Game 29 Bristol Rovers V Luton Town 2.1.16

Or: On tour with the boys.

Between matches.
We decided to go up country. By this we mean taking a flight to Port Elizabeth, hiring a car and taking a few days to drive back.

Highlights of the trip were many but included:-
• Visiting Rose’s childhood town of Grahamstown
• Meeting Nokaya for the first time. This was very emotional for one of our party
• Staying with Penny and John on their farm / wood mill in Salem
• Driving through the flash flooded Meiringspoort Gorge
• Sampling beers in the Swartberg Hotel in Prince Albert
• Driving over the Swartberg pass
• Meeting our hosts at their coastal location in Natures Valley.
• Driving back to Cape Town over the numerous ridges and coastal roads.

Here is a selection of photographs

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On New Year’s Day the team of Ronnie, Bob, Hazel and Ian arrived for our version of a braai. We had a test match and various games to catch up on. This photo comes from a few days later at the test.

at test

stedders bar

The bar was open

A day later we were at the test match.

South Africa V England 2nd Test Newlands

The first day was a bit routine. England start poorly and recovered to a regulation, just over 300, runs in a day. There was certainly no hint of the magnificent feat that was to happen the next day. In the afternoon session there were obvious flashes of football related interest being shown by the assembled Barmy Army. Ronnie and Bob had set up their White Lion flag on the boundary. Hazel and Ian had a game of move the camera man in the seats below me and got prime position for their Hackney Gas flag.

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The ten minute before photo had a clock to corroborate the time. Perfect.

10 to 3 test

David’s pre match photo came through soon after on facebook.

luton dm
Luton Away Crowd. It increased by over 200% to 707 in the ten minutes before kick-off. (Focus is bad, because of pre-match downpour).

The Game

Bristol Rovers 2 Luton Town 0 Attendance 9,131 (707 Hatters)

I generally like Luton,  Lutonians and their football club. They are much like us but have had some disproportionate success and failures in the last forty years. So to all my Luton friends, that includes John Griffiths, Tim and Guy Plumb and Abeda, you were truly stuffed again and I am glad I wasn’t there to rub it in. I checked in twice. Once just before half time and again on the way home from the cricket in the car. The final score arrived as we left Pick and Pay loaded up with the evening’s Gin.

Post-Match Pubs

Believe it or not I only visited one pub on the whole visit. The next day I joined the chaps in the Springbok bar next to the ground. Regulation kegged lager was the order of the day. What was not usual was to bump in to good old friends from Milton Keynes. Aubrey is apparently a regular in the Barmy Army. So too is Mr Gale, a former pupil.

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And the next day Stokes went to his hundred with this shot.

Next up Barnet A

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