|Flat Caps everywhere at the Flat Cap Derby !|
Atherton Laburnum Rovers 3
Atherton Collieries 1
'Flat Cap Derby'
Match Enjoyment 7/10
Another decent day out in Greater Manchester at the 'Flat Cap' Derby. Feisty in parts , decent atmosphere and it was far from 'Flat'.
Rovers seemed to want in more than Colls from the start and they got their win with two excellent taken goals by the sub (14). Colls fans were not impressed with the ref especially after having a player sent off at a critical time in the game. But If truth be told the ref did a decent job and handled the game quite well.
Collieries' form has dipped of late after a great start to the season. I have watched them twice recently and they have lost both games ,as one loyal Colls fan said with tongue firmly in cheek , "maybe I had better stay away" ?. I assured him that I never touch the ball during the matches.
Ground Enjoyment 7/10
Atherton LR were formed in 1956 as Laburnum Rovers FC when a group of local lads wanted to start their own team. They asked Joe Riley, elder brother of one of the lads, to help them and by the end of December 1956 they were ready to go. They were admitted into the local Briarcroft Junior League, despite the season being well under way.
The club was named after its first home at Laburnum Road Playing Fields, although after a couple of seasons Rovers relocated to Hag Fold (or Hagfold) Playing Fields. After a difficult start the club gradually progressed into senior football, but their lack of facilities prevented any further progression. Instead a farmer’s field was found in the shadow of the massive Laburnum Mill. Despite footpaths crossing it and duck ponds on either side (one roughly where today’s entrance is), sheer hard work transformed the field into a football pitch, with the club officially taking residence in 1966. Visiting the ground today, which is enclosed within a small housing development it is a little difficult to imagine what the site was once like.
Jack Crilly succeeded Riley as Chairman and until his sudden death in 1980, worked tirelessly for the club, with the ground re-named in his memory. The first perimeter fence was made from reclaimed railway sleepers, and the first structure to provide any cover was the clubhouse which had a verandah. In 1980 the club joined the non-league pyramid when their application to join the Cheshire County League was accepted. A stipulation of the League was that the town had to be in the clubs name, so links with the past were retained with the new name of Atherton Laburnum Rovers. In 1982 the club became founder members of the North West Counties League, being placed in Division Two where they remained until the League was reorganised in 1987 when their facilities saw them placed in Division One