Thursday, May 26, 2005

End of 2004/2005 Season Part 3

The FA Cup was won by Arsenal after a 0-0 draw with Manchester United they claimed the cup 5-4 on penalties. I didn't see much of the math but heard that United should have won as they completely dominated the 120 minutes.

Liverpool beat AC Milan in the Champions League final 3-2 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw. Milan went 3-0 up in the first half but by the hour mark it was level. Benitez, Gerrard and Dudek were the main reasons behind the upturn in performance.

Although they are the champions, they will not be let into the Champions League next season (at time of writing). This is because they finished 5th in the Premiership behind Merseyside rivals Everton and the champions don't qualify automatically. This is not unlike the snooker situation where Shaun Murphy is not in the top 16 next season but gets exempt from qualifying because he is the world champion.

Surely UEFA could bring in a pre-qualifying round where Liverpool could face a lesser champion such as the Andorran or Liechtenstein champions. Total Network Solutions (of Llansaintfraid i believe) who are the welsh champions have offered them a play-off for their place in the competition but the Welsh FA are not agreeing with this. Watch this space for more updates on Liverpool the champions not being in the Champions League.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Trip to Cambridge (via Nottingham)

I felt a bit guilty having time off work when we are so busy so I didn't and rather than setting off mid afternoon I got to JJ's at about 6:30. But it was a quick journey to Nottingham where Ed was to greet us. We went for a walk round Nottingham campus, drank and went to bed.

Getting lost 0:0 Midge bites

Late Saturday morning we set off for Rosie's house in Cambridge. The route I had printed though was a direct route. For example if I had wanted to go from West to East London it would have involved going straight through London rather than the M25. I'll check this in the future. It rained too as you can see from Ed's picture. We got there without getting really lost but no-one was there so we passed the time by being quite bored just waiting for Rosie to arrive.

Once we had got settled we went bowling where I started to understand spinning it. The FA Cup final was on too which was a bonus (tough it was crap so didn't miss much anyway). Rosie got the highest aggregate score which shocked everyone :-) My scores were 75 and 109 so i am gradually improving throughout the year. We then walked lots, all had pizza and chocolate fudge cake, walked lots more then played Cranium (which Rosie, Raff and I won, beating Bill's team which is always something to be proud of) and drank and talked lots. I eventually got to sleep at about 5:30am.

Getting lost 0:0 Midge bites

Yesterday we went punting on the river Cam which was good fun. I did not do the punting as my lack of balance added to general dislike of water made me quite fearful of falling in but it was nice and relaxing while (certain) other people were doing it. This gave me time to think. We walked back through the town and saw a busker playing guitar in a bin which was different! We left Rosie's for Nottingham at 4:25 aiming for a journey under 2 hours, going on quicker roads. This would have worked had we had got out of Cambridge without seeing signs for 4 of the 5 park & rides in the city first. Arrived in Nottingham 6:45.

Getting lost 1:0 Midge Bites (lots of midges seen but they don't seem to be biting this early in the year)

This was my last ever visit to Claude Street and after only staying half an hour, got to JJ's about 8:45 even after cunningly getting on the wrong road which turned out to be a quicker road and more direct, just slightly more random than the plan. Then came the scariest point of the trip as at the top of Salterhebble Hill, the traffic lights went green so I crept forward and manic boy racer flew through the red lights at 90 degrees to me. Quite easily the scariest part of the trip.

Getting lost 1:1 Near death experiences

It was a lovely weekend. Thanks for the hospitality Ed and Rosie.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Andy's BBQ

On Saturday afternoon it was Andy from work's birthday BBQ. It was a nice sunny day if a little chilly when it went behind the clouds but it was a pleasant three hours. I had a kickabout for a bit impressing people with my skills. I was 3rd best out of 4 but the 4th was only three years old and kept kicking me. Not much else to say on this really except I didn't o on the night out afterwards as I was tired from the night before.

In other news, my last two snooker sessions haven't gone well. 7-1 down to my brother. Thats 16-8 in the mini world chamionship final. Looks like that will finish next time we play. Off down south tomorrow. And finally, my middle finger end has gone green.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Steve Royal & Dave Spikey

On Friday night I went with JJ to see Dave Spikey (Jerry St Clair/Dignam from Phoenix Nights) at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax. He did about a 90 minute sketch followed by another half hour in character as Jerry. Steve Royal was the warm up act and did a good job of taking the piss out of latecomers, the "shite" seats and balancing guitars on his chin followed by juggling them. Spikey was funny - as you'd expect a stand up comic to be. He did go places that most people would never go anywhere near in conversation making his audience cringe but laugh at the same time. Not as good as Peter Kay but still well worth seeing.

Afterwards we went into Barracuda for a quick J2O and met Kate. This meant 2 more J2Os as we went on Bar Eleven (first ever drink in there) and Edison's. We felt quite old in there though so then went back to Kate's and then home and got to bed about 3am just four hours later than planned.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

End of 2004/2005 Season Part 2

Today the final placings in the Premiership were decided. Everton secured their Champions League place for next season last week yet still managed to finish the season with a negative goal difference. It wouldn't surprise me if this is the first time an entrant in the Champions League has finished with a negative goal difference. They probably won't qualify for the group stages anyway as they are quite useless as they showed by losing 7-0 to Arsenal.

