Friday, 7 October 2011

Fun in the sun

Saturday 1st October
East Riding Senior Country Cup R1
Easington United Reserves 3 Riccall United 1
Easington United 6 Withernsea Thirds 0

It's supposed to be October.  Not only does that mean the start of long, dark nights and cold, murky mornings but it also usually coincides with an early exit from the East Riding County FA cup competitions for our three teams.
Well, in pretty much the same way that nobody thought to tell the weather we've moved on to autumn, somebody in our Stiffs' set-up forgot to read the preceived script when it came to their first round tie in the ERCFA Senior Country Cup tie.  So as the Low Farm Faithful basked in the unseasonable temperatures, the red-hot Reserves romped to victory against their much fancied opponents.
Meanwhile, across the ditch, our third-string were putting it up their local rivals from Withernsea big-time.  Six unanswered goals ensuring a fourth straight win and the Casuals' best ever start to a County League campaign.  All-in-all it's what Saturdays were made for.
"You've only come to watch the Riccall"
As soon as the draw for the opening round of the Senior Country Cup threw up a tie against Riccall, I decided to eschew whatever fixture the First Team might have that same day.  As it was, lack of The Pistol and his Riding School Express again for the trip to Yorkshire Main ensured I would not be Edlington-bound.
The village of Riccall lies just north of Selby and 9 miles south of York.  Despite its location in what is now North Yorkshire, "it is historically part of the East Riding".  Hence its football club, Riccall United, enters the  East Riding County FA cup competitions.
Riccall was the site of the base camp of Harold Hardrada, the Norse king who landed on the banks of the River Ouse in 1066 as part of his ill-fated attempt to wrestle the throne of England. 
One for Wilky
Riccall United Football Club was founded in 1919 with a Junior section added some ninety years later. They boast a long history of success in all competitions including the aforementioned East Riding cups. (Unfortunately their club website is in desperate need of updating - something manager Liam Bradley said was "in hand" when I spoke to him ahead of the game).Among the ERCFA Cup wins are two in the Senior Country competition, 1974/75 and 2009/10.  Last season they reached the semi-finals.  They thumped us 4-0 en route (the same margin of victory as achieved on their only previous trip to Low Farm - en route to a place in the 1997/98 ERCFA Junior Country Cup Final).  In 2008/09 they lifted the ERCFA Intermediate Country Cup.  In short, Riccall do not exit County Cup competitions early doors...until now.
I'd produced a programme for the game.  I don't usually bother for the Reserves or indeed the Casuals but saw this as an opportunity to try and attract new customers as it were.  Not sure I succeeded.  No matter, the Stiffs did.  You can read details of how here.

For once Riccall's cup run ends before it has begun...
Meanwhile, on the famous "Pitch Across The Ditch", the Casuals were intent on maintaining their one hundred per cent start to the ER County League Division 5 campaign against Withernsea, a side they'd lost to pre-season.  Hmm.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold don't they? Well it was anything but as the Seasiders were effectively put to the sword before half-time.
That'll be in then
Twice inside the first half-hour we heard cheers from across the ditch, both times seeing the teams form-up again ready to kick-off after a goal for the team in white.  Therefore it was a pleasant surprise moments later when a supporter wandering across from the Casuals game in search of a cuppa informed us it was actually 4-0 to the locals. 
However, more amusing was the reply from the first guy I'd asked for an update, some twenty minutes earlier:
"What score is it over there mate?  Are we one up?"
"We aren't playing mate, it's Patrington v Withernsea over there."
"Er, no, it's our Casuals v Withernsea...'Patrington Garage' are the shirt sponsors."
"Oh, right. Well, yeah, we're winning one-nil then."
Excellent stuff.
And so will that
And it got better - as you can read about here.  Young 'Hoppy' the new goal scoring sensation took his tally to 11 in four games, prompting his manager to wager a bet already that nobody will pip him to the Golden Boot.  Hmm, perhaps I ought to suggest to the Reserves manager that the youngster might be ready for the step-up...
A couple of pints of Tetleys were enjoyed in the Granby, washed down nicely by news of Nick Barmby's goal which sent the mighty Tigers back into the Championship top six.  If Maccer wants to make small bets about his goal scorers, may I commit myself to one that sees big things ahead for Nigel Pearson's young charges?
Hope for the future
Unfortunately, the day wouldn't be a complete success.  A final text from stand-in reporter Pete B brought confirmation of a solitary goal reverse for the Firsts at the pre-season title favourites.
I wouldn't let that get me down and as I sank a few bottles of fine ale at my old mucker Fuller's house (Badger's England's Gold, Wells Bombardier Burning Gold) it was safe in the knowledge that at least one of our teams would be in the hat for the second round of their very own "FA" cup.
To the beach must be October!

Thanks to Burt Graham and Colin Brammer for the photos

No comments: