NORTHOP HALL OLD BOYS F.C.

 

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Northop Hall Old Boys 2008/09 Season

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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 2014-15 fixture list

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

MAY 2015
Charity 6-a-side at Mold Alex next up for the Old Boys
Cup hopes ended by third successive heavy defeat to Croft
Victory at Rhewl sets up Warrington Croft cup decider

APRIL 2015
Race Night * CANCELLED * - New date for diary: June 12th
Sealand Cup update
Best of 12 sees off Liverpool Convocation
Injury crisis responsible for squad shortage
Not enough Old Boys to get to Wirral
Radbroke Hall game off as opponents pull out

MARCH 2015
Triple management team will be in charge for Sealand Cup
Height advantage effective in seeing off Sefton challenge
Wirral too good in one step too far for charity
4,000 raised for Millie as Old Boys take cup on penalties
Charity Saturday looms large
Sealand Cup groups drawn
No team for Woolton visit
Second successive clean sheet sets up home victory

FEBRUARY 2015
Daz hits 100 as Old Boys blow Rossett away
Under Starters Orders - Race Night planned for April 25th
Northop Hall undone big style at Tattenhall
Halkyn fightback denies Old Boys away victory
Away fixture at Tattenhall fills February gap
Much improvement but another defeat at Shotton
Old Boys take up Saucy's invite to help Millie
Mel Barnes set to be the new Old Boys manager

JANUARY 2015
Old Boys to return to Dublin in June for international tournament
Weather call off for Upton means two week break
Poor showing at Warrington results in second hammering of the season
Back to winning ways with clean sheet bonus
Christmas excesses take toll in first game back
Happy New Year - 2015 to be a year of change

DECEMBER 2014
Halkyn game falls victim to the weather
Supervets break the run with win over Rossett - just
Late equaliser denies victory in feisty affair at Eastham
Two options remain on the table for next year's football tour
Depleted Oldies go down in the deluge
Supervets hit the road
Close but no cigar as Tattenhall extend losing run

NOVEMBER 2014
Improved performance but another defeat on the road at S.M.A.
Old Boys generosity backfires spectacularly
Sefton too strong second time round
Clean sheet the platform for narrow victory
Sefton to visit again to fill November fixture gap
Wirral too good as defensive absences prove costly

OCTOBER 2014
Busy December in store for the "Older" Boys
Sparky at the double as Dee Rangers are held
Shotton game off as Old Boys fail to raise a team
Ton-up for Kieran and Mel
Rossett have edge in rainstorms
Eifion on the road to recovery
Barnes double in vain as Upton fight back for draw

SEPTEMBER 2014
Tattenhall to make first visit in December
Gaz and Daz the difference in hard fought draw
Gourmet Jane becomes Mrs Holden
Sefton fill the gap
Trip to St Mary's postponed
Supersub Darren secures first win of the season
Halkyn edge out Old Boys as Nomads win the Shield

AUGUST 2014
Nomads progress to Charity final after feisty affair
Congratulations to ...
It's a local derby semi final for the Charity Shield

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

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CHARITY 6-A-SIDE AT MOLD ALEX NEXT UP FOR THE OLD BOYS

The club will be taking part in the Cathy Griffiths Memorial Cup at the Mold Alex ground on Denbigh Road again on Sunday May 17th. This is a 6-a-side tournament for veterans over-35 (with one underage player between 30 and 35 allowed per team amongst the squad of 10). The event kicks off at 10:00 a.m. and will see two groups of six teams playing at least five x 20 minute games with the top two progressing to the semi-finals.

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CUP HOPES ENDED BY THIRD SUCCESSIVE HEAVY DEFEAT TO CROFT

Having lost 0-7 and 0-8 to Warrington Croft already this season, the deciding game of the Sealand Cup group games was always going to be a tall order for the Old Boys, especially with so many players still unavailable as the season draws towards a close. Despite managing a couple of goals at the Pavilion this time, it was another 7 from the opposition that put paid to Northop Hall's ambitions for this season. Click here for a brief match report from cup manager Gareth Pringle.