Middlesborough secured the last UEFA Cup spot with a draw against Man City who would have claimed it if Robbie Fowler had not have missed a penalty in the last minute. Still, he couldn't have a more understanding manager in Stuart Pearce.

Relegation was the main issue of the day though with the live matches shown on Sky being Norwich who had their destiny in their own hands only to throw it away losing 6-0 though they were unlucky not to have 2 penalties and a goal disallowed while it was 1-0. After 2-0 though it was all Fulham so I tuned in to Southampton v Man Utd. Southampton had led but Man Utd ended up 2-1 victors leaving Southampton bottom of the table.

When it went to 2-1, I switched to Sky Sports News for news of West Brom and Crystal Palcace's matches. West Brom had just taken the lead thanks to ex-Halifax star "super" Deoff Horsfield. Palace then took the lead with a penalty with Lionel Richie look-a-like Chris Kamara saying "It's unbelievable! Charlton lead! I mean Palace lead! Unbelievable!" West Brom then scored again but Portsmouth fans didn't seem too bothered as they knew Southampton's 27 year top division reign was coming to an end. With 8 minutes to go, Charlton equalised in the south east London derby which sent Palace back into the drop zone and that was how it stayed. Everyone happy at The Hawthorns but tears everywhere else. Hard luck to fans of the relegated (possibly 2 semi regular readers) but look forward to season in the top half next season and hopefully coming back to top league. All in all though a very exciting afternoon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Bit About Me For A Change

Just a quick post to say what I've been up to over the last couple of weeks.

A week last Friday I went into Huddersfield with Rob who brought Sharon and Matt along with him. This was the first time I'd met them. That was a hunky dory evening. Then on the Saturday I went to the Crucible for the semi-final which is the first time i've been in a one table environment. The highlight of the evening was the near 147 break and seeing myself on TV when I got home. On the Sunday of that weekend I went to Temujins for a meal with Dave, Lucy, Kate, Elly and JJ which was nice but I only managed 3 portions which is a bit poor with all you can eat.

Last weekend I went out again with Rob, Matt and Sharon who brought Vicki along as well. It was a bit of a squeeze in the back of the car but that's not always a bad thing. This was another fun evening with different dancing styles including Rob making shapes by himself for about 45 minutes and the girls dancing together on screen for about five minutes. The rest of the weekend saw me start to sell on eBay and try and fail to resurrect my OnDigital box from the dead. It works technically but I think updates are required which will take some searching on the internet before I can actually view digital tv through it again. It has been in a box under my bed for 3 years since I got Sky.

On Monday JJ, Sarah and I went to Kate's new house in Sowerby Bridge. Nice house, nicely decorated and furnished mostly. Must have been a good evening as time flew and I didn't leave until 12:30. Another busy couple of weekends coming up though I am considering taking this one a bit easy.

Oh and work is very busy!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

End of 2004/2005 Season Part 1

Originally uploaded by beansport88.
So the football season has ended for most teams now. Halifax had a bad run of results at the end of the season and finished 10th. Huddersfield finished 9th after getting 28 points out of the last 30 available but just failing to reach the play offs. A comfortable 5 points ahead of Bradford though with next season looking promising and this season's targets achieved.

The Championship ended today with Sunderland and Wigan being promoted. Wigan don't have many fans for a Premiership club but maybe if Paul Jewell can bring some top names to the club they can start to fill their ground. Crewe sensationally avoided relegation today by winning for the first time since New Years Day when they were to 8th sending Gillingham into League 1. Looks like another season for Dario Gradi (in charge since 1982). Things changed for Crewe when they sold Dean Ashton to Norwich who put their destiny in their own hands yesterday after beating Birmingham. The top four in the Premiership is now known so the excitement is at the bottom where 3 from 4 will go down and for the final UEFA Cup spot which the winner of the Man City Middlesborough match will take unless Spurs can perform miracles.

Liverpool are into the Champions League final after their goal was given even after it had not crossed the line though to be fair a penalty would probably have been awarded with the Chelsea keeper probably given a red card so on this occasion the result would have been the same. A goalline camera showing what the above picture shows is all that is necessary to prevent this from happening again.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Embassy World Snooker Championship 2005 Part 4

Both semi-finals were finely balanced at 12-12. Firstly, world number 48 Shaun Murphy won the last five frames to beat Peter Ebdon. Then, in the match I attended, Matthew Stevens and Ian McCulloch went 13-13 and Stevens was on a 147 in the next until he lost position on the blue and missed. The final frame before the interval went to Stevens after McCulloch fouled on the final black. This was the turning point as Stevens ran out the eventual winner 17-14.

The final got off to a lacklustre start but the rest of the match more than made up for it. Murphy was 10-6 down overnight but dominated the afternoon session pulling level at 11-11. He went from strength to strength showing no nerves as he went on to complete an 18-16 victory. He is now ranked 21 for next season but qualifies automtically for all tournaments leaving poor Ian McCulloch ranked in the top 16 but needing to qualify for every event next season. That's the way the rankings go.