DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC 2-2 DUNDEE 2.8.2019

So, I was in Edinburgh for a few days, it would have been rude if I didn’t take in a football match.

But it wasn’t in Edinburgh, it was a short train journey to the Kingdom Of Fife to see Dunfermline Athletic take on Dundee.

I had BBC Scotland to thank for this one, as this game was moved to the Friday night for live TV coverage, and the 7.05pm kick-off meant I could get an earlier 9.36pm train home rather than waiting until 10.36pm.

This game being picked for TV was a bit of a surprise to me, as I thought Dundee United v Inverness Caledonian Thistle would have been chosen. This game, however, turned out to be a good game for the viewing public.

I had previously been to Dunfermline before for a match. Funnily enough, it was against Dundee, in 2015.

That match was a League Cup tie, and there were two divisions between the sides. That night, Dunfermline won 3-1 with two late goals. I was thankful for a resolution inside 90 minutes as extra-time would have meant having to get a 11.36pm train home. There would be no extra-time tonight regardless of the score.

As the teams entered the pitch to the sound of Into The Valley by local band The Skids, Dundee were looking for automatic promotion at the first attempt after five years in the top flight. Quite aptly, The Skids was the best way to describe Dundee’s season. Both teams weren’t literally going into The Valley, as that’s Charlton Athletic’s ground.

If Dundee thought automatic promotion would be easy, they only had to look across the street at Dundee United, who are trying to get promoted at the fourth attempt.

Despite the match being on a weeknight, there was a sizeable away support, taking up most of the away stand behind one of the goals.

There were even some Northern Ireland connections in this game. Newly appointed Dundee manager James McPake had one cap for Northern Ireland. I was there, a 6-0 defeat to Holland in 2012. He is assisted by Jimmy Nicholl. Meanwhile, Dunfermline had Paul Paton, who has four caps for Northern Ireland.

Dunfermline were up for this and were straight on the attack. They were rewarded on 12 minutes when Ryan Dow was played through and fired home.

The lead was then doubled when Dundee’s keeper missed a cross and Kevin Nisbet headed home to make it 2-0.

Nisbet then hit the bar as it looked like it was going to be a matter of how many Dunfermline would score.

As the half neared it’s end, Dunfermline fans then took aim at Steven Thompson, who was getting ready pitchside to do his half-time analysis, chanting “YOU’RE JUST A SHIT MICHAEL STEWART!!!” at him.

Thompson’s half-time analysis was to change dramatically in the final minute of the half, when Dundee had their first attack of note barring an early header from a set piece which was saved, which resulted in the ball bouncing and hitting a Dunfermline defender’s arm, and a penalty being awarded.

Danny Johnston stepped up to make it 2-1, and put Dundee back into the game.

The second-half was a lot more even, with Dundee getting another penalty, which Johnston put away to make it 2-2.

From looking like they were going to get a pasting, Dundee were now the side most likely to win the game, with Dunfermline now holding on for a draw.

As the game entered the final minutes, Dunfermline began to have some pressure on Dundee’s goal, sensing they could win the game, having a few corners and free-kicks in dangerous positions.

My previous visit to East End Park saw dramatic late goals to win the match, but not tonight, as both teams had to settle for a draw.

Photo Album

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee 2015

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PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – AUGUST

After League Of Ireland and UEFA Cup football during June and July, the domestic season began for me in August, when Linfield welcomed Ballymena United to Windsor Park on the opening day of the season.

Four days later, I visited Taylor’s Avenue for the first time, as Linfield travelled to newly promoted Carrick Rangers.

To round off a busy week, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The following weekend, I was in Scotland for my annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival, and made the most of it by taking in matches at Hearts, Rangers and Dunfermline.

Upon my return from Scotland, it was back to Windsor Park, my third time this month, to see Linfield take on Portadown, and get a win that continued their perfect start to the season.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Heart of Midlothian v Partick Thistle

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle Photo Album

Rangers v Hibernian

Rangers v Hibernian Photo Album

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2015

My football watching for 2015 is now over, so, it’s time for a statistical look back at the football I watched.

