The Shed edges weekend of success on so many sporting fronts
I HAVE just had a joyous breakfast, and so many of you may have done the same. Between 8am and 9am on a Sunday, I am left to my own devices.
Mrs Light prepares everything and then disappears upstairs. “You get on, I have to get ready for the day,” are the only words she utters within that hour.
I read the papers. What a joy it was this morning. Gloucester Rugby Club, Swindon Town, Cirencester Town and Cheltenham Town had all excelled themselves.
I make no apologies for starting in The Shed, which everyone knows is the beating heart of Gloucester Rugby where they beat Leicester 27-21 on Saturday. My next sentences are cribbed, and I make no apology for that either, just offer thanks to Stuart Barnes of the Sunday Times.
“On a night of unbearable tension and overwhelming passion, Gloucester rediscovered the greatness of spirit that has been the hallmark of Kingsholm throughout its long and illustrious history,” he wrote.
He continued by saying: “It was the most exciting Aviva Premiership game of rugby this season.” The Shed rejoiced.
Last week I mentioned English teacher Geoff Romans. One day he talked to me sternly. “Next time when you catch the train to Kemble, do not go to Swindon football. Go the other way – to Kingsholm, stand in The Shed. If I cannot teach you any English, I can at least teach you something about our county.” Wise words!
One day, I took his advice and it was a stunning experience. It is so again. Go! A new team is emerging of which we should all be proud. Look at the Premiership table – you will see what I mean.
I do not doubt Swindon Town’s ability to play some stunning football. Stevenage found that out on Saturday, being thrashed 4-0 by a Town side playing superbly.
On Tuesday night, will Aston Villa fall to the team that are capable of being so good – sometimes. Whatever happens, be prepared for some amusing Paulo outpourings.
Now Cirencester Town – and one player in particular – goalkeeper Lee Clatworthy. Not first choice at the start of the season, Lee has stepped into the breach to replace Matt Bath, who has retired.
Lee is very much a local lad, being born and schooled in this town. He plays cricket and has represented both Cirencester and Lechlade but is now concentrating on making his new position his own.
Winning the match on Saturday with a stunning penalty save, he may well do that. No one is prouder of Lee than his grandmother Betty and he, in turn, is I am sure proud of her. Earlier this year she staged a successful concert for a cancer charity and is a consistent supporter of good causes.
Betty is never short of a cheerful word or two, so if you want cheering up ask her how Lee is getting on in goal.
I hope I will not need cheering up next Saturday. Forest Green play Port Vale in the FA Cup. I believe ITV cameras are showing highlights from the New Lawn and now, having discovered where Nailsworth is, more than 1,000 fans may come to make the game a great Gloucestershire occasion.
Winning the replay at Dartford 4-1, FGR are in good cup form and could upset the successful Vale side, who I see are second in Division 2 of the Football League and also its highest scorers. They have only lost two away matches, so victory will be difficult to achieve.
Forest Green, however, are resolute in defence and have electric pace in attack. My journey across Minchinhampton Common and down the ‘W’ will be made with confidence.
The Luton result – a 2-1 defeat was disappointing, but not the game. Two very good teams slugged it out in spirited fashion, and one mistake determined the winners.
Saturday’s cup-tie is not all ticket so is open to all. Get there early, then you can park your car and enjoy lunch.
Good reports are coming in from all quarters about local sport. Ollie Jones from Tetbury, who starred in all county age group sides and is now a Frocester mainstay, is taking wickets and scoring runs in Australia. Worcestershire have shown an interest in him, but I hope our own county is his ultimate destination.