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 2013-14 fixture list

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

JULY 2014
AGM - Phil is the new Elder statesman and Mel steps up
Annual General Meeting 15-07-2014

JUNE 2014
Gaz and Sparky the big winners on awards night

MAY 2014
Changes afoot as Mr Chairman steps down
Narrowest of defeats amidst refereeing controversy ends cup hopes
Sealand Cup Final to be at Colliers Park May 31st
Wishing Tim a quick recovery
Dublin trip a huge success despite on-field results
Disappointing turn out for charity 6-a-side at Mold Alex
Extra time joy as Brierley heads Old Boys to the Final
Rossett hold on against the "Older" Boys despite late comeback
Old Boys to be represented at charity 6-a-side at Mold Alex - May 18th
Pringle on song as Nomads are held to derby draw
Place your bets! Presentation & Casino Night booked for June 14th
Details finalised for International Tournament in Dublin
Unbeaten Old Boys book semi final place with derby win

APRIL 2014
Nomads victory at Warrington blows cup group wide open
Convocation well beaten as Sealand Cup quest gathers pace
Golden Oldies set for midweek date with Rossett
Defences on top as Southern style does for Eastham
Eastham Veterans step in for Easter fixture
Powell double inspires victory at Ramblers
Woodwork denies opening win in Sealand Cup
Team to play Warrington Croft 05/04/14

MARCH 2014
All change for the cup as Brierley takes the reins
Late double for Dee Rangers overshadows Old Boys own comeback efforts
All square at Rhewl as Sparky hat-trick spares keeper blushes
Local press report charity fundraiser
Sealand Cup draw; It's Warrington Croft again!
Too little too late as Woolton survive late scare
*** REMINDER - Gentleman's Evening - Merseyside special - March 27th
Ireland over-40's international side confirmed for Dublin tournament
Late goal on Merseyside gives S.M.A. the edge in seven
Pringle keeps Barcelona at bay but missed chances prove costly

FEBRUARY 2014
Kidney Research Wales charity fund topped up to £500
Race night raises almost £300 for club funds
Return to action brings first win of 2014 at Upton
Race Night REMINDER - Saturday February 22nd
Another one gone to the weather as Halkyn fixture submerges
Gentleman's Evening - Merseyside special - March 27th
Water, water everywhere especially Birkenhead
Old Boys and Rossett draw a very rare blank

JANUARY 2014
Waterlogged pitches at Plymyards sees off Wirral fixture
Sparky joins the 100 Club
Warrington Croft's late goals turn result around
And they're off with a new date! Race night rearranged to February 22nd
Bubble bursts big time as Shotton run riot
Happy start to new year as Pringle holds off St Marys for hard fought draw

DECEMBER 2013
No seasonal cheer for stand-in boss Darren
Congratulations! A baby girl for Craig & Liz
Strikers blow Eastham away
Halkyn take advantage of Old Boy shortages

NOVEMBER 2013
S.M.A. seen off for the first time as Old Boys recapture form
Warrington Croft game called OFF for lack of numbers
Racenight ** OFF **
Bala two much for lacklustre Old Boys
Woolton snatch draw as luck runs out in front of goal
Bala veterans to fill fixture hole on November 16th
Brierley comeback goals see off Barcelona

OCTOBER 2013
ANOTHER DIARY DATE: XMAS MEAL - Saturday December 7th
Last minute equaliser revenge for Rossett
Upton beaten in the pouring rain
Late goals see off Old Boys efforts at St Marys
DIARY DATE: RACE NIGHT - Saturday November 30th
Anthony inspires first win of the season

SEPTEMBER 2013
Eastham survive late rally to inflict defeat on Darren's managerial debut
Powell strikes to earn draw after pair of Shotton gifts
Top scorers Darren & Anthony on the comeback trail
Dunnington game off
Kidney Research the big winner as Rhewl take the silverware
Southern style finish evens up third place play off

AUGUST 2013
Player manager faces lengthy absence following freak injury
Charity doldrums for lacklustre Old Boys
Pre-season success against Pontblyddyn youngsters
It's a Boy !! - Baby Hoyland arrives
2013/14 Fixtures Announced

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AGM - PHIL IS THE NEW ELDER STATESMAN AND MEL STEPS UP

Phil Elder was voted in as the Club's new Chairman at this year's Annual General Meeting, with Mel Barnes appointed to the new role of Vice-Chairman. Phil and Mel have both had a long association with vets football in Northop Hall, previously members of the Veterans team that existed until 2008 and both founder members of the Old Boys when it succeeded the Veterans that year.

Mel has also been made Assistant Manager to Dave Henrys, who is likely to miss a few more games through work commitments next season. Darren Brierley who steered the club to its first Sealand Cup final this year will be tasked with running the team again next April & May on the same basis.

Other decisions taken include a rise in the annual subscription from £12 to £15 per player for the coming season, which will help fund a new kit for the season and new training jackets (match fees and 6-a-side fees will remain at £3 each). Eifion Jones has kindly agreed to continue sponsorship through Green Thumb towards the kit costs. Following the successful tour to Dublin last May it was agreed to return next May if the tournament is run again and we receive an invite.

Fixtures are filling up nicely and will be supplemented by several midweek "oldies" games during the season with Rossett, Tattenhall and St Marys all expressing interest in games. Wednesday 20th and 27th of August are both earmarked for pre-season friendlies (details in due course).

Finally Declan Hickey was thanked for continuing refereeing for us and one the first duties for new Chairman Phil Elder was to present a golf voucher to Declan as a token of appreciation (pictured below)

Declan Hickey and Phil Elder ***************************************************************************************

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - 15/07/2014

The Club's 2014 Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday July 15th at Northop Hall Cricket Club starting at 7:45 p.m. Nominations in advance are welcomed for the positions of Chairman, Secretary & Treasurer (especially Chairman as Phil Southern is stepping down after 6 years in the hotseat). The positions of manager and assistant manager will also be reviewed by the Committee at the meeting. The full agenda can be found by clicking here. All are welcome to attend, just confirm with Dave Henrys that you will be attending as the cricket club need numbers.

