This Sporting Life..

Although it’s meant to be a holiday I’ve actually been in the department most of the day working on some research (or, rather, writing up some old research). Since I’ve been tapping away at the keys most of the day I haven’t got the energy to write much, and I’m looking forward to a drink and a spot of curry in a few minutes’ time followed by a crack at the jumbo-sized Guardian Easter crossword compiled  by my favourite setter, Araucaria.

However, for the purposes of my own record-keeping – this blog is, at least in part, some kind of a journal – I thought I’d make a quick note of the day’s sport. Usually as we near the end of the football season I get into a state of nervous anxiety wondering what sort of mess my own team, Newcastle United, are going to make of the run-in. However, today I’m pleased to say they followed up Monday’s win against Nottingham Forest with another victory, 3-2 away at Peterborough. Although their opponents are the bottom club of the division at the moment, I always thought this would be a tricky game and so it proved if the press reports are to be believed. Peterborough in fact took an early lead, and Newcastle didn’t equalise until stoppage time in the first half. They then went 3-1 up, only to have one goal pegged back by a determined home team.

That result might have sealed promotion to the Premiership for Newcastle, had Nottingham Forest done the decent thing and lost to Bristol City. They didn’t lose, but only managed a draw. The gap between Newcastle and Nottingham Forest is now 15 points with Forest having five games to play while Newcastle have six games left. It’s extremely improbable that Newcastle will lose all 6 of their games and Forest win all 5 of theirs, so I think we’re pretty much guaranteed to go up. We need just one point to turn that into mathematical certainty.

Today was a big game here in Cardiff too, between Cardiff City and fierce local rivals Swansea. Police helicopters were circling the town all day and there was a heavy presence of uniformed officers trying to ensure there wasn’t any trouble at the match. This too was a close-fought game. With the score at 1-1 until stoppage time at the end of the match, Michael Chopra popped up to score a winner for Cardiff. They’re now hard on the heels of Nottingham Forest in fourth place, with 68 points to Forest’s 71. Cardiff might still have to play Swansea in the playoffs. That could be interesting..

And finally, it’s worth noting that today was the day of the annual Oxford versus Cambridge Boat Race in London. I’m not going to pretend that I follow this sport particularly closely, but the occasions on which I’ve been to watch the spectacle have been very enjoyable (even though Oxford has beaten my own Alma Mater every time I’ve bothered to watch it). It’s usually more of an excuse to have a few drinks while watching other people busting a gut than a genuine interest in the sport. Still, I do have a residual loyalty to Cambridge University so I was delighted to find out that they won today. If I’d seen the pre-race odds, I might have had a bet as Oxford were clear favourites.

Not at all a bad day results-wise. I almost finished my paper too…

5 Responses to “This Sporting Life..”

  1. Rhodri Evans Says:

    It would be great if Cardiff and Swamsea both made it to the playoffs. But what a mess Cardiff made of the run-in last season, dropping out of the playoff places with a string of losses in their last four games. I just hope history doesn’t repeat itself. It’d be great for Wales to have a premiership side and I’m sure interest in season tickets would go through the roof.

    • telescoper Says:

      Cardiff seem set for a playoff place at least, and after that is anyone’s guess. This season they have alternated being brilliant with being abysmal so they definitely deserve a bet as a wildcard.

      The biggest problem for Cardiff City is not the competition they will face in the playoffs but the fact that they are on the verge of bankruptcy. They have winding up orders like other clubs have trophies.

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    It was a lousy day result-wise if you follow ManU. But today’s sporting results are not over yet – let’s get behind David Haye in the boxing tonight. I’m shortly off to the appropriate pub for this one. Above all, though , today saw the first balls of first class cricket to be bowled in the 2010 English season.

    • telescoper Says:

      That reminds me….there are two 20-20 internationals featuring England versus Pakistan in Cardiff in September…

  3. Rhodri Evans Says:

    Yes I’m sure we barely know the full extent of Cardiff’s financial woes. As you say their form has been anything but consistent. At least the rugby team, the Blues, have been consistent. Sadly it’s been consistently bad….

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