointing situation for everyone and indeed a very concerning one.
From the lead organiser at Heywood, Bill Murney: ( We had not approached the league about this matter but applaud their update and the fact this unprecedented situation is being monitored.Ed)
“A couple of our member teams have shown concern regarding the Coronavirus and how it effects the GMWFL. The situation is being monitored daily by the Public Health team in Rochdale. Any changes in guidance around the league we will of course share immediately with all teams.
Meanwhile we suggest for those that are concerned that they come ready changed and assemble on the pitches at around 10:45. The Team Entry Form will still need to be completed, signed by your players and handed in to Barry at the registration desk. Any new players will still need to produce Photo ID.
The changing and showering facilities will still be available for those requiring them. Hand sanitizer is installed at the site for use by all attending.
At the briefing Paul Gardner will advise no handshakes be made, instead use a fist bump, an elbow tap or just a word of thanks.
Thanks for your understanding. Please distribute to all your players.”
– Bill Murney
THE SECRETARY has entered the team into the Spring League. Entry fee paid up front squad players need to pay £5 each month they attend please. Colin Fielding will act as player/manager but in March David Partington will deputise.
Kits will be issued to individuals and retained by players for the duration of the campaign. So in the circumstances hang on to them and launder them yourselves at home this Spring season please and return them at the end of it. Thanks.
the relevant section of the organisers report of the ‘Autumn’ league….
FROM RELEGATION TO CELEBRATION IN A COUPLE OF HUNDRED WORDS….9th.January 2020
by Alan Richards….
I spoke to Colin Cuthbert this afternoon after his return from the final round of fixtures at Heywood. Although disappointed after the team were ‘relegated’ from Division One after three straight defeats it wasn’t all bad as the drop* was only confirmed at the very end of our game with Bury Relics. A close encounter with his old teammates. A fifth ‘offence’ resulted in a penalty and it was tucked away well. Until then we’d been the better team apparently, and there were even some sympathetic noises coming from the Bury camp after the match.
The first game had seen us beaten by Rochdale Strollers, eventual Champions and a very competent team at this level of Over 70’s. They move the ball very well and a two goal deficit was never going to be reduced. The defence was our weakness though in this one.
Next up a ‘very physical’ Preston side notched up three goals with no reply. Difficulty getting the ball forward to our strike force was the main problem here. As it happened the old Striders problem of a lack of goals was prevalent today.
Colin stressed we were much better in the final game of the three. A match v. Bury Relics which we needed to win, or at least draw to preserve Division One status . ( *Remember there are only two divisions because of the numbers of teams involved – the reason we played in Division One was because we were founder members of the league in February last, not because we were deemed better than anyone else- Ed.) A good performance almost got us over the line in this one with a nil-nil draw but a fifth offence in the final minute handed the Relics a penalty and they grabbed the opportunity with both feet (well, just one really). A well taken kick that left Mike Kieran with no chance.
A chilly, cheerless morning weather-wise couldn’t help but contribute to the mood. All players were feeling a little downcast at the end. None more so than Colin himself. That’s understandable but I hope the mood doesn’t last. Although from what Colin told me I’m sure it will need a big effort from his namesake Over 70’s player/manager Colin Fielding to rally these men for any return in March.
Colin told me that the team had missed Fielding and his marshalling of the defence in particular. It’s only a matter of months before other big characters and vocal defenders qualify for the ‘over 70’s’.
- – – –
Editor’s notes: Any reference to ‘over physicality’ in this league of septuagenarians is bizarre, to me . Do we ever learn, as men ?
- Time and time again though people are reporting that contact is too frequent, and too excessive and this is clouding the prospect of a return for some people. A foul is a foul and for Referee’s to say ‘I’m not recording this one’ puzzled Colin , and surprised me. Although we could not have been blameless. I understood we had notched up a few offences too and despite the colour of our kit I’m not trying to claim we’re whiter than white – we also have players who are over enthusiastic and this sometimes gets the better of them)
- No doubt we will regroup. Re-assess and decide what the future will bring.
Going down a division in this walking football league is not something to reproach ourselves about. It might matter to our players right now, but it’s not important. Congratulate yourselves that at seventy plus you’re pulling on a football shirt and playing a game that still resembles the one you have loved all of your lives. Enough, in and of itself to celebrate. (think about it).
