Saturday 2nd December 2017 2pm
Staffs County Senior League Division Two Cup Quarter Final
Goldenhill Wanderers 4 Norton Development 1 HT: 1-0 ATT: 18
Kenny 16 (pen), White 64, Leese 70, Rogers 86 : Unknown 74
from Trubshaw Cross
I had a few hours spare on this dismal, damp Saturday. All my local favourites were away from home and I didn’t want to travel for miles for a new ground, not when the constant downpour looked like it could put games in doubt. So I went to a very low level local game in Burslem, a step nine divisional cup game. I’m not much for divisional cups at the best of times, let alone step nine, but it was 10 mins drive away and near to Otter’s Tears craft beer off licence, in Burslem town centre.
This got me thinking about groundhopping and what constitutes a ground, as Goldenhill’s Trubshaw Cross ground is traditionally a Lads and Dads community venue with many pitches, and today’s game just had half of one side with a temporary tape and plastic sticks barrier. More of a pitch, really.
So where do you draw the line? It is like one of the Sorites paradoxes, thought to be first proposed by Eubulides of Miletus, in ancient Greece. They go like this: one grain of wheat does not make a heap…adding one more grain will not make a difference, therefore two grains of heap do not make a heap…which grain of wheat suddenly makes it a heap? Similarly a bald man with one hair is still bald…with just one more hair he is still bald…and so on. At what point is he not bald?
You can also run the argument in reverse. So with groundhopping, at what point does a ground not become a ground? Is a perimeter bar enough? A rope? A rope down one side? What about just the pitch? What if you take away the corner flags? The nets? What about the match, does that matter? Can it not be reserves, juniors? Lads and Dads? Ultimately who cares, but it’s a interesting philosophical point and however low level the ground, it’s always justified as a tick by more prolific groundhoppers than me. For most groundhoppers, no matter how many hairs you pluck from a man’s head he’ll never be bald. They must get a new tick and up their number by one, no matter what.
Why though? So they can get to 1,000? What then? Stop? No, of course not, straight on to 1001, 1002, 1003…for what end? This is why ‘the 92’ is so attractive. It is a closed set with an end point and definite finish. Yes, you’ll have to keep topping it up as grounds disappear and new clubs enter, but it’s achievable and finite. Whereas just ticking new grounds off with no end in sight is like counting up as far as you can; it is chaotic and ultimately pointless.
Anyway, back to the football. Trubshaw Cross is near to Port Vale. It is a fine venue for municipal football and even does nice coffee. Goldenhill Wanderers are an old team going back to 1885 and for a while played at the very nice Sandyford Cricket Ground.
The game was played in the wind and rain in good spirit withGoldenhill winning 4-2.