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Monday, 01 September 2014

Kirkby veterans share spoils with Swiss

EURO 2012 may be hogging the football headlines, but in Kirkby a match with its own touch of continental flair was the talk of the village.

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GENEVA CONVENTION: Kirkby United veterans pictured with the visiting Swiss over-35s team from Geneva at the Community Centre PICTURE Submitted by Barry Postlethwaite

A touring over-35s team from Switzerland visited the Community Centre to tackle a Kirkby United veterans XI in an action-packed friendly that ended in a 4-4 draw.

The game was the brainchild of Kirkby-born teacher John McPherson, who works in Switzerland and arranged for the players from Geneva to spend the weekend in South Cumbria.

Kirkby have previously travelled to Italy and Malta to play in friendly matches, set up by McPherson.

Five weeks of training under the watchful eye of Kirkby United stalwart Barry Postlethwaite in preparation for the game paid dividends when the village side took a first-half lead through Martin Hollings.

Chances came thick and fast in the second half and the hosts stormed into a 4-1 lead, with Steve Ellershaw, Ade Pearce and Neil Woodend all on target. Woodend also had a spectacular overhead kick chalked off for offside by referee Steve Geldart.

The Swiss visitors, however, refused to roll over and – after borrowing a couple of Kirkby players to replace injured men – roared back with three goals to level the match at 4-4.

“The game was probably slightly more physical than they (the Swiss team) were used to,” said Postlethwaite.

“But it was a great match and everyone enjoyed it.

“Afterwards, the Swiss team were treated to pie and peas at the Ship Inn, followed by a guided tour of Barrow, which ended on the beach at West Shore.

“The group then travelled to the Bluebird Cafe at Coniston, which had remained open to accommodate the party.

“The evening was rounded off by watching the Euro 2012 action in the Coniston Sports Club.

“Many new friends were made and Kirkby United have been invited for the return leg in Geneva.

“The Swiss will probably start as favourites with their four away goals in the bag!”

Kirkby player Tony Barton, who runs the Ship Inn, added: “It was brilliant, the Swiss lads were superb and played some good football.”

Have your say

With the influx of some of the veterans back into the kirkby fold next season, looks like i'll struggle to get a game and may be forced to seek pastures new.

Posted by Leigh Cockburn on 15 June 2012 at 11:05

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