In a slight easing of the the UK’s Covid restrictions grassroots sport was able to resume on March 29. In most cases spectators can’t return to events until May 17, but watching unticketed games in public spaces, like parks, is permitted.
Burley Trojans are one of my local teams and play in the Harrogate & District League. Home games are hosted at West Holmes Field next to the River Wharfe in Ilkley, so that’s where I found myself among a very thinly scattered few for a Saturday afternoon in the sunshine. Visitors were top of the table Boroughbridge Development. Unfortunately for the Trojans, their opponents were very much on their game; Boroughbridge ran out winners by nine goals to nil. And two balls were lost to the river.
As it happens this was my 100th different football ground. In normal circumstances I probably would have made an effort to find more of a notable spot for this landmark, but the times are what they are.
Earlier I’d had a bit of a potter around Ilkley. The town seemed very busy, partly because all the cafes and eateries had tables out on the street which added to the congestion. I didn’t try to go into any shops, but even the charity shops had queuing systems for admittance. The riverside beaches were also quite busy, but peaceful. In Middleton Woods the bluebells seem near their peak (extra).