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GAZ & SPARKY THE BIG WINNERS ON AWARDS NIGHT

A glittering array of trophies were handed out on the Club's annual Presentation Night to mark the achievements of the previous season. Firstly, Craig Jones, Phil Ward, Phil Southern & Mark 'Sparky' Ray collected trophies to mark their 100 appearances with the Club before the season prizes were handed out. A couple of new awards were made to mark firstly the successful Sealand Cup run, Andy Rooke being announced as Player of the Tournament, then something to recognise the Player of the Tournament for our recent trip to Dublin for the International Veterans Tournament, Dan Hicks getting the nomination.

The main trophies of the night went to Phil Southern (Club Man), Steve Buckley (Manager's Player), Nick Harris & Dave Henrys (jt. winners of Wednesday Night Player) and 'Sparky' Ray for leading goalscorer and Player of the Season for man-of-the-match awards. The final trophy for Player's Player of the Season went to goalkeeper Gaz Pringle. Congratulations to all the winners.

Before a bit of fun on the casino there was just time to present gifts to retiring Chairman Phil Southern as a thank you fo his efforts over the past 6 years and to Jane Price for keeping us (and our opposition) so well fed again during the season. There will be a few photos from the night on the website gallery soon. Keep checking back.

Presentation Night 2014 Presentation Night 2014 Presentation Night 2014

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CHANGES AFOOT AS MR CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN

The end of the 2013/14 season will mark the end of an era as Club Chairman Phil Southern has announced he is to relinquish his post on the committee, one he has held since the formation of the Club in 2008. The Club would like to officially record our sincere thanks to Phil for all his hard work and commitment over the past 6 years. He is expecting to be pursuing other interests on a Satirday afternoon which will limit his involvement on the playing side, but will still stay involved, particularly on Wednesday nights at Flint and in the "oldies" fixtures which we plan to have more of next season.

Nominations are invited for people to stand for election at this year's annual general meeting in June (the exact date of which will be announced shortly). There are likely to be other major changes for next season too as others consider their positions. Keep checking back for more news.

Phil Southern

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NARROWEST OF DEFEATS AMIDST REFEREEING CONTROVERSY ENDS CUP HOPES

The Old Boys fell at the final hurdle in the Sealand Cup beaten 2-1 by Halkyn in extra time after the 90 minutes finished scoreless. Despite Darren Brierley opening the scoring in the first half of the additional 30 minutes, Halkyn hit back twice to win. Controversially though, the scorer of the two goals should not have been on the pitch by then as he somehow escaped censure for his part in a second half incident that saw Craig McTavish forcibly substituted by the referee as he reacted to a rain of punches from the Halkyn player. The incident marred a good close cup final devoid of many real chances but which could have gone either way right up to the end. Click here to view the match report.

Northop Hall Old Boys FC - Sealand Cup Final 2014

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SEALAND CUP FINAL TO BE AT COLLIERS PARK - MAY 31st

The 2014 Sealand Cup Final between Northop Hall Old Boys and Halkyn Veterans will be played on Saturday May 31st at Wrexham FC's training ground at Colliers Park, Gresford, kicking off at 2:00 p.m. We're hoping for a big turn out to come and cheer us on in our first appearance in the final of this competition.

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WISHING TIM A SPEEDY RECOVERY

Everyone at the Old Boys would like to wish our colleague Tim Sproston a speedy recovery after his motor cycle accident. A collision with a bus left him briefly hospitalised but fortunately not too seriously injured, in his own words just "battered and bruised". Needless to say he won't be at football for a few weeks, hopefully though it won't be too long before we see him back in action.

Tim Sproston

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DUBLIN TRIP A HUGE SUCCESS DESPITE ON-FIELD RESULTS

The Old Boys first foray overseas has been declared a huge success despite being unable to progress from the group stages of the Social Soccer International Veterans Tournament in both 7-a-side and 11-a-side competitions against some prestigious teams from across Europe.

The lack of a keeper in the squad plus an early injury to Darren Molyneux worked against us on the playing side, although we weren't disgraced in narrow defeats against 7-a-side opponents from Denmark, France and Ireland on the Friday evening. The following day began with the narrowest of defeats, 3-2 against reigning champions Mercoledi from Italy (and we missed a penalty too), before also losing to a young local side representing Algeria, drafted in as a replacement for the Norway team who had to back out at the last minute.

The final game of the tour pitched us against Tattenhall from Cheshire (see photo below right) and pride was restored with a hard fought 2-1 win to finish with our pride intact. Needless to say, Dublin has been drunk considerably drier! The 11-a-side tournament was unsurprisingly won by the Ireland over-40's XI who showed they had lost none of their skills even if some of their pace from their professional playing days!

A player of the tournament award has been made by our excellent hosts Wild Geese FC from Dublin and will be announced on the Presentation Night on June 14th. Football related and other incriminating photos are on the GALLERY and will be added to in the coming days.

Northop Hall Old Boys FC - Dublin Tour Party Northop Hall Old Boys FC & Tattenhall Veterans

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DISAPPOINTING TURN OUT FOR CHARITY 6-A-SIDE TOURNAMENT AT MOLD ALEX

The Old Boys sadly struggled to raise a side for the Mold Alexandra charity veterans 6-a-side football tournament for the Cathy Griffiths Memorial Cup. Drawn in the opposite group of 5 to amongst others regular opponents Northop Hall Nomads and fellow Sealand Cup finalists Halkyn, there were just five players present when the opening 20 minute game against Llangefni kicked off and despite borrowing a player from another team, the opposition soon opened up a two-goal lead with low shots past stand-in keeper Dave Henrys. Damian Molyneux, Steve Buckley, Pete Dessington and Mark 'Sparky' Ray dug in to keep the score down, but two late strikes eventually sealed a 4-0 deficit.

Two further games following the arrival of Ian Powell remained goalless, but looked much better on the eye, firstly the Old Boys goal living a charmed life against "Wednesday Warriors", some good defensive work and a few decent saves as well as the frame of the goal saving the clean sheet but some wayward shooting at the other end maintaining the stalemate. Then a much better showing against "Non Runners" saw much more possession, but again a number of shots wide of the mark and anything straight kept out by the opposing keeper meant another 0-0 in the increasing heat. Unlike all the other teams in the tournament, the lack of substitutes left the team unable to swap and change and when two of them had to leave for other commitments there was no alternative but to call it a day and forfeit the final scheduled game against "Drury Dragons".

