No.46 - Sat 2nd May 2015; Cambs County League Division 1B;                                   2.45pm at Burwell Recreation Ground; Hythe Lane; Burwell; Ely; Cambs; CB25 0EH 


Matchday images (60)

Burwell Swifts (6) 7  Huntingdon United (0) 2

'Swifts in seventh heaven'

'I must admit that I broke a bit of a personal hopping rule today. Over the years I have always said to myself that I will only visit local grounds as a last resort, saving them for a day when Iím either short of time or maybe when other games are called off due to bad weather and I canít get anywhere else in time for kick-off. So Iíve no excuse really. I had plenty of matches on the drawing board and enough time to get to any of them if I set out at mid day.


After a busy week I decided (after much deliberation) to take it easy for a change and not to rush about. Is this the sign of old age? Perhaps it was also the chance to partake in one of my wifeís tasty bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches for a late brunch. That unmistakable smell of a back rashers sizzling in the oven clinched it and so did my choice of game. As I sat back, relaxed and tucked into my savoury roll my mind was made up to head the short distance over to Burwell for my football fix this afternoon.


The village of Burwell is situated on the south-eastern edge of The Fens, a large area of relatively flat former marshland which lies close to sea level and covers the majority of Cambridgeshire and neighbouring Lincolnshire. The fens to the west of the village are drained with the help of the man-made Cambridgeshire Lode waterways, including Burwell Lode which has been important in the growth of the village.


The name ĎBurwellí is of Anglo-Saxon origin and refers to a fort (burh-) located close to a spring (-well). The first record of the name in the area dates from 1060 and the village is recorded in the Domesday Book under the spellings Burewelle, Burwella and Burwelle. A spring is situated in the south of the village close to the remains of 12th century Burwell Castle, although there is evidence of prior settlement on or near the castle site. Burwell has a large parish church located on the High Street in the south of the village. Dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, the church is of a Perpendicular Gothic style in construction, and dates back to the 15th century, although some parts of the building are older.  


Being only four miles (or eleven minutes driving time) according to Google Maps from FGIF HQ, it is the nearest place that I have yet to visit for a game of football. The club is based at the local recreation ground located at end of a cul-de-sac on Hythe Lane. Surrounded by open fields, trees and some local housing itís a rather basic but attractive leafy venue comprising of a small car park, childrenís play area and a modest changing pavilion (with tea bar) for players and officials. Interestingly for this level a row of wooden posts complete with bulbs attached  to the masts allow the club to train during the winter months. A number of tall telegraph pylons stretching across the field and beyond provide a unique landmark and prominent backdrop from pitch side.


Todayís game saw the visit of Huntingdon United for Cambs County league Division 1B fixture. Before play the hosts sat proudly at the top of the thirteen team division (with four games still to play) having lost only once all season. With a ten point advantage and huge goal difference over chasing sides Bar Hill, Littleport and Buckden they looked to have clinched the title and with it promotion to the ranks of the Senior Division.


For the record, Swifts won the game emphatically by a 7-2 score-line with a dominant attacking display to take a step nearer to claiming the title. In fact out of all the games Iíve attended in the Cambs County League, Swifts looked one of the best football sides Iíve seen so far this season. The match played on a large un-roped pitch on what was a well grassed surface in sunny conditions attracted nearly twenty spectators. There were no programmes or refreshments (although thereís a convenience store in the village).


A trip to Burwell Swifts Football Club comes highly recommended. Like an increasing number of teams these days the club has its own Twitter account which can be accessed along with the Cambs County League FA Full-Time site using the links shown below. The joys of hopping just up the road does have its advantages...I was (for once) back home well before Final Score had started! Have fun wherever you go.  


FGIF Match Stats

Scorers: (H) Chadwick (7), De Pfeiffer (22, 43), Storey (25, 40), Tennant (41, 79) and (A) Everett (55), Mackney (77) 

Attendance: 19; Admission: Free; Programme: None; Match rating: 4/5; Ground rating: 3/5.



edited on 03/05/15