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VICTORY AT CROFT SETS UP WARRINGTON CROFT CUP DECIDER

A 3-1 win at Rhewl Veterans has left the Old Boys and Warrington Croft in a decider next week to claim second spot in group A and a Sealand Cup semi-final at Bebington against St.Ann's who have won group B. Other results in this round of games has confirmed Wirral Veterans as winners of our group and they will host holders Halkyn Vets on May 16th in the other semi final. Northop Hall had to come from behind in the Denbighshire rain but ran out worthy winners. Click here for a brief match report.

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RACE NIGHT * CANCELLED * - NEW DATE FOR DIARY: JUNE 12th (t.b.c.)

The Race Night planned for Saturday April 25th has had to be CANCELLED as we haven't been able to give it the necessary time to prepare. It has been rearranged for FRIDAY, JUNE 12th at Northop Hall Cricket Club when it will be a joint event with this season's Presentation Night. More details on ticket prices etc. nearer the time but if anybody can secure a race sponsor or two in the meantime at 30 per race that would help greatly. Sponsors get their name on the racecard and a horse in the race. Please pass details on to the Chairman, Phil Elder, or Dave Henrys.

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SEALAND CUP UPDATE

The Sealand Cup group game between Rhewl Veterans and Northop Hall Old Boys has been moved to Saturday May 2nd as Rhewl are involved in the Shotton Steel Cup on the original scheduled date. This means the final group game at home to Warrington Croft will now take place on Saturday, May 9th. Rhewl's game with Radbroke has also been moved to May 9th.

An update on the state of play after 3 stuttering Saturdays shows that Warrington Croft sit top of the table with 2 wins out of 2. Wirral are next with a win and a draw, then the Old Boys have a win and a loss for the 2 cancelled games. Rhewl have 1 point from 2 games while Radbroke have 2 defeats against them.

In Group A, cup holders Halkyn and new team for this year St Annes (Bebington) both have 2 wins and a draw from 3 games and sit joint top of the table. Liverpool Ramblers have 1 win from 2 games while Liverpool Convocation and Northop Hall Nomads are yet to register a point from their 2 games each to date.

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BEST OF 12 SEES OFF LIVERPOOL CONVOCATION

The Old Boys won a high-scoring game with Liverpool Convocation 7-5, with two goals apiece from all-time leading scorers Darren Brierley & Mark 'Sparky' Ray. An own-goal at both ends contributed to a good game for the spectators if not for the respective defences. Click here for a brief match report.

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INJURY CRISIS RESPONSIBLE FOR SQUAD SHORTAGE

An unprecedented injury list is causing a few headaches for the management team of the Old Boys. Players are currently dropping like the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan with several having gone under the knife recently. Here is the current list of "missing in action" (and there may well be more we're not currently aware of):-

Craig Jones - Achilles operation (out for season)
Darren Molyneux - Infected cellulitis on leg (just out of hospital after operation to cut it out)
Scott Telford - Hernia operation (just had surgery)
Richard Millington - Ankle ligaments (out for season)
Graham Wilks - Ankle ligaments (hoping to play before end of season)
Damian Molyneux - Thigh injury (out since beginning of March)
Craig McTavish - Knee operation (hoping for comeback imminently)

We would like to wish all our wounded players a speedy recovery, although we know it's more difficult as we get on in life! Seriously though, we need you back a.s.a.p. guys! In the meantime, we are converting our changing rooms as below!

Northop Hall Old Boys FC - New Changing Rooms

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NOT ENOUGH OLD BOYS TO GET TO WIRRAL

This year's Sealand Cup will have to wait a bit longer for the first involvement of the Old Boys after the second successive call off, this time it was the Northop Hall side who couldn't raise a team to travel to Wirral and had to forfeit the points. Hopefully with Easter out of the way, numbers will pick up again. Next week sees a friendly against Liverpool Convocation which offers the chance to get back into it again before Sealand Cup action the following two weeks after that to decide this season's fate.

We are informed that there should be information about this year's tournament on the Halkyn Veterans FC facebook page shortly - click here. STOP PRESS - THE FINAL WILL BE PLAYED ON MAY 23rd AT ARGOED SPORTS GROUND.


