How many bloody roundabouts.....................

27th February 2012

So once again it's time for the story of The Bolton Bulls annual trip to take over Scotland. Well it would be if the sat nav took us the right way! This weekend the team took part in a double header of matches encompassing a trip to Newcastle to play Newcastle Eagles 2 on Saturday, swiftly followed by a jaunt up the A1/M6 to Glasgow to partake in some nourishment before playing West of Scotland on Sunday. We departed on a murky Saturday morning and hit the motorway via McDonald's (as you do being athletes and all that) and spent the next 2 1/2 hours in a heated debate with aforementioned sat nav.  The sat nav being a higher being containing what seems to be a very pre menstrual female was absolutely adamant that she was correct. Whilst I, being a lowly human being with a pair of eyes on the road clearly knew nothing. This being the case I was obviously insane if I couldn't see the roundabout directly in front of me that I was being directed to take.  Add to that the roundabouts that I circumnavigated (being the one with my hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road) causing a great deal of consternation to the sat nav lady, thus involving lots of loud comments such as 're-routing' and 'TURN AROUND NOW!' with me arguing the point  whilst doing 70mph on the motorway.  Anyway as you can imagine I was greatly relieved to reach my destination following a slight detour (I'm sure it had it in for me by this point) around the inner city streets of Newcastle. The game that followed was a valiant performance by both teams consisting of end to end basketball in a fast paced match. It was loud, it was aggressive at times, it looked complicated (well it did from where I was sat in the sidelines sipping my coffee) and it looked very well played. Both teams pressed hard for possession of the ball with Newcastle Eagles 2 gaining the majority control. By the end of the second quarter Newcastle were in control 25 - 17 thus ensuring a heated discussion took place between Coach Heggie and the player. It sounded like he told them to pull their fingers out their butts or some such inspirational chatter. Anyway on to the third quarter it was and the game contained. More shouting, more pushing, more cheering from the youngest contingent sat on the sidelines 'Come on Bolton!' and we were into the final ten minutes. Well, what can I say about that?  It was more of the same, I sat drinking coffee then............................. Our very own Darren Birch aka Gandalf the white wizard (he of previously mentioned YouTube fame  You can watch that here) ended up being sandwiched by two of the opposing team and our very own Danny Dawoud and did a flying leap out of his chair performing a rather spectacular spiral before landing in a heap on the floor. Game play stopped while the situation was assessed and we decided whether we needed an ambulance.  Darren courageously climbed back into his chair and game play continued. The match ended with the score being Newcastle 57, Bolton Bulls 31. Well played guys.  It was time to go to Glasgow. Once more into the car we went and continued on our merry way. More arguing with the sat nav lady, more invisible roundabouts, more randomly appearing magical roundabouts that weren't on the map and more turnings we were ordered to take that would have had us camping in a field overnight. By this time the team were chomping at the bit for the previously promised (and I suppose well earned) nourishment courtesy of the extremely nice pub/restaurant next to the Premier Inn at Cambuslang. Someone (naming no names, Jen) even brought cake to provide rejuvenation to the flagging players. I'm not sure if they were flagging because of the drive, the match or the rumours I heard of 'skittle bombs'? Sunday morning they heroically emerged from their hotel rooms, some looking greener than others and prepared for the days match against West of Scotland. Did you know that the M74 doesn't exist? Well my sat nav does and it argued that I was driving through a vast green space. Very odd because I'm sure there was road beneath my wheels!   Anyway, I digress (I'm told I need to write more about wheelchair basketball this being a team blog and all that). We started the warm up session with a team photograph taken by the wonderful Shaun Haggarty (our unofficial and very unpaid team mascot/photographer). Don't they look ready to take on anything? So they did. They took on West of Scotland in a furious mishmash of frenetic energy. Wheels clashing, fouls being called, balls going everywhere (except where they should) and yet more shouting. The contingent sat on the sidelines were getting very involved with one of our pit crew (James Davidson) doing a mad dash to local shop, leaping over railings Superman stylee on his way to get bottled water for the players. Apparently Orange and Peach is now the flavour of choice. Thanks James. Meanwhile back on the court, every player that had managed to make the trip got a good amount of court time with Coach Heggie being very fair and setting up the plays well. They also acquitted themselves very well and none got told off for a change. The four quarters flew past very quickly with baskets being racked up on both sides. Chairman Steve almost got squished as one of the opposition forgot he was meant to stop when he reached an obstacle but he survived to tell the tale. The game ended with a score of West of Scotland 48, Bolton Bulls 25.  Thanks for a great match guys and we'll see you next year for another go at beating you. After an exhausting weekend it was time for butties and tea provided by the home team to sustain us on our drive home. Apparently Coach Heggie was home in time for Countryfile which pleased him greatly. Please please go to Justgiving and donate to save our club from folding. Or text BULL12 and your donation to 70070 (Justtextgiving). We may not survive the season otherwise. In other news Chairman Steve proposed on Saturday night and I said ................................. yes.

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Thursday 8:30pm 10:30pm
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