Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Cycling Update

So you're up to date with how the season ended, time to update the cycling side of the blog.
Last time I wrote (back in April) I was clocking up around 100 miles per month (except March when I did 222 thanks to a few days off from work and some unseasonably hot weather). April saw me clock up 109 miles. The last two rides of the month (16.71 & 9.11 miles) were the first ones to dip below an average of 4.00 mins / mile for that month.
May took me back into the 200's (203.60) including a ride to Ashbourne and back on Saturday May 28th. The hike up through Turnditch was as hard as expected but I managed it without getting off - all 1.5 miles of it (hardly Alpe D'Huez i'll admit).
so far this month I've clocked up 61 miles in 6 days but the end of the month sees us off on a cruise to Norway so that will cut down on the miles a bit. 
Today I went out in the sun although the skies were leaden over Holbrook. I managed the first 15 minutes in the dry then the heavens opened and the next 40 minutes were ridden in torrential rain. Thankfully I decided there was a risk of a downpour and went out on the Boardman rather than the Pinarello so at least I had mudguards in situ. Timing wise I was only 3 seconds slower than previous rides over the 13 miles circuit.
This was me when I got back (just as the sun started to come out). It's hard to see how wet I was but the clues are there - the filthy socks from the road and the dye running in my gloves due to being sodden). The clouds behind give only a hint of what had been happening over the previous hour. I really enjoyed it - even if I will have to spend a while cleaning my bike over the next day or so !

Catch Up Time

Ok so it's been too long but at least that means that we have a few things to write about. When I last blogged we were heading to Shepshed with three games of the season left. It started so well with a 6-0 thrashing of the Dynamo (and I won the Grand National sweep on the bus - even though I went in the car, figure that one out !). Shepshed were a poor side and were lucky to get away with only losing 6 goals.
That game put us on a high for the visit of Leek Town - our main rivals for the last play off place. An even game saw Leek park the bus, playing with 6 at the back, including leading scorer Matt Haddrell. Belper took the lead through red hot Ash Longstaff to lead at half time. Leek equalised in the 83rd minute,  as things stood that meant that Leek were in the ideal place to keep us out of the play offs. Time ticked on and with the 90 minutes up and added time being played the ball was on the Belper byeline being held up by a Leek forward. Players piled in and a free kick was given to Belper. Amazingly the ball was played from one end of the field to the other and at the third attempt leading scorer Jon Froggatt fired in a winner to send the home fans wild.
All that remained was for Belper to equal Leeks result on Saturday and not lose 5 goals and we were in the play offs - simpless.
Our visitors were New Mills and with nothing to play for everyone felt that Belper had turned around a very odd season. 13 wins and a draw in the last 14 games was championship form, but footballs is a funny old game.
Leek were playing Shepshed so we knew that they would win (barring a miracle result). We were 2 points ahead at kick off with a goal difference 4 better than them.
As the game went on we started getting updates from the Leek game. We were 1-0 up and safely in the play offs whatever Leek managed to do, then New Mills found an equaliser and it all changed. News of Leek goals flooding in 3-0, 4-0 - as things stood we would be in the play offs by 1 goal. We heard that Shepshed had a penalty - which they missed. Then the news we didn't want to hear - Leek 5 Shepshed 0. At the final whistle it was all over, Leek had finished on the same points, and the same goal difference but pipped us by having scored more goals (despite the fact that in head to heads we had won 2-0).

The final table looked like this:

1. Grantham Town 92-44 93 +48

2. Carlton Town 101-52 83 +49
3. Ilkeston Town 93-44 83 +49
4. Sheffield FC 93-62 75 +31
5. Leek Town 77-60 74 +17

6. Belper Town 74-57 74 +17

As you can see, a win would have put us in 5th place and an away trip to Carlton Town in the play offs.

As things turned out Leek beat Carlton on Penalties in their SF and Ilkeston thrashed Sheffield 7-0 in the other. The final was at Ilkeston and as expected the Robins came through 2-0 infront of over 1,600 fans.

So thats another season over with - next time I'll update on the cycling (which is going well, despite the awful summer we are having thus far)