On the face of it, it's a bit of a coincidence that six hoppers should all
decide to pitch up at the same mid table Hampshire League game, but probably
less so if the other five, like myself, clicked on to the Sway website to be
greeted with a photo of some scantily clad young girls. These were the
Bournemouth based 'Revolution Cheerleading Academy' who were providing the
entertainment for this afternoon so even if the match was pants (which it
wasn't) there would be plenty to keep the average hopper occupied.
The ground address of Station Road will tell you this is an easy one to do by
train, and it is certainly a cut above any other Hampshire League grounds I've
been to. In a rural setting, fully enclosed and railed with a seated stand on
the half way line, and a club house with hot and cold drinks, sausage rolls and
programme pick up point. A bit of a downer was the television showing horse
racing in spite of the Grand National not kicking off until 5.15pm. Sway is a
pleasant village on the edge of the New Forest with a very nice pub,
whose name I forget, situated between the station and the ground.
Having been unstinting in my opprobrium for referees who can't start games on
time there was a delicious irony that today the ref. was on the ball and the
game was good to go at 5 to 3 but couldn't get started as the cheerleaders were
still strutting their stuff on the pitch. Today I was happy to take a very laid
back approach to punctuality (like most referees) because the a) the
cheerleaders were more entertaining to watch than any football match will be
and b) I had oodles of time to wait for my train after the game. I won't be so
forgiving the next late start I have.
The away side were comfortable winners and the second half was much enlivened
by the majorettes training behind the goal. They were practising pyramids
and I'm sure there must be some health and safety issues here. A wayward shot
over the crossbar could cause a major disaster. Fortunately they
were behind the goal Sway were attacking so the ball very rarely came anywhere
near them. There were details of how you could join the 'Revolution
Cheerleaders'. While I might not be quite the demographic they are looking for,
I'd be more than happy to join up in an advisory capacity. A very enjoyable
afternoon watching a top class display of cheerleading, with the added bonus of
a football match thrown in.