Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Five games to go, twelve points clear and there's hardly "Five Armies" left in the title race.

Aylesbury have developed a nice losing habit.
Bedworth don't even finish games anymore.

As for the rest?  They're all a long way away.

Oh, and it's nice that our old mucker Duane Darby
has put in an appearance.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Bedworth United - A March to forget

The news that their match was abandoned after an unspecified number of red cards and fights tops off a truly wretched March for the former title chasers -

Bedworth blow-up!

Bedworth blow-up part 2

At the end of February, although a distance behind us, Bedworth were keeping us very much on our toes.  Whatever one thinks of some of their charmless fans and the obvious advantage of playing on the only artificial pitch in the division, they were making the run-in tense.

And then came March.  And off came the wheels.

Their first three games of the month, all on their own plastic patch yielded a single point.  Then they were gumped by 10-man Aylesbury.  With the month already looking like a write-off, Bedworth took themselves away to Northwood, looking, at least, to maintain their play-off position, and steady the ship ahead of those exciting fixtures.

Reports vary but the thrust seems to be that a combination of red cards, mass brawls and managerial intransigence led to the referee abandoning the game with over half an hour to go.  As much as we all like to think we've seen everything at a football game, I've got to say, I'm more than a little jealous to have missed out on such a spectacle!

Note for Ritchie.  Less bore draws.  More bar-room brawls!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

St Dives Seal Title?

It was emotional scenes at Westwood Road today as St Dives seemingly wrapped-up the Southern League Central Division Title.  Appearing as though they needed only a point against Kettering Town the "Divers" set out their stall accordingly.  Eschewing any attacking tendencies, the home team set out to gain a draw in front of their rabid (literally in some cases) fans. 

The final whistle was greeted with an enormous roar from the couple of hundred home supporters out of a crowd of just under 600.  The team were all smiles and hugs as they partied with their delighted, if constantly angry, supporters.

St Dives players dropped to the floor like flies every five minutes.  The goalkeeper enjoyed rolling around and taking seemingly hours to take goal kicks.  Club Captain, Jordan "Whiner" Lambert was unapologetic about the tactics of his presumably title-winning team.  "We did what we had to do.  We knew a draw was going to be enough and we spent the entire game protecting that precious point."  "AAAGGGH!", he added, whilst falling to the ground and grabbing his ankle.

'Keeper Tim "Time-waster" Trebes added, "Happy.................................to..............................do...........................
...........................................................", before trailing off.

Club Manager, Ricky "Moribund" Marheineke after being drenched with champagne by his jubilant players  could not hide his delight, "You could all see what this 0-0 meant.  This has to be the greatest day in the history of this club, and I'm so priveleged to have been part of it today."  Ricky was then dragged away by a gaggle of swarming fans, intent on giving him celebratory bumps.

As the St Dives players and fans began their partying which was likely to last until the Summer, the opposition team slunk quietly out of the ground with the bare consolation of a paltry 12-point lead at the top of the table to console them.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

"The Sixth Sense"

Six games to go.  Even though we didn't win today
we are still the small matter of 14 points clear.

Even if Ritchie lost his "sense" and handed 
the club over to Cyril to see the season out,
we'd be hard pressed not to win the League!

Six Nations Fever Grips the BBC!

Wow.  What a finish to the Six Nations Rugby!  All lovingly brought to us by the BBC, as it's probably the only live sport they have the rights to?

Three teams battle for the title.  It all came down to a handful of points.  Ultimately it boiled down to a few exciting final minutes when England could have won the title with a last gasp try that just didn't happen.

Pulse-pounding stuff!  In any other sport it would have been white-knuckle time. 

Not with Rugby Union though.  The bloody game is so damn friendly and sporting that no-one involved gave a f*ck who won the Six Nations. 

No one cares who wins or loses at Rugby.  Not so long as the players get to fondle and gouge each other all game long.  Not so long as everyone, both playing and watching could drink themselves stupid.  Not so long as everyone in attendance can wear fancy dress.  Not so long as people in the crowd would rather wave at themselves on the big screen than cheer their team.  Not so long as "fans" mingle and are polite and nice to each other!  Not so long as a win or defeat is greeted with a shrug of the shoulders.  Not so long as rugby is basically a middle class social gathering.  Henley without boats.  A Garden Party with a weird shaped ball.

Rugby.  No matter how it is forced down our throats, it's still a w*nk sport. 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"

7 games to go and our lead at the top of the
table is an eye-watering 14 points.

