Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Whatton earth?

Saturday 18th September - Whatton United (away) 
Lost 1-2

Orston - the perfect setting for Midsomer Murders

And yet the week was going so well!
Wednesday morning found me in an insufferably good mood.  Jimmy Bullard - for all the understandable debate surrounding his reported salary demands, extra-curricular activities and actual appetite for Championship football - had proved the night before that if fit he must be in Hull City's starting line-up.
What's more, bolstered by Bullard and with a team now full of players comfortable on the ball, The Tigers actually looked a half-decent side.  Things were looking up.
In addition, cricket's County Championship was coming to a thrilling finale.  While Somerset and Yorkshire went into day four (Thursday) still holding out hopes of victory, champions-elect Notts had been thwarted for almost three full days by first rain and then, amazingly, sun!
Were Yorkshire about to add to the success of local side Patrington (East Yorkshire Cricket Alliance Premier Division champions for the first time in their 150+ years history) and cap a fantastic cricketing summer?  Err, no.
A collapse of the sort not seen this year (well, by Yorkshire anyway) robbed them of their last hope of a first title since 2001 (even though Kent's fragile batting almost let them back in for what would have been a remarkable - and as it turned out title-clinching - win).
With Notts requiring 400 and three wickets in a shortened final day's play, the Cider Men were now favourites...but not for long.
As Durham continued to defy them, the county of Sticky Palms achieved what was required of them to finally move from bridesmaid to bride.  Perhaps next year Yorkshire?

Charlie sat with his mates

My disappointment at the Tykes' last day demise was compounded by Hull KR's emphatic exit from the Super League Play-offs at Wigan on the Friday.  Not that it was so unexpected; just that I'd had high hopes when, whilst sitting watching the Elder Slushette perform the second of four routines with her classmates as part of Verity Lee's 'Dance Mania' show at Withernsea High School, "Garage Rocker" Fuller had showed me an iPhone message which read "Wigan 6 : 12 Hull KR".  Unfortunately, by the time I managed to switch on the car radio as we exited the school, commentator Chris Park's downbeat tone accompanied the last 15 seconds of a game that the Robins lost 42-18.  Perhaps next year Rovers?

Nice day for a stroll

Owen counts to two?

And so to Saturday, the main day of the week but - for once - a football-free one in the Slush household.  Not only did the family's attendance at a 40th bash out towards Etton mean no trip to Whatton United with the first team; it also meant no viewing of either the Reserves or Casuals, both at home.  Meanwhile the lack of Sky Sports at the particular establishment we were headed for also meant no coverage of The Tigers' tea-time meeting with Nottingham Forest (their first in some 35 years you know). 

Pistol Pete stood with his mates

Therefore the record of the Eastenders' first ever trip to the Orston Recreation Ground will have be a photographic one, courtesy of our regular lensman Burt and an impressive selection courtesy of the Whatton website.
For me, despite the availability of two very nice pins courtesy of the nearby Wold Top Brewery (Wold Top Bitter and Wold Gold) my attention for the early part of the bash was not a hundred per cent on friends and family.
At first things went well and at four o'clock I'd received confirmation of a welcome "bounce back" win for the Reserves and a (perhaps) surprising opening day success for the Casuals.
I therefore sent Burt a text telling him, "No pressure but an East End hat-trick depends on you".  I was rewarded some fifteen minutes later by a one word reply..."Farny".  All was well and the  beer was tasting just that little bit sweeter.


Andy Martin likes it...

The lads like it

I think they also liked Chav's cross!
The afternoon eventually changed on two further pieces of correspondence with my cameraman.  the first was via text, simply reading: "1-1".  

Where did that come from?
The second came courtesy of a phone call, "Two one to them".  In-between was one which almost brought a goal live on phone as it were; Owen blazing a great chance over as Burt proceeded to tell me we were entering injury time.  

Oh Owen!
"Bloody hell, Owen could have won it..." I began to tell an obviously disinterested Mrs Slush when the phone rang again...

Whatton earth?!
I was later to learn that Whatton's first goal came from nowhere (an almost unbelievable strike from 35 yards) and their second came immediately after the non-award of a "cast iron" penalty at the other end. 
To cap things off, the hosts' post-match watering hole - The Durham Ox - stocked a fine selection of cask ales.  Perhaps next year Slush?!

Thanks to Burt Graham and the Whatton United website for the photos.

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