Tuesday 3rd May - 08:45
Some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over. It is now!
Leicester City FC - Premiership Champions 2015/16 - The Impossible Dream has become reality.
52 years of supporting the Mighty Foxes and now we are Champions.
Nothing else needs to be said.
Monday 2nd May - 09:00
Last Friday the Friday Club had another of their lunches, a very liquid and very enjoyable lunch it was too. The Last of the Summer Wine II. Great fun.
I understand a number of our 'faithful' travelled over to Sevenoaks to watch them secure promotion after a narrow victory over London Cornish. The same London Cornish with our very own Ed Atkin at scrum half. Sadly for Ed the men in blue took the honours. I am guessing the RFU blazers who manage the leagues heaved a huge sigh of relief as it makes life so much easier with the forced relegation of Medway. Well done Sevenoaks, we'll miss you.
So its Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks up, Charlton Park and Medway down to replace them. It's Thanet Wanderers and Ashford down replaced by Bromley and The Greenies from Heathfield & Waldron.
The other game of note in the play-offs was TJs vs Barnstable. Wow, that is a trip and a half. I understand from those who know better than I that this was a very, very close affair with Barnstable taking the spoils with the last kick of the game. The coach journey home would have been very enjoyable and I guess the atmosphere around TJs very sombre. I feel for the boys of Kent as they contemplate their defeat. Yet again so near yet so far away.
Salisbury beat Thornbury to climb into the National South West league. A remarkable achievement after two consecutive years of promotion. Enjoy the travel. The cost implications must be horrendous.
Whilst all that was going on I was at Bedgebury Pinetum with the grandchildren. An excellent day out. We got home in time to catch the closing stages of Cardiff Blues vs Ospreys then the Dragons vs Scarlets. Two excellent games of rugby, as was Exeter vs Wasps on Sunday. Thanks BT for the freeview of this game, albeit I only watched the 1st half
The Mighty Foxes took another small step towards glory with a well deserved draw against Manchester United. Somewhat annoying however when your son jumps up in delight when United scored. That's him out of the will.......... I jest of course............ there will be nothing left to leave.
The Labour party anti-Semitism row is all rather unseemly. I personally find any negative comments about the holocaust unsavoury, one the world's worst atrocities of man against man. I do think however that Israel is not as pure as the driven snow and their treatment of the Palestinians is something to be challenged.
Talking of unseemly I sincerely hope the positive and correct outcome of the Hillsborough inquests / enquiry doesn't spiral into a demeaning chase after money led by slime-ball injury lawyers. Demanding that liars and deceivers are brought to justice is absolutley the right thing to do, and some form of compensation for the tragic loss of life is a positive result but please let it be managed with compassion, decorum and out of the press.
Finally I read with some delight that a weasel has brought the enourmous hadron collider to a halt. (bbc.co.uk/news). That's now the NHS and the collider brought to a standstill by weasels, not that I know what the collider does.
Thursday 28th April - 09:45
A thank you to those of you who attended last night's 'town hall' meeting. I hope you were reassured about the club's position and how it is being run. Confident that your needs are been looked after and we are building for the future. It was also clear based on your questions and comments that there are some areas we need to work harder at, and some of the ideas that have been put forward need to be implemented sooner. It is also clear that we do need more help. Any help will be gratefully accepted.
Before moving on it was heartwarming to receive a text from a county representative stating what a good idea the 'town hall' meeting was and another example for others to shamelessly copy. Thanks Gavin.
If anybody missed it the Tunbridge Wells game is CANCELLED.
I read with interest that Marler and Farrell have both been given two week bans, this allows them to play in their respective European finals. In the case of Farrell this seems a little harsh. The tackle was not great, it was reckless and yes dangerous but not malicious. A one week 'you've been a fool and improve your technique' ban might have been appropriate. In the case of Marler I feel the opposite is true. His kick was petulent, unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Any kick to the head should be punished more severely. The blazers also considered Simon McIntyre's kick on Maro Itoje. He too got a two week ban. There were mitigating circumstances in that Itoje was being an ass holding McIntyre's leg when the ball had clearly been cleared from a ruck. No excuse though, a kick is a kick and two weeks isn't long enough.
Graham Rowntree is back. Good. Of the England set up that got dismissed he was the hardest done by as he was the least culpable. He takes up the role of forwards coach at Quins under new boss John Kingston. The coaching line up is enahnced by Nick Easter's move to defensive coach.
England's chances of an Aussie whitewash this summer were enhanced when Michael Cheika announced his European based stars are unlikely to feature meaning players like Giteau, Mitchell, Ashley-Cooper, Kepu, and Genia will have a summer off.