Thanks to Colin Cuthbert for leading the team today, laundering the kit (except Terry’s socks – another quick getaway for the taxi man) and for making time to have a chat this afternoon.
Over and out on the Heywood front for a couple of months minimum. The clock may soon be ticking once more.
- Congratulations to our friends from Rochdale Strollers for their title win…and thanks to the organisers for an Autumn season of highs, lows, and walking football.
PREVIEW 8th. January 2020…as the Autumn league concludes into winter !
We have the bare minimum of six players, which all being well will be enough to cope with the three fifteen minute games – a less than demanding schedule, even for this age group but of course injuries might crop up to test our mettle but fingers crossed all will be well to see this tournament through to a satisfactory conclusion. As pointed out to yours truly tonight by CC our team is just four ponts off second place. Whatever the destination position wise let’s enjoy the ride.
Eventually upon his return Colin Fielding will take the reins again and he has already agreed there’s a conversation to be had amongst the DWFG Committee around philosophy and approach at some time in the coming weeks.
The luxury of abundant numbers would bring about selection headaches of course. The maximum squad size of nine would be too many for just three games. It’s my personal view that if the division could be extended, it should be. I think it ideal if every team is guaranteed an hours worth of walking football to make the journey, the outlay and the commitment worthwhile. Feasible with a full squad. However, that’s not really my concern at this moment in time – (it may be after May 2021) – and the league has grown so much in size that pressure on pitch time must be considerable.
Back to tomorrow though and with a healthy league position to play for we wish the team well. If we can avoid encroaching our own ‘D’ area that would help a lot. Pointless penalty kicks conceded only make life harder and when you go a goal down it’s tough enough to equalise let alone turn the game around.
Also, now the Referees are really well schooled and organised and have been given the full support of GMWFL organisers it’s even more important to respect their decisions and not contest even if we feel aggrieved.
All the best to the players. Mike Kieran , (note the spelling please) Bill Lancashire, Peter Jarvis, Barry Smith and Terry Harrison last but not least skipper for the day Colin Cuthbert for another enjoyable morning at Heywood Sports Village. I know Colin Fielding will be thinking of your progress, as will we at King Street. A text message or a quick post on Facebook would be appreciated, as well as a longer report when someone gets the chance to put one together. It will be published here, Colin mentioned photographs and that’d be great for the website. Reports and pics published here first of course. E mail to firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks.
Fixtures for the ultimate round 9th. January 2020 –
good to see some variety in the ‘walking’ order !
Colin Fielding has filed his report from earlier today 28th Nov. 2019…
“On a rainy day at Heywood the Tameside Striders over 70’s played 3 more league games, hoping for an improvement in performances. We took only 6 players, welcoming back Terry Harrison as replacement for Barry Smith who unfortunately wasn’t available.
Fixtures for this Thursday 28th. November round…
STRIDERS SEPTEMBER SEVENTIES…
COLIN FIELDING REPORTS FROM THE G.M.W.F. HEYWOOD 26/9/19
Today at a sunny Heywood Sports Village, Tameside Striders over 70’s began their autumn league with 3 games.
WELL DONE ALL OF YOU AND THANKS TO COLIN FOR THE REPORT.
FINAL STANDINGS: Read the organisers official report <here>
OUR MAGNIFICENT SEVENties – and then there were SIX !
Colin Fielding reports in his own inimitable style with an adult orientated rock theme..
THE EAGLES HAVE LANDED….
“Another day of competitive walking football for Tameside Striders over 70’s, played 6 games, won 3, drawn 3 to finish joint 2nd in the final league table.Looking forward to seeing the Ultimate Eagles in Uppermill this Saturday may effect the way this report is written.On a dark northern highway down the M66, up ahead in the distance I saw a shimmering light, it was Heywood Sports centre and I had to stay for the day. Such a lovely place, welcome to Hotel Heywood and Walking Football.2 last minute cry offs, went down with the Mercedes Bends so we were down to the minimum 6 players.First game was against last season’s Champions Rochdale, we won 1-0 with a great goal from Barry Smith, having just returned yesterday from his holiday in Greece on a strict diet of ‘Tequila Sunrise ‘Next up Preston North End, the eventual winners, another 1-0 win and another goal from Barry, after a great throughball from underage goalkeeper Stewart White. ‘ Life in the fast lane ‘ seems to suit Barry.Man City next and another 1-0 win, scorer Colin Cuthbert, created by a great pass from Colin Fielding. ‘The heat was on’ so could this form continue or could it be ‘a heartache tonight’. We had to ‘take it to the limit’Next was Mancom and shock, we went a goal down, ‘I can’t tell you why’ but there was no ‘Wasted Time’ and that man Smith got the equaliser after good work by Bill Lancashire.Game number 5 against Bury we had to ‘take it to the limit’ with excellent defending by Tony Cravagan. We were under pressure at the end of the game when we had a player sent off for ‘ The long run’ (ie 3 runs). A hard fought 0-0 was an acceptable result.Final game against Blackpool was an even game with the Blackpool keeper in excellent form. Another 0-0, fair result.An afternoon in the sun, 3 wins and 3 draws with all 6 players playing excellent football and having fun. The ‘boys of summer’ are having fun, getting exercise and playing competitive football, life is good for the over 70’s.Come and join us” – Colin Fielding
I think goal difference came into play – Ed. The organisers report will follow soon.
