Posts Tagged ‘Kirkby Lonsdale Reserves’

Kirkby Lonsdale Reserves v Burton Thistle, Saturday 3rd December 2022, 11.30am

December 5, 2022

Jen and I had driven across to Cumbria last month for a Westmorland League fixture on the strength of a Twitter post that mentioned that one of the teams, Kirkby Lonsdale Reserves, had fielded a sixty-eight-year-old in their previous game. Unfortunately, that game at Sedbergh was postponed and so we missed an opportunity of seeing such an unusual occurrence in person.

Once I get an idea in my head I’m persistent though and so two weeks later we headed back over, this time to Kirkby Lonsdale to see their reserve team take on Burton Thistle in the seventeenth-tier Westmorland League Division Four.

Ideally on a trip like this we’d go for a walk beforehand or at least have a mooch around the town. However, due to the possibility of England playing their round of sixteen World Cup game on the afternoon, the fixture had been pre-emptively brought forward to an eleven-thirty kick-off.

I’d intended that we hung around and had some lunch afterwards, but it was Christmas Market weekend in Kirkby Lonsdale and the place was crammed with people eager to pay over the odds for anything sprinkled with cinnamon. That made parking difficult for those of us with an important reason to be there and meant that after the game I was happy to clear straight off.

The match was at Lunefield Park. It’s an area down by the river with two marked pitches and a clubhouse. We were on the pitch furthest from the river without the dugouts. Initially I only noticed one other spectator apart from Jen and myself, although as the game went on a few other people wandered over, with all of them looking as if they had some connection to the home side.

None of the players seemed to be close to seventy, with the oldest looking like he might be around fifty. I wondered if one of the linesman might be the elderly fella who had turned out last month but he flatly denied it and, as he seemed to be from the Burton Thistle camp rather than Kirkby Lonsdale, was probably telling the truth.

The game was played in good spirit and well-controlled by the ref, who conducted himself as if it were a Premier League match. He wasn’t helped by either linesman who rarely made a call that didn’t favour their own team. The home lino combined his flag waving with coaching the players near to him and appealing to the ref for various decisions. I’m surprised that he didn’t also take the odd corner.

The standard was as you might expect for a game at its level. Most of the goals came from defensive errors and it ended up with Kirkby Lonsdale running out four-two winners. Burton missed a few chances, particularly in the second half, and could easily have come away with at least a point. No doubt we’ll be back over to the Westmorland League before long in the hope of catching sight of the old bloke.