The day of the underdog
My old Nana, bless her heart, always cheered for the underdog. She would have loved it yesterday.
Wales beat Ireland in the Six Nations <link>. Playing Ireland at Croke Park, the emotional home of so many things Irish, should be a daunting affair. Neither team excelled at the World Cup, so playing at home should have given Ireland the advantage. And who would have picked Wales to complete the Triple Crown at the start of the tournament? No one. But none of this counted. Wales lead the table and Warren Gatland gets one over Eddie O’Sullivan. Excellent. A great start to Nana’s day.
Portsmouth beat ManU in the FA Cup at Old Trafford. <link> For me it’s the playing at Old Trafford that makes the difference (much like Croke Park should have). There are only seven places between the two teams on the table but Old Trafford is a fortress and by rights Portsmouth should have had no chance. I agree the ref didn’t help but look at the scoreboard. They rode their luck and won. A first game at Wembly for Harry Redknap is well deserved.
Barnsley beat Chelsea in the FA Cup <link>. They’re struggling to stay in the Championship (19th) but Barnsley weren’t overawed by the Chelsea millionaires. I suppose beating Liverpool at Anfield make Chelsea at home an easier proposition. Having been at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to see Chelsea dispatch Olympiakos with ease and with many of the same players on the pitch this should have been a one-sided affair. I certainly expected it to be. It wasn’t and Nana would have loved it.
Scotland beat England in the Six Nations <link>. No one gave Scotland a chance. To date their performances have been dire and the wooden spoon beckoned. England on the other hand had beaten France in Paris the previous round and were in contention for the Championship. But the 125th contest for the Calcutta Cup was won by Scotland. Playing the “old enemy” is certainly great motivation.
New Zealand beat England in the first test in Hamilton <link>. Before this game started New Zealand had only beaten England seven times in 88 Tests. So a win against England is a rare and wonderful thing. And this one by 189 runs was a big one. Naturally I’m chuffed. I certainly wasn’t expecting that. Nana might have been and what a day she would have had.
Update: And Cardiff beat Middlesborough on Sunday.