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Come on England ……….

Demand for flights to Tokyo has shot up since England’s Rugby World Cup semi-final victory against New Zealand – a victory that means this Saturday could see England become world champions for the first time since 2003.

For rugby fans, it is an event not to be missed. Whilst some are trying to make that trip to Japan, the vast majority will be watching on their televisions at home.

Can Owen Farrell, Billy Vunipola, George Ford, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May et al emulate the successes of Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson, Mike Tindall, Jason Robinson and Matt Dawson back in 2003?

We here at Banana Crumble certainly believe so and will be cheering them every inch of the way. If they can recreate the form of last Saturday vs New Zealand then it must be an England win.

The game is live on ITV with kick-off at 9am. Don’t miss it!

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ENGLAND ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!

Yesterday, one of the greatest ever games of sport took place. England played New Zealand at Lords in the World Cup Final, and to say that it was exciting is certainly an understatement.

New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat first, they set a total of 241. Some excellent bowling from Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett kept their score relatively low on a difficult pitch.

England started poorly losing a number of quick wickets before Jos Butler and Ben Stokes set about fixing the damage, a great partnership led to England needing 15 runs off the last over to win. Step up Ben Stokes who hit 14 off the last over to take the game to a Super Over!!!!!

Ben Stokes and Jos Butler got 15 for England in their super over. Jofra Archer was then given the pressure of bowling England’s over. A 24 year old with limited international experience stepped up and delivered winning the game in a nail bitting ending. Cricket does not get better than this.

Both cricket and non cricket fans got behind their country and were treated to one of the greatest cricket matches ever to be played!!!

The country, if not already, has fallen in love with the beautiful game!

Congratulations England!

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The World Cup starts today ….

The Football World Cup is billed as the “biggest single-event sporting competition in the world” and over the next 4 weeks we will hopefully find out why. It kicks off today with Russia taking on Saudi Arabia.

From an initial 210 entrants (for the first time ever every FIFA member association entered, but Zimbabwe and Indonesia were disqualified before playing their first match!) spread across six continents we are now down to just 32. A total of 64 matches will be played, using 12 venues.  The Final will be played in Moscow on 15th July.

England take on Tunisia (18th June at 7pm), Panama (24th June at 1pm) and Belgium (28th June at 7pm). Progression to the “Round of 16” would see them play on either Monday 2nd July or Tuesday 3rd July, both at 7pm.

The 19 FIFA World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil are the only country to have played in every tournament and have won five times. The other winners are Italy (four times), Germany (three), Argentina and inaugural winners Uruguay (both with two) and England, France, and Spain, all with one title each.

So what does our Banana Analyst predict for 2018?  Forever the optimist, not only does he predict an England win he also suggests how they will achieve it:

Group G Winners

Round of 16 – defeats Columbia

Quarter Final – defeats Brazil

Semi Final – defeats France

FINAL – defeats Germany (on penalties!!!!)

Whatever the outcome, Banana Crumble hopes you all have a great month watching the tournament, are able to get out the BBQ in good weather and that the tournament lives up to the hype.

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How 21 under 17s conquered the World….

England are World Football Champions for the second time in a year… A phrase I did not think I would be saying in my lifetime.

England came back from 2-0 down to win 5-2 in a dramatic game in Kolkata, India against current European champions Spain. Golden Boot winner Rhian Brewster scored England’s first goal a minute from the end of the first half. Second half goals came from Gibbs-White, Foden (2) and Guéhi. What a fantastic achievement for these young lads. England played with real passion and pride, really proving that they wanted to show to the world that they are the best.

England manager Steve Cooper had this to say at the end of the game.

“I’m just so proud of the performance. We were 2-0 down and we just played our way back into it. We didn’t stop. We stuck to the gameplan. We’re building for the future and that’s the way to do it.”

These two World Cup wins for England this year, really shows that the St Georges Development Centre in Staffordshire is benefitting English football and helping us develop some talented footballers. Phil Foden of Manchester City, who was meant to make his senior debut against Wolves in the week, was named Player of the Tournament and shows such exciting prospects for the future, both for his club and for England. Winning the second World Youth Cup in a year means that England are now only the second team to do this after Brazil – what an achievement for English youth football. These lads are now modern day role models for everyone – a true inspiration and hopefully success breeds success.

After England were beaten by Spain in the final of the 2017 European Championships on penalties, the team have grown together into the team that are now World Champions. They obviously learnt from their European loss taking to heart Jermaine Jenas’ phrase “If you win you win, if you lose you learn and if you don’t learn you’ll lose again!”

Congratulations are coming in from all angles on social media with many famous footballers posting messages.

 

Roll on the World Cup in Russia and hopefully our senior side can emulate the success that our youth teams have shown this year!

Congratulations England u17s from all here at Banana Crumble!