WELL DONE ALL !
Have your say…
Colin Fielding’s preview of the last round of fixtures at the GMWFL Over Seventies league….
The last 6 games are being played at Heywood for our over 70’s this Thursday 20th June. The squad is Stewart White(under age keeper); Colin Fielding; Tony Cravagan; Bill Lancashire; Colin Cuthbert; Terry Harrison; Barry Smith. Unfortunately Dave Partington is unlikely to play due to an eye injury.The league is wide open with every team able to win the league.Meet at 10am at Heywood, don’t forget proof of identity, shin pads and plenty of energy.
Best of luck to Colin and his team. They started the competition strongly and sustained that into the second round. Faltering slightly last time out they nevertheless have a good chanceof one of the top two positions in this league and if they get off to a good start their confidence will grow. Barry Smith, the Denton man with power in his legs and the ‘Haughton Green Aguero’ Terry Harrison will pose the chief threat. Allied to the combative Cuthbert and wily Tony Cravagan at the back with the experienced and energetic Bill Lancashire.
Fielding will be hoping for a great effort. Sadly, the co-management mojo and driving force that is David Partington will be missing but we still have a great chance of coming away with something. If it’s only the good wishes of opponents and the satisfaction of playing the game in the right spirit then the Striders ethos will have been satisfied. Colin will be thinking differently though, and would willingly walk through a brick wall to win this league.
Good luck to all in the squad
4.6.19 Some of our Over 70’s team along with younger ‘guests’ competed in an indoor tournament at Wigan…and did very well. Winning all four of their games to top their group and bring home a trophy to boot ! Favourable comments from the ‘festival’ organisers too.
Seriously Well done.
“Another day another game of walking football. Today we were indoors, thankfully, it was lashing down outside. We were invited to this over 70’s 6 a side competition which included a number of national trialists teams, so we knew it was going to be a tough day.
We had a squad of 7 players; Dave Partington in goal, our own England trialist, Danny Tipping, Steve Hampson, Stewart White, Steve Foster, Barry Smith and myself.
Our first game was against N.W. England Shadow team, a good performance resulting in a 1-0 win
thanks to an excellent goal from Barry Smith.
Next we played Wales with Stewart 1 and Barry with a hat trick, scoring our goals, 4-0 win. Blackpool next and another win, 2-0 this time thanks to Steve Foster and Barry. Finally South West England, a tight game with us conceding our only goal but scoring 2 goals for another win. Stewart scoring both goals. Great performance by all the players of Tameside Striders, winning all 4 games, scoring 9 goals and conceding 1. Playing and winning competitions in our age. Happy days, long may it continue.” – Colin Fielding
clock’s already ticking
Results and tables from the GMWFL after the May round are to be found <here>
Organisers report on how Striders have been replaced at the top after a Preston Seniors surge..
Colin Fielding reports directly from Heywood today…
Colin Fielding’s filed the following preview on Facebook…
Tameside Striders Over 70s are playing at Heywood this Thursday 16th May, meet at Heywood at 10 am with ID.
We are still top of the League with 16 points after 12 games, with Bury Relics and Preston Senior Whites also on 16 points, ‘Man’ City on 15 points, Rochdale Strollers on 13. Very tight at the top, everything to play for.
Squad for the day:
Gordon Nixon, Tony Cravagan, Bill Lancashire, Colin Fielding, Colin Cuthbert, Terry Harrison, Barry Smith.
