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Onion Bag Awards 2013-14

The Season is nearly over and with only a handful of matches left we are already thinking about the famous
Onion Bag Awards 2013-14

2014 Winners: ?
2013 Winners: Ipswich Wanderers , Eastern Counties League
2012 Winners: Bacup Borough , North West Counties
2011 Winners: New Mills FC , North West Counties League

The Catagories are ..
  • Best & Worst Ground Visited
  • Most & Least Friendly Club
  • Best & Worst Match Attended
  • Best & Worst Food at a Ground
  • Best Photograph taken at a Ground
Results announced on Sunday 17th May

Gainsborough Trinity v Telford United     

Whitley Bay v Runcorn Town

Classic Stand at Harwich & Parkeston

Castleford Tigers

Super League
Castleford Tigers 28

St Helens 30
H-T 24-6
Atten 6,487 

(looked and sounded like many more) 

View all Photos from 
Castleford Tigers

Match Enjoyment 10/10
Ground Enjoyment 10/10

Iconic Main Stand as Wheldon Road
Wheldon Road is an iconic British Sporting Venue and needs no introduction. The whole ground is just fantastic in every nook and crannie the place was bouncing tonight as Cas(2nd) met Saints (1st). Tigers got of to the perfect start as Saints player fumbled and let Cas in for any early try during their first set of tackles. Cas ran in two quick tries for an 18pt lead and were simply irresistable. Particually impressive was the speed of passing and handling. But as expected Saints backed by a large following fought back.
Cas left the field at half-time to a standing ovation 24-6 up. 

Cas fans getting nervous as Saints fight back
Early in the 2nd Half , The Tigers had a try disallowed when full-back Luke Dorn was ruled to have benefitted from obstruction, and Saints then struck with two quick tries in a matter of minutes. But on the hour Cas scored another try when Carney won the race to Sneyd's kick to the corner and it seemed that was the winning try.
But no it was not ! Saints put in a powerful last 15 minutes and snatched a late winner when Swift finished off a thrilling cross-field move to seel an outstanding Saints second half performance , whilst maintaing their unbeaten record. 

You must feel sorry for Cas who made a significant contribution to a fantastic evening's entertainment down in The Jungle. 

Wheldon Road - "The Jungle"

Quite clearly one of the great grounds in sport. Classic Northern Rugby League Ground which just wreaks of bygone history and great nights under the floodlights. Simply outstanding.

Castleford Tigers have a large fanbase based on the size of the town by population/attendance records the support of Castleford Tigers is leading the way in Super League with 17.6% of the town population attending home games, the club have averaged a gate close to 7,000 per home game throughout the Super League era. The majority of Castleford's matchday support comes from primarily Castleford and the surrounding towns of Sherburn-in-Elmet, Kippax, Knottingley along with fans who travel from Garforth, Crossgates, Tadcaster, Selby and other various suburbs of Leeds, York and the Calder Valley.

Formed in 1926, Castleford was one of the twelve founder members of Super League when the new league format was introduced in 1996. The 'Tigers' nickname and logo were introduced in 1992 and the late-1960s represented their most recent period of success, with two Challenge Cup successes back to back in 1968-69 and 1969-70, The club's most recent major trophy was the now defunct Regal Trophy in 1993-94.

The has been talk of the Club moving to Glasshoughton whilst Wheldon Road be sold for a supermarket but thankfully in October 2012 they started to talk of staying put and developing what they have. Even to develop anything of the ground would be a shame as the beauty is how it stands today. It stinks of great nights , full houses roaring the Tigers on to another victory.

It is a classic venue and long may it stay exactly how it is.

Boston Town

click to enlarge
United Counties League  
Premier Division
Boston Town 2 
Deeping Rangers 2
Atten 80ish


My first dip into this league and an enjoyable one at that. I was told by the locals that I was visiting probably the best ground in the league and who was I to disagree. Covered stands on three sides and covering on the fourth. Not many Clubs can boast such a ground at this level of the pyramid and I was also warned that there were some really “unremarkable” grounds in the league. To be honest Tattershall Road home of Boston Town aka “The Poachers” had been on my radar for nearly four years and i was not disappointed. A busy kitchen was purveying tasty freshly made sandwiches all with a friendly smile. 

