4 May 2013
Richmond Mavericks 6
Redmire United 2
Easby Low Road, Richmond, North Yorkshire
Gate: No charge
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The first of all Richmonds of the world,was the Yorkshire Dales market town, with Norman castle, Georgian architecture, large cobbled market place, monuments and abbeys, the fast flowing river Swale, and breathtaking scenery. Situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Richmond is a town that inspires painters and poets, past and present and not forgetting Non League Ground hoppers !
'Linda' got herself into a right state of panic as she could not find the ground from the post code given, we knew we were not far away. On the advice of a local we parked up by the Station and Leisure centre and were told the 'best' way to the ground was via the wooded area at the back of the Leisure Centre. Well I headed the advice and started walking …. and walking ….. and walking until I found myself on the South Bank of the River Swale a mile and a half downstream and found myself amongst the identifiable remains of Easby Abbey .
As I looked back towards Richmond Town centre I noticed on the distant horizon people moving in a field in bright coloured shirts. That was my intended destination but I had miscalculated badly and taken the wrong Bridal Paths and I found myself in the beautiful Yorkshire Countryside amongst the
Sheep and newly born Lambs in the lush green meadows and the lovely domineering Oak Trees it was just so serene. All I could hear was the sounds of the gushing stream and the sound of the Lamb's baa it was simply stunning.
But I was lost and late for a game and that is never acceptable. As I made my way across the fields towards the pitch as I arrived at the fence the Ref's whistle blew for the start of the game – I could not have timed my arrival any better even by accident.
I was intending to go to Hawes United deeper in the dales but for some reason decided to come here. Thankfully i did because i heard later they changed the venue, much to the dismay of a fellow hopper from Lancashire.
The game turned out to be a cracker, much better than i had ever expected at this level, with no fewer than eight goals in the Onion Bag. At least five of the goals were superb and would be hard to beat anywhere. In fact i decided to leave a few minutes early with the score at 5-1 but i was too early as i stopped to chat with a local two more goals were banged in to make the final score 6-2.
The Mav's lie in 5th place in a 14 team league and as the game unfolded it became more open and more exciting. From the players there were plenty of mistakes, to be expected at this level. But also there was plenty of skillful moves and passes throughout the game. It was like watching Barcelona in their heyday at times (not quite that good to be honest ! but still enjoyable on the eye.
It was all very relaxing, just laying on the grass watching a very enjoyable game whilst listening to the exciting 5Live commentary on the final day of the Championship, combined with the sun beating down listening to the sounds of nature, it was simply glorious. Does it get any better ?
I really enjoyed my inaugural visit in this beautifully named league, i was not expecting much but i actually got a lot more it was great. Although the facilities were very basic, it did not really need any because to compete with the spectacular surrounding countryside would be futile every time.
Then a stunning ride through the Yorkshire Dales via Leyburn
in time for The Dales Cup Final at 5pm