North East Table Football Alliance

  Subbuteo in the North East since 1978

The Brigantes Premier League

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For many years at our club we operated a policy of play when you can, but trying to find a way to make all results count towards a final ranking table to determine a champion. We tried various strategies, with mixed success. The problem is always that the players that play the most will usually amass more points than those that play less often. So our champions have not always been the best players, but they were always the players who played the system best in that season.

We wanted to move forward in a more structured way and the new look NETFA will be a traditional league of 8 players in season 1. Games will be played home and away, a lot of games will be played on neutral pitches. Games will be played in batches of three or 4 games and all games will have an appointed referee.

For example, the first set of games will be at Mike's in Guisborough and will feature the games Mike v Andy, Mike v Chris and Andy v Chris, with the spare player in each match being the ref. So Mike plays two homes games while Andy and Chris play an away game each and then a neutral venue game.

The emphasis on this structure is that the players involved respect each other enough so that all the fixtures get played in good time so that at the end of the season we have no byes, just a completed fixture list. The best man will win!

The Brigantes Trophy!

Our club trophy is unique and we had it made to order. The rationale behind the design is quite simple really. In Roman times, there was a tribe of Britons called the Brigantes who occupied a territory of northern England, roughly the same as our catchment area of players. Hence our name! Not a lot remains of this tribe but artefacts discovered near Stanwick included the Stanwick Horse Mask, which we have had recreated to be the centre-piece of our trophy.


The horse mask was created by an artist called Melanie Guy (www.melanieguy.com) and the granite block is made from Shap Granite supplied by Galloway Stone Products. Many thanks to both for helping us to create really special trophy.

September 2017 results!

September 1st – Stockton


The first games got underway this afternoon at Stockton kicking off the 2017 - 2018 season.
 
The first game of the season drew a stalemate with both sides not being able to register a goal. Within the 2nd minute of kicking off Jeff hit the post however both sides were unable to break each other down. Some great defending by Andy maintained a clean sheet and 1 point for each team which was a very worthy and fought after point.

Andy 0-0 Jeff


 
A first half goal for Andy put Rob on the back foot but unfortunately with some quick play by Rob he was unable to capitalise to make the final ball within the sight of goal count. Again Andy's defence was solid and well organise despite Rob trying to throw players forward Andy stood his ground. This made Andy score the first goal of the season and first win, putting valuable points of the board.

Rob 0-1 Andy


Jeff took the lead in the first half but again Rob tried the fast counter attack but again the final ball was not good enough to make the build up play count. The match was close with both sides having further chances but the 1-0 remained until the final whistle.

Rob 0-1 Jeff



Rob once again found hImself trailing and could not get the break through to make things count. The 1-0 lead that Jeff had remained until the final minutes of the game when Rob was caught out trying to push forward to make the sides level and stay in the cup. Jeff managed to get a second goal which meant things were more or less over for Rob and the cup at the very start of the season. Jeff then got the third due to Rob having nothing to lose and pushed everyone up field trying to get something out of the game.

Cup - Rob 0-3 Jeff

 

 

September 1st – Chopwell

 

Match reports from this evening’s games in Chopwell.

 

First up Dave played Chris, or rather he didn't! Dave continually made mistakes and was lucky to be only 1-0 down at half time. In the second half Chris took advantage, scoring three more (two with the aid of the keeper lol).

 

Dave 0 - 4 Chris

 

Second game was a very close affair with John taking a first half lead with a well worked goal. Chances came at both ends and Chris fought back with a deserved equaliser in the second half.

 

John 1-1 Chris

 

The final game saw John take the lead following a free kick.....one of far too many given away by Dave this evening. Dave then got lucky with a long ball and a mishit into the corner of the net. One all! In the second half John created several chances, but couldn't beat a keeper, who was making up for the first game. Dave even had a golden chance to win the game, but failed to find the target.

 

Dave 1 -1 John

 

 

An enjoyable evening, in good company.




September 21st - Redcar


Neil kicked off his campaign and quickly found out how good and difficult an opponent Beefy will be this season.  Both had some early possession and the game became quite open.  Neil managed to create the first clear opportunity which he scrambled under Beefy's keeper.  Beefy was undeterred and quickly smashed home an equalizer before the half ended.  The game remained open after the break, with both players pushing for a winner.  Both keepers were tested and some very good defensive blocking kept the score line level.  Both players were happy with a point to start their seasons.

 

Neil 1 - 1 Beefy


 The reigning champion got his season underway with a slender win.  Both players exchanged possession and verbal banter early doors which was fun to listen too.  Mike took the lead in the first half with his usual clinical finishing.  Beefy responded but took a liking to the cross bar.  A number of good moves and quick fire shots ended with Beefy hitting the bar.  The game was always in the balance, Mike never comfortable but in the end closed it out.  


Mike 1 - 0 Beefy


 Mike kicked off and looked to stamp his authority on a game he comfortably won last season.  Neil's keeper had to make some early saves and somehow managed to fumble away a slow AstroTurf cutter.  Neil warmed into the game and started to take control.  Patient possession finally produced a clear chance, but Neil blazed over the bar.  Second half started like the first ended, Neil in control.  Another chance and again Neil fluffed it.  Mike regained his touch and started to apply pressure in the final 5mins of the game.  Neil had to make two reactive saves to keep it level.  A point a piece which was a fair result.

(Note from Beefy!)Gents the only thing I would add to Neil's review was the quality of his blocks in his game against Mike, I've played against Mike a lot and seen him play against a lot of VERY good players and I can't ever remember him having to stand back and quite literally scratch his head after a block by his opponent, believe me this happened on more than one occasion last night! 