If you were ever in doubt about Leicester City's unbelievable rise from down and outs to champions (elect) then Filbert Fox the club's mascot signing a new 2 year boot deal with Puma says it all.
Finally I have had Weasel Monthly write to me to say that likening Jeremy Hunt to a weasel is unacceptable. They state 'we accept weasel's reputation is deserved and we live with that but comparing us to Hunt is a step too far.'. Duly noted. I have it on good authority that after leaving politics Hunt may become an injury lawyer. Still a life in the sewer but a step in the right direction.
Must go Virgin VS94 from Montego Bay is due over shortly. The Boeing 747 is just north of Worthing at the moment travelling at 292 knots along the coast. Quick get my anorak!!!!!
Wednesday 27th April - 09:45
I am guessing some of you will have had another journey from hell getting into work today. Letters of thanks can be sent to
Mike 'Loadsa' Cash
39 Charlton Street
This hassle plus the fact winter is back, snow and heavy frost in Crowborough yesterday, life must be great.
Over the course of this season we, along with many other clubs, have suffered serious availability issues. It appears this is not confined to the lower leagues. Martin Castrogiovanni has been suspended by Racing 92 after being photographed in Las Vegas partying with Paris St-Germain soccer stars instead of attending to 'important family matters' in Argentina.
Michael Lynagh is predicting England going unbeaten in their upcoming Australian tour.
Big weekend of rugby for the big boys with key clashes in the Aviva, Top 14 and Pro 12. The latter features the 'judgement day' match ups at the Principality Stadium. The four Welsh regions go head to head in this double header.
Good luck to all clubs who are in play-offs. A special mention and 'good luck' to our friends at Sevenoaks. Promotion for them will be well deserved. For the 'Borough 'faithful' thinking of going please be mindful that a big crowd is likely to attend so parking will be at a premium.
Nigel Owens, just to prove no-one is perfect, made a huge mistake in the Leicester v Racing 92 game blowing for a knock on that most definitely wasn't. He had the cojones to apologise but it was a big faux pas.
I see that Quins fans are enjoying what Jamie Roberts is bringing to their team.
Meant to mention yesterday how much I love West Bromwich Albion. Thanks for helping the Mighty Foxes to take a giant step towards the holy grail of the Prmeiership title.
The junior doctors are also on strike. Unlike those economic terrorists at the RMT I have a degree of sympathy with the doctors. I personally believe some of their arguments for striking and some of their opposition is flawed but they have a case in that an ill-thought through policy change being forced through by a career hungry politician is high risk. The country needs a 7 day-a-week NHS to cope with demand but it must work and it must be safe. The NHS doesn't exactly have a great track record of implementating change. Doctors and nurses are burdened with bureaucracy and unnecessary targets. Let's see how this develops.
Today's aeroplane of choice is BA2038 from Orlando to LGW. Descending from 8,000ft this Boeing 777 with its 4 travel classes landed at 09:38.
Tuesday 26th April - 07:30
Firstly let me wish my granddaughter Happy Birthday. Two today. Where does the time go.
Secondly an important announcement about Saturday vs Tunbridge Wells. This game has been cancelled and will not now be played. The league status will remain as it is today. We were asked by T Wells if, as there was nothing to play for for either side and regardless of the result the league positions would not be affected, we would agree to the cancellation. We did so and the league committee has accepted this.
Ok, let's get on with the Tuesday round-up starting with London 3 South East. It must have been a cracking game with Heathfield & Waldron coming out winners to secure promotion. It is sad for Aylesford Bulls to miss out but for Sussex and H&WRFC a great result. Bromley go up as champions after beating Folkestone. Pulborough pulled off a great away win at Gillingham Anchorians by a single point 45-44. End of season, nothing to play for fun springs to mind. Sadly Burgess Hill, Eastbourne, and Uckfield all ended the season with a loss. I believe both Uckfield and Burgess Hill are relegated.
In Sussex 1 Lewes rounded of their great season with a resounding win over Seaford. I am guessing that Crawley 6 vs Haywards Heath 8 is indicative of the men in black and red resting their first team ahead of the play off game to come which I think will be against Old Williamsonians. TBC. Our 2s are relegated sadly.
In London 1 South Maidstone gave luckless Charlton Park a hammering. The boys from Park have been faced with the same injury and availability issues we have. They even wheeled out 60 year old prop Trev the Rev (yes he is a vicar) to play last weekend. They are relegated as they prop up the table. Medway beat Brighton by a single point 13-12 but are relegated due to their indiscretion.
