Saturday 23rd May 2009 i

What was it I wrote when describing my trip to Pinxton back in January?

‘Some would argue that I plan my football trips like a ‘military’ operation – make sure the game is on, know where I am going and make sure I arrive with bags of time to spare.’

That day I got away without a disaster, today it was a frustrating one game rather than two. I won’t make any Grantham League slip-ups again!

My plan was to watch one of the three Grantham and District League Premier Division games then go on to the Memorial Cup Final at Ancaster. There was also a Hospital Cup Semi Final at Whatton. I opted for Barkston & Syston v Buckminster United which the visitors needed to win to keep their title hopes alive, rather than the other league games at Grantham Squash Club and Ruskington Rovers.

I shouldn’t be simpler on a very warm May afternoon – just turn up in plenty of time for a 3 pm kick-off, relax and wait for the game to start. No need to check anything other than know where the ground was? Wrong! I even arrived in time for a 2 pm kick-off at the Barkston & Syston Playing Field only to find a deserted ground with no sign of any pending football action at all. Aaaarrrggghhhh!!!!

So, OK, there was still time to make a 3 pm kick-off at Ruskington and there was. The only problem was that the game had kicked-off at 1-45 pm.

I headed back to Grantham Squash Cup, who play in the village of Harlaxton, to again to find the match well underway and nearing its conclusion.

Subsequently, I learned for other travellers at Ancaster that Grantham and District League games nearly always kick-off at 1-45 pm and that the Barkston game was off because the home side couldn’t raise a side.

It was easy to look back in frustration to have picked the one game out of four to be off, especially as I had driven close to both Grantham Squash Club and also the Hospital Cup semi final at Whatton, who play just off the A52 just to the east of Bingham.

Anyway, the story had a happy conclusion as the Memorial Cup Final at Ancaster bettered my expectations!