 

Neil 0 - 0 Mike

 


Brigantes Cup Quarter Final

 

Neil kicked off but soon lost possession.  Beefy quickly advanced up the pitch and fired a shot under Neil's keeper to take an early lead.  Neil tried to hit back quickly but found a very stubborn defence.  Some terrific blocking by Beefy, making Neil over play to create the opportunity.  Beefy then started to hit the gaps Neil left at the back and made it 2-0 before half-time.  Neil pushed early in the second half for a goal that could turn the tie back his way, but Beefy was in control of his defence.  Neil could not create in the final third and gave possession away sloppily.  The third goal was inevitable, Beefy coolly drilling home low off the inside of the post from a tight angle.  A deserved cup victory for Beefy.


Neil 0 - 3 Beefy


 

October 2017 results!

October 6th - Redcar



Dave kicked off the evening and kept possession very well.  Dave's very tidy build up play created some nearly moments.  Neil struggled to get any foothold in the game, cheaply giving possession back to Dave.  This finally led to Dave taking a deserved lead with a quick fire low drive into the net.  Late in the half Neil finally created a half opening.  From an acute angle Neil smashed the ball high into the net.  Within a few moments it was 2-1, the confidence of a goal changed the game around.  Neil took control in the second half and made it 3-1.  Dave rediscovered his early game play and sweetly drilled home with some quick attacking play.  Unfortunately, Dave could not turn this goal into more pressure and Neil found a fourth goal to claim the points.


Neil 4 - 2 Dave


Both players found possession difficult to maintain in an error strewn first half.  Dave could not find the form from his first game, Andy unable to take advantage.  It was much of the same in the second half until the final 5mins.  Both players were pushing for the winner.  A very entertaining and frantic few moments brought chances at both ends.  First Andy, with a clear chance at goal but he rushed it and half hit across the ball which then ran slowly towards the keeper.  Dave then created his best moment, but again did not find the power to beat Andy's keeper.  A point a piece was a fair result.


Dave 0 - 0 Andy


After being wrapped in cling film, made to climb stairs and puff outside - Andy had plenty reason to give Neil a hard game.  Neil kicked off and applied pressure, creating chances and Andy's keeper making super stops.  This continued until the big turning point just after 10mins.  Neil had a shot with Andy's defender between the ball and goal.  The ball looped over the defender and went through the back of the net, this led to some confusion on whether it had looped over the bar.  The referee gave the goal and both players accepted the decision.  This knocked Andy and Neil took advantage with another 2 goals before half-time - a quick move and shot glancing the ball off the underside of the bar and one rolled into the bottom right corner.  Andy gathered himself and defended brilliantly in the second half.  Excellent blocking and good goalkeeping frustrated Neil.  In the final minute Neil neatly chipped in the fourth goal to seal the win.


Neil 4 - 0 Andy


17th October - North Shields

Cup Match


This was a completely different game to last month’s league meeting. Dave had a warm up game with Andy and was clearly on fire. Chris netted early on with and excellent snap shot and looked very comfortable. Dave was flicking well and making some good counter attacks. Chris started to press for the 2nd but carelessly got caught offside twice in quick succession (the same player) which gave Dave an opening down the left. A quick move and shot (Dave’s trade mark) made it 1-1 at half time.


The second half started pretty much the same way, but then Chris got control of the game and really pressed Dave, winning corner after corner. Dave did try to break out on several occasions, but lost possession only to be pegged back again. Chris tried to fashion a winner with excellent tight flicking, but couldn’t find the final shot position.


The game went into shots. Chris scored two great goals from pens 2 & 4, looping the ball into the corner on both. Dave really needed to net pen 3 to put pressure on Chris but squandered the shot.


Nevertheless, a good encounter between both and well refereed by Andy Mill.


Chris 1 - 1 Dave (Chris won on shots)




20th October – North Shields


Beefy was at home to Rob in the first match. Rob flicked off and after a few quick changes of possession, Beefy attacked down the left to score. The next 10 minutes saw some good possession by both players. Rob flicking well but failing to create in the final 3rd. Beefy counter attacking quickly with Rob blocking well around the shooting line. Beefy’s speed was frightening at times and he caught Rob out twice before half time. 3-0. The game flowed pretty much the same in the second half. Rob played some good stuff, but again was short in attack. He just needs a bit more purpose, faith and belief. Beefy netted twice more before the timer bleeped. Beefy actually scored from most of his shots on goal. Be warned, if you give him time and space, you will be punished.


Beefy 5 - 0 Rob


Chris v Beefy. This was an exquisite game of Subbuteo Table Football played at a frantic pace throughout with excellent attacking build up play and defensive play and every block counting. No quarter asked, no quarter given. Chris probably edged first half possession 60/40 and out shot Beefy. Beefy made great saves and always managed to get a player between ball and goal. 0-0 at half time.
There was no letting up after the break. Both players were completely unfazed by each other and going for the win. Again Chris created better chances and Beefy hitting hard on the counter. The goal, when it came was slightly fortuitous with around 3 minutes to go. Chris was pressing hard for the winner and fashioned a good shooting chance. The ball ricocheted off the keeper and rolled back up to Chris’s shooting line. Two poor blocks by Chris followed by a ‘back’ left Beefy with and angled shot that he drilled low into the corner. Chris never gave up and tried to press Beefy into making a late mistake. Relief at the bleeper for Beefy although Chris was a little unlucky.



Chris 0 - 1 Beefy
 


Chris flicked off the final game and immediately went on the attack. Rob counter attacked in space down the right with his first attack. He created a good shooting opportunity, probably the only one of the game and shot wide. If that had gone in, things would have been very difficult for Chris. For most of the game Rob was pinned back in his own half. His blocking was superb in defence and he made one fantastic save after another. 0-0 at the break. Rob then had some good possession and seemed pretty calm considering the pressure he was being put under. Chris knew that if he got careless, Rob could easily break through and score. Half way through the second period Chris’s pressure finally paid off. Rob gave away some ‘backs’ enabling Chris to nudge the ball to a player for a quick shot with Rob unable to react with his keeper. Chris sealed it a few minutes later. Again, Rob gave a ‘moving back’ away and Chris drilled home bottom right.



