GFA Summer League Competition Cup-FinalMonday August 7 2023

Clifton St. Vincent’s vs Rockleaze Rangers

Monday 7th August 2023, KO 8.00pm

Venue: Oaklands, Almondsbury.

If you are free and able to attend, please come along and cheer the team on in the Cup Final.

Clifton St. Vincent’s Summer League squad have been taking part in the GFA’s Summer League Competition during the summer and are to be congratulated on reaching the final.

Clifton St Vincent's A's Title WinnersMonday March 27 2023

Huge congratulations to Clifton St Vincent's A's for winning the Downs League's 3rd division!!!

Match report can be found here.
Wow! What a day at Wembley.Wednesday May 25 2022

I felt like Charlie at the Chocolate Factory with my golden tickets. Me and my dad had tickets to the FA Cup final!! I simply had to choose my dad to accompany me. He is Liverpool to the bone.

I had invited my dad before I went to visit Mr and Mrs King to collect our tickets. I may not have invited my dad if I had got the tickets first. CHELSEA SUPPORTERS ONLY was printed clearly. Too late now me and dad had made plans.

We got the coach up, discussing various scenarios over our packed lunch. The significance of the occasion didn't fully smack us in the chops until we disembarked at Wembley Park tube station.

The noise when we got onto the famous steps on the final stretch of the pilgrimage that is Wembley Way was colossal. Both sets of fans were screaming passionately for their tribe. After a swift pint we stomped towards the stadium with thousands of other football zombies. Absolute fever pitch.

Time to deal with the elephant in the room. Not wanting to risk the dangers of wearing a red shirt in a sea of blue we found a spot for dad to change his shirt. This was a wise decision. We went through the turnstiles and were immediately surrounded by Chelsea die hards.

I regret not recording my father through the game as I’m sure we could have made millions if I recorded his Oscar nominee level of performance as a Chelsea fan. As we watched an absolutely gripping nil-nil my dad ooooohed and aaaaaaahed zigged where he should have zigged and zagged where he had to zag. He looked like a Chelsea fan.

There were over 50 shots, multiple woodwork strikes and the inevitable drama that comes with a shoot-out. My dad did not break character and did not break sweat and then, Victory! For Liverpool! Even with the win my dad did not show emotion. No Chelsea smiles for us today.

We exit the stadium and approach the red end almost immediately. After some negotiations I manage to convince the stewards to let us in the Liverpool end. My dad gets changed back into his Liverpool jersey in the stadium stairwell and we rush up the stairs in time to see the famous trophy lifted. My dad sung and danced with his fellow fans.

When we exited Wembley for the second time, I asked my dad to pose for a few snaps. Here is where we had another sprinkle of cup magic. As he stood there, both arms aloft, a passing fan put a scarf over his neck. Like a voiceless superhero this gentleman knighted my dad with a Liverpool scarf, without saying a word. It was so rapid he was soon just another bobbing head in a massive crowd. We may never know why he made this gesture, but it made our day. You can see the moment in the photo.

We rushed through the city to only just make our coach back. We had brilliant lifetime memories and a win for dad tucked in our pockets.

Thank you CSV!!!

The Green ManMonday March 14 2022

Patrick Connolly – The Green Man Ultra race review

About me

I had a long and glorious career at Clifton St Vincent’s. I joined the club after finishing university having been dragged along by Rich Bevins and Ken Clifford. In my early years I played alongside Ray King in midfield and tried to model my game on his.

According to stats produced by Rich Bevins, if I remember correctly, I played about 250 games for the club and scored 25 goals. That’s quite prolific for somebody who rarely left the centre-circle. I was also captain of the A team that won the All Saints Cup in 1994-95. That was the ‘glorious’ bit.

I stopped playing in my mid-thirties (I think) and started running to keep fit. In fairness, I was always better at running than kicking a football, which is saying something when you consider that I rarely left the centre-circle.

I joined Emersons Green Running Club in 2016. I’ve plodded along since then. I did a couple of marathons, but that was a few years ago when I was much fitter.

