Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Veales at the Orchard

The Veales at the Orchard
Originally uploaded by Martin Veale

Here's a pic (sort of) of the Veale family taken during our recent stay with them in Shrewsbury, MA. It was taken at the Nashoba Valley vineyard and orchard.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rugby Notes

I’m miles behind with the Rugby World Cup. I watched a few poor performances by the home nations over the past few days. Wales messed up a pile of chances before seeing off Japan on Thursday night. My mate Robbo was there and you can see his blog of the game here.

As for England, well they eventually saw off Samoa, but judging by Tonga’s performance against South Africa, the 2nd place decider is far from automatic. Scotland’s second team were dismal against the All Blacks (although the clash of kit made for awful TV – dark blue and grey vs. black and silver).

There are “winner goes through, loser goes home games” everywhere next weekend:

Friday, 8pm: England v Tonga
Saturday, 4pm: Wales v Fiji
Saturday, 8pm: Scotland v Italy
Sunday, 4pm: Ireland v Argentina

In between that lot there’s the small matter of Ebbw Vale’s next game at Aberavon, a 1.30 kick off next Saturday. News of Ebbw’s great win over Bridgend yesterday can be found of the always excellent Ebbw Vale RFC website.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Second Scan

A few words from a guest blogger - my baby to be.

I just wanted to say hello after being tucked away for all these weeks. As you can see, I asked the photographer to catch my best side and I think we all agree that she did.

In the top shot I am on my back. You can see my head and nose and tum and in the air (on the right) is my leg and foot. I’m waggling my toes.

In the middle shot I’m still on my back but this time my tum looks even fatter and you can see my arm with my hand touching my face. If you can see little white dots on my hand, those are my fingers!

In the bottom shot I am upside down. My back is facing upwards and you can just see my spine on the top of my tum. I’m facing you too but my face looks wonky because I must have been sneezing or something.

Right, I must go because I still have to pack for Boston. I gather that there are loads of lovely things to buy over there, and there are cousins to meet.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Home Opener

Buoyed by last season’s heroics, Ebbw Vale’s first game of the season saw the crowd in an expectant mood. The buzz was clear for all to feel, as Ebbw fielded a side with five new caps and started brightly enough.

Without really breaking Swansea’s defence, Ebbw had the upper hand and were good value for a 6-3 lead late in the first half when the match’s turning-point arrived. From quite a distance away on the bank, it looked as though Neil Edwards’ jump at the line out was interfered with, and the referee blew for a penalty form the ensuing maul/ruck/pile of players. He then red-carded Neil Edwards for what he indicated was a kick to a Swansea player on the floor. Swansea quickly capitalised and went in at half time leading 11-6.

In many seasons past (except when playing Newport!) being a man down would have sent the towel being thrown in. But the Ebbw Vale of the past couple of seasons are made of sterner stuff, and won the second half, but not quite the game, going down 25-26.

There’s a new bonus point system this season, the same as is used in the Tri-Nations and the Magners League, so Ebbw came away with a point for losing by less than 7 points.

As the Ebbw website says, Ebbw supporters were left to ruminate on what might have been achieved with 15 men on the park. There’s a match report in the Western Mail.

Scorers: Tries for Kristian Owen, new prop Anthony Lott and substitute back Ross Watts. Two penalties and two conversions for new outside-half Aaron Bramwell.

Highlights: A selection of massive hits by flanker Nio Aiono (pictured), deservedly voted man of the match. Thanks to Graham’s website for the picture.

Lowlight: Had to be the sending off, which effectively decided the game.

Crowd highlight: As is now traditional, the first penalty to Ebbw of the season is greeted with calls of “All the time, ref!” and “They’ve been going it all season!”