Wednesday, 24 November 2010

An explanation...

It's nearly a year since I've had time to devote to this blog. And I can't guarantee that I will do so in future. But I am aware that people enjoy looking at it & that I like to compile it.

The sad fact is I just don't have time to 'squeeze it in' & other blogs of mine take priority. I do have a large amount of unpublished photos, & pieces to go with them, since early this year, so will try to work through the boacklog. Inevitably some of my notes have been 'misplaced' but I shall endeavour, over the next few months, to get everything as up to date as possible, so future postings will actually end up appearing 'backdacted' below the HaPPo ones I am posting now.

Many thanks to anyone who still looks in, more in hope than anticipation!


Monday, 15 November 2010

Saturday 14th November:

Our visitors:

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' FC:

Back row(left to right):Phil Doyle; Phil Baker (team referee/kitman); Mick O'Shaughnessy (manager); Will Patrick; Jack McInroy; Ian Wright; Ian Gannon; Katriona Forbes; Mark Hutton (co-manager).
Front row (left to right): Mishi Morath; Amin Haque; Alex Margolis (partially hidden); James O'Shaughnessy; Matt Hammond; Andy (can't remember his surname!); Joel Virgo; Louis Grater.
Not in picture(taking it!): Guy Grater.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

"The Rabblers" 8, HaPPo 2

It's amazing really, some of the foreign friends 'The Rabblers' have established down the years. And on Saturday 13th November, at Dulwich Park, we hosted 'new' European opposition in the guise of Haagan Pallon Potkijat, which is a bit of a mouthful, to say the least. Fortunately, for us, it abbreviates to HaPPo.

They contacted us, as some of them are our friends from Forza HJK, the HJK Helsinki fans, who visited us last season.

HaPPo are in a local league, I'm not sure which standard, but were mid table on the league table I found:

Team: Pl. W D L F-A Pts.
AC Jupiter........................................10 9 0 1 22-3 27
FC Hervanta....................................10 7 1 2 15-4 22
Kaarela Athletic...............................10 6 3 1 24-6 21
Haagan Pallon Potkijat.........10 5 2 3 12-11 17
Siperian Karhut................................10 4 2 4 13-13 14
Kova Kamppi....................................10 2 4 4 9-11 10
SaBo ..................................................10 2 4 4 3-6 10
HÃ¥kanSoccer ....................................10 1 6 3 7-16 9
Komsobol.............................................9 1 3 5 8-16 6
FC Keijo ..............................................9 1 3 5 4-16 6
AS Romulus ......................................10 1 2 7 2-17 5

So, clearly, this wasn't going to be an easy game. not that many of ours are!
But a comfortable win ensued, with 'The Rabblers' romping home to the tune of eight goals to two!

Prior to the match, with the next day being both Remembrance Sunday both teams observed a pre-kick off silence, in remembrance of those fallen in previous conflicts; with the Dulwich fans being asked in particular, not to just remember our former players from the two World Wars, but also the many hundreds of Hamlet supporters' who fell with them, whose names are unknown.

Although a comfortable victory, you have to bear in mind the unusual conditions for our guests. HaPPo play lots of their games on all-weather surfaces, & for two of their number it was their first ever match on a grass pitch! On top of this it was a little muddy in the goalmouths, & heavy down the middle, not too bad by English standards, but playing conditions which they hadn't encountered before, which played right into our hands. They were also extremely hampered by having one of our own Darren 'Judas-as-always' Nicholas 'guesting' for them! Here is is with the only one of our team who still talks to him! ;-)

Jack McInroy was appointed captain for the game & presented a Hamlet scarf to our visitors.

James O'Shaughnessy scored the first two, the first rounding the keeper, before doubling the score. Joel Virgo got on the scoresheet next, well deserved as he turned in his usual excellent performance. The next was a rare goal, in a rare appearrance, for Amin Haque, who had come on as one of the substitutes.

There was another 'goal' in our favour in the half, Ian Gannon putting the ball in the back of the net, only for it to chalked off for offside. Much to his displeasure. He really should know better than to harrangue the referee, as they never change their mind. Which he must be aware of being a qualified official himself. So much for the 'Respect' campaign!

Four it was at the break, with the 'Gaffer' Mick O'Shaughnessy making a few 'tactical' substitions to try and give HaPPo a sporting chance. Despite trying to throw/even up* (*delete as applicable) the encounter his 'dastardly plan' didn't work! Here he explains his tactics to the more knowledgable Ian Wright:

Amin Haque deserves his 'half time rest', despite having only been on the pitch for ten minutes. But he did score, so deserves his lie down!

He said he was knackered, but managed to return for the latter part of the match, taking over from Matt Hammond between the sticks:

Four down but still smiling...

