TT No.72: Saturday April 10th 2016; SWAY v Lyndhurst ; Hampshire League;                               Kick-Off: 15.01; Result: 0-2; Admission: Free; Programme: Donation; Attendance: 28 (21 home, 1 away & 6 neutral) 


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.

contributed on 10/04/16