Why the Exploits of Cardiff City will be one to remember

For any football team or player, the pinnacle of one’s career in the English game surely must be reaching the top flight?

For Cardiff City, after a few years of being around the playoffs and a series of new misses, this was finally made a reality after a 0-0 draw with Charlton.

What is all the more significant, however, is that this will be Cardiff’s first ever time in the Premier League, and as a Welsh club they will be only the second team behind Swansea to do this.

The story of Cardiff is somewhat heart-warming. A new owner has brought in increased finances after years of difficulty as well as an extremely debatable decision to change the traditional kit from blue to red.

In recent years, Cardiff have become a big side in the Championship and came close to an FA Cup win in 2008; losing to Portsmouth in the final.   

A changed stadium from Ninian Park to the Cardiff City Stadium further increased the incentive from Cardiff to go up one more step.

A League Cup penalty defeat to Liverpool brought more heartache for the fans but a new light for the following season saw Cardiff-boy Craig Bellamy signed on a permanent basis, perhaps giving Cardiff the boost they needed.

Having led the table since November, promotion has finally been confirmed and the famous South Wales derby will be contested in England’s top division where a tenth of the team’s are Welsh.


Photo Retrieved From: http://www.thehardtackle.com/2013/cardiff-city-cruising-to-the-premier-league/

PDC Premier League Darts 2013 – Round-Up

So far, 6 tantalising weeks of Darts has seen 180’s fly across Britain from 10 of the best in the game.

Currently, Dutch maestro Raymond van Barneveld sits top of the pile with 4 wins while his fellow countryman Michael van Gerwen is just below Barney with 3 victories.

At the bottom, a spirited two performances from Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis still sees him fighting to avoid the impending relegation which will see the two bottom players after Week 9 eliminated.

The beauty of this year’s PDC Premier League is that it is closer than ever. Phil Taylor is on for a hat-trick of losses; something unfounded usually for The Power whilst former champion Lewis is trying to rekindle his play from before.

The show will move on to Cardiff next and Barney will be up against 2009 champion James Wade. ‘The Machine’ has shown consistency and a coolness that brought him the title previously. Perhaps a home crowd will give this match more of an edge for Wade despite Barney’s high scoring and brilliant checkout percentage.

Taylor will face League debutant Wes Newton, who himself is trying to fend off relegation. A great of the game Taylor should not be underestimated at any cost to still take this title eventually and experience in this match may be crucial.

Elsewhere, van Gerwen will be given a test by Scot, Gary Anderson, who on his day can produce fantastic Darts. Anderson himself has felt the brunt of the competitiveness of the Premier League so far and finds himself in the mix for relegation.

Possibly the least talked about match of the night will be Andy Hamilton up against Australian Simon Whitlock. So far both men sit in the middle of the pack with 3 wins and 3 losses. It is perhaps this inconsistency to pick up points that may see them both with a chance of relegation so points are definitely important. It should however be noted that Hamilton oversaw Phil Taylor last week with a confident 7-3 victory.

Out of the ten players so far in the League, I have perhaps been most enlightened by the high scoring and tenacity shown by debutant Robert Thornton. Thornton, who faces Adrian Lewis this week, finds himself 4th, with 2 wins and 3 draws. It is the ability to pick up points which has seen Thornton in a comfortable territory.

So far, no 9-Darters have been seen. Last week saw James Wade pick up a tasty 170 checkout in Manchester. Gary Anderson can feel confident with regards to a 9-Darter. He hit one in a UK Qualifier midweek; an event which in form van Gerwen won.

Make no mistake, the current Premier League seems tighter than ever and as the tungsten continues to be thrown, each match becomes even more of a spectacle of importance every week.  

Wales 30-3 England. Wales Retain the Six Nations in Cardiff

It had been hotly tipped to be a seriously nail biting encounter in Cardiff, with the last round of games in the RBS Six Nations coming to a close, with 2 sides still in the running; all in one match.

Wales vs. England did not turn out to be nail biting at all. In fact the opposite, with Wales recording a record win over the English.

Two tries from Alex Cuthbert, 4 penalties from the ever brilliant Leigh Halfpenny and then 8 points kicked from Dan Biggar gave Wales the resounding win, and the Championship.

In a brutally contested first half, England; despite only seeing one penalty from Owen Farrell fly over, were still in it. Despite this, England had to be extremely defensive. Last time out at Italy, England conceded just 5 penalties. This margin was overtaken under 40 minutes.

England had made many mistakes but from this came one of my highlights of the Championship; a fantastic, try saving tap-tackle from Mike Brown to stop the Welsh Calvary.

For me, a key factor was the ever present Welsh crowd. In front of around 75,000 it was never going to be easy and perhaps this got to the inexperienced England team. After all, their most experienced player, Dan Cole, only recorded his 40th cap when starting this game.

In the end the game became a bit of a rout, and Wales had one on their own soil in the Millennium Stadium.  For England, and ten of the fifteen who had never played here; it was a harsh lesson.

The recovery period will be strenuous for Stuart Lancaster and his men, but expect this team to be back. The World Cup 2015 is one to look forward to, or even next year’s Six Nations. It must also be noted that the upcoming Lions tour will contain some highlight players from this Championship and match. A this moment, you would however look more towards the Welsh outfit.

For now, and most definitely deservedly, the tribute must go to the Welsh.

For a full in-detailed match report go to:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/21778425