Fox and Hounds (Batley) v West End Terriers

6.30pm  17 May 2017

Wakefield and District League, Division Two
Fox and Hounds (Batley) 6 West End Terriers 10 (att 8)

I guess it's fitting that I should get a rugby league scoreline when watching football in the league heartland of Dewsbury.

It wasn't my first choice game, that was a premier division fixture in the same league, but when I discovered champions Real Moor weren't using their usual home pitch I turned my attention to a game in the league's third tier.

To be fair I had been warned it might not be the usual type of game, even for this level. When I spoke to Fox and Hounds to check the game I was told they were surprised at the scheduling, as many of their players had only returned from a teammate's stag weekend in the early hours of the morning.

They'd already earned promotion, and so would be treating the game as something of a lighthearted celebration of the season.

I was tempted not to bother, but it's difficult to shake off the appeal of an evening standing in a rain watching a meaningless football match, and so I headed into West Yorkshire and to the Bywell Playing Fields.

The first half was okay, even though Fox and Hounds weren't so much playing in first gear as in neutral. They twice came from behind to be level at 2-2 by the break.

West End Terriers, in mid table with equally little to play for, began the second half as if determined to ensure victory, and soon pulled clear of their hosts. Both sides' lack of defending, coupled with some tidy finishing, ensured a final score that I've never seen before, and probably never will again.

Despite seemingly named after a pub in Batley, Fox and Hounds play in Dewsbury. Bywell Playing Fields, off Leeds Road, is a sports field next to a school. There's a rugby pitch (rugby league, presumably) that's railed on both sides, and two open football pitches.

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