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RADBROKE HALL GAME OFF AS OPPONENTS PULL OUT

This year's Sealand Cup campaign began with a forfeited win after Radbroke Hall were unable to raise a team for their visit to Wales. The hosts would have been on a bare eleven or twelve as it happened but would have still preferred to have played.

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TRIPLE MANAGEMENT TEAM WILL TAKE CHARGE FOR SEALAND CUP

Despite earlier plans, Darren Brierley will be unable to reprise last season's role of managing the Old Boys during the Sealand Cup due to childcare issues, so the triumvirate of Mel Barnes, Darren Molyneux and Gaz Pringle have agreed to take the reins. The opening game is a home fixture on April 4th against Radbroke Hall, kick off 2:30 p.m.

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HEIGHT ADVANTAGE EFFECTIVE IN SEEING OFF SEFTON CHALLENGE

A skeleton Old Boys squad came away from their first visit to Sefton with a 2-1 win, having used the conditions to their advantage against a good vets side who they had previously drawn and lost heavily at home to this season. The state of the pitch meant that neither side could get the ball down and play it very well, so the game hinged on the aerial battle, where Northop Hall's extra height at both ends of the pitch served them well. Richard Millington finally scored from open play at the 18th attempt to set up the win, but unfortunately will miss a few games now having torn ankle ligaments late on. Click here for a brief match report.


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WIRRAL TOO GOOD IN ONE STEP TOO FAR FOR CHARITY

The second game of the day as part of the Millie fund-raiser saw the Old Boys fulfil their planned fixture with Wirral Veterans at the Northop Hall Pavilion. Unfortunately, the sizeable squad that was hoped for this game failed to materialise, leaving a bit of a scratch side, with some tiring legs from earlier efforts and a few late extras. Wirral took full advantage to record an easy victory. We will be playing them again in a few weeks in the Sealand cup and hoping for a different game altogether. Click here for a brief match report.

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4,000 RAISED FOR MILLIE AS OLD BOYS TAKE CUP ON PENALTIES

As part of a terrific fund-raising effort by Old Boy Mike Salusbury, the team took on "Team Millie" at Deeside Stadium, put together by Brett Williams, father of the fund-raising recipient Millie Williams. And a cracking side it was which the Northop Hall veterans did well to hold at 0-0 before winning the penalty shoot-out 4-3 to claim the specially commissioned Millie Cup. Click here for a brief match report.

The Old Boys efforts in this (and the subsequent afternoon game v. Wirral) contributed to the amazing 4,000 raised in total. Click here to see photos (like the one below) from the day from Mike's wife, Steph Salusbury.

Northop Hall Old Boys FC - Match for Millie - March 2014


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CHARITY SATURDAY LOOMS LARGE

Saturday, March 21st sees the much awaited charity football day which Old Boy Mike "Saucy" Salusbury has been very busily organising, and which his team mates are stepping up their efforts to add to the money being raised for local girl Millie Williams (click here for the full story as reported in the local press). The Old Boys will be playing in a double header of games on the day, starting with a game at the Deeside Stadium, Connahs Quay against a highly competitive team being put together by Millie's dad Brett (k.o. 12 noon). Then later in the afternoon, Wirral Veterans will visit Northop Hall for their previously pre-arranged fixture, kicking off at 3 p.m. Players will pay for the priviledge of putting their old legs through the two games and it is hoped that as many as possible will support both games. More information (including how to buy raffle tickets if you haven't already) can be found on the Facebook page that Mike and his wife Steph have set up - click here.

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SEALAND CUP GROUPS DRAWN

Dave Jolly at Halkyn Veterans is administering the Sealand Cup this year. The draw has taken place for the group matches and pitched Northop Hall Old Boys with Radbroke Hall (home), Wirral (away), Rhewl (away) and almost inevitably, Warrington Croft (home). Dates have to be confirmed but provisionally can be seen on the fixtures tab. Darren Brierley will be managing the team for the Sealand Cup as last year, hoping to go one step further and win the cup this year. Updates will be put up on here as the tournament progresses.

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NO TEAM FOR WOOLTON VISIT

The visit to Woolton on March 14th has been called off as the Old Boys cannot raise a team to play them. We have been struggling for numbers for the past few weeks but it came to a head this week and disappointingly for those who were available, we had no option but to call off. Although there are a good number of names on the weekly text list, it seems that there now has to be a culling of those numbers and another recruitment drive before next season to ensure that the new manager has a bigger squad to choose from.


