The World Gridball Championship

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Please note: Gridball is a fictional historical sports game. The events described below are purely for entertainment only and not actual events.
Team records figure beside team denotes quarter final appearances
Belfast Weavers: 2: Semi Finalists: 1951
Cardiff Dragons: 1: Semi Finalists 1952
Cheshire Cats: 1: Champions 1952
Croydon Crystals: 1: Quarter Finalists 1951
Glasgow Claymores: 1: Quarter Finalists: 1951
Kent Fillies: 1: Quarter Finalists: 1952
Liverpool Liverbirds: 2: Champions 1951
Newcastle Reivers: 1: Quarter Finalists 1952
Sheffield Steels: 1: Quarter Finalists: 1951
Stoke Trents: 1: Semi Finalists: 1951
Sunderland Wasps: 1: Runner Up: 1951
West Hammers: 1: Quarter Finalists: 1952
Willesden Saxons: 2: Semi Finalists: 1952


Quarter Finals

Liverpool Liverbirds 9-1 Belfast Weavers

Emma Kehoe {8}, Amy Martin {10, 59}, Gertrude Keegan {26, 39, 40, 51}, Pauline Yates {31}.....Pauline Burkett {12}

Cardiff Dragons 6-0 Newcastle Reivers

June Pollon {1, 24}, Elizabeth Courtenay {18, 23,43, 57}

Cheshire Cats 1-0 West Hammers

Julia Hilditch {33}

Willesden Saxons 3-0 Kent Fillies

Betty Coupland {27, 35}, Maureen Davis {46}

Semi Finals

Liverpool Liverbirds 4-0 Cardiff Dragons

Pauline Yates {3, 7}, Emma Kehoe {48}, Helen Walsh {49}

Cheshire Cats 3-0 Willesden Saxons

Julia Hilditch {15, 22}, Shani Wallis {own goal 17}

Empire Pool, Wembley, London, England

Saturday November 22nd 1952

Cheshire Cats

1: Kathleen Hand
2: Sabrina Kaye
3: Megs Staff
4: Susan Monkhouse
5: Jean Sloane
6: Shirley Bamford
7: Julia Hilditch


Jean Sloane {60}
Bertha Moore
sin binned {42}

16 year old prodigy, Sabrina Kaye {left} became the youngest player in a final and produced an MVP performance that catapulted her to National stardom.

Gertrude Keegan {right} was voted player of the year and finished the season as competition top scorer but crucially missed the semi final and final through injury

Liverpool Liverbirds

Janet Horsbrough :1
Marion Mitchell :2
Bertha Moore: 3
Emma Kehoe :4
Amy Martin :5
Pauline Yates :6
Helen Walsh :7
Liverpool dominated the 1952 Championship, smashing most of their opponents for huge victories along the way, They won fourteen of their eighteen games en route to the final and hit seventy eight goals for just twenty conceded. Gertrude Keegan emerged as the star player in the side and was competition top scorer when injury ruled her out for the final. It would prove a huge miss.

Cheshire were in their debut season and although less impressive than the Liverbirds in reachng the final, had unearthed possibly the greatest player in the history of the game so far. Sixteen year old defender, Sabrina Kaye burst on the scene and was easily worth one goal saved every game, particularly coming to public attention when proving the toughest opponent Keegan faced in a 2-2 draw in the first round. 

Helen Walsh proved no match for Kaye, who easily marked her out of the game. Despite this, Pauline Yates should have given the defending Champions a flying start but was denied in the second minute by a great save from the aptly named Kathleen Hand. However, the game become one of few chances dominated by defenders with Liverpool the more likely winner. Chances for Cheshire were few and far between, the best of them falling to Hilditch in the third quarter, who snatched at her effort and offered Horsbrough an easy save when she should have scored.

The game turned on an incident with eighteen minutes remaining. Cheshre were enjoying their best spell of the game and had Liverpool a little rattled when Hilditch found herself in a great position to open the scoring. Rather than offer the chance, veteran, Bertha Moore clattered the shooter before allowing the chance to be taken, resulting in an instant sin binning. 

The sending off virtually killed the game and the fourth period became a non event as both sides settled for extra time. With an extra woman, Cheshire were the side that finished the game the stronger and with just 52 seconds left on the clock, Jean Sloane hit a speculative first tme effort that came through a crowd of bodies, past the unsighted Horsbrough into the net. With barely any time to hit back, the Champions had lost their title and Cheshire took the trophy across the Mersey to Birkenhead at the first attempt. It was an apt victory in the year when the character the team took their name from, appeared in the hit Disney movie of Alice in Wonderland.
1952 Half time show: Rosemary Clooney performed Botcha Me, Half as much and Come on a my house


Quarter Finals

Stoke Trents 2-1 Croydon Crystals

Willesden Saxons 0-2 Liverpool Liverbirds

Sheffield Steels 2-7 Belfast Weavers

Sunderland Wasps 2-0 Glasgow Claymores

Semi Finals

Stoke Trents 0-1 Liverpool Liverbirds

Sunderland Wasps 2-0 Belfast Weavers

1951 World Championship Final

Empire Pool, Wembley, London, England

29th September 1951

Liverpool Liverbirds  

1: Janet Horsbrough

2: Barbara Brothwood

3: Bessie Melia

4: Mattie Bulger

5: Emma Kehoe

6: Emma Callan

7: Sally Kelly

Pauline Yates: 114

Sunderland Wasps

Rosemary Read: 1

Jean Middlemass: 2

Mary Peters: 3

Susan Randall: 4

Mary Stewart: 5

Pamela Elliot: 6

Kathy Stobart: 7

Half time show: Les Paul and Mary Ford perormed How High The Moon, Mockingbird Hill and Vaya Con Dios
Note: For the only season in history, the teams fielded a squad of 12 players, of which they could use any seven in each quarter, making unlimited substitutions. This was abolished for the 1952 season when substituted players could no no longer return to the court. The teams above are the starting seven for each side. Goalscorer, Pauline Yates, was among the Liverpool Reserves