If anyone needs transport to Heywood contact Colin Fielding.
Organisers list of April’s results and league table – we are still top on goal difference <click>
Organisers Report from April – <here>
Co-Manager Colin Fielding puts some flesh on the bones of the statistics in his own objective report below…
Tameside Striders over 70s walking football team played 6 fixtures in the 2nd month of GM League games today at Heywood. Starting the day as league leaders we played Rochdale Strollers probably favourites for the league title. It was a çlosely contested game with few chances created by either team with the inevitable result of a 0-0 draw.
- – –
- Next game brought on Preston North End Senior Whites a game that we edged the game creating a couple of chances with Barry Smith scoring an excellent goal only to see it disallowed for running. Another 0-0 result.
- – – -Third game was versus ‘Man City’ chances were created but we couldn’t convert into goals. Stewart White our underage goalkeeper made a couple of excellent saves to secure another 0-0 draw. Next up came ‘Mancom’ (Manchester Community Walking Football) and another game that we dominated and created a number of unconverted chances. Fifth match up saw us play today’s in form team Bury Relics . A tight game in which we were on top, but couldn’t score. Yet another 0-0 draw. Finally, Blackpool Senior Seasiders and another in which we once again had the lions share of possession creating many chances all of which which were well saved by their England trialist goalkeeper Steve Hyde, who was in excellent form, 0-0 again.
- – – – – –
To sum up: Played 6, lost 0, won 0, drew 6, goals for 0 goals against 0 points 6.
- A good day which could have been even better with a few goals. No goals against in the league after 12 games.
Thanks to all the team for playing so well: Stewart White, Tony Cravagan, Colin Fielding, Dave Partington, Colin Cuthbert, Barry Smith
17/4/19 ~~~As the second round of fixtures is almost upon us the Editor had hoped for some written copy in the form of a preview.
That hasn’t materialised so all we can do is wish our Over 70’s good luck for tomorrow and hope we get some news to publish quickly after the games have ended and people are home safe and sound.
We do understand the squad is depleted with injuries to Terry Harrison and Bill Lancashire.
All of our games were filmed ~ if you watch them please leave a comment, or a thumbs up/down.
Tameside Striders v. Rochdale Strollers 21/3/19 – <view>
Preston Snr. Whites v. Tameside Striders 21/3/19 <watch>
‘Man’ City v. Tameside Striders 21/3/19 <click>
‘Mancom’ v. Tameside Striders 21/3/19 <here>
Tameside Striders v. Bury Relics video <here>
Tameside Striders v. Blackpool Senior Seasiders <watch>
SIXTY ONE. Photo’s from today uploaded to our friend FLICKR.. we couldn’t quite manage over seventy ! <stridersshots>
STRIDERS ON TOP ! as our over seventies lead the pack….at least we think so !
After calling at King Street to measure up a few Denton Thursday players for rain jackets (order will go in this weekend) I bobbed up to Heywood to watch and cover our Over 70’s squad in action, in what we believe is the first ever Over 70’s league in the country. Quite a cause for celebration.
- – – Striders in stripes once more as is our style but this time the red and black variety. Very smart indeed and importantly NO bib inducing clashes with the other SIX teams assembled for this first round of Spring fixtures.Last time we fielded an Over 70’s team we reached a Cup Final. So hopes were high despite one or two key components missing for various reasons that we’d give a good account of ourselves. So it proved to be. With Rochdale Strollers first up – we matched this good passing team with fluid possession play of our own. The basic formation of Partington and Cravagan at the back proved successful all morning.
- A couple of chances went Rochdale’s way but Ron Blakeney(?) made a splendid save in this goalless draw. Strollers playmaker Bill Charlton went down injured for a short time but thankfully got back to his feet and carried on. Strollers v. Striders tend to be a walk in the park. Pleasant games, with a deal of mutual respect and this was the case today.Next up were Preston Senior Whites, resplendent in all yellow, which is becoming a popular colour at Heywood. A familiar goalkeeper too in the shape of Keith Burrows guesting for the Deepdale club. . Striders were on top from the start in this one.
- Barry Smith and Terry Harrison were thorns in Preston’s side. Add a mobile Colin Cuthbert into the mix and the play that followed was impressive to watch at times. Terry Harrison put the Striders in front, and Preston looked a little rattled. Then they conjured up a chance with their number fourteen going very close. A corner on the right for Striders looked to be fairly innocuous as corners often do. But Barry Smith blasted the ball towards the goalkeeper and the ball cannoned off Burrow’s foot into the goal ! Two nil. Partington and Cravagan didn’t look much troubled after that and Striders chalked up their first win.