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SECOND SUCCESSIVE CLEAN SHEET SETS UP HOME VICTORY

For the second week on the run, the Old Boys managed to keep out the opposition to set the platform for victory, this time against S.M.A. Veterans from Liverpool. Dan Hicks and Graham Wilks were on target while at the other end "Player of the Season elect" Gaz Pringle picked up yet another man-of-the-match award for his handling. It was only the second home game of 2015 due to adverse weather conditions and the first in almost two months. Click here for a brief match report.

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DAZ HITS 100 AS OLD BOYS BLOW ROSSETT AWAY

A complete turnaround for Northop Hall from the previous week's debacle at Tattenhall saw Rossett Veterans put to the sword 4-0 at Colliers Park in an excellent away performance. Darren Brierley's first goal of his 12th hat-trick for the Old Boys was also his 100th for the club, in just his 93rd appearance, the first player to pass this milestone (pictured below after the game). The other goalscorer was Graham Wilks who received his trophy for 100 appearances after the match too. Click here for a brief match report.

Darren Brierley - 100 goals for Northop Hall Old Boys FC Graham Wilks - 100 appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys FC

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UNDER STARTERS ORDERS - RACE NIGHT PLANNED FOR APRIL 25th

Following previous successes, another fundraising Race Night has been scheduled for Saturday, April 25th at Northop Hall cricket club. Again, 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 April 25th


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NORTHOP HALL UNDONE BIG STYLE AT TATTENHALL

After a really good opening half hour when the Old Boys had the best of the play and led by a goal to nil on their first visit to Tattenhall, the next 30 minutes following changes in personnel saw the home side grab the advantage with an onslaught that brought them to 3-1 at half time and 5-1 by the hour mark. Despite shipping a further two goals before the end, the visitors got their act back together late on and brought the score to 7-2, Richard Millington finally breaking his scoring duck by converting the penalty he won for himself. Click here for a brief match report.

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HALKYN FIGHTBACK DENIES OLD BOYS AWAY VICTORY

Northop Hall built on last week's improvement to give Halkyn a scare on their ground, taking a two-goal lead before being pegged back to 2-2 in the second half, Darren Brierley's 99th club goal setting the Old Boys on their way. Click here for a brief match report.


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AWAY FIXTURE AT TATTENHALL FILLS FIXTURE GAP

The Old Boys will visit Tattenhall for the first time on Saturday February 21st, the return fixture from Tattenhall's narrow 4-3 win at the Pavilion in December last year. The two teams hooked up in Dublin last spring in the Social Soccer tournament. Northop Hall will be returning for this year's event but Tattenhall were looking to go further afield this time.

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MUCH IMPROVEMENT BUT ANOTHER DEFEAT AT SHOTTON

A much more workmanlike performance from the Old Boys made sure there was no repeat of last season's 13 goal horror show against a Shotton side who had put double figures past Rock Ferry last week. However, Shotton still proved too strong despite more heroics from Gaz Pringle in goal and seeing two efforts come back off the Shotton crossbar, the 4-2 result probably about right on the day. Click here for a brief match report.

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OLD BOYS TAKE UP SAUCY'S INVITE TO HELP MILLIE

Northop Hall Old Boys have been asked to assist their midfielder Mike 'Saucy' Salusbury in raising much needed funds for a very brave local girl, Millie Williams, as part of a big fund-raising weekend in March. The day after a boxing night in Connahs Quay (click here for the full story as reported in the local press) the Old Boys will take part in a football match at the Deeside College home of Connahs Quay Nomads, Saturday March 21st, k.o. at noon. It is hoped that a good crowd will come along to watch (2 each entry) and then go back to Northop Hall cricket club where some fabulous donated prizes will be raffled/auctioned off, all aimed at getting enough money for Millie to have her own hydrotherapy spa at home. Anyone wishing to donate or offer a prize for the day can contact Saucy via Dave Henrys or any of the others on the contact page. More details will appear on here nearer the time, for now you can see the Facebook page of the event by clicking here.