Games : 54

Goals Seen : 143

Red Cards : 10 (Doesn’t include Caoimhin Bonner being sent-off in the tunnel after the game)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 6

Hat-Tricks : 2 (Andrew Waterworth, Linfield v Dungannon Swifts. Andrew Waterworth, Linfield v Warrenpoint Town)

Teams Seen : 40

Arsenal, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Bray Wanderers, Carrick Rangers, CE Europa (1st time), Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Dundee (1st time), Dunfermline Athletic (1st time), Dungannon Swifts, Espanyol (1st time), Finland, Glenavon, Glentoran, Greece (1st time), Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Hungary, Institute, Latvia (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Masnau, Northern Ireland, NSI Runavik (1st time), Partick Thistle (1st time), Portadown, PSNI, PSV Eindhoven (1st time), Qatar (1st time), Rangers, Romania (1st time) Scotland, Sligo Rovers, Spartak Trnava (1st time), Tobermore United, Valencia (1st time), Warrenpoint Town

Stadiums Visited : 23

Ballymena Showgrounds, Carlisle Grounds, Drumahoe, East End Park (1st time), Estadi Cornella y Prat (1st time), Ferney Park, Fortwilliam Park (1st time), Gresty Road (1st time), Hampden Park, Ibrox, Milltown, Mourneview Park, Newforge (1st time), Nou Sardenya (1st time), Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, Taylor’s Avenue (1st time), The Oval, Tynecastle, Windsor Park

Competitions : 13

European Championship, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Irish League Championship, La Liga, League of Ireland, Scottish Championship, Scottish League Cup (1st time), Scottish Premier League, Tercera Division (1st time), UEFA Cup

Curiousities :

No real curiousities, other than a match with kick-off delayed for an hour due to the weather

UEFA 102 Club : Espanyol, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia (now at 35 clubs)

2015 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

August is usually a busy month, but it was a bit slow to get going. My first event came on the 8th of the month, when I went to see Linfield start the new Irish League season, against Ballymena United.

Four days later, I was visiting Taylor’s Avenue for the first time, as Linfield travelled to newly promoted Carrick Rangers.

Three days later, I was back at Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The next day, I headed to the Peace Wall in Belfast to get some snaps.

Belsonic then began in Belfast, and I attended two of these concerts, Paloma Faith and Stereophonics.

The day after that Stereophonics gig, I was Edinburgh bound for my annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival.

While there, I went to see some football, as Hearts took on Partick Thistle at Tynecastle.

It wasn’t all football, as I managed to get some photos of Street Art in Edinburgh.

A couple of football trips within Scotland, first to Glasgow to see Rangers take on Hibs, and then Dunfermline to see Dunfermline take on Dundee.

There was also some music to fit in while in Scotland, as I headed to Princes Street Gardens to see James in concert.

Upon my return from Scotland, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield beat Portadown and pull clear at the top of the league.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Belfast Peace Wall Art

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

Paloma Faith Live At Custom House Square

Paloma Faith Live At Custom House Square Photo Album

Stereophonics Live At Custom House Square

Stereophonics Live At Custom House Square Photo Album

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Rangers v Hibernian

Rangers v Hibernian Photo Album

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee Photo Album

James Live At Princes Street Gardens

James Live At Princes Street Gardens Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

RANGERS 1-0 HIBERNIAN 23.8.2015

When Rangers were demoted to League Two back in the summer of 2012, August 2015 was supposed to be back when they were back in the SPL, launching a title challenge, and everything was back to normal, the previous four years forgotten about as if they’d never happened.

Trying to go up from The Championship at the second time of asking was not what they had in mind for August 2015.

When Hibs were trying to climb out of the bottom half as 2013 turned into 2014, spending August 2015 trying to get out of The Championship at the second time of asking was not what they had in mind either.

That was the situation both clubs found themselves in, mainly due to Hearts fantastic form last season.

As I was in Edinburgh last weekend, I decided to spend an afternoon in Glasgow. After spending some time in my favourite shops in Glasgow, I headed to Ibrox for part two of the weekend’s Glasgow v Edinburgh double header, with Rangers hoping it would be a double win for the teams that started the weekend top, rather than a double win for Edinburgh, after I witnessed Hearts beat Partick the day before.

It was the fourth venue I have seen Hibs play at. People will be starting to talk. They don’t have an impressive record in my presence, with just one win in the five previous games I saw them play.

Part of the reason for Hearts success last season was scoring wins over Rangers and Hibs in their first two games of last season. They opened up a lead early on, and then pulled away, then got out of sight.

When the fixture list had this as the third game of the season, it was expected that this would be a match between two sides with six points out of six, trying to get an early advantage.

Hibs opening defeat away to Dumbarton meant they were now needing to win this game just to stop Rangers pulling away from them.

