The inaugural match in this “Over 35’s” event took place at Bury Sports Club on Saturday 30th December 2017. It is hoped to be an annual home and away fixture in the calendar.
Rochdale took a sizeable sporting contingent and plenty of drinking support to Bury, who proved to be very goods hosts, providing excellent beers and pies and after match food.
The match was expertly refereed by local lad Andy Daniels who seems now to be back to form and was able to join the after match entertainment and receive his merited adulation from the spectators. I questioned Andy after the match as to the score etc, he commented on the good spirit in which the game was played and the surprising amount of talent on show. Much appreciation to Andy for his efforts from everyone.
The teams lined up on a miserable day for a 2.15pm kick-off, the main offer from the weatherman was rain and more rain, and he didn’t disappoint. Several members who made the trip to Bury decided to watch from the clubhouse hence the general aspect of the match report is quite vague.
I can report though, that the entire squad from Rochdale was used and that Paul (Stretch) Swinden was awarded the Man of the Match award in the clubhouse afterwards. Unfortunately, his pint drinking capability was found wanting and he managed to spill as much as he supped. But well done to Stretch on his award and he will be ready to defend it in April back at Moorgate Ave.
“Shambles” Campbell was rumoured to have scored a hat-trick and Karl Lord was the pick of the front row. Danny Kelly used his prowess well and his former mentor from St Cuthbert’s was gushing in his praise. The youngster from Dukinfield, Aaron Beresford had a good game too.
All in all a wonderful day out ensued, and much appreciation goes to Neil Sunderland for his hard work in organising the event. Well done also for his after match presentations, and well done to Steve Kirby from Bury RFC for his help with staging the match.
For the record, the squad:, Karl Lord, Andrew O’Brien, Rob Ward, Gary Smith, Danny Smith, Aaron Beresford (from Dukinfield), Lee Morton, Tommy Owens, Paul Swinden, Sean Campbell, Neil Sunderland, Peter Sipowitz, Darren James, Aaron Howorth, John Gilligan, Johnny Mair, Andy Gilligan.
My apologies if I have left anyone out. Please email me with any corrections and I will sort it.