Chris 2 - 0 Rob

 

21st October - Hexham


 

This game started with Dave being well on top for the opening 5 minutes, pushing Jeff back and trying to force that elusive opening. Having dropped quite a few points to the 2015/16 player of the year, Jeff remained composed ensuring that his goalkeeper was well protected. Then after this early salvo, Jeff suddenly pushed forward and following a block flick that should have stopped something only helped a wonderful chip shot into Dave’s net. Hardly had Dave time to draw breath, and a further attack amid quick move brought a second goal with a crisp low shot past Dave’s goalie. 


Dave recovered well and for the remainder of the half tried to strike back early keeping possession for long periods but Jeff’s defence remained well drilled and continued to make defence the priority and prevent Dave from getting any foothold (I mean of course, fingerhold!).


 Both players had chances in the second half but neither could breach until Dave, who had persevered and threatened the defence all match, with 6 minutes to go, took a quick flick and then with another equally quick reaction chipped a wonderful dink into the net. Six minutes is not a comfortable time to resist and Dave is no novice now but Jeff ensured that no further chances fell Dave‘s way.


 Jeff 2 Dave 1

 

What a game! With the game seconds old, Beefy committed a finger foul and this resulted in Jeff exerting pressure for a full five minutes. Beefy at times defended successfully with just two central figures and a goalkeeper hung on for the early stages and then he switched wonderfully to the well supported midfield and attack. He attacked like Cetewayo's Zulus at Rourke’s Drift with

figures coming at all different angles, looking for a breach in the wall. But Jeff sang Men of Harlech successfully - what a scene. Ivor Emanuelle would have loved it! (Apologies to our Welsh and Zulu readers, no race slur intended). Up to halftime and through much of the second half, Beefy controlled possession wise but never could get a clear shot with Jeff’s blocking outstanding or just getting the right side for a deflection. In the middle of the half there were a lot of corners by Beefy, all well defended by Jeff, deflecting for even more corners. Very little was seen of Jeff’s attack in the second half until about 5 minutes to go. Jeff is most dangerous when his defence is taking a pounding and his two forward figures (if he is lucky) seemingly possession-less for ages, aimlessly in and out, left and right but always in contact with one another. Oh for that video replay. This rapid response, 2-man raid by Jeff, sprung into life, one pushing the ball through the gap for the perfect assist, and with lightning (and unusual) reaction, the other hitting the ball on the run beautifully with Beefy and his goalkeeper on different wavelengths (possibly in different rooms). From the flick off, Jeff resisted Beefy’s attempt to penetrate with yet another accurate, well manned, fast attack, eventually regaining possession and ensuring that the ball remained in safe hands. As Chris implied, let Beefy loose up front at your peril! He is quite safe really but you know what I mean.



Jeff 1 Beefy 0

 


Someone was always going to pay after Beefy's previous match. Dave didn't play poorly and no worse than against Jeff previously but Beefy hit the bell running (a new figure of speech

exclusive to Brigantes - I own the trademark -now where have I heard that recently?). He tore forward with great attacking speed, scoring a chip shot with his first. Within another 5 minutes, he had added 2 more, not because he had all the play or lots of shots but more, he just converted most which came his way. Dave blocked as well as he might and even force several chances, one of which was well saved. Beefy's speed going forward was always difficult for Dave to counter but his shooting success did the damage, finding those chips and unguarded parts of the net in the first half rather well. Let Beefy loose up front at your peril - No flicks just does not do it enough. Distract him, keep his midfield and defence busy, get those blocks in place, tire him with off-sides, demoralise him with forced throw-ins but on his day, he could just be unstoppable when his dander (Beefy, I nearly put 'Tinder' then ) is up.

Dave was more successful the second half but Beefy had noticeably brought figures back - perhaps the weekend's double fixture was taking its toll. During the second half, Beefy's backline was definitely a populous, stunning Great wall of China- looking four figures for some of the time. But Dave did get in once or twice and even if he had given up on getting three goals back, he always hunted for a moral boosting goal. But Beefy's goalkeeper was not going to let the side down today (well not in this match at least ha ha - I know you will get your own back, Beefy) . You can't keep a great performance down and Beefy completed it in the dying minutes with a low shot into the corner of the net.


Beefy 4 Dave 0


 

Through the morning, great refereeing, wonderful sportsmanship and despite the limited time, fine, fine chatter. Coffee was dodgy as always. But remember to remove the foil base from Kirsch, Elaine (no, that's a Harvey Weinstein chat up line, you idiot, it is Quiche Lorraine, as in the name of the place the German's and French fight over).

 

To all those not enjoying their TS at the moment, you are playing in the wrong club. There is a reason we have an “a” for alliance in the name.


 


21st October - Darlington



Game 1 was John v Mike. The first half of the game was a close affair with both players sharing long spells of possession. Mike shaded the first 15 minutes in both possession and shots on goal. The second half could not have been more different. John took the lead with a decent finish and then attempted to park the bus. This backfired spectacularly as Mike wasn't closed down enough and equalised after breaking through the middle of John's defence. After that it was one-way traffic as Mike scored two more from similar angled shots using a blocking defender in each case to loop the ball into John's net. Shortly afterwards a long flick from John into Mike's shooting area provided John with a reverse angle to slide the ball past Mike's keeper to pull the score back to 2-3. However Mike was well on top by this point and added a fourth to secure the two points. Despite Mike being caught with his flicking keeper out John was unable to capitalise on the 5 flick rule. A great game, with some impressive long-range flicking from both players.  


John 2 - 4 Mike

 


Game 2 was John v Jeff. As always with this dual it was a tight affair. In the first half both players set up defensively and attempted to catch each other on the counter attack. Last season the corresponding fixtures resulted in 1-0 wins for the away player on each occasion. Chances were few and far between in this encounter as the players effectively cancelled each other out. Jeff had the best chance to break the deadlock in the second half but the game ended up even. 


