NORTHOP HALL OLD BOYS F.C.

 

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Northop Hall Old Boys 2008/09 Season

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Northop Hall Old Boys FC ........ Sponsored By With thanks to Eifion Jones ........ Follow us on

Welcome to the web pages of Northop Hall Old Boys (over-35's veterans) Football Club, lovers of the beautiful game who put their ageing bodies on the line each week to satisfy that desire (and in a vain attempt to keep middle-age spread at bay!)

NOTE TO OPPONENTS & POTENTIAL OPPONENTS:- We are NOT interested in playing against under-35's in regular season. Please don't even think about fielding "youngsters" against us !!

Click here to view the 2015-16 fixture list

*** LATEST NEWS *** LATEST NEWS *** LATEST NEWS ***

=========== UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT FOR 2015/16 ===========

MAY 2016
Reduced squad heads off to Dublin
Semi-final progress in Mold Alex 6-a-side tournament
Insufficient players for evening game with Upton
Second half turn round sees Nomads comfortable winners
Supervets to close season with Rossett re-run at Airbus UK
Northop Hall derby to fill fixture gap this weekend
Sealand Cup ends on a high with victory at Halkyn

APRIL 2016
Dublin plans scaled down due to Bruce and the Orange Army
Rossett revenge blows away Old Boys resistance
Dave joins the Grandads' ranks
Supervets light up Bebington Oval with 5-star display
PLEASE NOTE: Presentation / Race Night POSTPONED
Ramblers retain 100% cup record (just) as Old Boys pay for defensive errors
Woolton game off to end Old Boys Sealand Cup chances
Cup hopes sink in the Mostyn mud
*** SAVE THE DATE *** Presentation / Race Night - Friday May 20th
Barca lose out as Old Boys register first cup win in Steve's 100th game

MARCH 2016
Entry confirmed for Mold Alex 6-a-side tournament on May 22nd
Supervets announce first fixture - April 26th at Bebington Oval
Old Boys patchwork comes undone at Radbrooke in cup opener
Diary date - April 30th - Rossett away game
Woolton game cancelled
Wirral victory at the Pavilion helped by home team
3G practice pays off as Old Boys record a narrow win at Rossett
Record entry for this year's Sealand Cup
End of an era as Wednesday 6-a-side's at Flint come to an end

FEBRUARY 2016
Old Boys well beaten at Chester Nomads
Winning return to the Pavilion as St Mary's are sunk
Keeper heroics earns hard-fought draw on return to action

JANUARY 2016
Ruthin cancellation makes it 2 months without a game
Eastham off - Dublin ON
Still no let up, Upton game the latest casualty
Frodsham game off
Early twin surprise for Craig & Liz
New year, same old weather problems
Happy 60th Pete Dessington

DECEMBER 2015
Water water everywhere, so Convocation game off
Weather causes Rhewl cancellation

NOVEMBER 2015
Joyless day in Liverpool sees a thrashing in the rain
Northop Hall survive late Rhewl comeback to win 5-4
Honours even with Woolton in soaking conditions
Old Boys back with a bang at Upton

OCTOBER 2015
Player shortage leads to second successive away cancellation
Late comeback in vain in mistake-riddled defeat to Rossett
Dave's 200th delayed by Shotton postponement
Lacklustre display leads to second successive defeat
Wirral pinch late win as unbeaten run is ended
Old Boys dazzle under the Buckley lights

SEPTEMBER 2015
Sefton thwarted as Pringle saves help keep run going
Five up at Eastham keeps unbeaten start going
Ton-up Darren celebrates with derby double to clinch win
Flintshire Leader covers the Charity Shield
Another 200 in the charity pot as Old Boys regain Charity Shield
Scott's the new Daddy!
Charity Shield efforts attract the local press

AUGUST 2015
Charity Shield Draw
Three team format announced for 2015 Charity Shield
Brierley hat-trick in season opener draw at Mostyn

JULY 2015
Changes afoot from Annual General Meeting
Mel Barnes is the new manager of Northop Hall Old Boys FC

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REDUCED SQUAD HEADS OFF TO DUBLIN

Despite an unprecedented number of late drop outs, mainly through injuries (both Kev Hoyland and Mike Salusbury suffered bad knocks in their last two games played), a small but intrepid squad will head for Dublin on May 27th as planned to take on Wild Geese FC (Fri. 6:00 p.m.) and Northsiders FC (Sat. 3 p.m.). To aid recovery, copious amounts of Guinness has already been ordered!

