Could have been and should have been an unlikely Wearside double on Saturday, when the lads at the SoL managed a first home win of the season while we were going well at home to Consett. Two up inside eight minutes and in front until the 89th minute, and then good enough to get in front again after Consett’s equalising penalty, we still managed to concede a second equaliser with the last kick of the game. Not for the first or even the second time this season, it is becoming a bad habit. The performance was good, particularly early on, but Consett are a bit of a bogey side for us and no mistake. Still, you couldn’t say it wasn’t entertaining, especially the first eight and last seven minutes.
Did you catch anything of the Ireland v New Zealand rugby match on Saturday? Some game. Ferocious, nothing but ferocious, and Ireland matched the All Blacks throughout, apart from scoring that is. The All Blacks are amazing, usually looks like a different game when they play. I particularly like the way that they don’t regard being the best, strongest and most talented side as enough; just in case it isn’t they also cheat relentlessly. They had a reasonable bash at beheading two of the Irish players, and were clearly astonished that the referee thought this was a bit much, even for rugby. Not that I have ever been able to fathom the role of the referee in Rugby Union, he just seems to be someone mad keen who gets a close up view of the game, and blows his whistle and makes decisions at random. Many love it of course.
Meanwhile over in India our bold boys have crumbled in the second test, a bit later than expected; most of us expected them to crumble in the first. Can’t see it getting any better as things go on. Their spinners have most of our lads baffled from the off, especially little Duckett, whose flamboyant play got him the selectors' nod over Durham’s Keaton Jennings, who just stays in forever. Could have been handy, mind. And finally, given the number of times I have a go at tennis and Scottish tennis players I must note the Murray brothers remarkable end of season double, singles and doubles world number ones, quite superb and nobody can argue with that, not even the cynic of Ryhope cemetery.