John 0 – 0 Jeff

 


The final game saw Mike take on Jeff.  The first half saw Mike take an early lead with a well taken finish and it looked like he would add more however Jeff steadied the ship and the game then became more strategic. The second half saw one of the best goals ever scored on this particular Astropitch. Mike was awarded a throw in just outside Jeff's shooting line. In front of the ball were one of Mike’s players and a defender with a space of slightly more than a base width between them. At that point Jeff uttered the immortal words " You'll never squeeze through there Mike" ....... Mike then played the free kick through the gap and off his own player before squeezing the free kick taker through the gap and firing the ball cleanly into the far corner of Jeff's net. His dare completed Mike held on for the win.


Mike 2 – 0 Jeff

 


November 2017 Results!

3rd November 2017

Stockton

 

Neil started the evening by exacting on John a heavy defeat. John persevered by trying to break Neil down however Neil always had a second option when he had been blocked and was ruthless in front of goal. John managed to get into Neil’s area but with some sharp defending Neil was able to counter attack in style and was extremely strong.

 

John 0 - 5 Neil

 

Neil again continued how the first match left off, which Neil showed that he was well up for the evenings play and didn’t put a foot wrong all night. Neil’s attacking play was second to none and Rob was lucky that Neil didn’t bring he goal tally up even further.

 

Rob 0 - 4 Neil

 

Both sides were rather evenly balanced however John managed to take a two goal lead early on which Rob couldn’t claw back. Halfway through the second half Rob scored his first goal of the season which hopefully he could capitalise on in the next few games. John played well in the defence to stop Rob trying to break through with a equaliser, but the scores remained. 

 

Rob 1 - 2 John

 

3rd November 2017

Guisborough

 

The first game of the evening saw Andy take on Chris. Chris took a firm grip on the game in the first half, but despite creating good scoring chances, he failed to trouble the guy on the scoreboard. A combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping kept Andy in the game. The second half was much of the same, but Andy started to creep back into the match. Chances were created at both ended as the game got stretched, but neither player was able to score the decisive goal.


Chris 0 – 0 Andy


Chris stayed on to take on Mike. The first game practice certainly helped Chris and he started very well with some great possession play, intended to take the attacking threat away from Mike. Time ticked away and by half time, both players had managed to score, Chris taking the lead. This woke Mike up a bit and it was not too long before he was level again. Into the second half and again the match was open for either player to win but Mike had the luck today and snatched the winner late on.


Mike 2 – 1 Chris


It did not take long for Mike to stamp his authority on this game. The goal was trademark Mike, the shot was lined up and the block was allowed to give Mike the chance of his trademark looping shots off the defending player. The second goal was scored not long after and the result was all but done. Or was it? The second half saw Andy fight back well and even though he did not score, he certainly gave as good as he got.

Mike 2 – 0 Andy

December 2017 Results!

1st December 2017


North Shields

 

 

We started with quite an enjoyable and open game without many chances being created said the referee at half time which was a fair reflection on the match.  John enjoyed plenty of possession and Andy always looked dangerous with the long ball clearance.  The only goal of the game was scored by John midway through the first half, getting behind Andy's defence once too often and shooting straight into the far corner.  Andy attempted to put on more pressure in the second half and forced a few corners without causing John any real problems. Following a wayward attempted block towards the end of the game John redeemed himself with a magnificent save somehow tipping the ball over to thwart Andy's best chance.

 

Andy 0 - 1 John

 

In a first half totally dominated by Beefy with Andy rarely able to get out of his penalty area let alone own half.  Beefy created chances galore albeit from tight angles which led to several saves being forced however the one goal of the first half was exceptionally worthy with a sublime pass that got in behind Andy's defence right in front of goal and with Andy hitting the ball with an attempted block and forced to "back", Beefy duly put away his chance.  Second half saw Andy with a little more possession, particularly on the break. creating the one opportunity he needed to make it 1-1 but saw his shot flash wide.  Seconds from time Beefy added a second with shot right from the corner of the shooting area that flew into the back of the net.

 

Andy 0 - 2 Beefy

 

Beefy having already gained his first points of the morning started at a frightening pace and John found himself 2-0 down quite quickly before steadying the ship with some decent blocking and then counter attacking of his own.  In the second half Johns goal keeper seemed to be needing a drugs test following the game with some brilliant saves and attacking when he could, John forced one particularly good save from Beefy. As in his previous match Beefy scored a third seconds from time to gain a 3-0 win.

 

Beefy 3 - 0 John

 

A thoroughly entertaining morning with a hearty breakfast, good conversation, great play and some fun banter, ending with pure joy as Beefy took great pleasure in stroking my Willie.  Richie was very jealous!!

 

 

15th December


Guisborough

 

The first game saw Rob take on Dave and it was Rob who dominated the first half. His goal and half time lead were fully deserved. Could he hold on for a rare win? Well Dave seemed to step up a few gears in the second half and took the game away from Rob with a great second half performance.

 

Rob 1 – 3 Dave

The next game saw Mike take on Rob. In a blistering first half, Mike raced to a 4-0 lead and effectively won the game there and then. Rob settled into the second half well and it was a much more even contest. But there was no way back from that mauling and Mike won at a canter.

 

Mike 4 – 0 Rob

 

Final match was Mike against Dave. This one was closer and Dave managed to restrict Mike to a single goal at half time. Was a shock on the cards? Nope, Mike stepped on the gas after the break and scored another couple to make sure of the win.

 

Mike 3 – 0 Dave

January 2018 Results!

 

5th January 2018

North Shields



Chris took the lead early on in this one and never really looked troubled throughout. At 1-0 down, Rob had some good possession and tried to fashion an equaliser, but could not get the control he needed. Chris kept probing away and waited for Rob to make mistakes in defence. He took his chances with ruthless efficiency. Chris rounded of Rob’s misery with a shot from his own shooting line that caught the ball nicely to chip it into the top right hand corner.