This would have been a good tournament to play in with a full 10 man squad and it was disappointing to have so many players declaring themselves unavailable. I'm sure we could have done well under different circumstances but it was good to be involved and help raise money for the Mold Alex FC charities.

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EXTRA TIME JOY AS BRIERLEY HEADS OLD BOYS TO FINAL

A Darren Brierley headed goal in the second half of extra time saw the Old Boys through to their first Sealand Cup Final, although it required an energy sapping rearguard action in a really hard fought cup tie to keep a very good Wirral Veterans side at bay and record another clean sheet. The final will be on Saturday May 31st, venue to be confirmed. Click here to view the match summary.

Photograph below shows belatedly latest centurian Phil Ward who made his 100th appearance for the Old Boys in the last cup group game against Northop Hall Nomads two weeks ago and celebrated today by setting up the winning goal in the semi-final. He joins an ever-growing club of loyal servants to the Old Boys, the 11th player to reach three figures. The semi final was Darren Molyneux's 150th game for the club, while Darren's goal, his 85th career strike for Northop Hall makes him joint leading all-time goalscorer alongside Anthony Woosey.

Phil Ward - 100 appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys FC

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ROSSETT HOLD ON AGAINST THE "OLDER" BOYS DESPITE LATE COMEBACK

The inaugural "oldies" match (the bar was set at 48 years of age or older) saw Rossett take a 3-0 first half lead at the Pavilion, which eventually Northop Hall clawed back to 3-2, but despite hitting the woodwork and peppering the Rossett goal at the end, the visitors held on. Click here to view the match summary.

Northop Hall Rossett's older Veterans

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OLD BOYS TO BE REPRESENTED AT CHARITY 6-A-SIDE AT MOLD ALEX ON MAY 18th

We have accepted an invitation to enter a team into a charity 6-a-side veterans tournament being run by Mold Alexandra FC, playing for the Cathy Griffiths Memorial Cup. The action takes place at Alyn Park in Mold on Sunday May 18th, the day after the Sealand Cup semi-final against Wirral Veterans and the weekend before the Social Soccer International Tournament in Dublin. A squad of up to 10 players is required and we will be hoping that our experience on Wednesday nights at Flint High School will give us a fighting chance on the day, as well as helping to raise money for charity and the Mold Alex colts team.

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PRINGLE ON SONG AS NOMADS ARE HELD TO DERBY DRAW

A second successive match up with Northop Hall rivals Nomads, this time just a friendly fixture, resulted in a 1-1 stalemate as Gaz Pringle made a series of saves to deny the opposition, while the Old Boys should have had a late penalty to try and add to 'Sparky' Ray's goal. Click here to view the match summary.

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PLACE YOUR BETS! PRESENTATION & CASINO NIGHT BOOKED FOR JUNE 14th

This year's Presentation Night will take place on Saturday, June 14th at Northop Hall Cricket Club and will follow the successful format from last year and incorporate a Casino Night and one of Jane's legendary buffets. Wives, girlfriends, friends and family are all welcome - the more the merrier! Details of ticket prices and availability will be announced very shortly, but for now make sure you SAVE THE DATE!

Presentation / Casino Night Presentation / Casino Night Presentation / Casino Night

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DETAILS FINALISED FOR INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT IN DUBLIN

Most of the preparations have been made for the Old Boys first foray into international competition on May 23rd and 24th in Dublin. On the Friday evening there will be a 7-a-side tournament which will be used to seed the four groups of four teams for the 11-a-side competition the following day. A 16-man squad will make the journey across the Irish Sea from Northop Hall to compete against teams from France, Denmark, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Slovenia and Ireland (including the national over-40's XI), as well as Tattenhall from neighbouring Cheshire. Check out the tournament website for more details. Click here to download a copy of the tour itinerary (pdf format).

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UNBEATEN OLD BOYS BOOK SEMI FINAL PLACE WITH DERBY WIN

A 2-0 victory over local rivals Northop Hall Nomads in their final group game guaranteed the unbeaten Old Boys a home tie in the semi finals against holders Wirral Veterans. A first goal for the club from Andy Rooke (pictured below), built on the foundations of another solid defensive performance, set up the victory and a second successive year in the semi finals, which will pit the competition's leading scorers, Wirral, against the meanest defence, Old Boys. Click here to view the match summary.

You can follow all the Sealand Cup scorelines on the Convocation website as the tournament progresses.

Andy rooke - First goal for the Old Boys

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NOMADS WIN AT WARRINGTON CROFT BLOWS CUP GROUP WIDE OPEN

The Old Boys victory over Liverpool Convocation took them to the top of Group A with 7 points from 3 games. Defeat for Warrington Croft, 3-2 at home to Northop Hall Nomads, leaves them 3 points adrift with a last day visit from Liverpool Ramblers next weekend, the same day as the Northop Hall derby which now takes on added significance as avoiding defeat would see the Old Boys top the group and guarantee a home semi-final, possibly against Wirral or Halkyn who are setting the pace in Group B. Nomads are still well in the mix themselves though as they have an outstanding fixture away at Liverpool Ramblers (who themselves would be right back in it if they were to win their last two games). Certainly there's everything still to play for as the competition starts to reach a climax.

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CONVOCATION WELL BEATEN AS SEALAND CUP QUEST GATHERS PACE

A hat-trick from Darren Brierley and braces from Mark 'Sparky' Ray and Darren Molyneux helped the Old Boys to a comprehensive 7-2 home victory over tournament hosts Liverpool Convocation and put the club on the verge of qualification for the semi-finals of the Sealand Cup, still unbeaten in the group stages. Click here to view the match summary.

You can follow all the Sealand Cup scorelines on the Convocation website as the tournament progresses.

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GOLDEN OLDIES SET FOR MIDWEEK DATE WITH ROSSETT

On Wednesday May 14th at Northop Hall Pavilion, Rossett Veterans will provide the opposition for a special age-restricted friendly specifically for the older members of both clubs. To be eligible for the "Oldies" game, players will have to have been born in 1965 or earlier meaning that only players who turn 49 this calendar year or older can play. Kick off will be 6:45 pm and oxygen will be on hand to keep the players going through the game!

