Season 0f year 2022

03/12/2022 14:23

Due to Covid, we had to change our season from the tradittiona Sept-April to an annual one, running from 1st Sunday in Feb to last Sunday in November. The club was stabilised at around 14 players, but was still feeling saddened by the death ofour co-founder Guy N Smith, the well-known horror writer from Clun, Salop. We felt pressured into at least trying out the disliked FISTF rules, so we played one league under those rules, and the main league under Advanced Rules. All players competed in the normal league but played each other only once, which meant a meagre season for players like Tony Moogan (Birmingham), Tony Machin (Burton), Tony Pickance (Burton) Steve Grainger (Sutton) and Kevin Coleman (Leamington Spa). Originally when only 8 said they would play FISTF rules, secretary Simon thought it best to play each other twice, giving a 14 game year. However, when the number went up to 11, this proved too much of an undertaking for many, especially Mike Murphy (Brownhills) who was often called into work on Sundays. Once more, a few unplayed matches, and recorded as "unplayed, 0-0" had to be resorted to, but it didnt materally affect the league title, won again by England star Mick Hammonds, who put Nottingham's Colin Fletcher into runners up spot in the FISTF, and surprisingly, Steve Davis (Hednesford) in the Advanced League. This was Davis' highest ever league position in four decades! The Staffordshire Cup final saw, as expected, Hammonds v Fletcher, but once Mick had scored an early goal, Colin was chasing the game, and a second goal on the stroke of half-time, sealed a Wolverhampton victory. Mike Bradbury had no answer to Hammonds in the Mercian Cup final and was beaten 3-0, somewhat flatteringly to Hammonds. The county championship has not yet been decided as of 1st December, with Bradbury and Hammonds needing to meet again to decide the title after both beating Murphy and Davis in the final group.

Sadly we said goodby to two players- And Henly from Nottinghamshire and Graham Harwood of Rugby, Warks. Andy has joined the new Leicester Foxes club, and Graham has set up a new Coventry & Warks club but has played extensively around England this year to improve himself.

Our next season will be our 54th (! really!) when we will be doing things differently to account for some players coming most every meeting, and some only every few months, and messing up the fixtures. We will play a series of Swiss-system style meetings across 2023 where only those who turn up on the day will compete. A swiss system caters for any number of players across 4 or 5 rounds in a ladder, where after each round, 1st meets 2nd, 3rd meets 4th and so on. The only thing we still have to decide is what to do if an odd number turn out, ie 7 or 9 or 11, as in that system, the odd man out is credited not only with 3 points but also with a ficticious 3-0 score, which we findomewhat eccessive. Of the committee, Bradbury and Davies prefer just awarding the odd man 2 points and no goals, whi'e Davis has his own idea based on percentages. Once more, the club heartilly thanked Tony Moogan for buying all the keepsake trophies out of his own pocket, which were all engraved too. With a healthy sum in the kitty despiite an increase in room hire to £22, we willb uy two new astro pitches for the new season, and revert to playing only Advanced rules, home & away style. The will also be an old style Flats Cup, using celluloid or card figures from the Sixties.

Anyone wishing to join, or just come along to watch and see how ites done, is welcome to find us at Brownhills community centre, by the tinman statue every 3rd Sunday starting with the 1st Sunday in February 2023.