TWO basic lessons were learned this week. Firstly you cannot win a football match unless you score goals, secondly every winning cricket side needs a wicket keeper.

With England continuing to select someone in the recent T20 competition who last season was not first choice for his county they were behind before a ball was bowled. Jos Butler can bash a few boundaries but he is far from being an international keeper, or a county one.

Gloucestershire friendlies continue and the runs are flowing. Now it is a stern test at Edgbaston. Warwickshire hope to include Jonathan Trott who dropped out of the Ashes tour. Should he have been playing for England at all having already represented South Africa at U19 level?

Of course, it is hoped he returns to good health, but this column will not be saddened if the runs do not flow.

A sudden dearth of goals has cost Cirencester Town and Forest Green dear. Yet again the curse of the TV cameras struck at Southport. A 2-0 defeat means just one point from three televised matches. Manager Ady Pennock was very cross the referee did not abandon the game, the result of which stops Rovers from being pacemakers in the play-off race.

Now they need to win their next three games to stay in the hunt. Two are away at Woking and Barnet, the third being a local lerby (April 8) at home to Kidderminster.

Rovers have the ability, but do they have the resolve? There have been too many soft away defeats.

They were certainly second best in the monsoon match on Thursday. The rain was so heavy that surface water covered the pitch. There was then the added threat of lightning. The game should not have proceeded after the hour mark.

Your columnist knew first hand about the elements having to queue in the rain for both toilets and burger bar. Both establishments had to be visited as it is a long way from the Cotswolds to the Fylde coast and back.

Congratulations to Avonvale FC, who in a week when the FA has been docked cash for not stimulating the grass roots game. Avonvale have shown themselves to be the sort of club that Sport England, who made the financial cut, admire.

Formed just a few years ago they have been promoted through the Stroud leagues and next year will join Bibury in the Glos Northern Senior League. The club who play on the pitch formerly used by Shipton Moyne also have a thriving youth section. Well done, everyone.

Not me, however! Mrs Light has taken me to task and rightly so. Penny ran for Highgate Harriers and knows all about the discipline and demands of running. You have never mentioned Moreton-in-Marsh marathon man Steve Edwards, she exclaimed, brandishing last week’s paper where his record breaking feats were fully explained.

Undoubtedly a hero, Steve now heads for London (April 13). This will be merely one 26-mile run. He has just completed seven in seven days! Splendidly supported by his wife Teresa, Steve is a true Cotswold hero, running to raise cash for the charity Kate’s Home Nursing.

To hear there is a possibility of a running track at Kingshill is very encouraging. It may be a long way off, but what an asset to the town that would be. Any forthcoming project will receive full support from these quarters.

Back to cricket. The moving tribute to the late Betty Hopkins included these words: “She was secretary to the cricket club and did the teas.” Those few words speak volumes and are typical of someone who gave good service to life in her village, Rodmarton. When I played, such tasks as ‘doing the teas’ were taken for granted by such as myself and I doubt it is different today.

Betty’s husband Norman was a free-scoring batsman for the Rodmarton team who was good enough to play at a higher level. He reminded me of one of his best innings. It was 108 scored in 40 minutes, but best of all it was against local rivals Coates. Runs against local opposition are to be cherished – well done, Norman.

We will talk more in the early autumn when I am sure your prize winning chrysanths and dahlias will be at their best. Be sure to save me a cucumber.

South Cerney golfer and Cirencester cyclist Tom McLean wins the pint for correctly identifying the Alley-Alley-Oo which is, of course, the Manchester Ship Canal. However, I suspect his wife Jean gave him the answer. No matter – well done, the McLeans.