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DEFENCES ON TOP AS SOUTHERN STYLE DOES FOR EASTHAM

A break from Sealand Cup action saw eight changes to the starting line-up from last week's game at Ramblers, but an excellent defensive performance saw a second successive clean sheet at Eastham in a hastily arranged extra fixture. Phil Southern's first half strike proved to be the diffence between the two teams on a day of very few clear cut chances. Click here to view the match summary.

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EASTHAM VETERANS STEP IN FOR EASTER FIXTURE

The Old Boys will fill the gap in the fixture programme between Sealand Cup games on Saturday April 19th with another visit to Eastham, who have been let down by a cry off from their original opponents from Frodsham. The game at their Higher Bebington Road ground kicks off at 2:30 p.m. and will see Dave Henrys temporarily back in charge and an opportunity for game time for some of the squad who haven't figured prominently in the cup games recently. Honours are currently even in both previous games between the teams this season, a 4-2 win recorded to the team playing at home on each occasion.

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POWELL DOUBLE INSPIRES VICTORY AT RAMBLERS

Two goals from Ian Powell and another from Mark 'Sparky' Ray were enough to secure a first cup victory at Liverpool Ramblers with a rare shut out at the other end completing an excellent performance that keeps this year's cup hopes very much alive. Click here to view the match summary.

You can follow all the Sealand Cup scorelines on the Convocation website as the tournament progresses.

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WOODWORK DENIES OPENING SEALAND CUP WIN

An eventful opening game of the Sealand Cup saw honours even at a goal apiece with Warrington Croft, although the Old Boys struck both post and crossbar in the last 15 minutes as they looked to take all the points. Kieran Whelan scored the goal but was later dismissed along with an opponent after a fight broke out at the end of the game. Click here to view the match summary.

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TEAM TO PLAY WARRINGTON CROFT 05/04/14

1. Gaz Pringle; 2. Kieran Whelan; 3. Darren Molyneux; 4. Mike Maletta; 5. Craig Jones; 6. Mel Barnes; 7. Gavin Roberts; 8. Ian Powell; 9. Daz Brierley; 10. Mark Ray; 11. Dan Hicks; subs:- from Paz Maletta, Phil Ward, Damian Molyneux, Dave Henrys, John Edmunds, Scott Telford, Andy Rooke, Phil Elder

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ALL CHANGE FOR THE CUP AS BRIERLEY TAKES THE REINS

As agreed at last year's AGM, there is to be a change in management for the Sealand Cup this season. The competition kicks off on the first Saturday in April with Assistant Manager Darren Brierley stepping up to manage things, the idea being to do things slightly differently than the week-to-week friendlies in an attempt to go further in the competition. The Old Boys have not reached the final of the Cup yet despite participating every year and Darren hopes to go one better than last season when we were knocked out of the semi-finals by the youngsters from Radbroke Hall.

For the Sealand Cup games, Darren will be looking to pick his best team from the players who declare themselves available for selection. This will be posted here on a Friday evening. Although there is still roll-on, roll-off substitutes, the intention is to use these to benefit the team rather than guarantee game time for everybody. This will only be the case for this competition and for everybody else we are looking to fill in the fixture gaps with friendlies for which Dave Henrys will resume responsibilities. We hope everybody bears with this experiment. There will be a chance to review it at this year's AGM in June.

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LATE DOUBLE FOR DEE RANGERS OVERSHADOWS OLD BOYS OWN COMEBACK EFFORTS

Having gallantly fought back to lead after being two down at half time, the Old Boys suffered a late double blow that handed victory to visitors Dee Rangers, a penalty and a last minute winner. Click here to view the match summary.

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ALL SQUARE AT RHEWL AS SPARKY HAT TRICK SPARES KEEPER BLUSHES

A first half hat-trick from Mark 'Sparky' Ray helped turn round an early 2-0 deficit and set the platform for a 4-4 draw at Rhewl. Gaz Pringle has made many a fine save this season for the Old Boys but he held his hands up to a couple of errors here and, when you're the last line of defence, unfortunately they are usually costly. However, a good battling display and a first goal for Dan Hicks in the second half forced a well earned draw. Click here to view the match summary.

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LOCAL PRESS REPORT CHARITY FUNDRAISER

March 20th - Flintshire Chronicle.

Flintshire Chronicle report

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SEALAND CUP DRAW; IT'S WARRINGTON CROFT AGAIN!

It's March, it must be the draw for the Sealand Cup in April and May; It's the Sealand Cup, it must be another game against Warrington Croft! Yes, once again we have come out of the hat in the same group as Croft, we can barely recall a year when we didn't. Last year's game saw a 3-1 reversal but both sides still qualified for (but then subsequently lost) their semi-finals, the Old Boys in controversial manner to non-veterans side Radbroke Hall who were themselves beaten in the final by Wirral Veterans. The controversy has continued this year with Radbroke again being invited to take part, (against our objections by the way) but they have at least again been drawn in the other pool.

The other teams in Group A with the Old Boys are Northop Hall Nomads, Liverpool Ramblers and Liverpool Convocation. The updated fixture list can be viewed by clicking here while you can follow the competition on the Convocation website where the full draw is already available to view.

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TOO LITTLE TOO LATE AS WOOLTON SURVIVE LATE SCARE

The Old Boys pulled themselves back from 4-1 down with two very late goals at home to Woolton, only to see the visitors grab a deserved and decisive 5th at the death. Click here to view the match summary.

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*** REMINDER - GENTLEMAN'S EVENING - MERSEYSIDE SPECIAL - MARCH 27th

We have been invited to join others at a Gentleman's Evening on Thursday March 27th at the Argoed Social Club in Mynydd Isa where guest speakers will be former Liverpool midfielder Jimmy Case and former Everton centre half Derek Mountfield. They will be joined by comedian Tony Barton. Tickets cost £22 including a buffet, with a cashback offer meaning that our club will make some money on any tickets we sell. Craig Jones is the contact for these (Dave Henrys can provide contact details).

