Saturday, 10 September 2011


Tuesday 6th September
Barney Moverley Memorial Trophy
Easington United Reserves 2 Roos AFC 1

According to a survey published at the beginning of the week, Yorkshire is "the happiest place in the United Kingdom".  Apparently almost six in ten people living in the Broad Acres are happy with their lot, compared to a national average of 50 per cent.
Hmm, those questioned are obviously not big fans of Yorkshire County Cricket Club then!
The Tykes went into their final Championship game of the season with only the slimmest mathematical chance of avoiding relegation to Division 2.  And this only a year after coming into the corresponding fixture with genuine hopes of the title.  Where did it all go wrong? 
None of us discussing the matter at a blustery Low Farm on Tuesday evening had the answer.  But we knew something - had the people at Mintel asked this particular bunch of Yorkshiremen whether we felt "happy" to be inhabitants of God's County at this precise moment they may have struggled to find one never mind six.  There's not many times it feels a burden to be associated with the White Rose but September 2011 is certainly one of them.
It would certainly appear more advantageous to be associated with the new White Shirts of Easington at the moment!  Having been used to good effect by the First Team to earn results against Welbeck and Kinsley, the same uniform would accompany Stiffs' boss Danny Medforth's claim of a first piece of silverware.
The Stumo heads us ahead
Okay, so the annual Barney Moverley Memorial trophy fixture against a side from two divisions below in the league is by no means the Champions League of East Riding or even Holderness football.  But it's a start.  And against this particular Roos side, it was bloody hard-earned.
Now in its seventh year, this pre-season fixture was set up in memory of the former Youth Leader, local politician and all-round larger-than-life figure whose connections with both villages remain strong.
Perhaps not surprisingly given the gap in status, the trophy has previously come our way on five of the six meetings.  However, aside from once, the game has been keenly contested and this was to be the case again on this occasion.   Indeed, Roos could count themselves very unfortunate to be going home empty-handed.
Given that it was his last chance to cast an eye over players beofre the season starts at the weekend, it was perhaps not surprising that Meddy opted to use EIGHTEEN players.  Not only did this involve a near farcical use of substitute options, particularly second half when it became increasingly hard to see who was on and who wasn't, but it also put considerable strain on our kit resources (which was quite embarrassing given my recent criticism of Hall Road Rangers on such matters!).
That'll be one all then
As it was I only arrived some ten minutes before the break but still in time to find a far from happy Reserve team boss chuntering about how poor his side had been.  Having taken an early lead from a Stumo header, not only had the Stiffs gifted their opponents an equaliser ("Stef tried doing a Cruyff turn in his own penalty area" allowing Sam Huteson to set up Matty Dixon for 1-1) but the visitors had then enjoyed much the better of things up to the break.  "Woody's kept us in it" said a clearly unhappy Meddy.  This was going to be the first half-time bollocking he'd yet had to deliver.
The second half proved more even, with Roos finding it as difficult to play with the wind behind them as we had done.  Chances came at either end, with Woody's feats at one end being matched by those of Danny Collinson (Roos keeper and skipper of Patrington CC, newly-crowned East Yorkshire Cricket Alliance Premier Division champions for the second successive season) at the other.
The right Price
With barely two minutes left, young Radley - perpertrator of that costly first half mistake - created the opening from which Josh Price marked his "debut" with the winner.  The trophy was ours; the plaudits were theirs.
Both teams retired to the Granby where England put us through the mill again, limping to victory over Wales just days after suggesting renewed hope via their win in Sofia.  Another set of white shirts earning a rather fortuitous result perhaps?
The first of many?
As for Manager Medforth, he was far better humour than had been the case at half-time.  And despite news of impending absentees for the weekend's opening league game which, coupled with First Team withdrawals and the obvious knock-on effect, were about to bring home the harsh realities of second team management, for the moment he was another of those six in every ten happy Yorkshiremen.

Thanks to Colin Brammer for the pictures

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