Saturday, 15 October 2011


Saturday 8th October
East Riding Senior Cup R1
Easington United 0 Chalk Lane 2
ERCFL Premier Div
Easington United Reserves 2 Viking Raiders 0

The "Welwick Heritage" weekend is in its 22nd year and despite the loss of its driving force, Bernard Blashill (aka "The Welwick Relic"), it continues to pull in the crowds.
Easington United's involvement in The East Riding County Football Association Senior Cup stretches back half the length of the aforementioned event, to which it is connected by the date on which the first round is usually played.
Unfortunately, in recent times our interest in said competition has lasted no longer than the time it takes the threshing team at Moat Farm to shift a trailer full of wheat.

T'wasn't always so.  Elevation to the Humber Premier League in 2000/01 prompted a first ever entry in the East Riding's most prestigious cup competition and initially it was one we enjoyed.
The semi-finals were reached in each of the first three years.  The first of these was lost to Hull City (usually represented in this competition by their Juniors) and the other two to Bridlington Town, with the 2002 fixture proving one of the most amazing Eastenders matches I've ever seen live.
Since Town's repeat semi-final success the following year, our record in the ER Senior Cup hasn't been great.  Aside from a run to the quarter-finals in 2008 we've failed to get past round one on more than one occasion. 
Making this poor run harder to take is that in the past two years defeat has been experienced at the hands of Humber Premier League opposition - giving rise to much derisory comment from those who mocked our decision to "jump ship" in 2009.
And so we came into this year's competition determined to arrest the slide.  Unfortunately, we failed to do so.

Along with the Welwick Heritage weekend, the other event that normally accompanies County Cup round one weekend is the start of Hull Fair.  In addition our weekly trips to Verity Lee's School of Dance were resuming following the annual show and this time we also had the Younger Slushette enrolled.  Yikes! 
Finally, to further fill what already looked like being a busy weekend, two of our national teams were in action; the footballers on Friday evening when a single point from the trip to Podgorica would see Capello's team through to Euro 2012, the rugby union players the following morning where an equally unconvincing France barred progress to the semi-finals of the World Cup. 
It therefore promised to be a weekend of ups and downs - and I don't mean "Fair" (I wasn't planning on going - I left that to Mrs Slush and our older daughter).

Our demeanour says it all

Having missed both the Bentley Colliery and Yorkshire Main games, I was looking forward to seeing the First Team in action again.  Reports from Edlington Lane had suggested we'd perhaps been a touch unfortunate to come home empty-handed and with opponents Chalk Lane going well in the HPL, Saturday's game promised to be a decent one.
Of course, before then we were subjected to the never-straightforward-affair that is watching England in competitive action.  And even though the main aim of qualification for Poland & Ukraine was achieved, I was left feeling as if we'd actually lost.  Perhaps it was a premonition...

A corner - no longer cause for excitement among the Farm Faithful

...It was.  And it was one reinforced by events the following morning when having been forced to listen to Barbie Disco 8 en route to the Slushettes' dance class (don't ask) and thus having missed the first half-hour of England's World Cup quarter-final, I got the Leisure Centre TV switched on just in time to find us 16-0 down and the game as good as lost.  This weekend was going from bad to worse.
One bright spot was the surprise appearance of Adelphi goer, ale afficianado, Hull City fan and author (his "Kissing the Badge - How Much Do You Know About 20 Years Of The Premier League" is a must-read for any football fan) Phil Ascough - or @audaciouschip as the rest of the Twitterati know him.
Taking advantage of another 'International Break', Phil decided on a trip out east for his Saturday afternoon footy fix and arrived at Low Farm.  Excellent.  Even better, he decided to blog about the afternoon's events for the estimable Two Unfortunates website and the results can be found here
Thankfully, Phil's diligence means I don't need to recount the precise details of another early cup exit here.  Nor do I need to introduce you to our opponents - you just need to read the aforementioned piece to learn they are a quality side.
Perhaps the only thing I could add to Phil's piece is that before the game I enjoyed a cuppa and a chat with the "legendary" Johnny Whiteley MBE.  Ah, we get all the local celebs down at the Farm these days.

THe Stiffs go Raiders-Ramming
Anyway, rather than go over the same ground, I can instead mention the rather more pleasant events unfolding simultaneously across the ditch where the Reserves entertained Viking Raiders in an ER County League Premier Division game.
It's unusual for the Stiffs to be asked to "slum it" on the Casuals' pitch - not that the surface is poor, indeed it's perhaps better than the main arena.  No, it's the rather basic portacabin changing facilities and lack of showers which ensure not many games at this level are allowed to go ahead while the main changing block is otherwise engaged.

Packing 'em in across the Ditch
Still, Manager Medforth and his players will certainly be happy that this one took place.  For after weathering some terrific pressure from the Goole side, the Reserves wrapped up a highly satisfying 2-0 victory courtesy of second half goals from Jimmy Dawson (whose cousin Billy had successfully boxed at Hull City Hall the previous night - a topic I discussed with the aforementioned Mr Whiteley) and Sam Mac.
When Casuals' assistant-boss DC rang to tell me of his side's fifth win in five, a superb 2-0 success at title hopefuls Shiptonthorpe, the pain of another early ERCFA Cup exit had dissipated. 
Unfortunately though, not for long.

The grim realisation of another year without a trip to the KC.

Thankfully, the following morning's trip to Welwick helped lift the darkness.  And the bacon butties were on their usual top form.  The murky weather - quite disappointing for an event that is traditionally accompanied by warm sunshine - helped keep the crowds down slightly but there was still plenty to see and, more importantly, part with your cash for.  Even I was persuaded to spend three quid on the Second Edition of the East Riding Dialect Dictionary - a "getherer's" (collector's) item if ever there was "yan"!
A bonus this year came in the threshing machine being put to use without the traditional hiccups; another followed in the forme of tea down at the Crown & Anchor, Kilnsea where the Timothy Taylor Landlord was "ageean fost rate" (eeh, that "beeak" (book) is already proving a superb acquisition).
All in all it was a very enjoyable day - and who needs a cup run anyway?
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Lance Corporal Jones will explain just how a thresher works...

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