TT No.54: Keith Aslan - Sat 6th February 2016; Rylands v Denton Town; Cheshire Premier; Kick-Off: 14.03; Result: 2-2; Admission; Free; Programme: £1; Attendance: 36 (35 home, 0 away & 1 neutral)
With the South East largely dry and the rest of the country covered in rain I opted to travel to the wet bit in a desperate search for a new ground with a programme. The very helpful Rylands' chairman said on Friday that the pitch should be o.k. if there wasn't any more rain which of course there was, lots of it. The pitch passed an early inspection on Saturday morning with the chairman ominously adding "we're waiting for the match referee to come and have a look at it". It is a regular occurrence that games are called off after a local referee has passed a pitch playable when there has been no change to the conditions between inspections. Wouldn't it be nice if when this happens leagues could get the two refs together in an informal setting and discuss why one thought it was playable and the other didn't and maybe setting out some guidelines so they will be more in accord for future occasions. Just a thought. Anyway today the match referee concurred that the game could go ahead and I witnessed the only match played in the Cheshire League this afternoon with everything else waterlogged. They say fortune favours the bold, luckily for me it also favours the stupid!
Rylands play in Warrington with the ground a fair distance from the station but there is a regular service from the Bus Interchange, although I don't quite know what it interchanges with, certainly not the station which is the best part of a mile away. It is a very large multi sports club with separately enclosed facilities for football, bowls, cricket, rugby, tennis and 5 a side. In the middle is the vast clubhouse with various function rooms attached. No food, but plenty of drink, an enjoyable pre match venue to dry out and watch Leicester City's latest step towards the title. 11 months ago the Fox's were bottom of the league and looking certs for relegation, I don't know how they've turned it around and more to the point, I doubt they do either! The ground is fully railed and enclosed but no cover and thanks go to the Rylands manager's mother who took pity and shared her umbrella with me during the second half. Apparently the club are in the 'third phase' of a ground development programme with the aim of bringing it up to North West Counties standard. Still a fair way to go on that one.
I always avoid clichés like the plague but this really was a game of two halves, with Rylands 2-0 up before Denton coming back for a draw. The wind proved to be a very effective '12th man' and all credit to both sides for producing an entertaining match in appalling conditions.
With a rare dip into taxi world being the only chance of catching my train, the first three numbers I tried hadn't got one available. I was very loathe to try the 4th which was ABBA taxis. It had 67 reviews all of which said more or less the same thing: "Worst cab company ever"; "Disgraceful"; "unreliable"; "Blatant overcharging"; "rudest switchboard operator ever" and "Never use again". 67 people can't be wrong but I was out of options and with much trepidation I gave them a ring. A very pleasant young lady booked me a taxi for the time I asked. I got a text telling me it was on it's way, it turned up dead on time, the driver was friendly, and at £4.30p was excellent value (especially compared to the bus fares). I would recommend them to anyone and it just goes to prove you can't believe everything you see on the internet. Mind you, if you're reading this, you know that already!
contributed on 07/02/16