Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wimbledon: 1980s A to Z

With the start of Wimbledon this week, I turned my attentions to the tournament I grew up watching in the 1980s. There were so many great players, matches and highlights in this particular decade, that my indecision over which year to cover in my blog led me to compiling my very own 1980s A to Z of Wimbledon.

You may not agree with some or all of my choices, there are bound to be entries that I have missed out, but below are my personal memories of the tournament from 1980-1989:

Monday, 24 June 2013

1989: Australia v Lions Second Test

It is hard to imagine a more depressing scene than the Lions' dressing room at the conclusion of their 30-12 thrashing against Australia in the first Test at Sydney. Out scored by four tries to nil, out fought and out thought, the job of surveying the wreckage and picking up the players must have looked a daunting prospect to coaches McGeechan and Uttley, along with manager Rowlands, but with only six days until the second Test at Brisbane, there was very little time for wallowing in defeat or licking of wounds.

Monday, 17 June 2013

1989: Australia v Lions First Test

From a results point of view there could be no doubting that so far the 1989 Lions tour to Australia had been a roaring success (excuse the obvious pun). Unbeaten in six matches against opposition of varying abilities, the team had at times ground out results with some strong second half displays, but although their record was impressive, not all were convinced that the performances were anything to write home about.

Monday, 10 June 2013

1988 US Open: Curtis Strange

Sunday April 14, 1985: As Curtis Strange walks to the 10th tee at Augusta, he is on the brink of one of the most remarkable sporting comebacks ever. After carding a disastrous first round 80, Strange bounced back with rounds of 65 and 68, and a front nine of 32 (-4) on the Sunday left him four shots clear of the field and in touching distance of his first major. But just as he appears to have one arm in the green jacket, he capitulates on the last six holes, finding water at both 13 and 15, and eventually finishing two shots behind winner Bernhard Langer. Crushing doesn't even come close to describing it.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

1989: British and Irish Lions warm-up matches

The eighties had not been all that kind to the British and Irish Lions before 1989. In fact, the decade had been such a disappointment thus far, that David Hands, writing in The Times, described the period as "the toothless eighties", after a 3-1 loss in South Africa in 1980, and a 4-0 crushing against New Zealand in 1983. A proposed tour to South Africa was postponed in 1986, the political issue of apartheid too big to simply sweep under the carpet, so by the time of the 1989 tour to Australia, the arrival of the inaugural World Cup, along with a growth in international tours, led some to question the whole concept of the Lions in an ever changing rugby landscape.