Jimmy Case / Derek Mountfield

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IRELAND OVER-40's INTERNATIONAL SIDE CONFIRMED FOR DUBLIN

The Social Soccer international veterans tournament in Dublin in May is taking remarkable shape. Following last year's inaugural event, the number of teams partaking has been doubled with Northop Hall Old Boys, one of the added teams, the sole representatives from Wales. Amongst the other teams from Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia, France, Denmark & Norway, Tattenhall will represent England while Ireland as hosts will field three sides, one of which will be the Ireland international over-40's team made up of ex-professionals like former Manchester Utd & Newcastle midfielder Liam O'Brien, Paul McGee (ex-Wimbledon), Marc Kenny, Gary Sliney and Sean Egan (formerly on the books at Liverpool, Manchester City and Wrexham respectively).

This is going to be a highly prestigious event for the Old Boys to be part of and takes place on May 23rd & 24th. The full list of teams is shown below with information on each of them now to be found on the event website www.socialsoccer.ie.

Wild Geese (Dublin, Ireland - hosts)
Mercoledi alle 8 (Italy - 2013 champions)
Parkstad (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Northop hall Old Boys (Wales)
HIK (Hellerup Idræts Klub, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Bredevoort Rovers (Netherlands)
Tattenhall (England)
NK Kresnice (Slovenia)
Olympic Discus (Pin­saguel, Toulouse, France)
HSV Young Boys (Hølen, Son and Vestby, nr Oslo, Norway)
Blauwzwart (Wassenaar, nr The Hague, Netherlands)
Veteranos de Ceuti (Murcia, Spain)
SC Bemmel (Netherlands)
L'Olympicous (St Felix de Rieu­tord, France)
Dublin Northsiders (Ireland)
PFAI Ireland over 40's team (see below)

Ireland Over-40's International Team

We will add more news as we get closer to the event. For now though, a reminder to players who have paid their deposits that the full balance is due by the end of March.

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LATE WINNER ON MERSEYSIDE GIVES S.M.A. THE EDGE IN SEVEN

On the banks of the River Mersey at Aigburth, Northop Hall proudly fought back from 3-1 down to level things up against a significantly stronger host side, only to concede a fourth goal to S.M.A. Veterans just minutes from time to be robbed of an improbable result. Click here to view the match summary.

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PRINGLE KEEPS BARCELONA AT BAY BUT MISSED CHANCES PROVE COSTLY

Gareth Pringle produced a string of fine saves to deny a good Frodsham Barcelona side, including a terrific penalty save, but it wasn't enough to bring victory as chances missed at the other end left a 2-1 deficit at the final whistle. Click here to view the match summary.

The return to home action was a significant one for veterans stalwart Dave Pritchard who finally made his 100th appearance for the Old Boys having faltered in the last 2 seasons through a knee operation then working abroad. Dave becomes the tenth player to reach three figures and the fifth this season, a great effort from all of them.

Dave Pritchard - 100 appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys FC

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KIDNEY RESEARCH WALES CHARITY FUND TOPPED UP TO £500

The Race Night gave us the opportunity to hand over the funds raised in this season's Charity Shield and to top the fund up with a raffle on the night to a splendid £500 for Kidney Research Wales. The charity was nominated as the daughter of Kevin Roberts the Rhewl Veterans manager is undergoing kidney treatment, and Kev and his partner Carys Jones came along to collect the money on behalf of the charity from representatives of Northop Hall Old Boys and Northop Hall Nomads FC. Thanks to everybody who contributed.

£500 raised for Kidney Research Wales

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RACE NIGHT RAISES ALMOST £300 FOR CLUB FUNDS

The Football Club will benefit from the £294 raised from the latest Race Night. Another cracking night was enjoyed by a smaller than hoped for crowd, whose enthusiam made up for a lack of numbers. Many thanks to race sponsors, Green Thumb (Eifion Jones), Jolly Good Car & Van Hire (Ady Binnersley), Whittingham Riddell Chartered Accountants (Dan Hicks), S.T.A.M.P. Cars (Shaun Tarran) & Dave Henrys Photography, as well as the many horse owners and those who turned out to cheer them home on the night. Congratulations to winning owners Simon Irving, Nathan Hicks, Jamie Elder, Kevin Hoyland, Clare Elder, Mel Barnes and Darren Brierley and especially Craig Jones who scooped the big prize in the auction race. A full list of runners and winners can be downloaded by clicking here (Adobe Acrobat format).

One or two photos from the night have been uploaded to the updated gallery and links to all the race sponsors are now on the links page. Please support them wherever you can.

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RETURN TO ACTION BRINGS FIRST WIN OF 2014 AT UPTON

After the bad weather of recent weeks, the Old boys finally saw competitive action and turned around a 0-1 half time deficit to record a comprehensive 6-2 victory at Upton Magnets, the first win since the 14th of December last year. Darren Brierley and Mark 'Sparky' Ray grabbed a brace apiece. Click here to view the match summary.

The game at Upton marked a significant milestone for Club Chairman Phil Southern captaining the side on his 100th appearance for the Old Boys.

Phil Southern - 100 appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys FC

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RACE NIGHT REMINDER - SATURDAY FEBRUARY 22nd

A reminder that the fundraising Race Night is coming up fast on Saturday, February 22nd at Northop Hall cricket club. We are still looking for a few more race sponsors (£25 gets your name on the race card and a horse in the race) and horse owners (£4 per horse, name it yourself) and as many people as possible to come along on what should be another hugely enjoyable night. Contact Dave Henrys for more details. We will be holding a charity raffle on the night towards the Charity Shield fund which will be handed over on the night with the other money raised for Kidney Research Wales to Kev Roberts from Rhewl Veterans.

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ANOTHER ONE GONE TO THE WEATHER AS HALKYN FIXTURE SUBMERGES

The relentless storms of winter 2014 have led to another call off, the home fixture against Halkyn Veterans going the way of the second successive week at Flint in midweek. I suppose the consolation is that we're not on the Somerset Levels or the Thames Valley who may have a long wait for a dry pitch to use. Even so, we're heartily sick of the inactivity now.