A half hour hiatus and then ‘Man City’ joined us on pitch 4. This was a more difficult game but Striders looked comfortable throughout. Roy Smith was drafted in. Filling a right defensive position and looked at ease on his Heywood debut. All of the games were filmed today and in due course will probably emerge onto Tamestriders TV. If you watch please leave a comment, a thumbs up , or a thumbs down if you wish.
- This one finished nil-nil with Stewart White our underage ‘keeper seldom troubled from what I can recall.
- – – –
- The blue and yellow of Mancom were up next, again on pitch 4. Such a pleasant team to play against, they approach the game in similar spirit to us. This encounter was again a chance for Striders to edge possession.
- Mancom number 7 looked a livewire but his threat was trumped by the ever mobile Smith, walking well along with his fellow forwards Cuthbert and Harrison. In terms of goals Striders edged this one nil thanks to a Barry Smith strike.
- – – – – Four games gone now and two wins plus two draws. Our more senior Striders were showing us younger ones how it’s done ! Speaking of which , as well as myself Steve Foster & Dave Fielding were on the touchline to cheer the team on, and Bill Lancashire put in an appearance despite his abductor injury. With another short wait – the tournament ran to time almost perfectly. We seemed to have a spare Referee too. Excellent organisation throughout the morning and a big hats off to the organisers Bill Murney , Paul Gardiner and their team of assistant. The weather was a huge improvement on last weeks Over 65’s with virtually no wind and a mild, almost balmy feel to the air. What can be a difficult low hanging end of winter sun was absent too, so conditions were perfect !
- – – – – -Two games remained. Bury Relics again proved difficult opponents. Despite good work and the usual attacking threats we could not breach their defences, nor they ours. A stalemate but not a stale game. Sorry Relics – no team pic I’m afraid.
- Partington played particularly well in this one and ventured forward a little more. Cravagan the rock at right back resilient and intuitive. Relics drew all of their six games this morning. With one remaining game we had not conceded a goal and were also unbeaten.
- – – – – Blackpool Senior Seasiders – or is it ‘Very’ Senior Seasiders? clad in tangerine – some of whom remembered Mark Bradshaw from his playing days at the club – were our final opponents.
- Little quarter given here by either side in an ever so slightly more physical game than we’d seen so far. Nothing much to worry about though. Blackpool ‘keeper Steve Hyde was tested a couple of times but answered both questions with aplomb. He would be difficult to beat.So it proved. No goals in this one either. Not an awful lot of threat came the other way, and Stewart White kept a sixth clean sheet ! Well done. If anyone from our squad wishes to contribute anything to this report I’ll tag it on at the end.
- We should probably have done a couple of interviews at the end. I’ll try to get back for the final riound of fixtures in June, if not before. It seems a long way off but we all know it’ll soon arrive – God willin’.
- – – – – – -On the way home I noticed a pub on the Bury Road called ‘The Summit’ I think that’s where Tameside Striders will be tonight after six games. A refreshing change for our group. We’re usually focussing on the other end of the table. So, well done to our septuagenarians plus Stewart White. A really fine performance across six matches. We’ll enjoy the view from the top – but we won’t get too giddy !
NOTE: undoubtedly some quick movement today but I saw nobody flying with both feet off the ground. Only the churlish or a pedantic purist would quibble about the pace this morning. Contact was under control for the most part and runners were penalised on occasion. Moreover this initiative is a celebration of the best that older age can be, and even on the side lines it was a pleasure to be part of it.
- Alan Richards
David Partington on ‘Facebook’ ~ “Great Team effort by all the lads this morning,Tony Cravagan was very steady Roy Smith did well in the game he played Colin Cuthbert was always busy and our two goal scocers Barry Smith and Terry Harrison were always posing a threat, a big thanks also to Stewart White our Young goalkeeper who dealt with everything when needed superbly,thanks also to Alan Richards for photo’s and video and Steve Foster , David Fielding & the injured Bill Lancashire for their support, thank you.”
- Editor’s note. One hundred plus Pics on Flickr later All teams featured. Video will soon begin to emerge.
