Posted by: musinganorak | September 1, 2010

Scouse Rhinos

A trip North today. The main reason was to take my mum home after her short break with us. The second reason was to pick up the last 2 Rhinos I hadn’t seen in Rhino Mania. The 2 I needed were both located on Merseyside, 1 at John Lennon Airport and the other at Lime Street Station.

After safely getting mum home I carried on towards the airport. The only clue I had as to it’s whereabouts was that it was at the airport. Knowing how expensive short term parking is at these places I hoped that it wouldn’t take long to track it down. I parked the car and as I left the car park towards the terminal building the first thing I saw was a large rhino decorated to look like a tiger. Approximately two minutes from getting out of the car. Pity that there was a minimum charge of twenty minutes. 61 down 1 to go.

The final rhino was at Lime Street Station and my original plan was to park up at Runcorn Station and get a train in before returning to Runcorn and a match at Runcorn Linnets new ground. In the end, because I had spent virtually no time at the airport, I thought I would take my chances and drive into the centre of Liverpool and hope to find some parking near the station. The drive in was trouble free and I had no problem finding street parking about 10 minutes walk from Lime Street. I knew that the rhino was in the low level part of Lime Street Station, but again I wasn’t sure exactly where. As at the airport it turned out to be unbelievably easy, after descending to the low level station I found the rhino next to the ticket office. All 62 rhinos seen. Job done. And for the first time I had seen all of the sculptures in situ and not had to rely on picking up missing ones at end of display gatherings. Very satisfying.

As my rhino searching had taken a lot less time than I had anticipated I decided to change my plans for the days football and instead of heading South towards Runcorn I continued North through the suburbs of Liverpool to Skelmersdale United and their opening fixture against Wakefield in the newly renamed Evo-Stik League Division 1 North, aka the Northern Premier League. The visitors got their new season off to a flying start and after dominating the early play they took the lead on 5 minutes. Skelmsersdale finally started to rouse themselves and gradually started to get in to the match. After 25 minutes they had managed to level the scores from the penalty spot when a Wakefield defender was adjudged to have handled deliberately on the line. He certainly handled the ball but from what I saw the ball hit his hand as it rebounded back off the crossbar and he knew very little about it. But I’m not the referee and so Wakefield faced the prospect of playing an hour with only 10 men.

As was to be expected the match soon became pretty one sided as the hosts tried to press home their numerical advantage. The visiting defence though were superb and managed to repel everything that Skem threw at them. The keeper in particular had an absolute blinder and made a number of excellent saves. It looked like they were going to hold out for a well fought draw until the 87th minute when a speculative shot from distance was spilled by the keeper and the home forward was quickest to react to stab the ball home for a 2-1 victory. I felt sorry for the Wakefield keeper as from what I saw this was the only mistake he had made in the entire match despite the constant pressure he was under. It’s a funny old game.

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