Posts Tagged ‘Lacy's Caves’

Kirkoswald v Endmoor, Saturday 22nd January 2022, 2pm

January 25, 2022

For one reason or another my match-going has all been at weekends recently. I’d been hoping to get along to a game or two mid-week, but other commitments and cancellations meant that it didn’t happen.

On the plus side I’d been able to attend a couple of gigs this week. The Howl and the Hum were back in town at Ku Bar on the Wednesday with the age of the crowd a fair bit lower than at most of the gigs we get to. They were very good. The odd song veered into U2 territory but a lot could easily have fitted into a Sea Power set. That’s good enough for me.

Two nights later we were at the Westgarth for The Men They Couldn’t Hang. One of our party described them as ‘Pound Shop Pogues’ which, on reflection, was probably a little harsh. Best thing though was that they had Bobby Valentino fiddling for them. Surprisingly he didn’t do his Bluebell’s Young at Heart riff. Is it a riff when it’s a violin? If I were him I’d be dropping it into every song I played. In fact I’d play a quick burst of it everywhere from waiting for cod and chips to queuing for a pile cream prescription. Unfortunately he missed out on a photo as he was skulking behind the speakers.

Anyway, after taking my Mam shopping at Tesco on the Saturday morning, Jen and I were free to head over to Kirksowald, near Penrith, for what was left of the weekend. It meant that we could do some walking the day after the game.

The walk went well and took in a loop that started and finished near to Kirkoswald Castle. The fortification was nothing special though and if I was planning to invade I’d target one of the pubs instead and leave the edge of village defences to themselves.

Our walk took over five hours and went to Little Salkend and back. On the way out we called at Lacy’s Caves and then returned via the Long Meg stone circle. Highlight though was walking through a field of attentive pigs. Sadly I was under strict instructions not to try and be-friend them but to just keep walking.

Pigs aside, there wasn’t much in the way of wildlife. I thought I’d spotted a deer lying close to the river but when we got nearer it turned out to be a log. It’s a rare species, the log deer. Not very skittish at all.

Ok, the match. We’d crossed the Pennines for a game in the Westmoreland League. It’s a league with three divisions that sit from the fourteenth to sixteenth tiers of the English pyramid. This was their highest level, a Division One game between Kirkoswald and Endmoor at Kirkoswald’s Old Showfield pitch.

Kirkoswald, in red and black, were going into the game in second place in the table with Endmoor, in green and black, in fourth.

We arrived just before kick-off and at a time when it looked like there were only two other spectators in attendance. As the game progressed the crowd swelled to around twenty, although some of them may well have been volunteer stewards or club officials.

It was free to get in and as the only parking was alongside the pitch we watched most of the game from the car. It was like being in an executive box. There weren’t any other options at the ground for sitting other than the swings at the nearby playground or getting a couple of camping chairs out of the boot.

It was a good natured game with the only vitriol reserved for the players who had been press-ganged as linos whenever they gave a fifty-fifty or less decision in favour of their own side. The ref, who spent most of the game pacing the centre-circle, ignored or overruled the dodgiest of the decisions.

The standard, as you might expect at this level, wasn’t great, but it was a well-matched contest where the defences dominated. We reached half-time without either keeper having to make anything other than a regulation catch.

The teams were only away for five minutes at the break. That’s ideal when there’s no food or drink to queue for. Endmoor took the lead with twenty minutes remaining. The ball fell to someone loitering around the penalty spot and whilst his shot didn’t have much power to it, he placed it well enough for the keeper to stand little chance.

The visitors held the advantage for around five minutes before their keeper gambled on reaching a through ball before the striker could. He didn’t quite get there in time and the ball was knocked past him into an empty net for one each.

There were no more goals and the draw did little to enhance Kirkoswald’s title chances. I suspect we will see a few more games in the Westmoreland League, as much for the surroundings as the football.