Stroud Charity Cup (Section A), Semi Final
Quedgeley Wanderers 3 Hardwicke 1 (att 83)
Local charity cups can be hit and miss affairs depending how serious clubs take them and, especially when games are played on Sundays, what sort of sides they can muster.
But there was no danger of this south Gloucester derby being anything other than keenly contested, with local bragging rights at stake as well as a place in the cup final.
If anything the better side lost. Hardwicke play a division higher than their hosts, in division one, rather than two, of the mouthful that is the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League. There wasn't much between the sides, but Hardwicke appeared to have the edge, except for just position ... goalkeeper.
Quedgleley's keeper made a number of fine saves to deny the visitors, whereas Hardwicke's keeper had an afternoon to forget.
After a largely uneventful first half it was the visitors who took the lead about 15 minutes into the second period, but Hardwicke were soon level. Not long later the home side went ahead, with what looked from where I was standing like an own goal by the Hardwicke keeper.
Hardwicke pressed for an equaliser, but shortly before the end were caught on the break and the home side added a third goal to make the game safe.
The ground, Waterwells, looks new and is very good for a league in which a number of clubs play on open pitches.
The main pitch runs widthways in front of a modern clubhouse, which as well as changing rooms and a bar also includes a kitchen that was serving food and drink. The pitch itself is fully enclosed by sturdy plastic "ranch style" fencing, to which dozens of advertising boards are attached, and there's a pair of modern dugouts.
Quedgeley have the look of a club on the up, and have the facilities that wouldn't be out of place at a higher level.