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SEMI-FINAL PROGRESS IN MOLD ALEX 6-A-SIDE TOURNAMENT

The Old Boys took part in the Mold Alex charity 6-a-side tournament for the third time and reached the semi-finals for the first time, only losing to a very strong Saltney side who went on to win the Cathy Fleming Memorial Cup. Having lost narrowly 1-0 to Llangefni in the opening group game and drawing 0-0 with Mostyn in the second (despite losing Saucy to a bad knee injury), the team led by Darren Molyneux beat Chester Nomads 1-0 (Richard Millington on target) and then finished with an 8-1 demolition of "The Damned United" (three apiece for Darren Molyneux and Richard Millington plus two goals from Dan Hicks). In the semi-final, the team were on the receiving end of a 1-7 defeat despite Darren Molyneux again netting, but well done lads for getting that far. Squad: Gaz Pringle, Nick Harris, Darren Molyneux, Karl Millington, Mike Salusbury, Chris Jones, Craig Starkey, Richard Millington, Dan Hicks

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INSUFFICIENT PLAYERS FOR EVENING GAME WITH UPTON

An attempt to get a late season Friday evening fixture in against Upton Magnets has failed due to a lack of available players with a number of injuries, shift working and Friday night plans scuppering the potential game. Having missed so many matches in the winter, manager Mel Barnes is trying hard to extend the season now the weather is so much better. At the moment there aren't any other games planned but watch this space! One bit of action coming up is the charity 6-a-side veterans tournament on Sunday May 22nd at Mold Alexandra FC, playing for the Cathy Fleming Memorial Cup. A squad of 10 will be needed for the event which will be managed by Darren Molyneux this year.

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SECOND HALF TURN ROUND SEES NOMADS COMFORTABLE WINNERS

Northop Hall Nomads won the local derby 5-1 with a second half turn round that owed everything to the introduction of speed into their attack. After a goalless first half, the Old Boys capitulated against the injection of pace against them which added to the Old Boys problems after losing several more players to an increasingly long injury list during the game. Kevin Hoyland and Steve Buckley were first half casualties, while a clash of heads forced Saucy off later in the game too. At the grand age of 62, John Edmunds continues to write his name in the club record books. As the oldest player to appear for the Old Boys, every appearance extends that record, but now his goal in the Nomads game makes him the club's oldest goalscorer too. Click here for a brief match report.

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SUPERVETS TO CLOSE SEASON WITH ROSSETT RE-RUN AT AIRBUS UK

The over-50's have to wait until Monday June 6th to close their 2015/16 season, which only began recently because of the poor weather over the winter. Rossett's supervets will be the opponents again, this time at Airbus UK's Airfield Ground, kick off 7:30 p.m.

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NORTHOP HALL DERBY TO FILL FIXTURE GAP THIS WEEKEND

With both sides out of the Sealand Cup reckoning for this season, this weekend's blank fixture (May 14th) will be taken up with a home game against rivals Northop Hall Nomads, a 2:30 p.m. kick off at the Pavilion. With the Dublin weekender and the double header against Wild Geese FC and Northsiders FC coming up fast this offers further opportunity to keep fitness levels up.

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SEALAND CUP ENDS ON A HIGH WITH VICTORY AT HALKYN

The Old Boys finished their Sealand Cup campaign with a morale boosting 2-0 win at high-flying rivals Halkyn, courtesy of two more goals for in-form striker Mike Salusbury and a well-marshalled defensive performance. Click here for a brief match report. Halkyn finish the Sealand Cup group as runners-up to advance to a semi-final tie at Wirral Veterans. The other semi-final will see Liverpool Ramblers host Warrington Croft. The competition this year has been something of a let down for the Old Boys with limited player availability having a damaging effect, but this was a good way to finish it. Although this was the last scheduled match of the season, there are still two free Saturdays before Dublin where fitness will be an issue to enable us to play two games in two days, so hopefully a couple of late fixtures will be added to keep levels up - watch this space!

As reported recently, Mike Maletta and Steve Buckley are the latest centurians for Old Boys appearances. Both players have been predominantly employed in midfield roles but have contributed 33 goals between them in that time.

Mike Maletta & Steve Buckley - ton up!


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DUBLIN PLANS SCALED DOWN DUE TO BRUCE AND THE ORANGE ARMY

The international veterans tournament in Dublin this May has been scuppered by two major events happening in the Irish capital over that weekend, which has resulted in lack of budget accommodation for teams from Europe. Holland play Ireland in a pre-Euros friendly on Friday 25 May, the same night as Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band perform the first of two nights on their "The River" Anniversary Tour. The early bookings that the Old Boys made for flights and hotels has left us as the only visiting club, so needless to say the event is to be considerably scaled back. However, the good news is that there will be a couple of football games to play over the weekend, most likely against The Wild Geese (organisers) and Northsiders (who won last year's tournament) - no news on venue yet, and there will still be plenty of Guinness! Our hosts are busy trying to arrange the best weekend they can for us. More news as soon as we have it.