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MEL BARNES SET TO BE NEW OLD BOYS MANAGER

With Dave Henrys having announced his intention to step down at the end of the current season after 7 seasons as player-manager, the Old Boys have moved to make a seemless replacement by appointing current assistant manager Mel Barnes to the role, subject to ratification at the AGM in June. Mel has been involved with veterans football in Northop Hall for as long as Dave has, some 17-18 years. Pete Dessington and Darren Molyneux have put themselves forward to assist him in the new role, which he will start to shadow Dave in the remaining weeks of 2014-15. Dave will continue to play for the club but reducing his commitment gradually and will carry on as manager of the Supervets older Old Boys who will be looking to play a few games every season having become more established.

Mel Barnes - Old Boys player-manager

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OLD BOYS TO RETURN TO DUBLIN IN JUNE FOR INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT

After much deliberation about where to tour at the end of the season, Northop Hall Old Boys will now once again be representing Wales at this year's Social Soccer international veteran tournamne in Dublin on June 5th and 6th. There are still a couple of places open if anyone wants to join us. Contact Dave Henrys or chairman Phil Elder a.s.a.p.

Dublin 2014

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WEATHER CALL OFF FOR UPTON MEANS TWO WEEK BREAK

The home fixture with Upton Magnets became a victim of the weather with the Pavilion pitch declared unfit on the morning of the game. A replacement session at Goals Chester was hastily arranged for the Old Boys squad and has been booked for the following week now too as there is no scheduled game for January 31st. The visit of Shotton Steel on February 7th is the next scheduled 11-a-side game.

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POOR SHOWING AT WARRINGTON RESULTS IN SECOND HAMMERING OF THE SEASON

A world away from last week's efforts, the trip to Warrington saw the home side better their 7-0 win at Northop Hall in November by one, capitalising on a woeful performance on the 3G by the Old Boys, albeit not helped by the youthfulness of the opposition. Click here for a brief match report.

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BACK TO WINNING WAYS WITH CLEAN SHEET BONUS

A really spirited effort from the Old Boys saw off St Mary's in a 3-0 win, a score line that may have slightly flattered the Northop Hall side but not the result, which was built on a battling display all over the pitch, a penalty save from Gaz Pringle and a hat-trick from Darren Brierley. Click here for a brief match report.

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CHRISTMAS EXCESSES TAKE TOLL IN FIRST GAME BACK

We all enjoy our Christmas intake and the first game back is always hard, however it's even more so when only 12 players make themselves available. A decent first half showing against local rivals Northop Hall Nomads was the plus side of the day, the five goals conceded in a difficult second half on a heavy pitch was the other side of the coin. Two more goals for leading scorer Mark 'Sparky' Ray were amongst the four for the Old Boys in a high scoring opener for 2015. Click here for a brief match report.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2015 TO BE YEAR OF CHANGE

A very Happy New Year everyone, welcome to 2015, a year that will see significant changes in the running of the club. After more than 7 years, Dave Henrys will be stepping down from managing the team at the end of the season (or sooner if a replacement can be found) due in part to increasing work commitments. A club meeting will be held very soon to sort that and other issues such as this season's tour. More detail will be posted here after that.

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HALKYN GAME FALLS VICTIM TO THE WEATHER

The final fixture of 2014 has been called off after a week of heavy rain left the Northop Hall pitches soaked. The first match of the new year will be at Northop Hall although technically an away game against the Nomads. In the meantime, a very Happy Christmas to everyone!

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SUPERVETS BREAK THE RUN WITH WIN OVER ROSSETT - JUST

A second successive Tuesday night game for the "Oldies" team was also a second successive soaking at Bebington Oval on another foul December night (see photo below courtesy of Graham Wilks). However, it was all worth it in the end as Northop Hall recorded a first win in 7 games to beat Rossett 4-3, but it was a close run thing at the end. Two goals each for Mark 'Sparky' Ray and man of the match Mel Barnes set up the victory. Click here for a brief match report.

