They don’t know about us

Funnily enough, on Friday I was on a day shift at work, so therefore got home in time for the weekend local news and sports program. As is the way with the ‘wonderful’ coverage of sport on BBC Yorkshire, under normal circumstances, when it comes to Rugby League coverage, nothing exists below the Super League. You would never know there were 2 leagues below that, with plenty of local teams, if you didn’t, like me, support one of them.

Now this weekend, there were no Super League matches, as it was the last 16 round of the knock out, Challenge Cup. And yes, my team, the Keighley Cougars, proudly lurking in the Championship division below were still in the competition. So were Hunslet, a league below us, but you would never have known from the coverage! But fine, as I say, all this is nothing new.

Funny thing is, we won! Alright, only against Swinton, not one of the big names, but now we’re in the last 8! But seriously, unless we draw another Yorkshire side, do I expect them to mention us, probably not! I know, money talks nowadays, but it would be nice if we get a little acknowledgement from time to time. Mind, giving credit, where credit is due to the best county, nearly all the West Yorkshire sides got through. Hunslet had an impossible task at Wigan, and Featherstone lost narrowly to Leigh, but otherwise, Leeds, Castleford and Bradford all joined us in the last 8, Bradford slightly against the odds though.

Lets be honest, pretty much the only reason Bradford still has a rugby team is because the league management has backed them financially. Without that, they’ve spent so rashly over the years, they are in big financial trouble. Which amuses, and annoys us little Keighley fans, as we share the same district council! To say they get preferential treatment over us, would be to put it mildly! So yes, there is nothing more that we would love, than to draw them in the quarter finals at home…and beat them! Unlikely, but we minnows can dream…

Even the BBC might mention us then!

The video, well the singer is Kirsty McColl, the woman in the film definitely isnt, I have no idea who she is. But I cant find a live video of Kirsty, so…seems quite apt

Advertisements

A world championship?

Ah, a thorny subject, sporting events, and world championships!

There are some sports, like football, which genuinely have a world cup. Everyone gets the chance to qualify, even if some nations have about as much chance of qualifying for their World Cup, as I have of visiting Pluto! But, the point is, they have the chance. In fact, in the next European Championships, Gibraltar are attempting to qualify for the first time. See the above comment for their chances of doing so. In a friendly, they lost at home, to the might of Estonia (not a football powerhouse!) so the omens arent good, for when they meet stronger teams.

Ironically, they were drawn to be in the same group as Spain, but things were rapidly changed. If you need to know why, just type in Spain/Gibraltar dispute (or similar) into your search engine, and… ah, thats why!

Then we go to the other end of the scale, and one of my favourite sports, baseball. Yes, they have a ‘World Series’ to decide the title, but beyond 1 team from Canada, every team is from the US! Not all the players are, but the teams… and yes, the sport is played in many other nations, who probably couldnt win a genuine world series anyway, but never get the chance to find out! In fact, every couple of years or so (I think?) baseball has a sort of World Cup, and the US doesnt win it every time! Most of the players are in Major League Baseball, but…

Somewhere in the middle, are the 2 sports I’m featuring tonight. Rugby Union, and Cricket, if you must know.

Lets start with rugby, especially given that Ireland won the 6 nations title today (pretty much European championship) when narrowly beating France today. Yes, the 6 nations involved probably are the best in European rugby, but no matter what others do, there is no promotion or relegation involved. Equally, in the southern hemisphere, its basically 4 teams, that are spread around the globe that play off. And no, no matter how good, Samoa, Fiji or Tonga get, there is no route in. They do get to go in the World Cup, but because of their lack of really tough matches, they dont get a true chance to compete.
Not bad, but not perfect.

Then we get to cricket! There are in fact over 100 cricket playing nations in the world, of various abilities, though you would never know it! Officially 10, realistically 8 countries dominate the scene totally. Below which, comes the like of Ireland and Afghanistan. But at least some of the lesser nations do get the chance to play off to be at the World Cup, the 20 over version of which starts tomorrow.