Springsteen Orange Army

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ROSSETT REVENGE BLOWS AWAY OLD BOYS RESISTANCE

After the emphatic midweek Supervets victory. the Old Boys returned to over-35 friendly action with a return visit to Colliers Park with both clubs without a fixture. Whereas the Rossett side was completely changed from Tuesday night, the Northop Hall squad contained five players from the over-50's squad and it was one of the telling factors in a 6-2 reverse, despite Mike Salusbury's two goals and a busy rearguard for much of the game. Click here for a brief match report.

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DAVE JOINS THE GRANDADS' RANKS

The range of ages within the ranks means that we have had several players becoming fathers during the last 8 years since the Old Boys were formed, whilst at the same time, several of the older members of the squad have become grandfathers over the same period. Dave Henrys is the latest to join the latter group following the birth of Thomas Michael Henrys to his son Colin and daughter-in-law Clare on April 29th. Colin will be familiar to many of the club members from the early days playing on a Wednesday night when we were short at Flint (and even making an appearance for the Saturday team at Halkyn in April 2010) and for cutting his football league journalistic teeth on this website with a few match reports when he was free to come and watch. Many congratulations to all.


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SUPERVETS LIGHT UP BEBINGTON OVAL WITH 5-STAR DISPLAY

The Old Boys over-50's squad had their belated first run out of the season under the lights at Bebington Oval and turned in an excellent performance to record a 5-0 victory over Rossett's over-50's. Mel Barnes and Richard Millington (playing slightly under-age) scored two goals apiece with Pete Dolman grabbing the other, to build on a fine defensive platform and a deserved clean sheet. Click here for a brief match report.

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PLEASE NOTE: PRESENTATION / RACE NIGHT POSTPONED

The fund-raising Race Night and Player of the Season Presentation Night due to be held at Northop Hall Cricket Club on Friday May 20th has been postponed as a number of senior players/officials can't make it that night. A new date, probably in June, will hopefully be confirmed soon. Apologies for any inconvenience in the meantime.


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RAMBLERS RETAIN 100% CUP RECORD (JUST) AS OLD BOYS PAY FOR DEFENSIVE ERRORS

Liverpool Ramblers recorded their fourth straight victory in the Sealand Cup with a narrow 4-3 result at Northop Hall. The home side laid siege to their opponents penalty area for periods of the game but were unable to find an equaliser having been undone by costly mistakes at the back in the first half. Click here for a brief match report. For information, Ramblers head the Old Boys group with 12 points from Halkyn (9 pts), Radbrooke (6 pts) & Mostyn (6 pts). In the other group, Wirral (12 pts) and Warrington Croft (8 pts) look well set for this year's semi-finals.

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WOOLTON GAME OFF TO END OLD BOYS SEALAND CUP CHANCES

With too few players to make the trip to Woolton for what would have been the fourth Sealand Cup group game, the Old Boys have had to reluctantly forfeit the points. This would have been the third away game of four that the club were drawn to play in the group stages, and they have struggled for personnel on each occasion as a mixture of injuries, work and family commitments take their toll. This will leave the club with just three points from four games with only two to play and even two wins in the final games will be highly unlikely to secure a semi-final spot this year. It has been the most difficult of first seasons in charge for Mel Barnes with the weather and player availability making it such a stop/start campaign, we can only put it behind us and hope for much better next season.


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CUP HOPES SINK IN THE MOSTYN MUD

The Old Boys paid very dearly for a wasteful first half in front of goal in the latest Sealand Cup group game in the rain at Mostyn, the home side fighting their way through the worsening mud to score two second half goals without reply. There was another addition to the 100 club as Mike Maletta reached his century of appearances for Northop Hall and he was one of the standout players on the day, but his efforts were in vain as the team failed to muster a save of note from the home keeper until the closing minutes of the game. Click here for a brief match report.

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*** SAVE THE DATE *** PRESENTATION / RACE NIGHT - FRIDAY MAY 20th

The weekend prior to our tour to Dublin for the Social Soccer International Veterans Tournament, we will be holding a fund-raising Race Night at Northop Hall Cricket Club on Friday May 20th. The event will also double up as this year's Player of the Season Presentation Night as time races by towards the end of the season and players, families and friends will all be welcome. More details about tickets and buying horses and sponsoring races soon, but in the meantime SAVE THE DATE!

Race Night May 20th 2016


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BARCA LOSE OUT AS OLD BOYS REGISTER FIRST CUP WIN

It's not often we can say we beat Barcelona in a cup game, so relish the notion as the Old Boys defeated Frodsham Barcelona 3-1 in the second group game of this season's Sealand Cup. In contrast to last week's debacle, a strong squad was available for this one, with goals from Richard Millington (2) and Dan Hicks building on a solid defensive performance. The game was also the 100th for stalwart Steve Buckley who has been with the club since we became Northop Hall Old Boys in 2008. Click here for a brief match report.