– – – – – – – –
THERE WILL BE SIX GAMES OF TEN MINUTE DURATION ON THE OPENING DAY OF THE OVER SEVENTIES LEAGUE. THE FOLLWING ARE SCHEDULED TO PLAY. DAVID PARTINGTON , TONY CRAVAGAN, COLIN CUTHBERT, ROY SMITH, BARRY SMITH, TERRY HARRISON,
STEWART WHITE* UNDERAGE GOALKEEPER.
Here are the fixtures: You will see every game bar the last one is on Pitch four. which as you look from the entry gate is the furthest away alongside the main road. First game kicks off at 11-00am last game at 1-30pm. Please make sure the kit is returned to David at the end of the round of games.
OVER SEVENTIES LEAGUE PREVIEW….
The first ever over seventies LEAGUE will soon kick off at Heywood. March 21st. to be precise. It has long been an idea of Colin Fielding’s to lead a team into such a tournament, especially after the success of Tameside Striders in the 70’s knockout-cup in May 2018 when they reached the final, only to be beaten on penalties by Rochdale.
Their success that day in bringing Tameside Striders only trophy back to the group was no fluke. Some fine walking football was played by the team in black and white stripes. This time the Striders will be in the Red and Black to save constant colour clasheS but the ethos will be the same. Enjoy ourselves, do our best and don’t get too downhearted if we stumble.
Colin is a tough taskmaster but it’s his assistant David Partington who is in charge in March, he’ll be ready to get the best out of his squad, which all things being equal will initially consist of Stewart White – underage ‘keeper – Colin Cuthbert , Roy Smith, Tony Cravagan, Barry Smith and Terry Harrison . Along with Partington this makes a seven man squad as Fielding himself is unable to appear in the first round of fixtures. . Given that Bill Lancashire, one of the central pillars of Colin’s plans is out injured, the numbers are slightly down on the optimum but it’s to be hoped we can stay free of injury.
At this stage the fixtures are a mystery to yours truly. I have no idea how many other clubs are entered, or who they are. That said it’s immaterial really. The fact that a number of groups will be ‘fielding’ (no pun intended) teams made up of men into their seventies to play a form of football in a league tournament is one to be celebrated.
I’ll be at Heywood with the 65’s once a month until June but hope to be able to make at least one session with our other teams over the Spring season to cover at least a few games on video and take a few photographs – Nash Amblers over 60’s included of course.
So, let’s get the septuagenarian Striders party started on the 21st. and as soon as I know who we are up against I will post it here. – Ed.
FROM MAY 2018…
Bill Murney’s official organisers tournament report is well worth a read <here>
BADGERS UNBEATEN BUT EDGED OUT IN THE SHOOT OUT….
Limited semi-final and final footage is <here> look for more video links in the body of the report.
31/5/18 Heywood Sports Village….Alan Richards writes…
…A tremendous performance by the Senior Striders (aka the Badgers) today earned the D.W.F.G. our first ever trophy as we finished runners (walkers) up at Heywood in the GMWF Over 70’s Cup competition.
In unfamiliar heat and humidity the squad – resplendent in the group’s new striped shirts – put down an early marker with a win against Birmingham Walking Football. Barry Smith hit the goal that counted in a game which Striders rarely looked troubled. Harrison and Smith looked a potent pairing up front, underpinned by the industry of Fielding and Lancashire, skipper with Partington pivotal in defensive midfield. <Match Video: <click>
- – – – – – – –
Next up, Bury Relics took an early lead after a Nixon error but there was time to come back. We grew into this game slowly but surely and a real Captain’s goal drew us level. A real humdinger of a shot that evaded the Bury ‘keeper to ripple the net. It stayed that way until the end and it was beginning to dawn upon the players that we could have a real shot at this trophy. More of Alan Richards’ match video with constant comment <here> feel free to mute the sound if he gets on your nerves (he won’t be offended).
Bernard Roddy, also on the pitch in this one looked perfectly at home on the Heywood 3g.
A change of Pitch and Widnes were our next opponents. Some big men in their team but frankly, the first opening minutes were so one sided we could have been three up in five of them. Harrison struck early, then Barry Smith had a goal disallowed as a kick in had been ‘taken too quickly’ – odd. But never mind. We doubled the lead through Smith but Widnes were undeterred. We spurned even more chances as the Cheshire (was Lancashire) team clawed their way back into the game and reduced the arrears.