Rain Rain Go Away

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GENTLEMAN'S EVENING - MERSEYSIDE SPECIAL - MARCH 27th

We have been invited to join others at a Gentleman's Evening on Thursday March 27th at the Argoed Social Club in Mynydd Isa where guest speakers will be former Liverpool midfielder Jimmy Case and former Everton centre half Derek Mountfield. They will be joined by comedian Tony Barton. Tickets cost £22 including a buffet, with a cashback offer meaning that our club will make some money on any tickets we sell. Craig Jones is the contact for these (Dave Henrys can provide contact details).

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WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE INCLUDING BIRKENHEAD

Another spell of very wet weather put paid to the proposed first visit to Tranmere to play Avenue Veterans, Birkenhead. This was hot on the heels of the rare cancellation of 6-a-side at Flint on the Wednesday previous for the same reason. It looks like we may be facing a few weeks like this with no end to the rain in sight at present. At least we managed a kickabout at Goals Chester to keep the legs moving!

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OLD BOYS AND ROSSETT DRAW A VERY RARE BLANK

Colliers Park in Gresford witnessed the rarest of phenomenons on the 3G surface with both defences on top in the cold wind and rain, coupled with an off day for both attacks to produce the first goalless draw in the Old Boys history (and beyond for those of us involved in veterans football for many years previously.) Click here to view the match summary.

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WATERLOGGED PITCHES AT PLYMYARDS SEES OFF WIRRAL FIXTURE

The match at Plymyards in Bromborough scheduled for Saturday January 25th has been cancelled due to waterlogging. Their pitches are council-run and the decision was made on Thursday to abandon all games over the weekend there.

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SPARKY JOINS THE 100 CLUB

The game at home to Warrington Croft marked a personal landmark for Mark 'Sparky' Ray as he became the eighth player to notch up 100th appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys, joining Dave Henrys, Darren Molyneux, John Edmunds, Paz Maletta, Pete Dessington, Craig Jones and Graham Wilks in three figures. Like Craig Jones before him, Sparky has amassed his century in two less seasons than everyone else, having only joined us in the 2010/11 season and not missing many games since despite having to make the journey from Wrexham for every game, another great show of commitment!

Mark Ray - 100 appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys FC

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WARRINGTON CROFT'S LATE GOALS TURN RESULT AROUND

Last week's debacle at Shotton was firmly put behind us as a much stronger showing at home to Warrington Croft had the Old Boys 2-1 ahead until two goals in a minute late in the game turned it in the visitors' favour, particularly undeserved for keeper Gareth Pringle who had made a string of quality saves to keep the hosts ahead. Click here to view the match summary.

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AND THEY'RE OFF WITH A NEW DATE! RACE NIGHT REARRANGED TO FEBRUARY 22nd

The fundraising Race Night originally planned for last November has been rearranged to Saturday, February 22nd at Northop Hall cricket club. We are looking for race sponsors (£25 gets your name on the race card and a horse in the race), horse owners (£4 per horse, name it yourself) and as many people as possible to come along on what should be another hugely enjoyable night. Contact Dave Henrys for more details.

Race Night - Saturday November 30th

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BUBBLE BURSTS BIG TIME AS SHOTTON RUN RIOT

All last week's fine efforts were soon forgotten as the Old Boys suffered their heaviest ever defeat as Shotton Steel clocked up a rugby score against an embarrassingly inept Northop Hall side. On another day, scoring four goals at Shotton would have been something to celebrate, but such was the poor standard of performance it was merely a consolation on the worst of days. Click here to view the match summary.

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HAPPY START TO NEW YEAR AS PRINGLE HOLDS OFF ST MARYS FOR HARD FOUGHT DRAW

A high scoring draw was the result of the first piece of action since Christmas and the Old Boys had Gaz Pringle to thank as his heroics in goal kept the visitors from north Liverpool at bay. As it was they needed help from an own goal and a deflection to beat him with Mark Sparky Ray holding the line well at the other end and bagging a couple of goals for himself amidst a hard fought all round team effort. Click here to view the match summary.

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NO SEASONAL CHEER FOR STAND-IN BOSS DARREN

Assistant Darren Brierley stepped up to cover the absence of player-manager Dave Henrys in the last game before Christmas, but saw his side slip to a 6-2 defeat to local rivals Northop Hall Nomads, although it might have been a different story if so many chances hadn't gone begging for the Old Boys. Click here to view the match summary.

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CONGRATULATIONS! A BABY GIRL FOR CRAIG & LIZ

Many congratulations to Craig Jones and fiancee Liz on the birth of baby daughter Cari Eryn at 3:46 p.m. on Sunday December 15th, weighing in at a very healthy 9lb 11 and a half oz. Very happy to report that mother and baby are doing well and we look forward to "wetting the baby's head" in due course!

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STRIKERS BLOW EASTHAM AWAY

A game of two halves in the gales at Northop Hall, but some resilient defending allowed the Old Boys to build on a first half lead and emerge with a 4-1 victory over Eastham Veterans, a brace apiece for strikers Darren Brierley and Mark 'Sparky' Ray. Click here to view the match report.

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HALKYN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OLD BOY SHORTAGES

Another away game, another shortage of players. There's a pattern emerging here. Once again a last minute scramble for players left the Old Boys drafting a couple of debutants in and ending the game with less than 11 fit players and perhaps unsurprisingly on the end of a 6-3 result, despite Mark 'Sparky' Ray celebrating his birthday with a couple of goals and another man-of-the-match performance. Many thanks to those who did make the effort. Another good night at the Running Hare followed to make up for things a bit. Thanks again to Graham Wilks for organising it all. Click here to view the match report.

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S.M.A. SEEN OFF FOR THE FIRST TIME AS OLD BOYS RECAPTURE FORM

S.M.A. Veterans from Liverpool drew 5-5 at Northop Hall last season before recording a resounding 9-2 win at home. Their return saw the Old Boys exact a little revenge in a 4-2 victory that put the recent blip against Bala behind them and return to the form prior to that that had seen an unbeaten 4-match run. It still needed an inspired performance from keeper Gaz Pringle to ensure the result though. Click here to view the match report.

