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Rugby League: I'm not sorry to have missed Blackpool's 132 [May. 19th, 2010|03:33 pm]
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People who know of my soft spot for Blackpool have been saying that they bet I wish I had been there to see them put 132 points past Gateshead on Sunday.

On the contrary, I'm glad I missed it - and any other match that day, thanks to great-nephew Finnan's christening. There's no pleasure in seeing that happen to a side, although I'm can quite believe that the Panthers scored some wonderful tries among their 22.

But you want to have to work for these things; otherwise, like an endless diet of strawberries and cream, it starts to pall.

Panthers coach Martin Crompton feels the same way. As a real rugby league man, he would have been happier winning a real contest.

He tells me he tried his best to stop his side reaching 100, by playing props on the wing and wingers in the front row, as well as deliberately taking off some of his most dangerous players.

It was no good. The Panthers topped the ton with 25 minutes left, so it could have been even worse.

The one thing that limits my sympathy for Gateshead is the memory of 1994, when the then Blackpool Gladiators let in 142 against Huddersfield.

What's more, I had to watch it - or felt morbidly drawn to watch it - because Huddersfield screened it the following week at their next home match.

I'm not sorry to have missed Blackpool's 132, but I'd rather watch that than the 142 again!


I'm not writing in praise of fraud or counterfeiting as human activities, but I feel a bit sorry for Gareth Raynor.

The winger has been jailed for 15 months, nine for a computer ink scam and six from a suspended sentence for a previous assault.

As far as the main charge is concerned, it doesn't sound the most heinous crime in the history of the penal system. Okay, selling dodgy ink is wrong and you shouldn't do it, but is it worse than glassing someone in  a pub - to cite one offence for which perpetrators often avoid prison?

Still, the people of Hull can sleep easy, knowing that the integrity of their printing ink is being safeguarded.