Photo courtesy of Graham Wilks

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LATE EQUALISER DENIES VICTORY IN FEISTY AFFAIR AT EASTHAM

There wasn't too much Christmas cheer around as the game with Eastham ended on a sour note with one of their substituted players in particular spoiling for a fight, but that shouldn't overshadow a hugely satisfying performance on the 3G surface at Bebington High School that almost brought a first victory in six for another depleted Old Boys squad, although much credit must go to the hosts for loaning us the son of one of their older players who was far and away the best player on the pitch. It made for a very close and ultimately tense game. Click here for a brief match report.

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TWO OPTIONS REMAIN ON TABLE FOR NEXT YEAR'S FOOTBALL TOUR

Following the recent players meeting and discussions around games, various options for what has become our annual spring football tour have been reduced to two, which will go to a vote. The tournament we took part in this year in Dublin has been moved to June 2015. This has been dropped as an idea as May was favoured. We also had an invite to play in a tournament in northern Spain, but the logistics (flights from London for example) made this a non-starter in the end too.

So we have been left with Option 1 - an invite to Belgium to a gathering of Veterans Clubs from all over Europe - "The Happening" May 14-16, taking place not far from Maastricht (click on the facebook logo at the top of this page for more details) which we estimate could cost in the region of 250 per head or Option 2 - Dublin again on the late spring bank holiday weekend in May as this year (May 22-24) but with a couple of games arranged locally, estimated cost of around 200 per head. If you haven't already done it, text your preferred option to Dave Henrys. VOTING CLOSES ON DECEMBER 20th.

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DEPLETED OLDIES GO DOWN IN THE DELUGE

The first game of the season for the "Oldies" at Bebington Oval saw a late scramble for players after several late call offs and as the rain swept in under the lights, St Mary's proved too good. The patched up Old Boys stood firmer in the second half but still went down 4-1, despite the best efforts of stand-in keeper Declan Hickey rolling back the years. Click here for a brief match report.

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SUPERVETS HIT THE ROAD

Conversation with Tattenhall Veterans at last Saturday's match revealed that they have an "older" veterans side at their club, as the Old Boys do, which they refer to as their Supervets team - what a marvellous description! Anyway, the Northop Hall "Supervets" kick off their season on Tuesday, December 9th under the lights at Bebington Oval (7:30 p.m.) against St Mary's (Liverpool), followed a week later by a game there against Rossett Veterans. Reports will be posted on the website in due course. We will also be looking to get a game against Tattenhall later in the season too.

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CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR AS TATTENHALL EXTEND LOSING RUN

Tattenhall Veterans gained some revenge for their defeat in Dublin at the hands of the Old Boys last May, but it was a close run 4-3 result. However, it's four straight defeats for the Northop Hall side now and although we always say that results don't matter (and ultimately they don't at this level) we would like to halt that run very soon. Click here for a brief match report.

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IMPROVED PERFORMANCE BUT ANOTHER DEFEAT ON THE ROAD AT S.M.A.

A much better effort by the Old Boys at Aigburth was ultimately not enough as S.M.A. came out 3-1 winners, but they were made to work hard for their win. Click here for a brief match report.

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OLD BOYS GENEROSITY BACKFIRES SPECTACULARLY

In an attempt to get the game with Warrington Croft on, faced with their opponents being woefully short of numbers, the Old Boys suffered a 7-0 defeat to a team that ended up with several under-age players and John Edmunds and Steve Buckley from their own side. With a stand-in keeper and an even worse performance than the previous week's poor effort against Sefton, the home side were probably sorry they didn't call off the match. At least those who did play got plenty of match time. Click here for a brief match report.

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SEFTON TOO STRONG SECOND TIME ROUND

Sefton's second visit of the season to Northop Hall filled a gap in the fixture list but did little for home morale as the Old Boys were comprehensively beaten 6-1, and but for keeper Gaz Pringle it would have been a lot worse too on a below-par day. Click here for a brief match report.

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CLEAN SHEET THE PLATFORM FOR NARROW VICTORY

A rare shutout by the Old Boys defence laid the foundations for a narrow win over Woolton Veterans, a tight game as usual against them, settled by a solitary early goal from 'Sparky' Ray. Click here for a brief match report.

