Some of you may be under the impression that in my last column I expressed the view that the Ashes would be all over by last Saturday night, and that moreover the only good batsman between the two sides was one of them Aussies, and he wasn’t playing. This was clearly a printer’s error, nothing to do with me, and I can only apologise on his behalf; the man knows nothing.
The best two batsmen are of course English, the lad Stokes and the imperturbable Jack Leach. Jack carefully cleaning his glasses before facing some maniac Aussie with a deadly missile in his hand has to be one of the sports images of all time. And it was some knock by Ben Stokes to be fair, and according to the press, signals the revivial of Test cricket, and proof that bashing the ball to all corners willy nilly as in Twenty20 is not the only way to go. They may be right, but I am bound to point out that bashing it to all corners is just what young Ben was doing.
Not often cricket gets pride of place in this column, but fairs fair, it was the sporting moment of the week. Second of course was our bold boys valiant win over Hemsworth MW in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, as a result of which we are all guaranteed an exotic outing to the delights of Humberside or Gateshead. Which would you prefer? Always good hosts the Dunston lads, but it’s marginally Goole for me, which probably ensures it’s Dunston after all. To be fair I think I would still make them favourites, despite having to travel for the replay. We will have a chance either way, and even more so if we can find our scoring boots. Our form so far is excellent, with only the blip against Whickham, which looked unlucky to me, but we do like to just get over the line, don’t we?
Nobody loves a nice tight 1-0 or 2-1 more than me, especially if we are on the right end of it, but there is something to be said for a comfy lead with ten minutes to go as well. Nice to be able to relax on the sidelines and stop watching the clock. I think it must be just one of those things, I certainly hope so, looks to me like we are making plenty of chances, and not doing much wrong in the finishing either, just the rub of the green. I hope so anyway because if that is the case it must be due to turn. Maybe we need to take the example, and I can’t believe I’m writing this, from the carefree buccaneers of the SoL, who have found their shooting boots this last week. From all doom and gloom to going like trains, can it last? May be. May be.