Todays fixture with Deeping Rangers (3rd) who although are located 28 miles away are regarded as their “El Classico” or fierce derby rivals. For me a 'fierce derby rival ' is one which is located within ten miles or less but for today I will overlook these thoughts due to I am in Fen Land and towns are more isolated from each other. 

The game itself was a game of two halves as Deeping cruised into a two goal interval lead. There seemed no way back for Boston after having a player sent off in the second half until they were awarded a soft penalty and then ten minutes from the end a poorly taken free kick somehow squeezed through the defensive wall ,bobbled and wrong footed the Deeping goalie. 

I have a lot of time for the friendly people at Boston Town as they just go about their stuff quietly.Recent new manager Nathan Collins has come in a given more structure to the playing side and improvements have already been noticed. They are realisitc as what can be achieved and will go about it in a methodical way. I am certain with Nathan's strong leadership only good things will happen.

Great ground,friendly people,decent game with a great fightback where "Poachers turned goalscorers" !

Horden Colliery Welfare

(click to enlarge)
Wearside League
Horden CW 2 
Hartlepool 1
Atten 45
Gate £3

Horden Welcome 11/10 !
Ground Enjoyment 8/10
Match Enjoyment 6/10

I struggled to get the car door open upon arrival in County Durham outside Horden Colliery Welfare as the biting wind was so strong. Suddenly I heard a voice “Welcome, ya wanna cup o' tea ?” It was the Manager calling me from top of his ladder whilst putting the nets up. What a great welcome ? And it got even better as he gave a personal tour and then invited me out down the road at the nearby cafe  for a bacon and sausage sandwich !.Manager Keith is a top guy with a great attitude and a thick Geordie accent. He has only been in charge for ten games and has achieved seven wins already. His passion for the game is clearly evident and I wish him well.

 From 1975 until 2013, Horden CW were members of the Northern League, but were relegated to the Wearside league at the end of the 2012-13 season. Horden Colliery was once one of the largest mines in the Country but fell on hard times and finally closed in the late 80's. The population of the Village has fallen and it is now sadly an area of high unemployment.

 In recent years Horden has benefited from the removal of mining spoil heaps and the redevelopment of its Welfare Park which today was a hive of activity with the local rugby club hosting a fixture in the Durham & Northumberland Northen Division where they sit proudly at the top. 
The impressive floral display in the park looked wonderful even in the biting wind coming in off the unforgiving North Sea. The Welfare Park is today used for families to relax and to enjoy the activities within the Park.

The focal point of the football club is the impressive main stand which overlooks the ground like a Headmaster. Although frayed around the edges it still holds a certain charm. The Club has spent a lot of time and effort doing up the fascilities and the results inside the maninstand are most impressive. From the top end of the ground you can get glorious views of the Sea through gaps in the terraced housing, The welcome given by all the volunteers was wonderful. Todays visitors were Hartlepool who at the moment despite some recent decent performances find themselves at the foot of the table.But judged on todays perfomance should soon be moving up the league.

Horden got off to a great start and scored within the first couple of minutes. Hartlepool hit back forcing the goalie to make some great saves.Then in the second half shooting down the slope Hartlepool equalised with a 40 yard wonder goal over the goalie's head. Then in the dying minutes Horden got a debatable penalty which was brilliantly saved and just as you thought it would end in a draw the Ref gave Horden another penalty from which they scored to grab a late winner. Both teams battled well in the strong winds which definitely had an effect on the quality of the game.

If anything i was pleased that Horden had won the game if only for Manager Keith as i know he had put so much work behind the scenes and he deserves every good thing that will come his way as he is such a decent guy. Typically as i said my goodbye he 'apologised' for the strong winds and hoped it had not spoilt my visit to Horden CW - if anything he had made my trip memorable for all the right reasons.

For me, today was not about the long journey, the weather, the place ,the football. It was about the local people. The genuine warm 'from the heart' welcome , the willingness to share what they have and what they are proud off and a place they call their home.

A very memorable day out.

Photos from history 

Every day life had to continue , despite heavy police presence.

Miners meeting at the Welfare Hall to decide their votes

View of the Collieries along the Durham Coastline

Day Out Enjoyment