In the National London league the Irish Crazy Geese are promoted after beating Guernsey away. Must have been a great journey back. TJs take the play-off spot after a comfortable win over Chichester. They face Barnstable. East Grinstead signed off in style with an easy win over Westcliff to finish 3rd. Their future is unclear and clouds all other promotion / relegation issues.
In our league Tunbridge Wells finished in style with a resounding win over Horsham. THANK YOU Hove for your efforts and the narrow victory over Thanet Wanderers who are now relegated. Sevenoaks losing at home to Dartfordians, who have had an excellent season, must be an indication that they too rested key players ahead of their play-off vs London Cornish. Not the greatest season for us but we stay up and there are still many positives for us to build on.
Elsewhere Salisbury lost away at Reading but still finish 2nd and now face Thornbury in the play-off.
Bridgnorth are promoted to the Midlands National league. Well done to them. Good luck with the travelling.
I see Joe Marler is making full use of his season ticket to the disciplinary panel. Owen Farrell joins him in front of the blazers at Twickenham. Farrell's incident looks a tough one to call. Marler unfortunatley is going to be on the naughty step for several weeks as a result of his actions.
South African and the tough issue of black representation in sport has raised its head again. I remain convinced that forcing quotas based on ethnicity is wrong. Players of all sports should be selected on merit. What the constituent bodies of rugby, netball, cricket and athletics should focus on is growing the sport at grass roots levels, especially in the more deprived areas, much as the RFU is with its 'All Schools' project here in England. BBC/sport for the full piece.
Stuart Barnes' column on Sky/Sports is also well worth reading, especially his assessment of the Itoje incident.
I see Mike 'Loadsa' Cash has again brought his members out on strike for what appears to be no other reason than causing chaos for hard working people who are significantly less well off than his overpaid train workers. This man is a Trotskyist agitator who needs to be brought down a peg or too. I would really love to minutely dissect his life; where he shops, banks, drinks, eats, etc, etc and have the people in those places deny him service. See how he likes it. He is not hurting the Government, or the fat cat bankers or top flight executives, he is hurting the working class who have to get into London to work.
The doctors are out on strike too. More on that tomorrow but isn't that Jeremy Hunt a weasel?
Must go. The weather is perfect for watching the planes going over.
Monday 25th April - 07:30
Saturday was a splenndid day at Steel Cross. Whilst the numbers were somewhat depressed from previous years the President's Lunch, not Obama of course, was excellent. The food served up by Jacqui was excellent, the staff organised by Sandra were great and the ambience around the place was vibrant. A testament to what we do and how we do it. I received a nice note from Beckenham yesterday to say sorry for not attending the lunch but thank you for our hospitality. Our pleasure, and again what we work hard to deliver.
On the field let me start with Jordan, the Beckenham hooker and not the model from Heathfield, who sadly broke his leg on Saturday. He is doing ok and is already back at home. I will send him our best wishes but also ensure Andy 'Bones' Barker who helped with the incident knows how grateful they are. I must also say the NHS Ambulance service were excellent.
We lost to a very good side. I am always disappointed when we lose but not disheartened. The young kids, and they are young too, put up a brave fight and gave of their best in spades. That's all you can ask and I am so proud that they have all graduated to senior rugby from our minis and juniors. The old(er) heads, Walters, Hayes, Hill, Tasker and Yates in particular, also battled from start to finish and it was fitting we scored a try at the death to narrow the gap.
In my view I thought their front row played very well, especially Grizzly Adams at #1. He was a ball player as well as a solidly built prop. Beckenham need to look after him before the vultures come a calling. I also thought their #10 stood out despite having less meat on him than a butcher's pencil.
IF and BUT and IF and BUT but I am pretty sure that if we had what many would see as our strongest side out we would have won and possibly won well. The story of the season n'est pas!!!!!!!
Let me come back to the kids and pick out Seb Kisbee at #9. Seb started at age 6 and has barely missed a game since. He is now a 1st team player. What a great system we have. THANK YOU!
There is not a game without a referee. Saturday's man with the whistle was EXCELLENT. He can come again, and again, and again.
Can I also thank the faithful who turned out in droves. They were tremendous, as they have been all season. There were nails being chewed to the bone when it filtered through that Thanet Wanderers were beating Hove with the all important bonus points. Thankfully Hove won at the death leaving us above the drop zone ....... JUST!
A full league round up tomorrow but congratulations to Heathfield & Waldron who beat Aylesford Bulls to gain promotion. Excellent news for them, for Sussex rugby and for us. Another big local derby vs good friends.
