Talking Sport: The National and boat race go head-to-head

Trevor Watson
Trevor Watson

Decisions, decisions. Sport so often demands them.

Take last week, was it a trip to the pub to watch the Codhead derby between Hull and Hull KR or stay in and watch what appeared to be Snow White and the seven political dwarfs? Deciding that didn’t take long.

Then it was take a walk in the rain or watch Wigan v St Helens? Another tough choice but rugby edged it.

This weekend we have to choose between watching the whole of the Grand National or the build-up to the women’s Boat Race, which precedes the men’s event.

You may like to know the races are between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Many years ago our betters decided that the few of us who didn’t attend these places of learning, should have the race rammed down our throats.

Even before TV we had huge radio coverage and I still hear commentator John Snagge droning: ‘One out..two out..’ and so on. We oiks actually felt it was important.

This is the first women’s race over the course and is regarded as so important that Clare Balding, long regarded as the face and voice of TV horse racing, chose to miss Aintree and introduce the rowing.

I bet it was a struggle getting some of the old fogies to accept the women’s race.

There’s an argument that it could be one-sided and boring but there have been plenty of one-sided men’s races and these days you’re lucky if you can spot an Englishman in either team - or crew as we nautical types call them.

Leeds Rhinos skipper Kevin Sinfield made a big decision to end his notable rugby league career this season and, much to the annoyance of long-time rugby league fans, has opted to join rugby union side Yorkshire Tykes, who are also based at Headingley.

There’s no doubt Sinfield could have done a Championship RL club a lot of good but it’s a fair bet his early appearances with the Tykes will put about 1,000 on their gate.

Football’s Harry Kane syndrome continues.

At the tedious Italy v England friendly before a bored Turin crowd, we were told on telly that one of the home players had experienced ‘A Harry Kane evening.’

In other words he had gone on for his international debut as a substitute and scored, although the Italian took longer to do it than Harry’s world-famous 79 seconds against Lithuania.

The hysteria this has whipped up in the media suggests it won’t be long before the football authorities decide that after 79 seconds at each game, there is a minute’s applause for Harry’s achievement. Give us a rest.

First blood to Dewsbury Rams who handsomely beat Batley Bulldogs in the Heavy Woollen derby on Good Friday.

A shame that on a good day for attendances the crowd was only 1,274.

Yet people in this area still regard it as the game of the season.