This Saturday’s outing to Stourbridge, sees the club make what might be its last league sortie into Staffordshire for some time. Next seasons league restructure means that Stourbridge will be plying their trade down south, interrupting again our long-standing friendship which first commenced when we locked horns in the season 1994/95, in what was Courage League National 5 North. That was when 8 of the 13 teams in the league were from the Midlands. (Walsall, Lichfield, Stoke, Birmingham & Solihull, Nuneaton, Barkers Butts, Hereford, Stourbridge).
Promotion in 2001/02 saw them rejoin us back in what was then the ‘National Clubs 2’ (later to become National 1), where both teams would go on to enjoy each other’s company until Stour’ were regulated to National 2 in 2011/12, where we would rejoin them, several years later. When not sharing a league together, pre-season friendlies over the years have ensured the healthy relationship has continued between the two clubs, both on and off the pitch. None more typified than that shown by our own, late, great Scriv’, (Wharfedale’s attaché to Stourbridge) who had a great affinity and bond with the folk of Stourton Park, and who was always very proud to wear their striped tie when this fixture came around.
Currently lying 5th in the league, Stourbridge’s last 4 fixtures have been against Yorkshire teams, with one win, two 2 losses and a postponement, but their thirst to play a dynamic game sees them with the second highest amount of match points scored, and the second highest bonus points collected. Whilst Wharfedale’s form may have dipped in recent games, we know with ball in hand we have a potency to create attacking options from anywhere, which we may just profiteer from as another plastic turf awaits us on Saturday!
Kick off 3.00pm. Team selection to follow.
For those without an AA Road Atlas: Stourton Park, Bridgnorth Road, Stourton, Stourbridge, DY7 6QZ