Saracens and Racing 92 will fight out the Champions cup after fine wins against Wasps and Leicester. Sadly the Dragons, who went down fighting, didn't make it to the final. Montpellier will take on Quins on Friday 13th May.
Today's aircraft of choice is Emirate Airlines A380 from Dubai. It is descending into LGW and is now at 8,500ft. The cloud base is too low to watch but I'm tracking it on flight radar.
Finally 4-0. Nothing more needs to be said!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday 24th April - 09:00
What a splendid day yesterday but for Mrs C and me the gloss was taken off it as a result of a call we received just before leaving home for the club.
The name Ryan Mitchell will mean nothing to you but to Mrs C he was a good colleague and to both of us a good friend. He was a fine teacher, a fine man and a great husband and dad. He played at Uckfield RFC for a short while before putting his career and family first. This week he lost a long battle with cancer. He was just 36.
Our thoughts are with his wife, two young children and his family.
Why do I write this in the blog today. In part for selfish reasons, to help with our grieving, also as a reminder that life is very precarious, and at times unfair.
It is also a timely reminder for all of us that 'life is for the living'. Don't have regrets for doing something, regretting not doing something is much, much worse.
Ryan, may you rest in peace and for the short time we knew each other it was a real pleasure.
Thursday 21st April - 09:15
Let me start by wishing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II a very Happy Birthday. 90 today. Wow!!!
A quick look ahead at what is the last game of the season for many clubs. We face Beckenham at home, another tough challenge based on our respective league positions. Whoever is available and selected for Crowborough will give their best. Old Alleynians are away at Deal & Betteshanger. A home win for us and Deal could in theory see us jump ahead of OAs if we beat Tunbridge Wells on the 30th. I can dream can't I???????
In London 3 South East there is a huge amount to play for with Aylesford Bulls and Heathfield & Waldron in a winner takes all game. The Greenies will start as favourites but the Bulls at home are always a tough proposition. A very sad day for Sussex with both Uckfield and Burgess Hill being relegated.
Maidstone vs Charlton Park and Sutton & Epsom vs Twickenham are worthy of looking out for. A losing bonus point plus a four try bonus point might be enough for Charlton Park. Come on!!!!!
Most of the other games are for pride so lets look forward to the European semi finals. The Dragons away at Montpelier will be a one-sided affair I fear. I read that Lyn Jones is leaving the Dragons after a period of illness. The Quins should beat Grenoble.
In the Champions Cup what a game in prospect when Saracens v Wasps go toe to toe. Leicester v Racing 92 will also be a cracker.
So it is going to be Trump v Clinton in the race to replace Barrack Obama. Please let it be Clinton otherwise the next world title bout could be USA v North Korea, and rest assured there won't be a winner in that one.
I also see that murdering fascist b'stard Anders Breivik has been told being permanently in solitary confinement breaches his human rights. Great. He can now be put in with the general prison population where they hate child killers. It won't be long you Muppet before that solitary confinement will look like Emirates first class as opposed to Ryanair economy.
Talking of Ryanair their flight from Paris, or 90 miles from Paris, is at 38,000ft approaching Crowborough on route to Dublin. ETA 10:08, just 8 minutes late.
Wednesday 20th April - 07:50
Let me say up front that as always the views expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone and not necessarily reflective of the club's views or policies.
Last week the Kent sports pages reflected on Medway's punishment for their administrative indiscretion being reduced. They will no longer be deducted points at the start of next season but will still be relegated from London 1 South, this despite their lofty position in the table. In my very humble opinion the deduction of points was somewhat draconian so the removal makes sense.
Why start here?
Well, this saga started when Medway complained to the RFU, yes it was Medway who exposed themselves to scrutiny, about another club who had allegedly approached one of their players with a view to getting them to transfer. I don't know, need or want to know who the 'other' club is but I find it strange that there has been nothing mentioned about this 'other' club in the rugby pages. The fuss allegedly was all about paying players.
Let me stop here and say there is nothing to stop clubs paying players and clubs who want to go down that route are free to do so. It is important though that clubs do so within the regulations laid down by RFU, comply with HMRC rules and understand the implications for clubs who have CASC status.
The question though is it right for rugby for clubs below say National League 2 North and South to be paying players to play? You do the maths. 24 games for a 20 man squad at say £150 per game. That is a lot of beer you have to sell, or some serious sponsorship, or some fantastic revenues from events to cover those costs. Bear in mind some clubs are paying at higher levels than this.
