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WE'RE BALL BUOYS!
Lifeboat Crew fish it out of Water and save match - Dave Goddard, THE SUN - 4/2/99

SOCCER players waved goodbye to the ball after it was kicked into a river and floated out to sea - until it was rescued by a LIFEBOAT.

Flint Town were beating rivals Porthrnadog 2-1 at their riverside ground when the ball was kicked over a huge net meant to keep them out of the water.

Fans watched help-lessly as the ball floated off and officials searched in vain for a spare.

Then Flint Town chairman Allan Baines, 49, spotted the local lifeboat crew training nearby.

He shouted to members on the shore, who relayed his cries to the RNLI boat Marjorie Helen.

Helmsman Shane Rob-erts headed for the ball and picked it out before turning for the shore.

Cheered

And the 300-strong crowd cheered as Shane - in his full sea rescue gear - clambered up the riverbank into the North Wales ground clutching the ball.

After the half-hour delay, Flint Town won 4-3.

Chairman Allan added: "I was delighted because the balls cost £40 and money is tight.

"The ground is on the banks of the River Dee and it can be a fierce current so we didn't think the ball was ever going to be seen again.

"It was about half a mile out heading towards the Irish Sea.

"We have a large net at one end of the ground, but this was an almighty clearance."

Shane said: "We use their ground for fund-raising events so it was the least we could do.

"Whoever hit it must have given it some kick. Maybe one of the Pre-miership clubs should send a scout down."

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