On Tuesday 11 January 2022, at age 52, after persuasion from Rich and Kerri from my running club, I signed up to run the Green Man Ultra with them. They’ve both done the race a few times before and said that would look after me.

About the race

The Green Man is a 46-mile race around the Bristol Community Forest Path.

There is a 30-mile version of the race called The Green Boy. Perhaps I should have signed up for that, but one is called ‘Man’ and the other is called ‘Boy’.

My training

I didn’t know any of the route and had never run more than a marathon before. I wasn’t particularly fit and so I knew that I needed to work on that.

On Sunday 23 January, I ran the Doynton Hard Half Marathon. On Saturday 29 January I did a 3 Peaks recce with Rich, which was 17-miles. On Saturday 6 February I did a Green Man recce with Rich from Shortwood to Ashton, about 25 miles. At the same time, I was also going to running club in the week. My legs were really tired, and they weren’t getting time to recover. Rich told me that this was a good thing. It didn’t feel so good.

On Sunday 13 February, I did the Dursley Dozen. It was only 12-miles but I found it really hard and so I stopped midweek running so my legs could rest a bit. On Sunday 20 February I did a club social run of 12-miles, but I added some more afterwards to get up to 16. I had to stop then because my legs were really tired.

At this social run, Kerri was clearly injured. I was relying on her to guide me around the course because Rich has had some injury issues and I wasn’t so certain he would be able to complete the course. Kerri assured me that she would be taking it easy to ensure she was fit. That made me feel a bit better.

One week before Green Man, and my legs were still tired and so I did just a gentle 7-mile run. I say gentle, but I found it hard. I’d got used to walking up hills and eating snacks along the way. I like walking and eating. In the evening I went to club birthday party and Kerri was limping. She said that she had injured herself jumping off boxes. I wasn’t convinced that taking it easy to protect her injury meant jumping off boxes. She said that she would take it easy now to ensure that she was fit. A few days later she got in touch to say that she wouldn’t be running the Green Man as she had injured herself again, this time jumping off a climbing wall!!

9 reasons why I was nervous about the race

1. It is 46 miles
2. I’ve never ran this far before.
3. I ran 16 miles a couple of weeks beforehand and my legs hurt, and 16 miles is not very close to 45 miles
4. The terrain is nearly all cross country which means lots of undulations and lots of mud
5. It has been raining lots, which means even more mud and lots of stodgy fields
6. It is 46 miles
7. I didn’t know the route. It is self-navigation, there is only very limited signage, and my sense of direction isn’t great.
8. If I am still in one piece, it will get dark, I didn’t know the course, there is limited signage, and my sense of direction isn’t great.
9. It is 46 miles

Race day

My alarm went off at 5am. I had slept well despite my son, who was back from university for the weekend, rolling in drunk and waking me up at 1.30am. Rich picked me up at 6.25am and then the first panic started. I had lost my new watch, which I had bought so it would help me navigate the course. We headed out and then back to my house again to try and find my watch, but no joy. It was gone.

We arrived at Ashton Park School and, guess what, I found my watch – it was in my bag!

I wasn’t feeling so confident, but I had posted on Facebook that I was doing the race and told everybody at my work. I really didn’t think I could do 46 miles, but I had to achieve respectability. If only I could get close to marathon distance and then pull out, that would be fine.

Rich and I decided to run close to the 11-hour time lord and we set off towards checkpoint 1. The first 8 miles was quite hilly, up over Dundry or Pensford or somewhere near there. I told you my sense of direction isn’t great. It was all friendly, but Rich was clearly feeling good as he kept pushing ahead of me. At checkpoint 1 Rich said that we were going too fast.

I found the section to checkpoint 2 in Keynsham to be hard and was even wondering if I should pull out when I got there. But I couldn’t complete just 16 miles in an ultra. That would be pretty rubbish.

Arriving at Keynsham I decided that I would drag myself along to checkpoint 3, at the White Horse in Hambrook and probably stop there. That would be a marathon and that would be respectable. I could then go home, collapse on the sofa and watch football. This was my brilliant plan!