Chris 5 - 0 Rob


The new WASPA rankings were out today. Neil and Chris ranked 83 & 84 respectively. Although you need to take the rankings with a pinch of salt, there really is nothing between these two players. It’s a case of who takes their chance(s) wins. Chris had good early possession and created a good shooting chance. Neil blocked well. Both players got into their rhythm, flicking and blocking well and forcing each other wide which limited chances to create anything solid. The only goal of the game came 2 mins before half time with Neil attacking very wide right. With Chris, for once, unable to block effectively, Neil took a speculative shot which crept into the far corner. Chris was never out of the game and created a couple of chances at the beginning of the second half with the second one crashing against the post. Both players kept it tight, never losing concentration and focus. Chris had one more chance trying a Mike Parnaby special. The shot could have gone anywhere, but fortunately for Neil it dropped in front of his keeper enabling him to parry away. Neil was happy to keep possession for a good portion of the second half. Interestingly, Neil had one shot and scored. Crucial if your opponent doesn’t take his chances. Nevertheless, a good game of Subbuteo.


Chris 0 - 1 Neil Y


This game started with some good possession for both players. Rob looked comfortable and relaxed whilst Neil lost possession carelessly a few times. Neil took the lead, but Rob still looked comfortable and had a really good spell of possession. Neil scored a couple more before half time, again taking advantage of Rob’s mistakes in defence. The second half carried on in pretty much the same vain. Rob made a really good move late in the game, splitting Neil’s defence. He looked like he was just about to pull the trigger but he stopped allowing Neil to get his block in. It would have been a great goal if he’d scored.

Neil 5 - 0 Rob

All three games were played in very good spirit. Most importantly, the refereeing was of a very high standard. Well done lads!

 

5th January 2018

Guisborough


Four games were played in this session so everyone was knackered by the final, final whistle!

The first game up saw Andy take on Jeff. This turned out to be a really good game, one that could have easily gone either way. There was no score at the interval and the ref was expecting this to be one of those entertaining 0-0 draws. But Jeff finally found a way through to score the winner with 5 minutes left to play.

Jeff 1 – 0 Andy

Winner stays on at Firhill, so Jeff stayed on the pitch to play Mike. Jeff played really well in the first half and managed to frustrate Mike with solid and intelligent defence, whilst also offering a threat on the break. Mike started the second half at a faster pace and this seemed to catch Jeff on the hop, allowing Mike to take the lead. A second followed and the points were safe.

Mike 2- 0 Jeff

Again, winner stays on so Mike stayed put to face Andy. The scoreline was the same as the last game, but Mike scored a goal in each half. Andy and also those other players who are mid table, are improving so quickly now and it does take a lot of effort sometimes to win these games. Once Andy finds out how to control an attack, he will be a real handful!

Andy 0 – 2 Mike

The final game saw Andy play Mike in their Cup match. Nothing much to report here other than the final score which takes Mike through to play Beefy in the semi final!

Mike 3 – 0 Andy

 

5th January 2018

Darlington


A 10.30am Saturday morning meet was commenced with breakfast buns which seemed to go down well (but did nothing to nobble my opponents!)

 

Game 1 was John v Dave

 

A very open first half saw a good share of possession by both players and some sublime blocking by Dave. Shots were few and far between but as always Dave's goalkeeper was on top form. The second half saw Dave take the lead with some nice build up play and a quick shot which left John's keeper waving at thin air. John then had to apply the pressure and managed to equalise after finally managing to break through the middle of Dave's defence. Either player could have won this game. 


John 1 – 1 Dave




Game 2 was Dave v Beefy

 

Beefy’s first game on the Gibb Avenue surface saw some early possession for both players. Dave's blocking again was very good. Beefy's close flicking was truly impressive. An uncharacteristic miss by Beefy with his flicking keeper gave Dave five flicks to score...he only needed two......1-0 to Dave! Beefy soon found the run of the surface and played some more very intricate close in flicking combinations to create a few shorts, most of which hit the crossbar.....so no equaliser but a clear winner for the cross bar challenge! Dave countered before half time and doubled his lead with a cool finish. The start of the second half was a tense affair with Beefy turning the screw in order to get that important goal back. It came eventually ......as the cross bar at the other end was a 1mm higher! Beefy then showed why he is flying high in the league by playing some exquisite close play and fashioning more shooting chances, however Nigel Spinks in Dave's goal was well up to the challenge. Just as it looked as if Dave would hold out for the 2-1 win Beefy applied more pressure and equalised with a clinical shot. His tail was now up and he went on to add a third with a similar effort.


Dave 2 – 3 Beefy

 




The final encounter saw the host take on the now Supercharged Beefy.

 

(Jeff can I play him in his first game on a new surface next season ? Once he's warmed up there is no stopping this guy !!)

 


Two early goals from Neil set the tone for the encounter. John struggled with Beefy's quick play and tried in vain to block out wave after wave of attack. A rare foray from John saw a long flick give him a chance on goal .......which he put away, only for Beefy to add a third with another crisp finish to maintain the deficit. The second half mirrored the first with Beefy having the lion’s share of possession and John countering when he could. A disastrous attempt to clear the ball by John left Beefy with a clear shot for his fourth. John then managed a second consolation goal with a decent long flick and then a tidy shot over Beefy's keepers rod however Neil was in full flow still and added a fifth late on with yet another clinical finish.


John 2 – 5 Beefy



19th January 2018

Redcar




After some early changes of possession Chris took hold of the game.  Chris looked to open the scoring with some controlled moves, but Jeff's defence was standing up.  After midway Jeff managed to get a foothold in the game.  However, after long periods of possession Chris blocked out any openings.  The game opened up a little more in the second half.  Chris had the better opportunities, but was thwarted by Jeff's keeper.  Chris edged it on chances, but Jeff was always in it. 


