The spectre of woeful batting plagues Joe Root’s men once more

Captain Joe Root in action during the two match series against New Zealand

England’s cricketing summer got off to a disappointing start as they stumbled to a 1–0 series defeat to New Zealand.

It was England’s first series defeat on home soil since 2014 and New Zealand’s first in England in over 20 years. The manner of the defeat, with the India series looming and an Ashes winter on the horizon, should be of great concern to the England hierarchy.

Lightweight batting performances let the hosts down, but it’s important not to take anything away from the New Zealand performances. Debutante Devon Conway shone in the first test at Lords. …


The European Championships this summer will be a tournament to remember, regardless of what happens on the pitch

Euro 2020 was delayed 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic

Today, a European Championships like no other gets under way. Euro 2020 was going to be unique before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the world, given that it was to be played across Europe.

However, the impact of coronavirus means that we will see a 2020 tournament, marketed as Euro 2020, in 2021 in emptier stadiums than we would have hoped. It will look strange, but I dare say that for Europeans, this is the most anticipated football tournament in years.

Moving towards normality has been important during 2021. Getting excited for a major international football tournament is another step…


My ride up to Gwynedd on the Cambrian Coast train line

The north west coast of Wales is lined with towns and villages tucked into rolling fields and hills. Some have their own beach to brag about, others are nestled within nature, having just as much to offer.

One town has a little bit of both to show off and, on a sunny day, there are few places you’d rather be.

Barmouth, or Abermaw in Welsh, hugs the coastline on the north side of the Mawddach Estuary. …


The gem on the Cambrian Coast that could be your ‘staycation’ destination this year

The phrase ‘staycation’ has become a term used on almost a daily basis in 2021. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to look closer to home.

The UK is brimming with thriving seaside towns, and Wales has its fair share. Aberystwyth is one of these, and it is underrated.

Located slap bang in the middle of the west coast, Aberystwyth is a bit of a jewel on the Cambrian coast line.

Taking in the iconic Welsh scenery begins on the journey to the town. The A487 goes down a large stretch of the west coast and…


How one of the last battles of the First World War has gone down in US Marine history

By the summer of 1918, the First World War was approaching its grinding conclusion. The German Spring Offensive had begun to run out of steam.

The advantage of extra German soldiers being brought over from the Eastern Front following the surrender of Russia was lost by June, and the United States Marine corps would be thrown into their first full engagement of the war.

Initial altercations between the sides were short and sharp as the Germans came up against US and French troops by the Marne River.

The Germans made their way through Belleau Wood and confronted 2nd Division Marines…


How Labour had contrasting results in the 2021 elections.

The dust is beginning to settle following the turbulent few days that made up an election like no other.

The grip of coronavirus restrictions made the elections, in England, Scotland and Wales, more challenging than ever. Having seen the results filter through on Friday, Saturday and into Sunday, the conclusions of which parties were quickly drawn up.

Perhaps the party with the biggest contrast in emotions was Labour. A heavy defeat in the Hartlepool byelection as well as seats lost at council’s such as Sunderland was bad, but to lose the majority in Durham County Council for the first time…


The Yakkas remain top of the Wearside League Division Two after a classy performance

Shotton Colliery made it four wins from four in all competitions since the Wearside League restarted with a comfortable 4–0 victory over mid table Doxford Park.

On a windy afternoon in East Durham, both sides grew slowly into the match, although some loose passes from both sides made for a scrappy opening 15 minutes.

Chances were at a premium during the first half, but the commitment of both sides couldn’t be faulted as the tackles were flying in.

Just past the 20 minute mark a scramble in the Doxford box saw the ball fall to Hall but his effort was…


England’s captain showed his class in a professional series win

England’s series win in Sri Lanka may have looked comfortable on paper, but in reality it was a hard fought victory against a team which could soon become increasingly hard to beat.

The two tests followed a similar pattern. Both played in the same ground, on both occasions the hosts won the toss, batted first and England were tested with a fourth innings run chase on both occasions.

There were positives for both sides. For Sri Lanka, Lasith Embuldinya finished as the leading wicket taker, collecting 15 of the 40 English scalps. …


How England’s first overseas tour since the beginning of the pandemic is shaping up

International cricket continues its slow progression back to normality as England prepare to begin their first overseas tour since the game restarted in the summer.

Joe Root’s men begin a two match test series in Sri Lanka on 14 January having not played any red ball cricket in six months.

England’s squad in full looks like this: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.

Moeen Ali tested positive for coronavirus upon landing in…


What we learned from the riots and how they brought about a fitting end to a controversial Presidential term

Images of protesters storming a political building and demanding the overturning of a democratic decision don’t come around too often. A building previously thought impregnable to the public being overrun with ease feels like something fresh out of fiction but the truth is, it isn’t. This is real, and it is America in 2021.

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters broke through the capitol police to occupy parts of the building which is seen by millions as a symbol of democracy. Elected…

Patrick Hollis

I am a journalist with an honours degree from Coventry University. Passionate writing about politics, culture, sport, society and more

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