Hibs had won three of the four league meetings against Rangers last season (or four out of six if you include the Play-Offs) but it was Rangers who had the upper hand this season, with a 6-2 win at Easter Road in the Petrofact Cup.

Rangers fans were so enthused by their side’s start to the season under new manager Mark Warburton that this game was a sell-out, as Rangers sought the win that would see them return to the top of the table, replacing morning leaders Queen Of The South.

Hibs had the first moment of note in the game, when a Jason Cummings free-kick went over the bar.

Rangers first big moment came when Martyn Waghorn chased down a backpass that Hibs keeper Mark Oxley took his time clearing it upfield, winning possession, but Barrie McKay was unable to get a shot on goal.

Waghorn was involved again soon after, heading over from a corner.

Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham emulated his Hibs counterpart Oxley by having a shaky moment with a stray pass out, but his defence were able to block the shot and clear the danger.

Hibs were giving Rangers some nervous moments when they went forward. It was a tense game that looked like it would only finish 1-0. There was not a lot in it.

Everytime that Rangers went forward, the ball always seemed to fall to Kenny Miller, who seemed to miskick and toepoke everything that came his way.

Rangers then introduced Nathan Oduwa to the action, bringing the Ibrox crowd to their feet. The player had recently caused a scandal in Scotland by doing a fancy flick in a game.

Hibs soon had Cummings and Liam Henderson through on goal against one defender. Henderson fired over.

Within minutes, Rangers were 1-0 up. You could say it was Classic Hibs.

The goal came from a free-kick by James Tavernier. I was at the other end of the ground and thought he had overhit it. Nobody seemed to care, Rangers were 1-0 up.

It wasn’t Liam Henderson’s day, as he fired another shot wide. Rangers were giving Hibs so many chances, surely Hibs couldn’t be awful in front of goal all day long.

Rangers seemed to be dealing with Hibs threats as the game wore on. Hibs only chance to the end was a free-kick that went over.

Rangers got the win and went back to the top of the league, pulling six points clear of Hibs, and strike a decisive blow in the race to return to the Scottish Premier League.

Photo Album

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : AUGUST

The 2014-2015 football season began domestically in August, with a trip to Portadown, for Linfield’s first domestic game under Warren Feeney.

The optimism was soon gone within 90 minutes as Portadown ran out 3-0 winners.

A few days later, I was in Cardiff for the European Super Cup Final between Real Madrid and Sevilla. It was a fantastic trip and great to visit another stadium for the first time. Was very impressed with the facilities there.

24 hours later, I was headed to The Oval to see Linfield get their first domestic win under Warren Feeney, a comeback win from 2-0 down.

That weekend, I was in Edinburgh, and took in a game, Hearts v Hibs at Tynecastle.

With Windsor Park being redeveloped, Linfield had a run of seven successive away games, so road trips became a regular feature of the opening weeks of the season, with trips to Institute (first time there), Ballyclare Comrades and Dungannon Swifts finishing off August.

Portadown v Linfield

Real Madrid v Sevilla

Real Madrid v Sevilla Photo Album

Glentoran v Linfield

Hearts v Hibs

Hearts v Hibs Photo Album

Institute v Linfield

Ballyclare Comrades v Linfield

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2014

So, my football watching is over for 2014. Time to look back at the year just gone. And what better way to do it than with a load of stats.

Games : 54

Goals Seen : 164

Red Cards : 17 (includes Rhys Marshall getting sent-off after the final whistle, but not Gary Hamilton being sent-off as a substitute before he entered the field)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 4

Hat-Tricks : 1 (Robin Van Persie, Manchester United v Olympiacos)

Teams Seen : 37

Accrington Stanley (1st time), AIK Solna (1st time), Ards, B36 Torshavn, Ballinamallard United, Ballyclare Comrades (1st time), Ballymena United, Bangor, Bray Wanderers (1st time), Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Cowdenbeath (1st time), Crusaders, Drogheda United, Dungannon Swifts, Everton (1st time), Exeter City (1st time), Faroe Islands, Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders, Heart Of Midlothian, Hibernian, Hull City (1st time), Institute, Leyton Orient (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Olympiacos (1st time), Peterborough United (1st time), Portadown, Real Madrid, Sevilla (1st time), Tottenham Hotspur, Warrenpoint Town,

