Where's The Tea Hut reflects upon local football South West style with a few trips further afield. Keep the faith & stay safe.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Dennis The Menace

Saturday 17th August 2019
South West Peninsula League West
Attendance: 88 (another ropey head count)
Admission: Gave em £5, got in, got a programme, got a 50/50 ticket & 2 quid change!
Programme: Came free I suppose.
Tea Hut Stuff: Proper cup of tea £1
Weather: Comfortably warm, plenty of sunshine, got cloudy late second half
Parking: Inside the ground behind the Main Stand

Where am I?
If you look at a map you'll see St Dennis is more or less in the centre-circle of Cornwall. With under 3000 population it's not got tons going on but it appears to be a nice well kept place charismatically overlooked by a church on a hillside. I didn't have time to do a tour but it's probable they only have a few shops and grub establishments. Needless to say one of the outlets is the trusty local kebab shop (who have a splendid pitchside advertising board at the ground).

I would imagine every groundhopper who comes to the smartly presented Boscawen Park stadium will take a snap of the 'elephant in the room' vista wise. This is the imposing incinerator officially titled as The Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre. It's meant to divert 90% of Cornwall waste from landfill and generate 16 megawatts of electricity but rumour has it they can't get the thing to work properly? The magnitude of the structure is pretty much in your face initially but you tend to forget it pretty quickly, especially when the fancy dan galacticos of St Dennis & Falmouth weave their magic. Sorry, bit over the top that last bit.

Getting In
As mentioned in the header section you get exceptional value for money here. Perhaps they thought I was an old timer strapped for cash. For a 5 pound note I gained admission, got a programme, a raffle ticket and still got 2 quid back? You hand over your cash at the gate hut and can even park your car inside, there's plenty of space alongside the access road running behind the stand.

Tea Hut
The bright attractive Tea Hut nestles besides the entrance hut. I just got a cup of tea but the chap next to me had already ordered a second repeat helping of curry and chips. He was most complimentary about it. I witnessed other punters with hot dogs and tray fulls of cheesy chips. Perhaps you won't need to hit the kebab house after all?

Boscawen Park the ground
I enjoyed watching part of the match from the Main Stand besides the halfway line. There is a row of external seats running down from the stand towards the clubhouse end, these seats were just the job in the sunshine today. 

The clubhouse and changing room block are behind the goals. This end gives an impression of how the pitch slopes down from the Main Stand touchline towards the modern dug out shelters on the far side. 

There is just hard standing along the shelters touchline. Following around to the end opposite the clubhouse it is just grassland at the moment and could get a bit boggy during some of the wetter days down here.

All together a very nice ground which looked very appealing in the sunshine. 

A final note with regard to the pitch today. The grass did appear a little longer than I've recently seen visiting SWPL grounds. Whether this was a tactical ploy in respect of the quality of today's opponents or the simple fact that it grows like wild fire this time of the year, it's open to debate.

Bench Work
After the shenanigans of what I witnessed during the Newquay v St Blazey clash midweek todays benches resembled an inhibited grouping of rather shy choirboys. There was the usual managerial encouragement on offer but nothing resembling the uncut 'Gangs Of New York' stuff from last Tuesday at the seaside.

Away Fans
Falmouth have perhaps the most famous away following in Cornwall. Referred to as The F Troop they bring a vibrant colourful soundtrack to every game they attend. I first saw them in the SWPL Walter Parson Cup Final at St Blazey last season. 

There wasn't as many of them today but they still had a number of drummers banging their stuff alongside the accompanying flags & banners they'd displayed. They genuinely get behind their side which the team certainly needed on a couple of occasions today.

The Game
St Dennis have found themselves in a higher level of football this season due to the FA restructuring the South West Peninsula League. This means they will come up against some of the big fish in the pond from the old SWPL Premier Division. One of those big fish are Falmouth Town whom many are tipping to be right up there when the title gets decided next spring.

Looking at the predictions on the informative Cornwall Football Forum the consensus of opinion was more a case of how many will Falmouth win by rather than St Dennis getting anything from the game. The F Troop had hardly finished the carry-out ale when the home side got their first attack of the game and duly went 1-0 up from a Jacob Rowe strike in the 10th minute. That wasn't in the script. 

Falmouth took a rigid grip on possession and continually drove forwards. The St Dennis defence held, just about. 

With a rough mix of plucky defending and plenty of inferior finishing from Falmouth the St Dennis locals were looking mighty pleased with themselves with a surprise 1-0 half time lead in their pockets.

The F Troop re-grouped, re-beered and removed themselves to the far end of the ground, drums beating a plenty for the second half assault. The St Dennis net was bulging after just 8 minutes. Jack Bowyer smashing a drive into the top right hand corner 1-1. The visitors were right back in it.

St Dennis, still heady from the memory of that first half lead responded by getting over the halfway line a lot more in the second period, this tussle was proving more difficult for Falmouth than most expected.

With 12 minutes left F Troop were in dreamland, Ryan Martt put them 1-2 up, surely the 3 points were now in the bag, panic-over, the first win of the season was in grasp. Time to just pass it around and kill off the game. Job done.

It looked all over. The clock read 85 minutes. A few of the older St Dennis spectators had started to sneak closer to their cars, the comfy thought of Doreens home made stew in front of the TV draining their enthusiasm for the burned out sorry embers of another lost cause at Boscawen. Just as Owd Ned threw his flat cap on the back seat there was a late St Dennis surge, someone got a cross in, people were shouting "clear it" "boot it out", an almighty scramble ensued in the Falmouth six yard area, it was like watching somebody crap at that FIFA Computer Game trying to aimlessly clear the ball away, almost in slow motion the ball bobbled along to the home sides centre forward Jacob Rowe, he took a swing at it, Ned dropped his pipe, he'd scored, the ball was in the net, Jacob had bagged his second goal to make it 2-2. 

The Falmouth Bench disappeared into a crater beneath the giant incinerator never to be seen again. They'll probably be in Monday evenings missing persons report on BBC Spotlight.

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