But no, entry isnt equal, far from it. The 6 associate nations not only had to qualify through one tournament, to get to Bangladesh, they then have to qualify again, against the 2 weakest test nations, Zimbabwe and the hosts, to get to play the big boys! And yet the commentators will claim its a world cup! Seriously?

Yes, fine, its better than baseball’s world series, but all the same…bit of a joke! But this is what you get, when you virtually allow 1 country (India) to set down the rules for playing cricket, I guess? I hope Ireland can rub a few big team noses in the dirt, but they dont make it easy any more, maybe because we’ve made them look silly before!

The video, a cynical comment on matters mentioned above, as just the opposite rules in cricket

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Well, partly at least, after today’s sporting events.

Firstly, the good news, today, for the 7th consecutive tournament, Ireland have qualified for the next World Cup cricket event, the 20 over slog fest in Bangladesh next March. To be honest, the only point they dropped in qualifying was down to a no result, because it rained in Abu Dhabi. Yes, seriously, rained hard in the desert! Given that was the game against Italy, all it probably did was rob us of the 100% record, ah well…

But in fact, that’s only stage 1. Seriously, if the best associate cricket nation couldn’t make the 10 qualifiers for the next stage, I would have been concerned. But we won the group, and that means automatic qualification for the World Cup. Not that that was the Irish aim, we want to win the tournament, and that involves 2 more games to do that.

But yes, I’m very proud, as will be another member at the Garden, thats for sure!

Alright, the bad news for Irish sports fans today. Our rugby team were playing New Zealand, who hadnt lost a game all year. Oh, and at one point, Ireland were 19-0 up! And in fact, strictly, when the 80 minutes were up, we were still winning 22-17. But, and its a big but, at that point, they carry on playing, until the ball goes out of play, or there is a stoppage of some kind. So yes, you’ve guessed it, a piece of New Zealand magic, they score a try, and the scores are level. Kick the conversion, they win, otherwise, its a draw.

So, he kicks the ball, and misses. Great you think, wrong! At least half a dozen Irish players have wandered off the goal line, towards the kicker, and thats not allowed! So he retakes it, adjusts his target, and kicks the goal, and Ireland lose! Seriously, I know the jokes about the Irish being thick, but really…

Ah well, its the cricket that really matters to me!

The video, well its the first part of this. Well, the first part of the singing bit at least. Apologies, but finding a live performance of this was a challenge

Six Nations Rugby – A passion for Ireland

Yes, its that time of year again, indeed it all actually started last week, which is where this funny story comes from.

Last year, for all 5 Ireland games, at work, I wore a green top, and to be honest, most of the season, they were awful. So last Saturday, they were away to Wales, and I wasnt expecting much, after ladt year, and indeed the autumn games. So, I dint wear green, I wore a random pink top, probably a t-shirt, but with the shifts I’ve been doing of late, a week back is a long time to try and remember lol! Unsurprisingly, in our place, on a Saturday, before the soccer kicked off, we were manic! So though the TV was on the game on the row in front of me, I wasnt really following it. A sudden breather, I glance at the score, and cant believe my eyes, 20-0 to Ireland! Double check, and yes, its true. Next time I look, its 23-3. That was it, the rest of the game was pretty much lost in a blur of phone calls, so whether they eased off, or just hung on, the final score was 30-22. Wow!

So guess what, I wont be wearing green for any irish game this year now, if thats what wearing pink does for them. Its the big game Sunday, against the ‘old enemy’ of England in Dublin. Given the results last weekend, whoever wins it, is in pole position to win the title, so go Ireland!

Just my luck though, I was on the Escalated Desk on Sunday, which while being a more high pressure job, you do get gaps between things, so might have got chance to see some of the game. Now, as they are training someone up, I’m on standard calls, aargh! Hope I get to see some of it at least, and even more importantly, hope I see an Irish win.

The video, enough said lol!