The game was a personal landmark for Graham Wilks (left below) and Craig Jones who both made their 100th appearance for Northop Hall Old Boys, joining Dave Henrys, Darren Molyneux, John Edmunds, Paz Maletta and Pete Dessington in this exclusive but ever-increasing club! Graham has managed an impressive 51 goals in his 100 games while Craig has the distinction of reaching his century in two less seasons than everyone else, having only joined us in 2010/11 season and missing just 4 games in the years since, a remarkable feat!

Graham Wilks - 100 appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys FC Craig Jones - 100 appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys FC

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WARRINGTON CROFT GAME CALLED OFF FOR LACK OF NUMBERS

The game at Warrington scheduled for November 23rd has been called off as the Old Boys could only count on seven definites from among the regular squad and no goalkeeper amongst them. With the opposition down to a bare eleven too and without a referee, the cancellation was inevitable in the end. A late rally for players the day before actually resulted in three more drop outs for the Old Boys leaving us to cry off for the first time in years because of low numbers. Seven players were missing through injury, some longer term like Anthony Woosey whose recovery from knee surgery has hit a setback. Ian Powell, Kevin Hoyland, Dan Hicks and Gavin Roberts are all struggling with more than minor knocks and won't be back just yet. The remaining minor knocks, illnesses, work and family commitments will hopefully clear to leave better availability in the coming weeks.

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RACENIGHT ** OFF **

The fundraising Race Night planned for Saturday, November 30th has had to be postponed due to a double booking by the cricket club. We will reschedule a date in January 2014 and double efforts to raise lots of money to support the club. WATCH THIS SPACE - NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON

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BALA TWO MUCH FOR LACKLUSTRE OLD BOYS

A depleted squad came over the hills from Bala and found their hosts on a rare off-day unable to find their way to goal and ultimately going down to a 2-0 defeat. The first ever visit by Penllyn Veterans was a fairly even affair in the main but the Old Boys struggled to put their passing game together and paid the ultimate penalty as their opponents plundered goals at the end of each half. When the hosts did get their act together they found the opposition goalkeeper in good form to keep them at bay and a rare clean sheet. Click here to view the match report.

Before the match, Pete Dessington belatedly picked up his trophy for 100 appearances for the Old Boys from Chairman, Phil Southern watched by his team mates.

Pete Dessington - 100 appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys FC

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WOOLTON SNATCH DRAW AS LUCK RUNS OUT IN FRONT OF GOAL

The Old Boys were left to rue their luck as they failed to capitalise on 'Sparky' Ray's opening minute goal and were undone late in the game when a mix-up at the back let Woolton in for an equaliser that never looked on the cards. With the Liverpool team's keeper in inspired form as the ball whistled at him from all angles, he still needed the help of his crossbar to see out a Darren Molyneux strike and his post to deny man-of-the-match Sparky a second goal and then the finest margin of his defender's studs to divert Graham Wilks goalbound effort inches wide of an open goal. With the defence on top for most of the game and Gaz Pringle's handling exemplary behind them, a clean sheet looked well on until five minutes from time when Darren Gatehouse misdirected a header back to his keeper and the home striker nipped in to complete the Northop Hall frustration. Click here to view the match report.

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BALA VETERANS TO FILL FIXTURE HOLE ON NOVEMBER 16th

A new team of veterans from Bala, Penllyn Vets have stepped in to fill the gap in this season's fixture list on Saturday, November 16th, when they will visit Northop Hall. Kick off will be at 2:00 p.m. at the pavilion.

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BRIERLEY COMEBACK GOALS SEE OFF BARCELONA

It was hardly the Nou Camp but the Old Boys turned in a pleasing display to beat "Frodsham Veterans Barcelona" 3-1 in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, last season's leading scorer Darren Brierley weighing in with a couple of strikes, his first since returning from a serious knee injury that kept him out of action for several months. Click here to view the match report.

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DIARY DATE: XMAS MEAL - SATURDAY DECEMBER 7TH

SAVE THE DATE - Following highly successful events in the past couple of years, we are looking at getting together for our Christmas meal on Saturday, December 7th at the Running Hare, Ewloe (subject to our being able to book it). This is a chance for us to meet up socially after the game at Halkyn that day, with wives and girlfriends encouraged to join us (probably best if not both though!) Graham Wilks has again volunteered to make the necessary arrangements and will be after deposits as soon as we firm up the booking. Keep checking back for information, in the meantime you can view the menu by clicking here (pdf format) or going to their website at www.runningharepub.co.uk.

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LAST MINUTE EQUALISER REVENGE FOR ROSSETT

A remarkably similar scenario played out at the Northop Hall Pavilion where the Old Boys last home game of last season ended with a last gasp equaliser to earn a 3-3 draw against Rossett Veterans. This time it was Rossett's turn to deny victory with a last minute equaliser to make it 3-3 for successive seasons. Click here to view the match report.

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UPTON BEATEN IN THE POURING RAIN

A stiff challenge from Upton Magnets and a tremendous deluge at the end of the game failed to deny Northop Hall a well-earned successive home victory. Despite going 2-1 behind in unfortunate circumstances in the first half, the Old Boys turned the game round with two second half goals, but could easily have had many more from many more chances created, before the late storm that made the last 20 minutes a bit of a lottery with water lying heavy on the pitch. Fair play to both sides for seeing it out though. Click here to view the match report.

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LATE GOALS SEE OFF OLD BOYS EFFORTS AT ST MARYS

The Old Boys returned empty handed from Crosby as two late goals gave St Marys Old Boys a 4-1 win that saw off a valiant challenge with just a goal in it for a long period of the game. Click here to view the match report.

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DIARY DATE: RACE NIGHT - SATURDAY NOVEMBER 30TH

SAVE THE DATE - Following the roaring success of the event in March, Northop Hall Old Boys FC will be holding another Race Night on Saturday, November 30th at the Cricket Club. Details will be on here shortly about how you can get involved in the sponsorship of races, buying horses and getting tickets for the big night. Please get yourselves along with family and friends to support the Club. Check back for more information soon

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ANTHONY INSPIRES FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON

The return of all-time leading goalscorer Anthony Woosey inspired a terrific all round performance that brought about a long overdue first win of the season over Wirral Veterans by three goals to one. Having been limited to just half a dozen appearances before knee surgery last season, Ant capped a fine all-round team display with a sublimely chipped goal that finally put the game beyond the visitors. Click here to view the match report.