Stadiums Visited : 19

Ballymena Showgrounds, Brisbane Road (1st time), Cardiff City Stadium (1st time), Carlisle Grounds (1st time), Coleraine Showgrounds, Crown Ground (1st time), Drumahoe (1st time), Ferney Park, Milltown (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, Tynecastle, White Hart Lane (1st time), Windsor Park

Competitions : 15

County Antrim Shield, European Championship, European Cup, European Super Cup (1st time), FA Premier League, Football League One (1st time), Football League Two (1st time), Irish Cup, Irish League, Irish League Championship, League Of Ireland, Northern Ireland League Cup, Scottish Championship (1st time), Steel and Sons Cup, UEFA Cup

Curiousities :

No real curiosities this year. There were two twins on opposing sides, but i’d already seen it. Other than that, a player setting up a goal with no boots. It was a poor year for curiousities.

UEFA 100 Club : Everton, Sevilla (now at 32 clubs)

2014 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

It took a while for August to get going, but when it did, it was rather good.

My first photo adventure came on the second weekend, when I headed to Portadown to see a new era begin, Linfield’s first domestic game with Warren Feeney as manager. The less said of the result, the better.

Late that night, I headed to Falls Park to see Kaiser Chiefs in concert.

The following day, I was off to Wales for a few days, specifically to see the European Super Cup Final between Real Madrid and Sevilla.

I took the opportunity to explore Cardiff, go to Bristol for a day, and spend some time in Bath. Loved the Street Art in Bristol. Would have loved to have gone on the official tour, but it wasn’t on the day I was there.

Back in Belfast, it was off to The Oval to see Linfield come from 2-0 down to beat Glentoran.

I wasn’t back in Belfast long, as it was time to head to Edinburgh, mostly for the Festival, but I did take in some football, Hearts v Hibs. I also managed to get some Street Art photos when in Edinbugh.

Not long back in Belfast, it was time for Tennent’s Vital to see Bastille and The Killers on the same bill.

Two days later, it was on the road to see Linfield, a theme through the opening weeks of the season. This time, it was to Institute, my first time there.

Two days after that, was a trip to see Linfield go out of the League Cup to Ballyclare. The less said of that, the better.

One more road trip, to Dungannon, to see Linfield get a 1-0 win. At least the month ended on a winning note.

Portadown v Linfield

Kaiser Chiefs Live At Falls Park

Kaiser Chiefs Live At Falls Park Photo Album

Bristol Street Art

Bristol Street Art Photo Album

Cardiff/Bristol/Bath

Cardiff

Cardiff Street Art

Cardiff Street Art Photo Album

Real Madrid v Sevilla

Real Madrid v Sevilla Photo album

Glentoran v Linfield

Hearts v Hibs

Hearts v Hibs Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Bastille Live At Tennent’s Vital

Bastille Live At Tennent’s Vital Photo Album

The Killers Live At Tennent’s Vital

The Killers Live At Tennent’s Vital Photo Album

Institute v Linfield

Ballyclare Comrades v Linfield

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN 2-1 HIBERNIAN 17.8.2014

I was at Tynecastle recently for a historic occasion (there was even a special cover on the souvenir programme) – the first league meeting of Hearts and Hibs outside the top flight.

Given Hearts domination of this fixture, and the fact that Hearts fans can remember their team winning the Scottish Cup, there’s not a lot for Hibs fans to gloat at their rivals about.

When Hearts were given a points deduction last season and virtually condemned to relegation, Hibs even managed to mess that one up, and get relegated themselves.

My previous visit to Tynecastle was in 2011, a European match against Tottenham Hotspur. Teams like Tottenham Hotspur are off the agenda for Hearts these days, it’s all about teams like Alloa, Dumbarton and Cowedenbeath, with games against Rangers and Hibs adding a deceptive glamour to life in the second tier.

I’d previously been to an Edinburgh Derby, in 2012, at Easter Road. It was easy enough to get a ticket for that game, with Hibs fans still suffering doom and gloom from their 5-1 drubbing in that year’s Scottish Cup Final.

With a new wave of positivity around Hearts as they aim for promotion, and an opening day win at Ibrox, getting a ticket for this was going to be hard, I used the tactic of standing around the ticket office hoping that someone would be selling, and I got lucky, behind the goal where Hearts fans are based.

For the first-half, Hibs were the better team without dominating. Hearts fans knew it, and were nervous. For all their possession, Hibs weren’t dominant, but looked the most likely to score. Towards the end of the first-half, Hibs got a golden opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton, making his debut.