I don't know if any of the "brides" in this film
is especially stout,  but if they are,
they are probably about to start singing!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Ritchie's honest erection


Let's be frank.  Although welcome, the new bit of terrace is a bit of a tiddler.  The sort of terrace that, were we herded into it a few years ago, we would have struggled to sing for sniggering.  I fully appreciate that at our present level, with our present facilities it does the job.  And news that the club intend to install a few more similar wedges of terracing around the ground is extremely positive.

Seeing the "Town End" terrace fill with our collection of half time boozers and aggressive teenagers a few of us looking on pondered how many new "ground improvements" we could remember at Kettering.  After scratching our heads for several minutes we realised this was a harder question than we thought.

Imraan added nothing to the fabric of Rockingham Road other than to cost us the entire stadium.

Under Peter Mallinger our betters benefitted from an improved sponsors lounge, and our visitors probably admired the new turnstile & toilet block on Rockingham Road.

Although his tenure was short Mark English managed to cover the Brittania Road terrace.  Obviously being bent he didn't actually pay for the construction.  Or the tax bill.  Or wages.  Or the rental car he swanned around in.  Or, well, anything.

Under Gingell's tenure the funds generated by record gates must have been spent on our numerous Championship winning teams, because bugger all was spent on supporter facilities.

So, how far back do we have to go to find not only a ground development, but one that was honestly acquired?  More than probably this.  Only the small matter of forty years between honest, paid for, ground developments!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

"8 Mile"

8 games to go.  We've no longer got a game in hand,
but, thanks to our thumping win against Egham
 we do have a 12-point lead at the top
of the table.  Which is nice.

"8 miles" - give or take the round-a-bout distance
from my house to Latimer Park, which I walked for
the previous game against Marlow on Saturday.
Boy, my feet ached on the way home that day!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

"District 9"

9 games to go.  Somehow we've managed to stretch
our lead at the top of the table to 9 points.
And we still have that game in hand.

District 9 - a segregated area full of strange creatures
with bizarre practices - but enough of
Irthlingborough.  We don't play there anymore.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Good things about today

The temperature was very pleasant.

It was nice to see the sun out for a change.

The town end terrace is underway.

The pitch was less muddy.

Kinniburgh's clearance.

That is all.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

"Starter for 10"

10 games to go.  Now fully 8 points clear.  Still have a game in hand

Your starter for 10 - has a club ever failed
to gain promotion from such a strong position?

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

"Oceans Eleven"

11 games to go.  Still 5 points clear.  Still one game in hand.
Exactly the same advantage Chelsea have over Manchester City.
And Chelsea have only one Mourinho!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Most Definitely Not Peaking Too Soon

There are world cups and there are world cups. The football version is obviously tops, and should speak for itself, though we are asked these days to call it the FIFA World Cup in case anyone should confuse it with the Subbuteo version.

Rugby union’s seems to be taking off, and I hear there’s another one this year, though this is ‘world’ as in ‘the usual few countries in which rugby is played’ plus a handful of dots in the Pacific Ocean and some far-flung amateurs with thick necks, who will lose 87-0 and earn gushing praise for showing how rugby is spreading across the globe. Ditto rugby league, except this time it’s world as in M62 corridor vs a small bit of Australia. Almost as international an event as the World Series.  
Then there’s the cricket world cup, the one currently unfolding behind the splayed fingers of everyone even casually interested in the England team. And we thought that Brazil 2014 was bad – at least our footballers managed to keep the margins respectable. The cricketers should be grateful that the sport is no longer on terrestrial TV - some of them may be able to slip back into the country unrecognised, when we are finally eliminated after a further mauling or three.  
Who knew we would be this bad? After all, we had only lost the previous 17 ODI series, sacked the one player who would probably get into any other team (until he fell out with them too), dumped the captain because he couldn’t buy a run, and rejected all that modern nonsense about picking one day specialists. Who needs an ironman hulk who can smash 70 in six overs when we’ve got chaps who have shown they’ve got what it takes to see off the new ball and get through safely to lunch.    
The bizarre structure of the tournament means that despite three huge defeats, we’re still in it – thanks to the one win, when England, led by an Irishman with a Welsh sounding name, beat Scotland - though it’s just as well that the Scots got their minority sports confused and sent the curling team instead. Beat Bangladesh and it will all come down to the last group match against Afghanistan.

Because cricket wasn’t that big under the Taliban (lawn tennis was more their thing), the Afghans are very new to the game, and have no players with big match experience. However, some optimists are still predicting England could be competitive against them.     
After all, apart from when it's England against anyone who hasn’t had to get time off work to take part, there are no easy games in international cricket any more.