I knew we were struggling when told on Monday afternoon that tomorrow’s game was doubtful due to “six inches of water along the pitch from end-to-end”. That’s a lot of water to shift in five days.
Apparently the problem at Bentley Colliery’s Miners Welfare Ground (“The Avenue” - pictured above in drier times) is down to the “Land Drainage pumps on the Don Banks”, which were switched off to clear the River Don of flood water from the Sheffield area. Until these pumps could be switched back on, our hosts informed us, there would be no chance of pumping the pitch.
I resigned myself to another blank Saturday.
I was right to do so. Yesterday the Bentley secretary informed me that in spite of daily pumping for four hours over the past four days, only a third of their pitch was clear. With heavy rain forecast for last night and much of today it seemed sensible to make the decision then. Game off.
This morning – after the anticipated rainfall had arrived with a vengeance – both County League games scheduled for Low Farm were also postponed.
So it’s now six weeks since any of our three teams kicked a ball. They’re not alone. Much of the rest of the country also appears to have had an impromptu “mid-season break”.
But football clubs and grounds are not the only sufferers at the moment. On Tuesday I went down with what I feared would turn into full-blown man-flu. I know, THAT serious. I took no chances – I sent apologies for my non-attendance at that night’s scheduled Development Group meeting, I downed a Balvenie “pick-me-up” and I hit the sack early.
I woke up feeling even worse the next day.
Besides the inconvenience of it all, the other thing I find about a combination of illness and no football is that it doesn’t half make me a tetchy tw*t. This was clearly illustrated yesterday morning when I was confronted with a troublesome tin opener while preparing packed lunches. My good lady wife often observes that if arguing with inanimate objects were ever to become an Olympic sport, I’d be a shoo-in for gold. She’s right.
Thus when said tin-opener failed to do the job required and the supposedly “No Drain” tuna steaks drained liquid all over the worktop surface, I proceeded to toss it across the kitchen and stomp off to do something else. A few moments later, suitably calmed, I returned to the kitchen where my three-year-old Younger Slushette, eating her cereals and minding her own business, gave me that look that says it all: “Dad, you’re a knob!”
The sooner we get back to playing football the better.