Veteran in any other team, but slotting in comfortably into our line up, old timer Jack McInroy got on the scoresheet, with his fifth goal in his last three matches for us!

In goal for us Matt Hammond knew something 'odd' was going to happen when the 'impartial' referee mentioned to him in passing at half time that there was 'no way he was going to keep a clean sheet'. So it was poetic justice when HaPPo put their penalty wide of the post...

...after Joel Virgo-Joel, of all people!-was adjudged to have shoved a Finn in the back in the box! Unsurprisingly there were no appeals from them before he pointed to the spot.

Normal service was resumed as James O'Shaughnessy hit his hat-trick to make it six for no reply to the Hamlet boys.

But there was life in them yet, and without any help from the big nosed cheat in black, HaPPo pulled one back, with the scorer sliding across the goalmouth in celebration. No so much a hippo, as a HaPPo wallowing in mud!

The final two goals were both in the 'right' goal, from our point of view. Will Patrick capped a good game by practically teeing up Phil Doyle, who tapped into the net:

The last goal of the match came after Hampstead WFC player Katriona Forbes knocked the ball to Ian Gannon, whose attempt was parried to Andy (surname?) who made no mistake in hitting the back of the net.

Mention must also go to young Louis Grater, who was joined on the pitch by his father Guy Grater, which was a proud moment for 'dad', no so sure how 'son' felt!

So the match finished in a high scoring victory for us, but the real winner, once more in these sort of games, was international friendship, & so we all headed off to Champion Hill for the 'big boys' game against Bognor Regis Town. Many thanks to Club owner Nick McCormack for allowing free admission to the match for those from the finnish party who attended...and carried on to 'Hoopers' afterwards, until late in the evening!

There now follows a few shots from the second half...none from the first period, as I was on the pitch!

Monday, 20 September 2010

I love to go a-Wandering...

Sunday 19th September
Friendly match
at Coldharbour Sportsground, Mottingham
Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' 6, The Wanderers 5

Rather than their usual fare, Dulwich began the competitive season with the visit of more exotic opposition. Facing them at Coldharbour Sports, Mottingham was none other than a derivative from Wanderers FC. This club won the first ever FA Cup in 1872 and a further four cups through to 1878. Reformed last year they currently have numerous matches lined up for 2010 and look to raise money for UNICEF UK . Though in truth there is no connection at all between the old Wanderers & the new, more a 'name of convenience' to help their charity fundraising profile,

In a strange turn of events it was Dulwich that for once had a numerical advantage, with Wanderers only having 7 players available, but bizarrely providing a referee. Despite our own squad being depleted, what with the usual withdrawals and complete no-shows. We agreed to lend 2 players to Wanderers to enable the game to commence, albeit a 9 a side match. On this note a massive thanks to both Mick & Paul who agreed to the switch.

After deciding to play 3-5-1, Dulwich began brightly with some good passing and attacking down the left. Despite this it was Wanderers who took the lead after 8 minutes when a Hamlet goal kick was knocked straight back through the middle and the Wanderers player drilled a shot past the diving goalie.

Again Hamlet pressurised Wanderers with crosses, passes and shots beginning to fly in from both wings. They were finally rewarded with a penalty, given after a ball struck the defenders out-stretched hand. Harsh? Not according to the view from the other goal. Ian Gannon confidently placed the ball, stepped up and swept it to his left and into the side netting. 1-1 after a quarter of an hour

Thus the pattern for the rest of the half was set. Dulwich continued having thbauof the play but fell behind to a well-worked goal. On 35 minutes The Wanderers moved the ball down the right and crossed for a player to stab home from 10 yards. Dulwich again quickly fought back, although somewhat fortunately this time. A pass from Robbie McClintock, which was intended for Steve Thorn, was over-hit. Gannon managed to check his run, stay onside and was able to carry the ball unopposed into the penalty area before burying his finish.

Wanderers ended the half with a period of sustained pressure. A shot at the near post was tipped behind low down before being headed clear by Steve Rickerby from the subsequent corner. Try as they might the Hamlet could not hold out until half time. The Wanderers number 10 produced a 20-yard dazzling run past 4-5 players and managed to clip the ball over Matt Hammond with a deft finish.

A quick tactical discussion before Mick appeared meant that hopefully the Wanderers would remain unaware of any changes until it was to late. Mishi Morath swooped wings in midfield to allow Robbie more freedom in attacking from defence. The second half began with Dulwich now kicking into the wind. Not noticing it before I was surprised by it’s strength and now realised why so many of our passes were “over-hit” in the first half.

Despite trailing 3-2, Dulwich stepped up the play with both Phil Doyle and Chas harassing the Wanderers midfield. Ian dropped back and began releasing numerous long passes over the top for Hamlet players to run onto. Twice in quick succession this ploy worked with Steve Thorn being the lucky recipient. His second goal was slightly comical with goalie and centre half colliding, allowing Steve an open goal, a situation the Rabblers can relate too.

