North Berks League Hop 2013

Benson Lions (0) 1 (Keighty 83)

Westminster (2) 4 (McMahon 17, 59, Bourton 30, 69)

Att: 153 (at RAF Benson)

The first game of the hop required the issuing of a temporary base pass to be allowed into RAF Benson. Once the formalities were sorted the base put on an excellent breakfast for the arriving masses. Sadly their team struggled today, seemingly with a number of regulars away on active service. This handicap should take nothing away from their guests, Westminster, whose front two Neil McMahon and Josh Bourton netted a brace of well taken goals apiece. The airmen reduced the arrears with a late goal from Ryan Keighty but in truth they were a well beaten side. The match ended with a pair of red kites circling the venue.

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Berks Hop 2013

Berinsfield (2) 4 (D.Murphy 33, 45, 47, Curtis 81)

Faringdon Town (0) 0

Att: 251 (at Lay Avenue)

What strikes you with Berinsfield is the sense of community, the Lay Avenue facility is a real village hub and the club’s officials and volunteers pull out all the stops to accommodate a record North Berks League Hop attendance. It has to be said that their trophy haul, kindly put on display, is mightily impressive. Their team more than live up to the occasion and in David Murphy, Berinsfield have a real quality finisher, his hat-trick is very well taken indeed. Substitute Mason Curtis nets a late fourth which prompted the visiting captain, Darren Quegan to get himself sent off for arguing with the referee having already been booked.

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Long Wittenham Athletic (2) 4 (Murphy 27, Saunders 35, Bowler 55, Barton 64)

Crowmarsh Gifford (0) 0

Att: 193 (at Bodkins Sport Field)

After a nice drive through some picturesque Middle England landscapes the final ground of the day is reached. The Bodkins Sports Field is a really rural venue and feels more enclosed than the other two grounds, perhaps a relic from their Hellenic League days in the 1970’s. The clubhouse does a brisk trade as do the food and cake stalls outside. The impressive looking North Berks Junior Trophy is also on display. In a strange game the visitors are the better side until a fortunate goal see the hosts register the first goal. The visitors seem to fall apart and more home goals follow at regular intervals and ultimately Long Wittenham are good value for the win.

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A decent day out with plenty of goals for the travelling hordes to enjoy. The three host clubs did a magnificent job in catering for their visitors. One can only hope they all turned a decent profit as their efforts, without exception, merited a good payday. Days like today, superbly organised as always by GroundhopUK, give you an enormous sense of well being.

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