So we finally arrive at my last game of the 2009/10 season and I suppose it's only fitting that it ends in Scotland where I have enjoyed so many memorable trips this season.

After opening the Pandora's Box dipping my toe in the East Region Junior League last week with a top of the table clash at Bo'ness, I thought I'd journey up once again but this time for a game at the other end of the table. Whitburn (which is a small town 20 miles west of Edinburgh) were playing Hill of Beath Hawthorn (from near Cowdenbeath) to effectively decide who will be relegated to the Premier League.

Whitburn were the team in biggest danger as, after their 0-6 drubbing at the hands of Linlithgow on Thursday, they needed to win their two remaining games and hope other results went their way. Hawthorn on the other hand just needed just a point today to guarantee survival.

On a baking hot afternoon, the game was played at a very pedestrian pace and, in the first half especially, chances were few and far between. Whitburn took the lead early in the second half when Scott Gormley headed home. Kevin Byle (great name!) equalised for Hawthorn with a superb dipping volley from the edge of the area after 68 minutes. That was a good as a got. Whitburn pushed forward in the latter stages as it dawned on them they were going down, but sadly for them they barely troubled the Hawthorn goalkeeper, who at the final whistle, along with his team-mates, celebrated their own survival.

Central Park, the home of Whitburn, is an absolute gem of a ground with a massive stand along one side of the pitch. Admittedly it has probably seen better days (as one fellow hopper remarked if it were south of the border health and safety would have shut it down by now) but that is what makes these grounds so special and why they should be treasured. A great way to end the season!

Before I go I must also mention that the pie I ate at Whitburn was not the best I've ever tasted in Scotland, it was a wee bit greasy but as I managed to snaffle the last one, much to the consternation of others, you'll will have to take my word for that, though I was assured that the Bovril was top notch!

So there you go, another season over. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my travels and I do appreciate you taking the time to do so (the thumbs up and comments are most welcome).

That is it until July when we shall start the 'hopping' once more, assuming the government hasn't slung me on the dole!

Thanks again and enjoy your summer :)


Saturday 5th June 2010
East Region Super League
Whitburn Juniors 1-1 Hill of Beath Hawthorn
Attendance: 276