Decades ago, before money took over as the main determinant of football success, there were some clubs who were known as yo-yo clubs – too good for the second division of English football but not quite good enough for the first. The prime example was Sheffield Wednesday, who were champions of Division 2 three times in the 1950’s but who tended to finish rock bottom of Division 1, if not the next season then very soon after!
Our own Wednesday performance in the Collins and Shipley confirmed the fears of recent weeks, as the ladies went down 2-10 to Amble and finished next to bottom of the division just a year after promotion. Your correspondent is in Canada, but thanks to the wonders of modern communication was able to receive this sad news before lunch on the same day! Jean’s rink had a good 24-8 win, but the other two rinks each scored only seven shots while conceding a total of 42, so that there were no bonus points on offer either. With only two points taken from the match the result of the Benfield match became immaterial, and the trap door opened.
The yo-yo worked in the opposite direction for the Nines squad. After a couple of slips in recent weeks, things went their way when Wallsend Park proved unable to offer sufficient dates to play the game that had been postponed for rain the previous week. We thus gained the full eight points, and into the bargain won the division in the first year after relegation. There was a comment from one of our friends and rivals in a neighbouring club that we had won the league by default, but in fact the circumstances were just a fluke of timing. As it happns, Hexham House had been gifted eight points by the same Wallsend Park contingent earlier in the season, on the grounds that they couldn’t find enough drivers to come to Hexham, so really this just balanced things up – and since we had beaten Hexham House once and drawn the other match it seemed about right that we finished just above them in the table.
Anyway, with several new players now coming through we can be more optimistic about life in Division 1 next season. There may well be some thumpings, but the all-round experience will be good for everyone’s game. And as long as the ladies can have one last shot at the yo-yo to be promoted again, we shall – with any luck – lose our unwanted tag.
Thanks for your company. See you again in 2016.