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EASTHAM SURVIVE LATE RALLY TO INFLICT DEFEAT ON DARREN'S MANAGERIAL DEBUT

Darren Brierley had his first taste of being in charge since his summer appointment as Assistant Manager, with injured player manager Dave Henrys away for a rare weekend away. And despite a valiant effort by an ever-diminishing squad to level things up at the end, the Old Boys eventually went down 4-2 at Eastham. Click here to view the match report.

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POWELL STRIKES TO EARN DRAW AFTER PAIR OF SHOTTON GIFTS

A cracking strike from Ian Powell, his second goal of the game, earned the Old Boys a 4-4 draw at home to Shotton Steel Veterans after the visitors gifted them two own goals. Although Shotton missed a couple of very good chances in the first half, the Old Boys might have come away winners if Mel Barnes had managed to tuck away a second half penalty. Click here to view the match report.

Mark 'Sparky' Ray was involved in a nasty crack of heads in the second half but despite the evidence of the photos below, the other fella did come off worst! Hopefully they're both feeling better today!

Sparky gets first aid from the unqualified Nick Harris! That's going to hurt in the morning!
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TOP SCORERS DARREN & ANTHONY ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL

Last weekend's blank fixture gave the chance for an 11-a-side kickabout amongst ourselves and the ideal opportunity for long term absentees Darren Brierley and Anthony Woosey to test out their respective rehabilitated joints after knee injuries. As befits the Club's two all-time leading goalscorers (with over 150 goals between them) both of them tested the goalkeepers during their spells on the pitch to show what we've been missing. Hopefully they will both be back in competitive action again very soon. After the game, Chairman Phil Southern presented Darren with his "golden boot" trophy for being top goalscorer last season, his 15 goals not being surpassed despite missing a good chunk of the second half of the season.

Leading scorer Darren Brierley & Chairman Phil Southern ***************************************************************************************

DUNNINGTON GAME OFF

The visit of Dunnington FC from York on Saturday September 14th will not now take place as they have been unable to raise a team to travel over. Dunnington have twice hosted the Old Boys on tour to Yorkshire so we were looking forward to being able to reciprocate hospitality. However, this will have to wait for a future date now. With too short a notice to arrange other opposition an inter-club 11-a-side game will take place at the Northop Hall Pavilion instead, kick-off 2:00 p.m.

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KIDNEY RESEARCH THE BIG WINNER AS RHEWL TAKE SILVERWARE

Another fabulous effort by the four clubs involved in the Charity Shield tournament means that we have once again raised a sizeable sum for charity. We have decided jointly that this year's recipients will be Kidney Research Wales, which is being supported by Kev Roberts of Rhewl as his daughter is currently being treated for kidney trouble. The projected total currently stands at around £500 which we will arrange to handover as soon as the rest of the money has been collected. The Charity Shield itself was won by Rhewl Veterans for the first time, beating Northop Hall Nomads 4-1 in the final.

The pictures below show both teams before the final and the presentation of the trophies.

Northop Hall Nomads and Rhewl Veterans Trophies presented to Rhewl Veterans


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SOUTHERN STYLE FINISH EVENS UP THIRD PLACE PLAY OFF

The Charity Shield consolation game against Halkyn ended with honours even at 2-2, the Old Boys twice coming from behind thanks to goals from Mel Barnes and a super strike from Phil Southern. A minute's silence preceded both games as a mark of respect to former Halkyn player Clive Cooke who sadly passed away last weekend. Click here to view the match report.

The picture below shows both teams before the match.

Northop Hall Old Boys and Halkyn Veterans

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PLAYER MANAGER FACES LENGTHY ABSENCE FOLLOWING FREAK INJURY

Player-manager Dave Henrys will miss a good chunk of the next few months after injuring a finger in the game against Northop Hall Nomads. Ironically it happened during a tussle for the ball with an underage player (again highlighting why we hate to come up against young lads) and looked originally like a dislocation given the freakish angle it went to, but in fact it has been confirmed as torn tendons resulting in "mallet finger" (look it up!). The upshot is that Dave will be in a finger splint for up to 12 weeks and won't be able to play any football for risk of further damage. It will be his longest absence since the Old Boys formed over 5 years ago.

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CHARITY DOLDRUMS FOR LACKLUSTRE OLD BOYS

The opening game for real of the new season saw local rivals Northop Hall Nomads progress to the final of the Charity Shield next week with a 4-1 win. The younger opponents took advantage of a strong wind and the slope at their backs in the first half to go 2-0 up and although 'Sparky' Ray pulled one back in the second half, the underperforming Old Boys ran out of legs and conceded two more late on. The Old Boys will now face Halkyn in next week's 3rd/4th play off game (kick off 2 pm at the Pavilion), with Nomads up against Rhewl Veterans in the final at the same venue (2:30 pm kick off). Click here to view a brief match report from the Nomads game.


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PRE-SEASON SUCCESS AGAINST PONTBLYDDYN YOUNGSTERS

The Old Boys produced a bit of a shock pre-season result to send The Bridge Inn Pontblyddyn home empty handed, John Edmunds and 'Sparky' Ray scoring in a 2-0 success against much younger opponents who play in the Deeside Sunday league. Click here to view the match report.

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IT'S A BOY!! - BABY HOYLAND ARRIVES

Many congratulations from everyone at the Old Boys to Kevin Hoyland and his wife Mel on the arrival of new born baby son Harry in July. Word is that he has bowed, skinny legs and great lungs, much like his Dad!

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2013/14 FIXTURES ANNOUNCED

The fixtures for the coming season are well advanced now, kicking off on Saturday August 31st with our defence of the 'In Vogue' Charity Shield 'away' to Northop Hall Nomads in the semi-final (Rhewl will entertain Halkyn in the other tie).

The full list to date can be downloaded by clicking here (pdf format). You will see that we are hoping to accommodate visits from both the teams that we played against in York for the last 2 seasons. There are several gaps still to be filled but this is usual at this stage and will more than likely be snapped up before the season starts. Keep checking back for updates!

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