Buckingham New University v St. Mary’s University

British Universities & Colleges Sport

South Eastern Conference Cup

Quarter Final

Wednesday 15th February 2017

Kick Off 13.30 Actual 13.47

Buckingham New University 3 St. Mary’s University 1,  attendance 24

10′ 1-0

57′ 2-0

76′ 2-1

90′ 3-1

@ The Rye

Bassetsbury Lane

High Wycombe

HP11 1QX

No admission or programme.

This one fitted in well with my intended evening match and would mean I wouldn’t have to touch the M25 after the game either.

The game was played on the second pitch on the left as you enter the complex off the road. Another game took place on the first pitch as you enter. With it being open to the elements, it was lucky that we only had to contend with light drizzle to start with, which turned to light rain, but this had stopped early into the second half.

BNU looked well in control and coasting, but they were hanging on at the end, clinching it with a breakaway goal with the last effort of the match.

Mulbarton Wanderers v Norwich C.E.Y.M.S.

Anglian Combination

Premier Division

Tuesday 14th February 2017

Kick Off 19.30 Actual 19.31

Mulbarton Wanderers 1 Norwich C.E.Y.M.S. 0,  attendance 31

67′ 1-0

@ Mulberry Park

The Common

NR14 8AE

£2 Admission

No programme.

This was at least my fifth attempt at getting a game here, spread over about 15 years, following four aborted attempts when the game has been called off after setting off for the match. As is normally the case with clubs who have so few games scheduled midweek, when they are re-arranged it is normally for the last week of March, or later, and as all ground hoppers know, floodlit grounds are not even on the radar once the early kick offs arrive for clubs without floodlights.

Of course, most of the attempts were for the club that previously played here, Mulbarton Town. They disappeared, and after a while a new club was formed, taking the name Wanderers. They started in the bottom division of the Anglian Combination and a rapid rise soon saw them back in the leagues top division.

Programmes are normally issued for games. Indeed, copies were available from Saturday’s game, free of charge, to any of the hoppers present who wanted one. It looked like a decent effort, but if it isn’t for the actual match I am at, then I don’t bother taking one.

The game was poor and didn’t really have the feel of a local derby, with the visitors being based about three miles away. We were lucky to get a goal at all and even that was a scrappy affair, forced in from close range.

Smallfield v Copthorne

Mid Sussex League

Premier Division

Saturday 11th February 2017

Kick Off 14.00 Actual 14.02

Smallfield 3 Copthorne 2,  attendance 15

26′ 1-0

38′ 1-1

64′ 1-2

65′ 2-2

90′ 3-2

@ Smallfield Cricket Club

Plough Road


No admission or programme.

So, my first game since moving back to England. In fact, we had only landed back at London Heathrow airport at 07.30 this morning, with a further 45 minutes sat on the plane waiting for a gate to become available due to the plane currently parked  there having to be de-iced. It seemed hard to believe that just 12 hours earlier (not counting the 6 hour time difference) we had been picked up at our hotel in Dallas where it was a beautiful sunny day and very close to 26 degrees !

A fair bit of running around, trying to sort out a few of the basics that just have to be done when you move back home, meant it was soon 1330. I had only got a couple of games in mind for today, this being one of them. Confirmation that the game was going ahead, as far as he knew, was done with a quick phone call to the away team’s Secretary, and by 1352 I was pulling into the car park and pleased to see corner flags and nets up and both teams warming up. It was bitterly cold, just 2 degrees, according to the temperature gauge in the car and it was snowing, albeit quite lightly. The walk from the changing rooms/clubhouse to the pitch was across the cricket field, where water came over my shoes at nearly every step. Thankfully, the actual playing area for the football was fine, but had the two different sports pitches been in opposite positions, then I doubt this would have been on.

At halftime, five of the crowd had pints in the clubhouse, with another couple nipping to the pub across the road from the ground. Two returned for the second half and finished their drinks pitchside !

McLennan Community College Highlanders v Ranger College Rangers

National Junior College Athletic Association

Division I

Region 5 Conference

Wednesday 8th February 2017

Tip Off 19.30

McLennan Community College Highlanders 66 Ranger College Rangers 68,  attendance 265

@ The Highlands Gymnasium

1400, College Drive

Waco, TX 76708

$2 Admission

Programme free, 4 pages.

Well, this one was certainly a surprise result, despite it being 1st v 3rd in Region 5 Conference. McLennan came into this with a perfect 24-0 winning record for the season and were ranked No.3 nationally in the most recent poll.

They scored the first point of the game from the free throw line, but then trailed for the next thirteen minutes, but gradually came back into it and held a narrow 33-31 lead at halftime. The lead was increased to 43-31 with 16 minutes left, but Ranger fought back gradually to level it up at 61-61 with 2 minutes 50 seconds left. Another score, quickly followed by a 3 pointer made it 61-66 with 1 minute 22 seconds left. McLennan replied with a 3 pointer of their own with 33 seconds left and levelled it up at 66-66 with 5.2 seconds on the clock and it looked like we would be heading into overtime. Incredibly, Ranger then won it with the winning basket right on the buzzer to leave the home crowd stunned.

This is more than likely my last game I will do as a resident of the U.S.A. and could be my last basketball game for a while, as I don’t think there will be much comparison in standard to that which is played in the U.K.

Another thing that certainly won’t compare when returning to ‘rip off’ Britain is the price of petrol. I filled the car up last night with unleaded fuel at $196.9 a GALLON ! In sterling, that is roughly £1.57, or just 35p per litre !!!

Navarro College Bulldogs v Kilgore College Rangers

National Junior College Athletic Association

Division I

Region 14 Conference

Saturday 4th February 2017

Tip Off 16.00

Navarro College Bulldogs 57 Kilgore College Rangers 51,  attendance 125

@ Wolens Special Events Center

3200, West 7th Avenue

Corsicana, TX 75110

No Admission

Programme free, 14 pages, Media Copy.

Eric McCollum scored a game-high 18 points for the Bulldogs, including six of the last eight inside the final 1 minute 51 seconds to end a five game losing streak. Davon Newton top scored for Rangers with 13 points.

Tyler Junior College Apaches v Navarro College Bulldogs

National Junior College Athletic Association

Division I

Region 14 Conference

Wednesday 1st February 2017

Tip Off 19.30

Tyler Junior College Apaches 84 Navarro College Bulldogs 64,  attendance 600

@ Wagstaff Gymnasium

1720, Apache Pass

Tyler, TX 75701

$3 Admission

Team Sheet, free.

No.10 ranked Tyler were far too strong for the visitors, this win taking them to an 18-2 record for the season. They led 49-29 at halftime and kept that margin for a comfortable win. At one stage during the second half, all five players on court for Tyler had scored double figure points.

It certainly didn’t feel much like February, as I set off east along I-20 in glorious sunshine and 81 degree temperatures. It was to be the last trip for the Camaro, as it is being sold tomorrow, in preparation for our return to the UK. One thing for certain, it will be a lot harder to pick the car out in a crowded car park from now on !