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ENTRY CONFIRMED FOR MOLD ALEX 6-A-SIDE TOURNAMENT ON MAY 22ND

Another date for your diary - the Old Boys will once again be taking part in the charity 6-a-side veterans tournament on Sunday May 22nd at Mold Alexandra FC, playing for the Cathy Fleming Memorial Cup. The tournament is based on two groups of six teams each playing each other once in a 20 minute game, so a minimum of 5 games each team. A squad of 10 players will be required to rotate through at least 100 minutes playing time. The tournament is the weekend before this year's Dublin tour so a good opportunity for some late fitness work!


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SUPERVETS ANNOUNCE FIRST FIXTURE - APRIL 26th AT BEBINGTON OVAL

The Northop Hall Supervets, the over 50's team, will play their first game of the season a little later than originally planned due to the terrible winter weather conditions, at Bebington Oval stadium against Rossett's over 50's on Tuesday, April 26th, kick off 7:30 p.m. - more details nearer the time, but if you haven't already done so, register your interest with Dave Henrys.

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OLD BOYS PATCHWORK COMES UNDONE AT RADBROOKE IN CUP OPENER

The opening fixture of the 2016 Sealand Cup saw a very depleted Old Boys side go down 5-1 at Radbrooke Hall. With just 8 regular squad players making the journey to Knutsford, there were debuts for 4 "new" players drafted in, 3 of them under 20 (which matched the opposition's youth policy). The visitors found themselves three goals down in the first ten minutes and never really recovered, particularly as there was no recognised striker within the playing squad. Fortunately there are another five games in the group to try and turn things around in the coming weeks. Click here for a brief match report.


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DIARY DATE - APRIL 30TH - ROSSETT AWAY GAME

The free week in the Sealand Cup schedule, Saturday April 30th, has been filled with a second visit of the season to Rossett Veterans - more details from the manager nearer the time. A reminder that the Sealand Cup group games start in earnest this Saturday, March 26th, with a visit to Radbrooke Hall, kick off 2:00 p.m.

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WOOLTON GAME CANCELLED

Having been drawn away to Woolton in the Sealand Cup in a few weeks, it was decided to cancel the regular season game there on March 19th. The Old Boys looked like they might be struggling for players anyway after last week's game and a few more declared absentees, so the extra week of rest/training at Connahs Quay (4 p.m. to 5 p.m.) will hopefully benefit.

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WIRRAL VICTORIOUS AT THE PAVILION HELPED BY HOME TEAM

Wirral Veterans recorded a 3-1 win at Northop Hall with the aid of two own goals from the Old Boys, although it was a tight game throughout. Losing three players through the game to injury, including leading scorer Darren Brierley, stretched the home side's resources and negated any advantage over the thin squad of their opponents. Mike Salusbury netted again for the Old Boys. Click here for a brief match report.

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3G PRACTICE PAYS OFF AS OLD BOYS RECORD NARROW WIN AT ROSSETT

The upside of having so many matches cancelled over the winter was the number of times we hastily reconvened a 6-a-side game between ourselves on the 3G at Chester Goals, which, added to the switch to Connahs Quay's new 3G pitch in midweeks, has given us plenty of practice on the surface in readiness for the away fixture with Rossett Veterans at Colliers Park, Gresford. And that paid off with a good performance and a narrow 2-1 win despite having to come from behind, Darren Brierley adding another brace to his all-time record number of goals for the club. Click here for a brief match report.

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RECORD ENTRY FOR THIS YEAR'S SEALAND CUP

The 2016 Sealand Cup entry has been extended to 14 teams who will first play off in 2 groups of seven in a series of matches from March 26th, culminating in the final at Airbus on Saturday, June 4th. The Old Boys have been drawn in Group A with the organisers Halkyn Veterans, Mostyn, Radbrooke Hall, Frodsham Barcelona, Woolton Veterans and Liverpool Ramblers (Click here for the updated fixtures). For the record, Group B will be fought out between Port Sunlight, Rhewl Vets, Warrington Croft, Wirral Vets, Liverpool Convocation, St Annes (Wirral) and Northop Hall Nomads. The top two teams in the groups progress to the semi-finals to be played on May 21st. Halkyn will be using their facebook page for updates - click here for Halkyn Vets facebook page.