It was a soft penalty. From where I was, I thought it was a penalty. Having looked back at TV replays, i’m not so sure. It didn’t matter as Liam Craig missed. He properly missed it, wide of the post, not even forcing Hamilton into a save.

There is something about Hibs, that their inability to take an opportunity to them like this didn’t even come as a surprise.

Hearts fans celebrated the miss as if it was a goal, and it brought new life to Hearts. What few attacks Hearts had in the first-half came through Sam Nicholson.

Hearts improved in the second-half, but no matter how hard both teams, now attacking goals with their fans behind, tried, it looked set to be a 0-0 draw. Hibs fans urged their team on by chanting “Alan Stubbs Green and White Army”, tho which Hearts fans countered with “There’s Only One Terry Butcher”, a tribute to the manager who took Hibs down.

The game changed in a five minute spell. Sam Nicholson nutmegged a defender to give himself some space and score from outside the box.

I was right behind that goal. As soon as he hit it, you knew it was going in. Tynecastle went wild. Within minutes, Hearts won a penalty when Prince Buaben was fouled by Scott Robertson. Buaben was going nowhere. To further rub it in for Hibs, Robertson got a second yellow. A quite spectacular capitulation by Hibs.

Buaben casually strode up, and put the penalty into the net. Game over.

A few minutes later, Osman Sow was sent-off for an elbow, making it ten a side.

In injury time, some slack defending by Hearts, Farid El Alahui made it 2-1. There was still two minutes of injury time to go. Suddenly, it was the Hearts fans who were nervous.

The problem for Hibs was, they couldn’t get the ball, as Hearts played the ball to the corner flag, winning throw-ins, much to Hibs players frustrations, whose fiesty tackling and response from Hearts players threatened to have the game boil over.

Hibs couldn’t get another chance and Hearts held on for the win. New division, same Hearts domination.

As I walked out of the stadium, I overheard a conversation between two Hearts fans, once of whom expressed his surprised that there were Hibs fans leaving with the score at 1-0, and plenty of time in the game to go.

His friend simply responded, “They know”

Photo Album

Hibs v Hearts 2012

Hibs v Hearts 2012 Photo Album

EDINBLOG 2014

A few weeks back, I headed to Edinburgh to take in the Fringe Festival. It was the 6th successive year i’ve attended it. Not going to lie, I love this event, that’s why I keep coming back.

Usually, I arrive in the city on a Saturday, but this year I made it a Thursday to Monday trip. I’d consider myself to be an Edinburgh Veteran, so the trip began in usual fashion – an early morning flight, then a trip to the Ticket Office.

It’s a bit of a risk to wait until arrival to buy tickets, as a lot of shows sell out quickly, I usually find it easy enough to get a good schedule.

It might sound sad, but I plan what I want to see, and have back-up options, just in case.

I didn’t get some of my first choice options, so I had to switch some of my schedule around to accommodate other nights which had tickets available.

I decided to keep some windows open in order to wait and see what to get to fill those gaps, later in the trip.

The first thing you notice when you arrive in Edinburgh ………. they have Trams!!!!

It’s a sad development for the world of comedy, as in previous years, comedians weren’t slow in putting a gag or reference to the much delayed tram line.

As a result of delays getting my baggage, I missed out on being in the audience of MacAulay and Co, which I had a ticket for that morning. Frustratingly, David O’Doherty was a guest that day.

I try to get a mixture of people i’d seen before, and people I haven’t seen. David O’Doherty is one I have to see everytime i’m in Edinburgh. I tried to get tickets for his show but it was sold out, which made it even more frustrating.

I’d planned to see my first show that afternoon, a musical of the movie Ghostbusters, but I got lost trying to find the venue (yes, even Edinburgh Veterans get lost sometimes) and missed it.

Later that evening, I went to my first show of the Fringe – Tedfest, a show based on the Festival/Fan Convention of the TV show Father Ted.

It had a World Cup style comedian battle, a talent show, and of course, a (mock) Lovely Girls Competition. It had it’s moments, most notably when the compere asked people to stand for the national anthem, and “Ghost Town” by The Specials was played, but overall, it just wasn’t that funny.

Friday began with MacAulay and Co, always a pleasure, with guests that day including Alun Cochrane and Tom Rosenthal.

On Friday afternoon, I went to see a show called The 56, a show about the Bradford Fire in 1985.

There was no plot, just three actors reading and acting out real life testimonies of people who survived the fire. It was well acted, to the point where it felt like a hard watch at times.