One of the pins had come off my race number. Number 213. My number was flapping around all over the place and this also distracted me.

Rich told me that we were going too fast and I would feel better if we slowed down. This section seemed to go on for a very long way. I started speaking more with other runners and they were very encouraging, and I knew that we were a long way ahead of the 12-hour cut off time.

Our pace slowed and any slight incline was treated as a hill, which meant that I could walk it. Running was uncomfortable but walking was fine. I wanted more hills. I wanted more walking.

There were lots of hills up to Shortwood. That was nice. But then we started running again, which wasn’t so good. Neil (from my running club) was waiting for us on the course and he had some pins, as all runners do in their cars, and he fixed my number for me. Perhaps quite a small thing, but really appreciated.

We kept going forwards and then Adrian (also from my running club) came and joined us and ran alongside me. That was also appreciated, and it helped me. We arrived at checkpoint 3 – decision time. I was really tired, but nothing was hurting too much, and I decided to keep going for just a bit longer. We were up to 28 miles. This was already the furthest I had ever run, and every extra mile would improve my personal best.

We headed off again and something happened. I realised I could keep going. Not fast and not so comfortably but I knew that I could keep moving forwards. At about mile 32, for the first time, I thought “I’m going to do this”. We were ahead of the 12-hour schedule, in fact we were still ahead of the 11-hour time lord, and so I just had to keep moving forwards. I could do that.

I had a little radio with me and tuned it to Radio Bristol at 2.59pm to listed to Bristol City. That would inspire me. At 3.01pm they were losing 1-0. At 3.12pm they were losing 2-0. I turned off Radio Bristol.

Adrian left us at Aztec West. Rich said that he was hurting now and that we could afford to slow down more. He then sprinted off again into the distance. I let him go this time as there were other runners around who were going slower and seemed to know the way. I didn’t want to go any faster. At this pace, slow running and walking on hills and muddier bits, I knew that I could keep going.

I arrived at checkpoint 4 at Blaise Castle. This was 40 miles. Rich was waiting but asked if I minded if he went ahead. I didn’t mind at all, as I’d been feeling a bit guilty about holding him back. I was going to finish this race at my pace and that meant very slowly. A quick banana, couple of bites of a pasty and a pack of ready salted crisps and I was off again.

Some people around me were struggling with injuries and limping along but I felt fine. I had this! The climb up to The Downs was hard, but once I was there, I knew that I was nearly home. There were no other runners in sight as I trudged across The Downs, reliving the highlights of my football career. It didn’t take so long – although I do remember Martin Stanleigh (Marts Stanners) once saying that I scored a good goal.

It was getting dark and so I put on my head torch heading up towards Clifton. People were out and about for the evening and I was the strange person doing something crazy. I wondered how I had become the strange person. I’m pretty sure that I was never the strange person before.

Across the Suspension Bridge and into Ashton Court. It was at this point that I realised my head torch wasn’t very bright. I entered the deer park and headed downwards. I then had a moment. I stopped. I was all alone in the dark. I looked over the city of Bristol, including Ashton Gate (the home of football), and I felt proud that I had done this. It was a really nice moment.

My moment soon ended. It was dark, my headtorch wasn’t very bright and I didn’t know where I was going. I had visions of missing the 12-hour cut off because I got lost. I started heading right, this seemed logical, but I was guessing where to go. I found a path and then in the distance I saw another head torch. I headed toward it, hoping to ask for directions. I thought it could be somebody out for an evening walk, or perhaps another lost runner. Maybe there were lots of lost runners all over Ashton Court. A voice then called out my name. It was Kerri. She had come up to find me and guide me home. I was so pleased and relieved to see her. She guided me down to the finish. I’m not at all sure I would ever have found it on my own. I ran to the finish and over the line. 46.1 miles in 11 hours and 1 minute.

That night I hardly slept at all because my legs were aching so much. I still had a very big smile on my face!!
ALL GAMES OFF SATURDAY 8TH JANUARY 2022Monday January 17 2022


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