Friday, 19 August 2011

Back from the brink

Friday 5th August - Holderness Cup Winners Cup Final
Hornsea Town 2 Easington United 3 (After Extra Time)

So, you plan a game so as to avoid the opening fixture of the "proper" football season (i.e. City's first match in The Championship), smile when that first fixture is an attractive looking home game against relegated Blackpool, then "bloody Sky" go and shift it to the same date as your aforementioned match.  Grrrr.
Having got over that initial frustration, you find that the venue you've originally selected for your game (which is deemed of decent distance between both teams so as to be able to be called "home" by our opponents whilst still being easily accessible for you) is made available only on condition that you prepare it yourselves!  Double Grrrr.
Finally, you're then told by a member of one of the committees responsible for your game that you can't actually play it as your opponents' participation in it has been called into question by other parties. Triple Grrrr. 
You're confused aren't you? Well then, in a rather large nutshell...
Who needs Hull City v Blackpool?
The Holderness Cup Winners Cup is the meeting of the South Holderness Cup and Tanton Cup winners.  It takes place annually as part of pre-season and, even in its relatively short life, has already established a reputation for being a bit of a "last minute job" arrangements-wise!  
This year I therefore decided to grasp the nettle (given that our participation in it meant it would have a bearing on our whole pre-season schedule) and fix a date for early August that would avoid a clash with the Tigers.  That was Mistake Number One.
Secondly, as there had been no Tanton Cup competed for at the end of the 2010/11 season (for reasons we won't go into) it was automatically assumed that Hornsea Town - as holders of not only the Tanton Cup from the previous year but also the Holderness Cup Winners Cup by virtue of their 2010 win over Hedon Rangers - would be our opponents.  That was Mistake Number Two.
And finally, given the fact it was the turn of north Holderness to host the fixture and given the identity of the two finalists, what more obvious venue than Aldbrough thought I?  None.  That was Mistake Number Three. 
I needed some solutions.
Men on a mission
Date - nothing doing.  Both teams were happy with it and let's face it, I miss enough Hull City matches as it is nowadays, one more wouldn't make a difference.
Opponents - sorted.  While I was in Glapwell attending the CML pre-season meeting, back in Holderness the Tanton Cup Committee were holding a Special General Meeting at which Hornsea's place in the final was rubber-stamped.
Finally the venue - switched to North Frodingham.  In fairness to the people at Aldbrough it appears that had we pursued the use of their ground everything would have been prepared for us beforehand and free of charge.  For that I can only say thanks.  Unfortunately, lack of clarification over this matter had prompted a switch to a ground used by Hornsea for their third team games and - perhaps more significantly - the venue for our only previous meeting in this particular final back in 2007.
Thus, as the saying goes, "all's well that ends well".  A cracking evening, picturesque venue, superb game of football and - from an Easington perspective - the right result all combined to ensure the day went well.  You can catch the match details here.
Unfortunately, certain aspects of the game ensured there was bitter aftertaste among some of our opponents, both at the immediate post-match presentation and in the excellent post-match confines of The Blue Post pub (where I enjoyed a fine pint of Wold Gold while tucking into a fine post-match buffet which even the Elder Slushette appeared to enjoy...and she doesn't do "savoury things").
Some people are (almost) on the pitch...
From a couple of conversations I had with Town players, I think (hope?) that deep down it was the letting slip of a game of which they were in complete control rather than the non-brandishing of a red card that was the real cause of frustration among their ranks.  Perhaps I'm wrong.
On the short drive from the ground to the Blue Post I'd flicked on Radio Humberside at the most inoppportune moment - Burnsy's commentary of a stunning Gary Taylor-Fletcher strike that would eventually prove the difference at the KC Stadium.  Hmm, perhaps scheduling the games for the same date wasn't such a bad idea after all...  

Photos courtesy of Colin Brammer & Burt Graham. Further shots of the final from Colin are available here 

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