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END OF AN ERA AS WEDNESDAY 6-A-SIDE'S AT FLINT COME TO AN END

After a run of over 8 consecutive years on the astroturf at Flint High School, the Wednesday night game has been forced from its block booking due to diminishing numbers. The advent of the new 3G pitch at Connahs Quay Sports Centre (picture below) provides a more suitable surface for the old legs to play on and after a successful trial we have secured a slot on Tuesday evenings at 6 p.m. for an hour playing a third of the main full size pitch, large enough to accommodate up to 9-a-side if necessary. The Flint game had become financial unsustainable once the 3G on Tuesday became an alternative, many players voting with their feet for the new over the old. Many thanks to Flint for looking after us over the years though. The Tuesday game is being run by Darren Molyneux. Make sure you're on his list if you want to play.

Connahs Quay 3G pitch

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OLD BOYS WELL BEATEN AT CHESTER NOMADS

The sprinkling of youngsters in the Chester Nomads 6th's boosted their overall pace and proved too much for the older legs from visiting Northop Hall. Although the home side ran out 4-1 in the end, the Old Boys did have a number of chances to reduce the deficit and if the shooting boots had been on it could have been a lot closer. Click here for a brief match report.


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WINNING RETURN TO THE PAVILION AS ST MARYS ARE SUNK

After an absence of three months due to the unprecedented spell of wet weather this winter, the Old Boys finally took the plunge (literally!) to get a home game played at the Pavilion and while it turned out to be another very damp day, they were rewarded with a 5-3 victory over St Mary's, Mike Salusbury netting a hat trick. Click here for a brief match report.

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KEEPER HEROICS EARNS HARD FOUGHT DRAW ON RETURN TO ACTION

The Old Boys finally retook the field after an unprecedented 2 month weather break, although it needed a switch of venue to Shotton's ground to get the game on. The reward was an enthralling 3-3 draw with a backs to the wall performance by Northop Hall that had them ahead right up to the last minute, thanks in no small part to keeper Gaz Pringle after a brace from Darren Brierley and a 20 yarder from Rich Millington had opened up a first half lead rather against the run of play. Click here for a brief match report.

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RUTHIN CANCELLATION MAKES IT 2 MONTHS WITHOUT A GAME

As the rain continues day by day to blight this part of the season another early call-off, this time for the away game at Ruthin, leaves us without an 11-a-side fixture for an unprecedented 2 whole months, the last game being November 28th at SMA in Liverpool (a ridiculous wet day there too). The whole of December and January have now been lost and there is currently no end in sight. Once again, Goals at Chester is the option for Saturday afternoon to get us out of the house and keeping fitness levels up a bit.


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EASTHAM OFF, DUBLIN ON

It's Goals Chester again as the home game with Eastham becomes the latest in an increasingly long line of cancelled fixtures due to the sustained period of wet weather. Even an attempt to switch to Eastham's 3G pitch proved fruitless as everyone else looks for a pitch to play on and the 3G's get booked up quickly.

Better news from Dublin where the announcement has been made by our friends at Wild Geese FC to run the "Social Soccer" tournament again that we have attended the last 2 years. This tournament traditionally runs on Champions League Final weekend, this year being May 27th-29th. We've already got a good sized touring party signed up but there's space for a few more players yet as we attempt to have a large enough squad for a change! Contact Dave Henrys for more for details or see their website www.socialsoccer.ie for more information.

Social Soccer 2016

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STILL NO LET UP, UPTON GAME THE LATEST CASUALTY

And still it rains! An early call off for the home game with Upton on January 16th, the latest to fall victim to the soggy conditions. Goals Chester continue to do good business off us this winter as we strive for fitness!

And still the rain comes down!

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FRODSHAM GAME OFF

Still no sign of a dry spell and until then there's no sign of getting a game on in the foreseeable future, the fixture scheduled for Frodsham on the 9th is the latest to fall victim to the wettest spell we've seen for some time.


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EARLY TWIN SURPRISE FOR CRAIG AND LIZ

Many congratulations to Craig & Liz Jones on the unscheduled arrival of their twin daughters over the Christmas period. The girls who have been given the names Madelyn Hope & Emelia Faith have arrived an amazing 15 weeks early and will need incubation and specialist care for some time. Meanwhile, all friends and team-mates at Northop Hall Old Boys send our best wishes to all the family and hope everything goes well.

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NEW YEAR, SAME OLD WEATHER

Happy New Year to you all. Unfortunately 2016 has continued with no let up in the wet weather forcing the cancellation of the local derby with Northop Hall Nomads on the 2nd. The turkey and mince pies will have to wait a bit longer to be run off!

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HAPPY 60th PETE DESSINGTON

Double celebration on New Year's Eve as Pete Dessington joined the "sexagenarian" club, celebrating his 60th birthday. Pete has been involved with the Old Boys since we reformed in 2008 and previously for a number of years with the now defunct Northop Hall Veterans, continuing to set a marvellous example to those two thirds his age. He joins John Edmunds in the '60' club, one that very few in football, even at veterans level, get to join. Congratulations!