I got lucky with my dates, that Paul Merton was performing when I was there. Paul Merton only does a few dates in Edinburgh each year, and some years i’ve missed out on seeing him because the dates didn’t match.

The show, Paul Merton’s Impro Chums, sees him, and collaborators, including his wife, performing Improvised Comedy.

That evening, I went to see Frisky and Mannish. I’d had them recommended to me in previous years, and finally decided to go and see them in 2013 …… except, they didn’t have a show that year.

Their show this year, was a musical comedy looking at popculture and it’s best meltdowns, and how they struggled to come up with an appropriate anthem for feminism. They were very funny, especially when they sang all of Sinead O’Connor’s unpublished open letters to various pop stars.

My next show on Friday was Margaret Thatcher : Queen Of Soho, a musical comedy about how Margaret Thatcher became the Queen of Soho.

Margaret Thatcher is the lead character, telling her story, in a laugh a minute show, which isn’t afraid to make fun of her, as she offers a bottle of milk to an audience member, and gets into an arguement with fellow cast members, and tells them “I won’t hesitate about making people unemployed”

When asked by one of her staff is she should screw over the Lib Dems, she simply replies “No, we might need them some day”

There is also a talking picture of Winston Churchill.

From there, I headed to the Comedywealth Games, presented by Mark Watson. I’d wanted to see Mark Watson’s show, so this was the next best thing.

Comedywealth Games was, unsurprisingly, a comedy version of the Commonwealth Games, where comedians competed against each other in a range of events, none of which were athletic based, including sock pairing, eating fruit on a treadmill, and a sack race.

The night I went had Mark Steel representing England. Romesh Ranganathan was due to represent Sri Lanka, so Mark Steel’s son Elliott took his place. It was the day before his 18th birthday. As the show began after 11, he celebrated his birthday midway through the show.

The final competitor was Andrew Maxwell, from the Republic of Ireland.. As Republic Of Ireland is not a member of the Commonwealth, a draw was made to assign him a country. He was assigned Kiribati.

After spending some time on Wikipedia before the show Andrew Maxwell was now a patriotic Kiribatian.

Star of the show, was an audience member called Darren, who was picked to assist the competitors. He was “slightly worse for wear” and spent most of his time swearing and making rude gestures.

The crowd loved him, and chanted his name everytime Mark Watson asked for a member of the crowd to assist.

For the record, England and Kiribati were level on the medals table, with England winning 2-1 on a Rock/Sissors/Paper Play-Off.

The first part of Saturday was mostly football dominated, having a pub lunch to watch Man United v Swansea, then to see Sid Lowe do a talk about his book, Fear And Loathing In La Liga, a look at the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

That evening, I went to see Axis Of Awesome. I’d previously had them recommended to me. It was a musical comedy, very much in the style of Flight Of The Conchords, with each member taking it in turns to be the butt of the others jokes.

The highlight of the show was when they performed “4 Chords“, a series of pop classics to the tune of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, showing how so many songs use the same 4 chords.

I had an unexpected bonus on the Saturday night, as David O’Doherty performed an extra show at 11pm, due to demand. It was classic O’Doherty, with his surreal sense of humour having the crowd in stitches.

Sunday afternoon was spent at Tynecastle watching Hearts v Hibs. From there, I had a very long walk to see John Lloyd’s Museum Of Curiosity, a very QI type show, unsurprisingly, considering that John Lloyd was the creator of QI.

My final show, came on the Sunday night, called “What Does The Title Matter Anyway?”, though it was listed in the festival programme (published in early June) as “Whose Live Show Is It Anyway?, which sounds a bit like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

It was hosted by Clive Anderson, who hosted Whose Line Is It Anyway? and featured Whose Line ….. regulars such as Greg Proops and Stephen Frost.

Anderson, a former lawyer, was quick to point out that this show was totally different from Whose Line Is It Anyway? I feel it’s only fair to repeat what he said.

Whatever the legalities, the audience didn’t care about that, they were only there for laughs, which they got, from the mapcap and surreal situations the show provided. It was a good way to end Edinburgh 2014.

I always keep meaning to explore Scotland when i’m there, possibly taking a day trip to Glasgow or Stirling. But there’s so much going on in Edinburgh, it seems a shame to leave the city while you’re there, even for a day.

Edinblog 2013

Edinblog 2012

Edinblog 2011

Edinblog 2010

Edinblog 2009