Chris 0 - 0 Jeff

  

Chris kicked off and kept Neil out of the game with controlled possession.  Chris created the best chances and Neil's keeper was called into action to push them away.  When Neil was in possession he found a very well organised defence difficult to create chances against.  Chris's very well-placed blocking also added to a frustrating half.  In the second half Chris finally found the scoring touch.  Very neatly placing a low shot in the bottom right corner.  Within a few minutes it was two nil.  Chris confidently flicked through a more open than usual, defence to drill home the second.  Neil threw players forward but created little, apart from a late shot flicking off the bar.  Chris controlled the game and deservedly took the points.


 Neil 0 - 2 Chris

 

Jeff started the game and raided down the right flank.  Jeff pressured Neil early on without creating a clear scoring moment.  Neil was unable to get any rhythm or flow going in his game and some of this was down to Jeff's blocking.  However, one miss-placed block opened the way for Neil to take the lead.  This did not deter Jeff and he very nearly equalised soon after, but struck the post.  In the second half Jeff shut out Neil and started to create chances.  Neil's goalkeeper was called into action, before Jeff finally chipped in the leveller.  Jeff kept pushing for the winner, however, Neil hung on for a point.

 

Neil 1 - 1 Jeff



February 2018 Results!

26th January 2018

Hexham


A fine battle with Chris always having the edge but Dave defended resolutely and it was not until the last five minutes that some errors allowed Chris some really good chances. But where the defence faulted, the goalkeeper came to the rescue or Chris just hit too high.

Chris 0 – 0 Dave


Another tight battle but Chris took physiological control with a well drilled sliced goal halfway in the first half. Second half saw Jeff with more of the play but Chris’s defence was rarely troubled and nearly added a second with a second remaining with a superb long flick but the bell stopped his shooting.

Jeff 0 – 1 Chris

With a tough point already earned, Dave succumbed to a reasonably early first half chipped goal. Chances came and went for Jeff as he tried to force a second goal but the Dave’s goalkeeper and defence were up to it. With few chances created by Dave in the second half, Jeff was only able to feel relaxed with less than five minutes to go when he at last beat Dave’s keeper again.

Jeff 2 – 0 Dave

9th February 2018

Stockton

The first half started with end to end stuff between two great players at quite a fast pace. Some great possession from Neil resulted in the first shot of the night which was at long distance which went narrowly wide surprising both the opposition and the ref . The 50-50 possession remained and then in the 2nd minute of the first half Neil hit the crossbar in a blistering shot. Mike then scored 6 mins into the second half which made Neil try to counter attack at every possibility however was unable to get the equaliser and the score remained 1-0.  

Mike 1-0 Neil B



The match got underway and Rob knew that he was up against it and tried to keep the away goals down to a minimum. Rob took a surprising lead when Mike made a small mistake having the keeper out of possession but efforts to capitalise on the mistake looked floored however with the last flick of the five manage to slot the ball into the goal at a tight angle. Mike then began his counter attaching and resulted in Rob always being in the back foot and with again some great build up play with Mike was able to level the scoring 1-1 at half time. The second half saw Mike attacking almost constantly with Rob trying his hardest to get his blocking and defence in order. Mike then scored a further 2 goals from great build up play and wicked shots which have Rob’s keeper very little chance.

Rob 1-3 Mike

 

Again Rob tried to keep the defence disciplined however Neil’s possession and attacking were excellent and Neil was able to open the scoring on 10 mins. A further two goals from Neil in the second half on 21 and 24 mins saw Neil get the three points which were fully deserved. Rob’s defensive play was better which hopefully can continue into the next remaining games if the season.

 

Rob 0-3 Neil B

 

 


Cup game


This was one of the games of the season to watch, fast pace from the onset. Mike took the lead on 4 mins but no team was giving in. It was end to end stuff throughout the game and both players giving their all. Neil was able to level on the stroke if half time. The second half got underway and the fast pace continued throughout. Mike took the lead again on the 17 mins, and then Neil gave an extra boost he had left in the tank. Two superb volleys by Neil which would take anyone’s breath away followed on 23 and 28 mins. Mike then gave everything once again to try get an equaliser for the game to go to shots but bang on the last touch of the game Neil showed his class and produced a screamer of a shot which hit the back upright of the goal making Neil into the next round.

 

Mike 2-4 Neil B

 


24th February 2018

North Shields

The huge crowds in attendance (all two dogs) were given a bit of an upset in the first match today as Andy overcame John B for the very first time to gain 2 valuable points at the foot of the Brigantes League.  Andy got off to a fast start, hitting the post with a deflected shot in his first attack and then pinning John to his goalmouth with a couple of corners.  John gradually got himself into the game but was nowhere near his usual flowing self and consequently giving Andy plenty of possession.  The all important goal came just before the break when Andy got in behind Johns defence and hit a low hard shot which flew back out off the bar at the back of the net.  Initially John thought the ball had hit the bar however gracefully accepted the referee’s decision the ball had in fact been low into the back of the net.  The expected second half onslaught from John never really materialised as a mixture of Andy’s blocking and John being out of touch with his shooting gave Andy’s keeper little to do until just before the end when a great save prevented John from getting the equaliser.

 

John 0 Andy 1

 

Neil had Andy pretty much on the back foot from the flick off however some hard work and good blocking kept Neil at bay until a blocking mistake 5 minutes before the break allowed Neil a shot on goal from a tight angle that just crept in off the post.  A devastated Andy then enjoyed some possession without really creating anything, Neil’s blocking being spot on this morning.  After the break both players had possession, again without Andy really creating anything and Neil scored a second goal, chipping into the corner of the net from a tight angle.  Andy continued to plug away but to no avail and his best chance came from a free kick on the edge of the shooting area but was blazed over although a good catch by Neil lol.  A well deserved victory for Neil.