Pete Dessington - sexagenarian!

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WATER WATER EVERYWHERE, SO CONVOCATION GAME OFF

With the UK continuing to be deluged, particularly here in the north west, the home game with Liverpool Convocation fell victim, the pitches at the Pavilion deemed to be on the verge of unplayable and persistent rain and high winds forecast for the afternoon, the early call off of the game at least saved the opposition a long, fruitless journey. With no game now until next year, the Old Boys have ended up limping into the end of the year on a bit of a damp squib. Let's hope 2016 brings some relief!

Water, Water Everywhere!!


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WEATHER FORCES RHEWL CANCELLATION

Days of rain left the Rhewl ground unplayable and forced the cancellation of December's opening fixture. Looking at what hit Cumbria, it could have been a lot worse!

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JOYLESS DAY IN LIVERPOOL SEES A THRASHING IN THE RAIN

Having only just beaten the weather to get the game on at SMA, a patched up Old Boys squad produced a dismal display in the constant rain against a good opponent who took full advantage to win 7-0, and didn't need the extra help they got from a joyless referee who managed to suck the last dregs of enjoyment from the game. One to forget about and move quickly on! Click here for a brief match report.

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NORTHOP HALL SURVIVE LATE RHEWL COMEBACK TO WIN 5-4

The Old Boys gave Rhewl Veterans a two-goal start before dominating to get ahead 5-2 in the second half. However, a late rally from the visitors saw them pull two goals back and only a penalty save and a fine low tip round the post from keeper Gaz Pringle kept out the equaliser. Click here for a brief match report.

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HONOURS EVEN WITH WOOLTON IN SOAKING CONDITIONS

After last week's problems with the low sun at Upton, it couldn't have been more contrasting in the cold rain at Northop Hall where a 1-1 draw with Woolton was about the right result in the conditions, although once again there were a number of squandered chances to add to Richard Millington's third goal of the season. Click here for a brief match report.

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OLD BOYS BACK WITH A BANG AT UPTON

Following three successive defeats, Northop Hall produced an excellent response at Upton Magnets to record a 4-0 victory, all the goals in the first half. The scoreline and clean sheet only tells part of the story though, with a whole host of further chances squandered including a missed penalty that could have seen a cricket score posted. In a game of two halves influenced by a low sun, Upton were denied by some solid defending and particularly in the second half by Gaz Pringle in the Old Boys goal including a penalty save of his own. Click here for a brief match report.

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PLAYER SHORTAGE LEADS TO SECOND SUCCESSIVE AWAY CANCELLATION

The second away trip on the bounce has been cancelled due to a shortage of playing personnel, just seven names in the frame for the visit to St Marys in Liverpool, a similar number to the scheduled Shotton game a fortnight earlier. Again, a mixture of injuries, holidays and work commitments were the main causes. Hopefully, with half term out of the way, some of those problems will end and we will be able to fulfill our remaining fixtures from now on, starting with the visit to Upton next Saturday (kick off 2:00 p.m.)

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LATE COMEBACK IN VAIN IN MISTAKE RIDDLED DEFEAT TO ROSSETT

The Old Boys came back from three goals down to almost snatch a late draw in a 5-4 home defeat to Rossett Veterans, a poor game that saw too many mistakes to be a classic. Mike 'Saucy' Salusbury proved deadly from a yard out to score twice. Click here for a brief match report.

Former player-manager Dave Henrys finally made his 200th appearance for Northop Hall Old Boys, playing the last hour of the game (pictured with team mates below).

Dave Henrys - 200 appearances ***************************************************************************************

DAVE'S 200th DELAYED BY SHOTTON POSTPONEMENT

A shortage of players, mainly due to injury and work commitments, led to the cancellation of last week's game at Shotton Steel, a fixture that would have been the 200th appearance for Northop Hall Old Boys for former player-manager Dave Henrys. In just over 7 seasons since his first game in 2008, Dave has missed just 26 of the Club's 225 fixtures, a testament as much to the commitment required to be manager of the team as anything else. There are 15 players that have notched up 100+ games in the intervening years, but hopefully the home fixture with Rossett on October 23rd will see him become the inaugural member of the 200 club. Kick off at the Pavilion is at 2:00 p.m.


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LACKLUSTRE DISPLAY LEADS TO SECOND SUCCESSIVE DEFEAT

A below-par performance at home to Chester Nomads 6ths eventually led to a 2-0 defeat, the second loss on the run and the first goalless result of the season. With an unusually low number of chances created, it never really looked like being anything other for the Old Boys today. Click here for a brief match report.

