Tuesday 11th August 18.30
Doveholes 8 Bollington 2 HT: 3-1
from Hallsteads

After last night’s enjoyable friendly at Wirksworth, Dave and I headed out again for some more of the same, again in the Peak District and another picturesque venue. This time it was in Doveholes, on the western most edge of the Peak, just up the A6 from Buxton. I’ve driven through Doveholes many a time, on the way to other grounds and vaguely knew they had a team in the Hope Valley League. I’ve always thought it an odd place; despite being more than semi-rural and set within a beautiful landscape, it is one of those towns dominated by the major road that cuts through it, that doesn’t lend itself well for stopping for a pint or cake; there seems to be no centre to it. It does have a train station however. One brave hopper this evening came by train – extreme hopping indeed.

The ground is just off the main A6 and behind the cricket ground. It is also next to something called the Bullring ancient henge, a 2 for 1 tick for henge collectors.

Hallsteads is just a pitch, with a bit of a mild rope affair on the near side. Being enclosed by trees on two sides and the club house behind the goal, gave it a nice enclosed ground kind of feel though, much better than being in an open field. On the near side was a bank where most of the viewers congregated, including at least two other hoppers.

The visitors this evening were Bollington, from the Macclesfield area, formerly from an Altrincham Saturday league, now transferred to the Hope Valley League. Like last night, the football was surprisingly competitive and entertaining to watch. Doveholes raced into a three goal lead, before the game evened out, with Bollington getting one back before the break. The second half started exactly the same, with Doveholes scoring three more quickly. Bollington scored a pen but Doveholes scored two more to make it a rout. Somewhat unfair on Bollington who were never whipping boys and never gave up.

Another great summer night in the Peak and these low level scenic <step 6 venues were starting to grow on me.


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