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SEFTON TO VISIT AGAIN TO FILL NOVEMBER FIXTURE GAP

The fixture list is now complete to the end of the year as Sefton Veterans were looking to fill empty dates for themselves and have agreed to return to Northop Hall on November 15th for a second time this season. The first encounter was a terrific game, played in excellent spirit and ending with a 2-2 draw. A return match in Liverpool has been arranged for March 28th next year. The Sefton game being at home means there will be 3 successive matches at Northop Hall from November 8th when Woolton are also due to make the journey from Merseyside.

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WIRRAL TOO GOOD AS DEFENSIVE ABSENCES PROVE COSTLY

A shortage of defensive cover contributed to the Old Boys being well beaten 5-1 at Wirral Veterans, although there were a number of promising moves in the first half that suggested that things should improve in the coming weeks. Click here for the match report.

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BUSY DECEMBER IN STORE FOR "OLDER" BOYS

After the success of the "oldies" game with Rossett at the end of last season, two more fixtures have been arranged before the end of the year, ironically on successive Tuesday evenings in December, both under the floodlights at Bebington Oval. St Mary's from Liverpool will provide the first opposition on December 9th, with a rematch against Rossett the following week (16th) for the over 48's to specifically battle it out in their own age group for a change. Both games are due to kick off at 7:30 p.m.

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SPARKY AT THE DOUBLE AS DEE RANGERS ARE HELD

A brace of equalisers from Mark 'Sparky' Ray helped to peg back Dee Rangers and earn a deserved 2-2 draw for the Old Boys on their return to action. Click here for the match report.

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SHOTTON GAME OFF AS OLD BOYS FAIL TO RAISE A TEAM

An unprecedented number of absentees has left the Old Boys without a team for Saturday's game at Shotton Steel, the second time we have had to call off a game this season for lack of numbers. It looks as if a recruitment drive is needed again. If anyone is interested in joining us or knows someone who is, please let us know.

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TON UP FOR KIERAN AND MEL

The home game with Rossett marked the 100th appearances for Northop Hall Old Boys for two of the club's stalwarts, Kieran Whelan and Mel Barnes, who have both been with the club since it's inception seven years ago. For Mel, it was sadly one of his shortest appearances as a heel injury forced him out of the game just 2 minutes in. He'll be hoping to be back in action very soon to add to his overall tally of 21 goals. Kieran's appearances have been more limited over the past few seasons having moved out of the area, but he still provides a dominating presence when he's available. They become the 12th & 13th players to achieve the century milestone, a continuing credit to the commitment of many within the squad.

Kieran Whelan & Mel Barnes - 100 appearances

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ROSSETT HAVE EDGE IN RAINSTORMS

Torrential rain and hailstones at the start and middle of the home game with Rossett left the pitch puddled and difficult, but the two teams produced an exciting game that the visitors edged by 5 goals to 4, 'Sparky' Ray's second goal of the game producing an exciting finish. Click here for the match report.

Water water everywhere!

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EIFION ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

Club sponsor Eifion Jones is making progress in his recovery from a broken ankle sustained at "Goals" in Chester pre-season. He is now out of plaster and in a "soft boot" and beginning the long road to fitness. All at the club wish him well.

Eifion Jones

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BARNES DOUBLE IN VAIN AS UPTON FIGHT BACK

Mel Barnes two goals helped the Old Boys to a 3-1 leads after half time but Upton pegged it back to 3-3 despite more heroics from keeper Gaz Pringle. Click here for the match report.

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TATTENHALL TO MAKE FIRST VISIT IN DECEMBER

Tattenhall Veterans, who we played in Dublin last May as part of the Social Soccer International Veterans Tournament and spent time with off the pitch over that weekend, will provide the opposition for our home game on Saturday, December 6th. It seems likely that they won't be attending next year's tournament which has now been moved to the beginning of June, whilst the Old Boys will also soon be looking at their options for our spring tour, so it will be good to have a game with them in the regular season. The squads from May are pictured below.

Northop Hall Old Boys & Tattenhall Vets in Dublin, May 2014

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GAZ AND DAZ THE DIFFERENCE IN HARD FOUGHT DRAW

Sefton Veterans provided excellent opposition in the hastily arranged game to fill the fixture gap and thanks to Gaz Pringle's heroics in the home goal and two more goals from leading scorer Darren Brierley and a really good team performance all round, the game finished with a very creditable 3-3 draw. Click here for the match report.