 

Andy 0 Neil 2

Nobody would have forecast the final score in this match at half time as both players gave as good as they got in the first half in a very evenly matched contest.  Neil though established a two goal lead very quickly into the second half as Johns blocking went to pieces and Neil got behind his defence.  John enjoyed more possession without really creating anything and had definitely forgotten his shooting boots today (or should that be finger).  Neil managed a third just before the final whistle with a shot low into the corner and it just wasn’t to be John’s day today.

Neil 3 John 0

March/April 2018 Results!

It was roughly at this point in the season that John decided he was not able to continue and complete his fixtures. No reason was given so we can only assume that John has a very good reason, especially as he seemed to be really enjoying his return to the game. The players enjoyed John’s company too so he will be a big loss to us.

The league rules state that for the league games, we eliminate all of the fixtures involving John. This means that previous results reported are expunged from the league tables so that does have a bearing on the final table. Some players will see a positive result and some a negative one, but it is the fairest way to continue when we lose a player mid season.


9th March 2018

Chopwell


The first game saw Mike score in each half to beat Dave 2-0. Dave did have his trade mark effort on the move, but missed the target and was well beaten by Mike.

Dave 0 – 2 Mike

In game two Neil raced into a two goal lead before half time, eventually beating Dave 3-0. Some slick, high speed attacks saw Neil win comfortably.

Dave 0 – 3 Neil

The third game was somewhat of a title decider. Neil played the better game and was unlucky, hitting the frame of the goal on at least three occasions, before eventually scoring. Mike replied with a nice chip over the keeper, with his only real effort on goal. Both players played some good stuff, but there were also occasions when they took in turns to miss the ball....maybe the pressure was telling.

Neil 1 – 1 Mike

This result leaves Mike 4pts in front of Neil, in second, with just two games to go, and extends Neil Y's lead to 3pts over Neil B in third, though Beefy does have 2 games in hand. So still all to play for!


6th April 2018

Chopwell


The games finally got underway almost an hour late, after Jeff decided to take a detour through the Tyne Tunnel on the way to Chopwell from Andy's. Sausage sandwiches then had to be consumed before the 'action' (I use the word under caution!) could get under way. With the first three games featuring the bottom three in the table, this was never going to be a day for the purist. What could be said was that, despite the errors and all,  all three players went for it in all of their games.

First up was Dave against Rob, with the only goal being a well taken effort by Dave after 10mins, aided by a missed block. Rob also pulled of a couple of excellent saves, and had chances himself, but it ended Dave 1-0 Rob.

Dave 1 - 0 Rob

Game two saw Andy and Rob exchanging more misses than chances, with some good blocking by Rob keeping Andy at bay, while always looking capable on the break.

Andy 0 – 0 Rob

Game three was another 0-0, despite Andy have an empty net to aim at after Dave gave the ball away with his replacement keeper. Admittedly Andy was shooting from long range!. Dave had more of the play in the first half, but failed to find the net, and the second half was fairly even, with both defences going missing for long periods.

Dave 0 – 0 Andy

To finish off the afternoon, Jeff played Rob in a rearranged fixture. Rob not only held on, but created chances in a good game, before finally conceding with 33 seconds to go! If only Rob had taken a little more time on the two occasions he had Jeff's defence beaten, or if his trade mark shot on the move had hit the target, he could even have won this game. But, in the end, the wily old master won through with a shot aided by the blocking player.

Jeff 1 - 0 Rob


6th April 2018

Great Ayton!


Tonight it was my pleasure to host my first Brigantes league session in Great Ayton.

Neil and Jeff were the welcome guests, the evening started with some competitive banter, each player knowing what they wanted or needed from the games. First up Jeff and Neil.

The game started with Neil dominating early possession but found Jeff’s defence difficult to penetrate, as the half went on Jeff started to enjoy some longer periods of possession but couldn’t find the final pass, 0-0 at half time. The second 15 followed a similar pattern to the first, the highlight a quick attack from Neil with a floated chip taken very quickly, JP somehow managed to get his keepers finger tips to the ball and diverted it for a throw (he did admit he hadn’t even seen the shot) a very tight game ended goalless.


Neil Y 0 – 0 Jeff

Next up the Beefy v Jeff. Having been beaten in the reverse fixture I was eager to start quickly and try and avenge the loss, a quick start brought a couple of half chances that Jeff managed to block saw me force a few corners but nothing more, as the game went on Jeff started to create some promising openings, indeed at one point I was very worried my 2 defenders ha ha, weren’t going to be enough. Late in the half I managed to hit the post with a quick shot but still no breakthrough 0-0 at halftime. Again the second half followed the pattern of the first, I enjoyed more possession and attacks but didn’t manage to create any clear chances, with the clock ticking along far too fast for me Jeff gained possession and managed to keep it for the remaining 2-3 minutes earning himself a hard fought point in the process.

Neil B 0 – 0 Jeff


The 3 of us then enjoyed some Petch’s pie with some cheese and biscuits before the final fixture of the evening!

Next up was battle of the Neil’s. The game started at a frantic pace, both players eager to get the upper hand. After some quick to and fro possession it was Neil Y who looked the more dangerous, although I was creating opportunities on the break, with the game moving towards half time Neil got into a reasonable shooting position only for me to get a great block in. Both players thought corner was the only possible outcome but somehow Neil managed to squeeze the ball in the far corner much to my surprise. At least a goal had at last been scored! Knowing I had to win to have a chance of finishing runner up in the league it was time to get my game in order and I went at it hard, managing to hit the cross bar with a quick move through the middle, then a shot on the volley, then hitting the post with another quick move. All the while Neil looked dangerous on the break but couldn’t quite find a clear chance to get a killer 2nd. I finally managed to equalise in the 22nd minute with a quick 3 flick move finished hard into the corner. That was the last clear cut chance though with a very fast game finishing 1-1.

Neil B 1 – 1 Neil Y


As always a very enjoyable evening with some great games, this league is so tight, thanks for your company gents, thoroughly enjoyable evening.


7th April 2018

North Shields

Game 1. Cup semi final.