Put aside the finances, this approach very often draws players away from smaller clubs making their position less secure and in some cases putting them in jeopardy altogether. It draws in overseas players at the expense of long standing loyal club members. It creates animosity between clubs as 'scouts' are, often in clandestine ways, trying to lure players with the offer of cash. The impact is loyal club players become disillusioned, players at other clubs become despondant as their ability to compete is reduced, and in both cases these players often drift away from the game altogether rather than moving to a different club. One other factor is some of the players lured into these big squads often find the grass is not as green as they thought as they lanquish in the seconds or become travelling reserves. None of this is good for the future of the game.
As I say there is nothing illegal about paying players and quite frankly it is impossible to police but Saracens immense debt, the Australian RFU losing £5.25m, the very sad situation East Grinstead find themselves in should be a warning shot across the bows for all clubs, this particularly where a club is reliant on the generosity of a single sponsor.
Before I get more hate mail and get called a pompous arrogant ass for airing my views I only share them because I am passionate about the game and fear that there are many challenges facing all clubs before we get to the challenges of paying players.
Tuesday 19th April - 07:50
Aaaaaarrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!! I am getting fed up with technology. Mine seems to have developed a mind of its own. Windows 10 has decided that my e:mail and calendar is no longer required, my last blog post seems to have disappered, my phone is playing up and my iPad has decided its a teenager: not wanting to wake up and becoming very slovenly. SORRY therefore for the absence of blogs.
The blog that went missing was thought provoking so my plan is to do a league review today, and try to replicate my blog on the payment of players and its implications tomorrow or Thursday. Then either tomorrow or Thursday I will look ahead to the final weeks of the leagues and look at the relegation and promotion possibilities
Let's get on with it............
Steel Cross entertained a large crowd as we overcame a gritty and determined Thanet Wanderers. It was far from a classic with heavy tackles, resolute defence, and a 'we can't lose' attitude dominating the game. We had a few players back from injury and this bolstered our very young side. Andy Walters and Mitch Malherbe making an impact. The youngsters also did us proud and stalwarts like Damo Hayes battled from start to finish. I think it is fair to say we deserved the win as we were marginally the better side. The win put some space between us and Thanet Wanderers but we are still six points adrift of Old Alleynians after their one point win in a high scoring game with Horsham.
Tunbridge Wells were ruthless at home against bottom placed Ashford scoring 104 unanswered points in this the most one-sided of one-sided affairs. The men from St Marks are worthy champions and now promoted to London 1 South. Sevenoaks have secured second spot and the play-off with London Cornish to see if they too will enjoy a step up the league ladder. They beat Old Colfeians away, always a tough place to go. Hove continued their resurgence with a fine away win at Dartfordians and move into mid-table comfort. Dartfordians remain third but only just. Deal & Betteshanger could have gone fourth but lost away at Beckenham, our next opponents.
In London 3 South East congratulations to Bromley who are promoted after their away win at Burgess Hill. Heathfield & Waldron kept up their challenge for promotion with a fine win at home to Folkestone. They can still be crowned champions if results go their way next week but Aylesford Bulls, who they play, are hot on their heels after a comfortable win over relegated Uckfield. Eastbourne beat Gillingham Anchorians at home whilst Pulborough, also at home, scored freely in their win over Park House. In the other game Cranbrook lost to Old Dunstonians.
In Sussex 1 Lewes are promoted after a very comfortable win over Hellingly. Haywards Heath are in the play offs after an equally convincing win over Horsham II. Their opponents are not yet known. Four Kent sides are in with a chance including Hastings & Bexhill. Sadly we are relegated after again failing to get a side out. Crawley remain fourth but a long way from the top two.
In London 1 South Charlton Park lost at home to Sidcup which, with Medway being automatically being relegated could have implications for us as they now prop up the table. Twickenham are one place ahead of them after losing to Medway. Maidstone were given a lesson by Guildford in a 60-22 defeat. Guildford securing the play-off spot. Brighton had an easy win over Dover and will finish in the top half of the table.
In the national league the game of the day was London Irish Wild Geese overcoming a dogged TJs side 25-22 to win the league and secure promotion. Despite their troubles East Grinstead secured a fine away win at Bracknell to remain just behind TJs in third spot. Chichester lost at home to Hertford but are safe from relegation. Eton Manor are relegated after losing to Shelford.
The two other games of note were Bridgnorth beating Whitchurch to secure promotion, an amazing performance, and Salisbury beating Witney to remain second in their respective leagues.
I see Danny Cipriani is in the news as he is about to hear his fate following his drink-drive arrest.
Finally one wheel fell off the Foxes wagon as they head towards glory. Are Spurs now favourites?