Into July and the 21/22 pre-season friendlies are getting underway.
Ilkley Town are stepping up into the semi-pro ranks, joining the North West Counties Football League. Their facilities at Ben Rhydding have received the necessary upgrade, and the rise up the ranks involves the introduction of admission fees for spectators. Today’s friendly against Bradford neighbours Eccleshill United was their first ticketed event.
Eccleshill play one level up and are long-established in the semi-pro ranks. They dominated the first half and were three goals up at the break. Ilkley came back strongly in the second half though and levelled it up but the visitors snatched a winner in the closing minutes, with 3-4 the end result.
It was good to catch up with a couple of match-going friends that I hadn’t seen in a while, and I also managed a quick hello with @earthdreamer who was watching the cricket next door.
The weather forecast had indicated the threat of thunderstorms all through the afternoon, but thankfully they didn’t arrive until late into the evening when the kids and I were treated to a display of lightning and stair rods,