Chris v Jeff

As you would expect between these two, the opening exchanges were very tight and tactical. Chris forced corners very early on but couldn’t create anything solid. Both players had good spells of possession with tight blocking cancelling out any attacks. Chris scored just before half time with a looping shot from the right going in at the near post. Jeff seemed to have all angles covered but the height on the shot took it in. Jeff was continually thwarted by tight blocking from Chris and although he tried to up the pace, Chris matched him all the way. Goal two came midway through the second half, again Chris opting for a near post shot and squeezing it into the corner. Jeff never gave up and had Chris under pressure late on but it wasn’t to be on this occasion.


Chris 2 - 0 Jeff



Game 2. ‘Friendly’

Mike v Jeff


Despite the fact that there was nothing at stake, this was a really good game. The only goal from Mike came from a quick positional shot and strike in one movement that drilled low into the corner. Jeff had no chance. Both players had spells of good possession. Very tactical and entertaining.

Mike 1 - 0 Jeff


Game 3.

Brigantes Premier League


Already champion, Mike could just relax in this one. With Jeff picking up league points this weekend, Chris really needed to carve out some kind of result out if he was to stand any chance of finishing above Jeff in the league. Possession was 60/40 to Mike first half, both players holding their own and creating half chances. Some great blocking and tactics and it was 0 - 0 half time. There was much the same for long periods of the second half. Mikes first strike came midway through the second half. After skilfully working his way through Chris’s defence to the edge of the box, Chris put a good block in behind the player Mike was going to shoot with. Mike used that extra 5mm of nail on his index finger to get that impossible flick in and quick shot. The second goal was a great goal and the reason why Mike is champion. With the ball sat in the box and the only player he can shoot with is at a difficult angle to physically get at, Chris is expecting a lay-up and is preparing for his next block. The unexpected shot comes in at hits the bottom right corner before Chris can react. That’s it, game set and match. Chris did try to get back into it but despite getting a couple of shots away, he couldn’t create anything solid.


Chris 0 - 2 Mike



Another enjoyable morning’s play. Thanks to Val for the delicious sausage sandwiches.


14th April 2018

Great Ayton




Final league fixtures from today played at Great Ayton

Game 1

A quick start saw Beefy dominate possession early and turned this to his advantage after about 6 minutes, tucking one into the corner, I managed to double my lead before half time with a quick attack. The rub of the green was definitely going in my favour and I continued to press forward after the break, scoring three more goals, the last of which was the most pleasing, a mid distance flick tucking the ball into the room of the net, by his own admission Andy didn’t play like he can and couldn’t get control of his blocks and felt hard done by with a few decisions.


Beefy 5 - 0 Andy 


Game 2

A tight start to this game with both players blocking well, Chris slowly started to get a foot hold but couldn’t break through before half time. As the second half started Chris took control and forced a couple of early chances only to be well blocked by Andy, finally in the 4th minute of the 2nd half Chris broke the deadlock with a sweet strike, this lead to some concerted pressure from Andy and a few half chances, Chris also blocking well to keep the chances at bay, with 30 seconds left Chris added a 2nd on a quick break which wrapped up the points.


Andy 0 - 2 Chris


Game 3

The last game saw Chris take on me and I felt like I was under pressure from the start, not playing anywhere near as fluently as I had in the first game, Chris’ blocking always causing me to give the ball away when I did break, Chris also creating some reasonable chances with quick attacking play finally broke the deadlock with a really well struck shot into the left corner of the net, great finish, half time 0-1, the expected onslaught from me didn’t really come to anything after the break, nearly every attempt to get into a shooting position was snuffed out by Chris, the game finishing 0-1 with a deserved victory for Chris.


Beefy 0 - 1 Chris



The Ranking Table 2017-18

Name
 Pl
 Won
 Drawn
 Lost
 For
 Against
 Goal D
 Points
 Mike
 14
 12
 2
 0
 27
 3
 +24
 26
 Neil Y.
 14
 7
 6
 1
 27
 8
 +19
 20
 Neil B
 14
 7
 3
 4
 25
 8
 +17
 17
 Chris
 14
 7
 3
 4
 18
 6
 +12
 17
 Jeff
 14
 6
 5
 3
 9
 7
 +2
 17
 Dave
 14
 2
 3
 9
 9
28
 -19
 7
 Andy
 14
 1
 5
 8
 1
20
 -19
 7
 Rob
 14
 0
 1
 13
 2
38
 -36
 1

The Ranking Table 2016-17

Name
 Pl
 Won
 Drawn
 Lost
 For
 Against
 Goal D
 Points
 Mike
 16
 15
 0
 1
 37
 13
 +24
 30
 Neil
 16
 13
 0
 3
 32
 12
 +20
 26
 Ben
 16
 12
 1
 3
 46
 17
 +29
 25
 Chris
 16
 7
 2
 7
 19
 17
 +2
 16
 Jeff
 16
  5
  5
 6
 12
 13
 - 1
 15
 John
 16
  6
 1
 9
 13
 24
 -11
 13
 Dave
 16
 1
  6
 9
 7
  26
 -19
  8
 Andy
 16
 2
 2
 12
 6
  21
 -15
  6
 Rob
 16
  1
 3
  12
 8
  37
 -29
  5

The Ranking Table 2015-16

Name
 Pl
 Won
 Drawn
 Lost
 For
 Against
 Goal D
 Points

Mike

 12
 10
 2
 0
 23
 4
 +19
 22
 Ben
 12
 7
 3
 2
 26
 8
 +18
 17
 Chris
 12
6
 4
 2
 21
 5
 +16
 16
 Jeff
 12
 5
 5
 2
 17
 5
 +12
 15
 Dave
 12
 1
 4
 7
 5
 23
 -18
 6
 Andy
 12
 0
 5
 7
 1
 15
 -14
 5
 Rob
 12
 0
 3
 9
 4
 37
 -33
 3

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