After the match, leading goalscorer Darren Brierley was presented by manager Mel Barnes with a commemorative trophy to mark his 100 appearances for the club which he recently notched up (pictured below).

Darren Brierley - 100 appearances ***************************************************************************************

WIRRAL PINCH LATE WIN AS UNBEATEN RUN IS ENDED

The second game in less than 24 hours saw the Old Boys unbeaten start to the season brought to an end by a controversial late free kick goal, after a gutsy effort from some very tired players. With greater composure in front of goal, Darren Brierley and Rich Millington's goals would have been added to and we may have been looking at a different result. Click here for a brief match report.

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OLD BOYS DAZZLE UNDER THE BUCKLEY LIGHTS

A fabulous first half performance gave the Old Boys a 3-0 half time lead at Buckley on a Friday night special under the floodlights, but it turned around in the second half and the visitors were thankful again to keeper Gaz Pringle for a string of fine saves, including a penalty, that kept the final score to 3-1. Click here for a brief match report.

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SEFTON THWARTED AS PRINGLE SAVES HELP KEEP RUN GOING

The unbeaten run goes on after a battling 2-2 draw at home to Sefton Veterans who were unlucky not to leave with the win, only a man of the match performance from keeper Gaz Pringle and a huge slice of luck denying them a late winner. Click here for a brief match report.

The team lined up pre-match for the first group photo in this year's kit - see below.

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FIVE UP AT EASTHAM KEEPS UNBEATEN START GOING

Northop Hall remain unbeaten at the start of the season after a convincing 5-2 victory at Eastham. A solid defensive performance was the foundation for a second half flurry of goals to add to Darren Molyneux's first half stunner, Darren Brierley (2), Richard Millington and Scott Telford on target. Click here for a brief match report.

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TON UP DARREN CELEBRATES WITH DERBY DOUBLE TO CLINCH WIN

Striker Darren Brierley made his 100th appearance for the Old Boys and scored both goals in a man of the match performance that gave new manager Mel Barnes a first win, a 2-1 defeat of local rivals Northop Hall Nomads. On the day he collected the Golden Boot for being top scorer last season, Daz's brace took him to a remarkable 111 goals in those 100 games. Click here for a brief match report.
Gaz Pringle and Nick Harris also collected their Player of the Season and Wednesday Player of the Season awards before the game as the Old Boys unveiled their new blue and black striped kit for the first time (as modelled by Mike Salusbury below!) - see gallery for award presentation photos.

Darren Brierley - 100 appearances Saucy models the new 2015/2016 kit

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FLINTSHIRE LEADER COVERS THE CHARITY SHIELD

The Flintshire Leader who had a photographer at the Pavilion on Saturday carried the story of the Charity Shield on page 3 of their edition of 7 September, excellent publicity for us! Click on the photo below to see the whole article.

Leader article 07/09/15

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ANOTHER 200 IN THE POT AS OLD BOYS REGAIN CHARITY SHIELD

A last minute equaliser from new manager Mel Barnes against Northop Hall Nomads ensured top place in the round-robin for this year's Charity Shield tournament for Northop Hall Old Boys. Having narrowly defeated Mostyn Veterans 2-1 in the opening game with goals from Darren Molyneux & Mark 'Sparky' Ray, several of the Old Boys made up the numbers for a woefully under-strengthed Nomads team who in turn lost 3-1 to Mostyn to set up an intriguing final game. With Mostyn now making up the numbers for last year's winners Nomads, all permutations were still possible as Nomads took a 2-0 second half lead with an unfortunate Karl Millington own goal. With time running out and so many chances having gone begging, Sparky finally pulled a goal back before providing the corner kick that Mel Barnes rose to head home the decisive equaliser from late on.

Most importantly the 200+ raised tops up the charity fund to a nice total of 500, which will be presented in due course to our nominated charities including 'Save The Family'. Well done all three teams for their efforts. Photo below shows Mel Barnes, watched by Old Boys team mates, receiving the Charity Shield from Nomads manager Pete Dolman.

Mel Barnes receives 2015 Charity Shield

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SCOTT'S THE NEW DADDY!

Many congratulations to Scott Telford and wife Vicky on the birth of their (as yet unnamed) baby boy, weighing in at a very healthy 8lb 11oz, the latest in a long line of babies born to our Old Boys over the past few years. Mother and baby are reported to be doing well and everyone at the Club sends them all our best wishes.

Vicky & Scott Telford


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CHARITY SHIELD EFFORTS ATTRACT THE LOCAL PRESS

Our press release on the Charity Shield has been picked up by the Flintshire Leader, appearing in the Thursday 3 September issue. We hope to have a press photographer at the event on Saturday to maximise publicity going forward.

