Brady Maccabi manager's Europe dash to make semi-final
It's amazing the lengths that some people will go to play a game of football.
Take Brady Maccabi Masters player-manager Daniel Collins for example. Stuck in France as a result of volcanic ash in Iceland, he drove more than 1,100 kilometres and spent 21 hours of solid travelling to get back to Hatfield for the cup semi-final against North London Raiders.
Travelling with Brady stalwarts Joel Nathan, David Jacobs and David Sawyer, Collins said: "Once we realised on Thursday night that we were unlikely to get our flight Friday night we decided to work out another way home. Most of the ports don't now take foot passengers, the Eurostar was full for Friday so it wasn't until midnight that we found space on the 12.15pm hydrofoil from Cherbourg.
"We quickly packed and departed. We drove 1,100kms from Les Arcs to Cherbourg in two and a half hour shifts and got to the port with 15 minutes to spare. We dumped our hire car in the car park. Avis not very happy as it should have gone back to Geneva," he commented. They spent three and a half hours on a hydrofoil in choppy sea back to Portsmouth followed by two trains plus two lines on the underground to get back to Luton to collect their car.
Collins said: "We were home by 8pm on Friday night to a nice bowl of much needed chicken soup. It was well worth it as I got to see Spurs beat Chelsea and we won the semi-final."
I witnessed one of the most bizarre pieces of refereeing the other day. Watching London Lions against the Met Police in Bushey, the Lions were leading 2-1 with seconds to play. Referee Kevin Moore correctly awarded the Police a free-kick on the edge of the Lions box. The Police turned down the chance of a quickly taken set piece and asked the ref to move the wall back 10 yards. Moore proceeded to march the Lions back, shouting "on my whistle the free-kick will be taken". However, with Lions keeper Matt Davis still positioning the wall, the Police took the free-kick and then Moore whistled for them to take it. The ball went in, Moore let the goal stand and the Lions had been robbed.
The Lions erupted with frustration as the final whistle blew seconds later with the Police and Moore cutting embarrassed figures.
Lions boss Tony Gold said: "This shows you why so many people are turning their back on football. Referees should be held accountable when they make incompetent decisions but the fact is it will never happen.
"It makes me wonder if it is all worthwhile because it was a great, competitive game played in good spirit with not one bad tackle and yet six players have been booked and the game was ruined at the end because I believe the ref's ego took over."
Leading MSFL official Gary Silver, who writes a column on the JC MSFL website, said: "If the referee is measuring the 10 yards then it should be safe to assume that the whistle is going to be blown to restart.
"In this case however, it appears that everyone heard the ref shouting 'wait for the whistle' and if Police took it before the whistle was blown it should have either been retaken or, what I have done in the past, although probably controversial, if it goes out for a goal kick or keeper catches it then play on. Why should they have another chance?