With Dulwich now leading 4-3 and the wind in our favour we began to feel confident. However Wanderers did their utmost to get back into the game. With a neat move, which resulted in their best player (No. 10), snatching a shot from about 10 yards. This drew a strong save from the Hamlet keeper, which was then duly cleared by John Tennison. Almost immediately the ball was moved swiftly up-field where Thorn completed his hatrick.

Wanderers pressed for further goals, and as expected they found them with the now tireless “10” continuing to torment the Hamlet players. A move from out of the left wing found him with an acute angle that he finished with a side foot home.

With 20 minutes remaining Gannon then decided to unleash a barrage of highly speculative shots from varying distances near the left touchline. Amazingly after a near miss and 2 high wide and handsome efforts he still had enough time to line up a forth shot – which impressively sailed over the keeper and into the back of the net. 6-4, 2 hatricks & game over…!

Due to prior commitments, Ian had to leave and Dulwich played the final 15 minutes a man down. The Hamlet reorganised and Wanderers sensed that the scoring wasn’t over. A penalty shout was turned down and a succession of corners finally ended with a towering header clipping the top of the bar. They finally broke the hearts of the Dulwich rearguard when a shot slipped past a block tackle and dive a trickled in down past the post.

At this point it seemed likely that the honours would be shared, however Dulwich managed to dig deep and cover huge amounts of ground to hang on for a morale boosting victory.

A massive thanks is to be extended to Wanderers for not just playing the game but doing so with the correct attitude. Ideally it would be nice to have another match against this opposition albeit with a full complement of players from both teams.

Can I also take the opportunity to remind all players that the Supporters team isn’t just for tours; it’s for an entire season!

Dulwich Hamlet team:

Matt Hammond
Robbie McClintock
Steve Rickerby
Jon Tennison
Mishi Morath
Phil Doyle
Andy “Chas” Chaney
Steve Thorn
Ian Gannon
Mick O’Shaughnessy
Paul Verrico

Report kindly supplied by MATT HAMMOND

Our visitors have their own website, & here is their report of the match:

"Prior to kick-off, this match looked like being one of Wanderers’ most disastrous endeavours. The initial squad of 14 eager and fit players quickly diminished into just 7. With pending childbirth, several varied injuries, motorcycle repairs and family commitments, Wanderers took to the field with no goalkeeper or full backs and just one striker.
Fortunately, the Rabblers took pity on Wanderers and donated two of their players - P Verrico and M O’Shaughnessy - to even up the sides, resulting in a 9-a-side match played on a full-size, astroturf pitch for 70 minutes.
ME Wilson volunteered to stand between the posts at kick-off and, despite the numerical issues, Wanderers looked impressive in possession. R Goodall, JO Harvey and C Pulger, who was making his debut, put in a stunning display of athleticism and control. Knocking the ball between them, and using G Bird as a pivot, the team managed to engineer a break away on the left on several occasions.
With barely fifteen minutes on the clock, C Pulger received a delightful square ball and side-footed it into the far post with composure. However, despite some excellent direct play, offering a great deal of space to Harvey and Pulger, Dulwich countered well, with their own dynamic midfield. Their danger man, I Gannon, managed to drag the Wanderers defence out of position - however, the stiff wind and some fortunate goalkeeping kept him out. Unfortunately, H Elabaire’s debut, which had begun so promisingly, started to unravel.
A freakish handball in the penalty area allowed Dulwich to draw level with a 12-yard tap-in. Undaunted, Wanderers pressed on again and Goodall scored from outside the penalty area with a right foot shot into the bottom corner. The Rabblers came right back and a simple one-two, dissecting Verrico and Elabaire, enabled Gannon to evade C McKenzie and drill the ball into the left hand side of the goal. Verrico, once of Dulwich Hamlet proper, should be delighted with his showing - at 63 years old he showed many of our players that his enthusiasm for the game was as great as it ever was.
At half-time, both sides might have felt that they could have gone in with a clear advantage. Sadly, Wanderers were unprepared for the restart.
Goodall scored his second and gave the away side the lead but Dulwich’s effort would soon pay off. Firstly, a period of attacking play yielded a corner which resulted in a lovely half-volley from the edge of the box that cannoned in off of the inside of the post. Secondly, Wilson’s rushing out, to attempt to close the gap between the penalty area and the defence, was undone by a 50:50 ball, which the attacker got to first. Goodall stemmed the tide with an absolutely masterful example of dribbling, beating four Hamlet players before slotting the ball home for his thoroughly well-deserved hat-trick.
His hard work was practically undone moments later. A communication breakdown between Wilson and Elabaire ended with the two limping away from a collision and Elabaire scoring a disappointing and calamitous own goal. But Wanderers were not for quitting; a well-worked corner resulted in Harvey hitting the crossbar with a rocket-like, towering header.
Harvey generously agreed to spend some time in goal, having only recently come back from his honeymoon and needing a rest. He could do nothing as Dulwich scored a beautiful, long-range chip from the left side of the box which arced into the far corner. The right-hand side of defence had been calmly marshaled by O’Shaughnessy until then, and it took a neat interchange to get past him.
With legs tiring and just minutes left on the clock, Wanderers lifted their game and managed to counter-attack. From Bird’s corner, Wilson scuffed the ball into the far post. Bird, Goodall and Wilson all had chances to draw Wanderers level but, despite three great opportunities, neither could manage to keep their efforts on target in positions that they would ordinarily have managed to test the opposition goalkeeper.
In the end, Wanderers will feel that, given the circumstances, they should have managed to kill the game off - however, Dulwich proved that they should not be underestimated and that their dedication to the game ensured they were always in contention for a good result."