- Tony Cravagan’s long overdue introduction to competitive walking football had those who know his game purring with satisfaction, as he settled in quickly, and well.
We went further ahead – this time Harrison with a beauty and Striders looked to be coasting. Widnes were not done though , credit to them for plugging away and making it 3-2 to Striders just before the end. A game we fully deserved to win. Click <here> for some lengthy match video.
Next we had some respite and a rest. Huddersfield ‘Town’ WF – who had looked a good side took to Pitch 2 for an even game that frankly might have gone against us but for some stout defending. Bernard Roddy was lively and resilient as a Terriers defender bounced off a strong (illegal) challenge.
We had our chances but the goalkeeper was defiant. Nixon’s handling was solid an secure and with an unbeaten record in the group we knew that with 8 points we would progress to the Semi-Final where we thought Blackpool Very Senior Seasiders awaited but NO ! A penalty shoot out had not gone their way and we were up against locals Rochdale Blues.
We started quite shakily – the thirty minute hiatus had not done us good. However, with five minutes on the clock we started to settle down into a passing rhythm. Lancashire was acqutting himself very well in perhaps his best displays at Heywood, and the inevitable combination of Smith and Harrison up front were mobile across the pitch and making targets for their defenders to hit with passes pumped forward.
Barry Smith scored the winning goal from an inside left position, a great strike that beat the Rochdale custodian to put us in the final !
With the heat clearly taking its toll on tired legs and glistening brows we lined up for the final knowing we were up against some good walking footballers. BUT so were they !
No goals in this game of nip and tuck. Excellent defending from our team but up front Harrison was tiring visibly. Cravagan replaced Lancashire with his regular reliability and seemingly effortless covering ability.
No goals though and a penalty shoot out awaited.
The subsequent kicks were disappointing as Barry Smith hit his high over the bar and Colin Fielding’s kick was well saved. Rochdale Reds converted their first but missed the second after a retake. Terry Harrison – his heart pumping as frantically as his taxi meter in the rush hour blasted the ball goalward but the ‘keeper chose the right way and turned it around a post.
That was that. Done and dusted. A really enjoyable competition played in fantastic spirit by a sensible group of older men who realised the great opportunities for health and fitness (and a bit of ‘success’) this game can provide. We had winners – congratulations ‘Rochdale Reds’, and losers but it was really inspiring to see a competition go so well, with so little incident, barely a ‘bad’ word heard , certainly by me.
- – – – – – – – – –
Thanks to all our players for giving it everything. A couple of jitter inducing distribution mistakes from ‘keeper Nixon but he more than redeemed himself with solid handling throughout. Lancashire, Cravagan and Fielding were the backbone of our defence and inventive moving forward. Partington the fulcrum between defence and attack where Bernard Roddy’s appearances showed what a fine presence he can provide, and Harrison and Smith the dynamic duo up front causing all sorts of problems for opponents.
Special thanks to all three Referees, it must have been both taxing, and exhausting out there and to the organisers who made the event run like relative clockwork and provided a smashing buffet after the games had been played. Bravo – we will be back in November I’m sure.
To all the other teams there today thanks for a keen contest that was played fairly, and sensibly. It’s not just about winning – although we came close – it’s about much more and most of that was on display at Heywood Sports Village on the last day of May 2018.
- God to see David Wilson, Mike Conroy and Steve Foster there to support their friends and team mates.
CONGRATULATIONS ROCHDALE REDS !
- Over 100 photo’s <here>
(Video will take some time)
Two groups – one of four one of five – ours is the larger. We play BIRMINGHAM / BURY RELICS /WIDNES / ‘HUDDERSFIELD TOWN’. Fifteen minute one way games (unless it’s blowing a gale) the first three matches on the bounce.
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All players in this competition are asked to find their fivers by the end of next week please. See David Partington or Alan Richards with the cash. The entry fee is £35 and DWFG will raise the necessary cheque by the time the Over 65’s go to Heywood on the 17th. (25/5/18 all money in now – Ed)
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- Beware the Geek – bearing GIF’s
THIRTY ONE DAYS IN MAY…culminating in this one – May 31st. 2018 at Heywood Sports Village organised by the GMWFL.
David Partington will lead our squad of Senior Striders into this one and look out for news here on this page as the competition draws closer….some of the squad….
OUR ‘UNDERAGE’ GOALKEEPER – GORDON NIXON