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GOURMET JANE BECOMES MRS HOLDEN

Many congratulations to Jane and Keith on their recent marriage, from all at Northop Hall Old Boys FC. Jane is our favorite gourmet and looks after us and our visiting teams after each home game with top notch cuisine that means we never have a problem attracting fixtures each season. All the very best to you both. (Photo: Dave Henrys Photography)

Jane & Keith Holden

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SEFTON FILL THE GAP

Sefton Veterans will pay their first visit to north Wales on September 27th to fill a gap in the fixture list having lost their opposition for the same day. Having had to pull out of the trip to St Mary's the previous week, this offers the opportunity to get back playing again quickly rather than having a 2 week break.

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TRIP TO ST.MARY'S POSTPONED

The road trip to St Mary's in Liverpool, due to take place on September 20th, has had to be postponed as key absences in personnel have left us with insufficient players to raise a team. Manager Dave Henrys and Assistant Manager Mel Barnes are both unavailable, as are a number of others due to work commitments, whilst injuries have accounted for several more. We will try and rearrange the game for later in the season. There are still no opponents for the following week 27th September which is a scheduled home game with all facilities available if we can find somebody to play against.

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SUPERSUB DARREN SECURES FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON

An excellent defensive performance was the platform for the Old Boys first victory of the new season as Eastham were narrowly defeated by the odd goal in three. All-time top scorer Darren Brierley was limited to a 10 minute cameo appearance at the end of the game, but it was long enough to bag the winner after Mark 'Sparky' Ray's first half free kick equaliser. Click here for match report.

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HALKYN EDGE OUT OLD BOYS AS NOMADS WIN SHIELD

A much improved performance from the Old Boys wasn't enough to beat Halkyn and secure 3rd place in this year's Charity Shield, the visitors holding out for a 4-2 win. Click here for match report.

In the final, Rhewl were once again taken to penalties thanks to a last gasp equaliser by Northop Hall Nomads that tied the game up one apiece after 90 minutes. Nomads keeper, former Old Boy Wilton Evans scored the decisive spot-kick after Rhewl missed 2 penalties of their own.

Photos below show the teams lining up before the games and Nomads captain Nigel Edwards receiving the trophy form Dave Henrys

Northop hall Old Boys v Halkyn Northop hall Nomads v Rhewl Nigel Edwards - Northop Hall Nomads captain


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NOMADS PROGRESS TO CHARITY FINAL AFTER FEISTY AFFAIR

Northop Hall Nomads hung on to claim the first bragging rights of the season after a 3-2 derby win over the Old Boys in the 'In Vogue' Northop Hall Veterans Charity Shield semi-final. The game was marred by some niggly ongoing feuds that eventually saw a player from each side being sent off. Darren Brierley and debutant Nigel Reid were on target for the Old Boys who also scored two of the Nomads goals for them. Click here for match report.

Rhewl beat Halkyn on penalties in the other game after a 2-2 draw on 90 minutes. Next week will see the Old Boys play Halkyn to decide 3rd place (2:00 pm k.o.) with Northop Hall Nomads v Rhewl in the final (2:30 k.o.), both games again taking place at Northop Hall Pavilion followed by presentations at The Boars Head on Village Road.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO ...

Many congratulations to Darren Gatehouse and partner Rhian on the birth of baby daughter Lily Rae. Also, Craig Mac has become a married man, congratulations to him and Kate too.

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IT'S A LOCAL DERBY SEMI FINAL FOR THE CHARITY SHIELD

The draw for this season's curtain opener the traditional Charity Shield has thrown together the two Northop Hall sides, with the Old Boys out of the hat first as the home team. Both semi final games will take place at the Northop Hall Pavilion on Saturday August 30th, Halkyn v Rhewl kicks off at 2:00 p.m., the Old Boys v Nomads game at 2:30 p.m. The final and 3rd/4th place game will be the following Saturday, also at Northop Hall.


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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 of the first duties for new Chairman Phil Elder was to present a golf voucher to Declan as a token of appreciation (pictured below)

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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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