Leader article 03/09/15

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CHARITY SHIELD DRAW

The 2015 Charity Shield matches on Saturday, September 5th will take place as follows:-

1:00 p.m. Mostyn Veterans v. Northop Hall Old Boys
2:05 p.m. Northop Hall Nomads v. Mostyn Veterans
3:10 p.m. Northop Hall Old Boys v. Northop Hall Nomads

A reminder that each game will be 50 minutes (25 minutes each way)


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THREE TEAM FORMAT FOR 2015 CHARITY SHIELD

The 2015 Charity Shield matches will all be played on Saturday, September 5th at the Pavilion, between Northop Hall Old Boys, holders Northop Hall Nomads and newcomers Mostyn Veterans. This year's format will see a round-robin of 50 minute games between each of the teams (2 games each of 25 mins each way) commencing at 1:00 p.m. with the overall winner decided by who tops the league table at the end. It will be 5 to play for each of the players taking part plus a raffle in the Boar's Head (top monkey) afterwards. Money raised will be added to the 269 raised at last year's event and 51 from the raffle at the Old Boys Presentation Night in June. By the end we should have a combined total in excess of 500 for our nominated charities. All support is welcomed.

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BRIERLEY HAT-TRICK IN SEASON OPENER DRAW AT MOSTYN

Mel Barnes' first game in charge of the Old Boys saw a first visit to Mostyn Veterans that should have given him an opening win, Darren Brierley's third goal putting Northop Hall 3-1 up in the second half, but despite the heroics of stand-in keeper Matt Torgersen, the home side hit back to level late on. However, a catalogue of missed opportunities earlier in the game should have been enough for victory. Click here for a brief match report.


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CHANGES AFOOT FROM ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The 2015 Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday June 30th at Northop Hall Cricket Club. The following decisions were made, many at the direction of the new management regime but also being mindful that a reduction in the number of players making themselves available for matches last season had significantly reduced and had a knock-on effect on the club's finances (further details will be posted online in due course).

Phil Elder was reappointed as Chairman for a second term, with Dave Henrys to continue in an administrative role as Secretary/Treasurer. Mel Barnes was appointed manager of the club for 2015/16 (see below).

A majority vote decided on a major change to the financing arrangements for season fees/match fees/kit and laundry. Annual subscriptions for the coming season will be set at 30.00 which will cover pitch fees and the provision of a new kit (shirt, shorts and socks) which each player who joins up will be allocated and will be responsibile for keeping laundered and provided for wear on match-days. The annual subs will have to be paid (or monthly payments set up - see below) before a player receives any kit. (This does not apply to the "Supervets" team who will still have kit provided on match day.)

Individual match fees will rise to 5.00 per game for the new season. However, the committee decided to introduce a discount incentive for anyone who pays for the season in total up front at the start of the season (this will be a one-off payment of 100.00 including annual subs) and for anyone who signs up to pay a fixed monthly sum over the course of the season (which will be set at 10.00 per month inc. annual subs - 120.00 per annum). There will be no refund if a player misses any games. The changes are intended to make the collection of money every week easier and hopefully guarantee a larger income over the season.

Fees for the 6-a-side at Flint will remain at 3.00 while that facility continues to be used. However, the club has declared its intention to try and move to the new 4G pitches at Connahs Quay High School when they are built.

Following the huge success of the tour to Dublin last month for the Social Soccer international tournament, it was agreed to canvas votes from players at the start of the season for going agin next year if the event is run, thereby allowing more time for fundraising and booking accommodation and travel.

Finally Declan Hickey was again thanked for continuing to referee for us last season and was presented with some golf-themed gifts as a token of appreciation (pictured below receiving them from Phil Elder & Mel Barnes)

Mel Barnes, Declan Hickey and Phil Elder


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MEL BARNES IS THE NEW MANAGER OF NORTHOP HALL OLD BOYS FC

The Club's 2015 Annual General Meeting unanimously approved the change of club manager for the coming 2015/16 season following the decision of Dave Henrys to step down after 7 years in charge. Mel Barnes (pictured below), who has been with the veterans side in Northop Hall for more than 15 years and was a founder member of the Old Boys incarnation in 2007, will take over the running of the team, assisted by fellow-stalwarts Darren Molyneux and Pete Dessington. The change was well-known and just waiting to be ratified by the club committee, with Mel having already taken charge of the team in Dublin last month in readiness as well as preparing next season's fixtures which are now on the website.

Dave, who was thanked again for his previous service, was appointed to the new role of manager of the "Supervets" (currently the over-50's with a year or two discretion), who will be looking for monthly midweek fixtures through the season. Steve Buckley will be his assistant.

Mel Barnes - new manager of Northop Hall Old Boys FC

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