Any further information about Wanderers can be found at -

Friday, 30 July 2010

Well they say summer is the silly season...

Once again the past year has flown & our annual cricket match with the Hayes Lane
Ultras, who are the Bromley supporters', arrived.

This is a 20 over match, with a pre-arranged agreement that when a payer reacehs a score of 25 runs he retires at the end of that over, to ensure as many players as possible have an opportunity to bat.

In good cricketing conditions (well as good as can be expected on an artificial wicket) Bromley were put into bat by our sef-appointed captain Phil 'Boycott' Baker.

In the opening exchanges Dulwich bowled very tidily & Bromley were finding it difficult to hit boundaries & set a challenging target. After the first half dozen overs the Ultras started to pick up the pace & found some of those much needed boundaries, so that at the halfway stage of their innings were 57 for 2, with one retirement.
As we delved deeper into our bowling(or lack of bowlers perhaps!) Bromley started to find their feet lusty blows for sixruns catipulted their score to 131-5 with three retirements after their alloted twenty overs.
Matt Hammond was our leading wicket taker, with a brace; Danny & Pete also claiming one apiece; with Pete also running out a Bromley batsman right at the death.
This, for 'The Rabblers'. was a daunting target, as we have never passed a ton of runs against Bromley.

Phil Baker & Shaun Dooley opened the batting for The Hamlet,

Ah, this is easy...

Erm...what next?

Keep going...

Their combination got the scoreboard ticking along, after a couple of boundaries Shaun was out for 10,replaced by Danny King.

Au revoir, Mr. Dooley!

He joined Phil at the crease

and carried on where Shaun had left off, but we then looked to be struggling when Phil & Danny were out for 7 and 13 respectively, to leave on 35-3. But a valiant off they went,

But hope was at hand, as two cricketing debutants for us, Will Patrick & Pete Mungeam took the game to Bromley with some fine stroke play, regularly finding boundaries, including some towering sixes! Both flew past the twenty five run mark within an over of each other & sadly had to depart proceedings with tallies of 28 & 32.

Keep on going...

All the way to the 'pavilion'!

By the end of the fourteenth over we had for the first time passed one hundred runs, no mean feat for us, at we reached 101-3, with two retirements. Needing 31 off of six overs to win the match, we started to slow & runs became hard to come by. Mick O'Shaughnessy was run out for two; better than his son James, who walked back after being bowled for a duck!

The Bromley bowling tightly restricted the Dulwich charge, Matt Hammond got on the scorecard, but was bowled for three; whilst Mark Hutton went the same way, but also for a 'duck'.

Be afraid,very afraid! (well maybe not!)

Martin Tibble was left with seven not out, in a total of 118 for 7, with two retirements.

Close, but not quite close enough. But nonetheless a gallant display from the Hamlet cricketers. A thoroughly entertaining game that swung both ways with us hitting our highest ever total, & also passing the one hundred mark for the first time.

Game over then, time to shake hands & get to the bar!

Yes we are probably a bit silly in playing a supporters' cricket game in the summer, but in the dim & distant past Dulwich Hamlet footballers traditionally packed their football boots away, & represented the Club with ball & bat in the summer months. We may not be of the same quality, but I am sure that 'Pa' Wilson looks down approvingly from above, as the Supporters' of the 21st century continue a Dulwich Hamlet cricketing tradition that has been part of our Club since formation in 1893, & only faded away in the nineteen sixties.

A big thank you to al lwho turned out, it's great fun, even if we invariably come off second best. Cheers to Colin Head & all his Bromley boys for the contest. Roll on next year!

Report mainly by Shaun Dooley, & photos from Mishi Morath.