Swansea Beat Man United to Crown A Weekend Mirabilis for Leeds   –   by Rob Atkinson

Chris Wood milks the adulation of the fans

Truly it is said that, for a sports fan’s very best of times, it’s not quite enough that your favourites should win. It’s necessary also for a team you despise to lose, preferably after taking the lead and crowing prematurely. It adds the aromatic spice of Schadenfreude to the jubilant celebration feast of success. When everything falls into place like this, pleasure and triumph for the good guys, pain and suffering for the baddies, it arrives like Manna from Heaven or soft, gentle rain in a parched drought. Those joyous moments don’t come along often enough, sadly – but this last two day’s melange of high points is one to remember for a long time.

By any reckoning, such a very rewarding weekend is like a great big, gaudy parcel crammed with delectable goodies, wrapped in paper of pure gold and tied with ribbons of yellow, white and blue. What a transcendentally wonderful 48 hours it has been, first and foremost in football, with Leeds United beating our former tormentors Derby County in their own backyard. The victory was thoroughly well-deserved and sealed by a truly tonking strike from Chris Wood, who is looking more and more like the real deal. United seem set to follow up their breakthrough win with some quality additions to a talented young squad. The future finally looks bright for the Whites – at least for the moment. 

Wood's wonderstrike

Wood’s wonder strike

That victory at Derby was a significant result and something in which to take significant pride and pleasure. But in the grand scheme of this weekend, especially for a fan of both football and rugby league, United’s success was in the nature of a curtain-raiser to the top of the bill, an appetiser before the main course. Leeds Rhinos, indisputably the class act of Super League, had reached Wembley to defend the Challenge Cup they won last year against Castleford Tigers. The opposition this year would come from Hull Kingston Rovers, and the outcome was to be of history-making proportions.

Hull KR undeniably froze on their big day, while Leeds Rhinos were at their imperious best. The game was men against boys; Rovers barely threatened the Rhinos try-line, with Leeds surging through their ranks at will as the Final wore on, racking up 50 points without reply. Tom Briscoe scored a record five tries, including one superb 90 yard finish, in a man of the match display. Leeds Rhinos were supreme and irresistible; Hull KR utterly obliterated. 

By this time, your Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything correspondent was feeling pretty good about his sporting Saturday. There was even the merest hint of that Schadenfreude piquancy, with card-carrying Leeds-haters like BarnsleyHuddersfield and Sheffield Wendies all comically tasting the dry ashes of defeat. The only way the day could have been improved would have been a defeat from a winning position for man u, my much-despised, Pride of Devon, favourite targets. But man u didn’t play till Sunday…

And, lo and behold, it came to pass. Sunday provided the warm afterglow to follow Saturday’s twin climaxes of joy and celebration. It was like Boxing Day used to be when I was a kid; a buffer against the downer that sometimes follows an emotional high – one more fiesta day, parties, further celebrations, even more lovely presents.

The Panther celebrates his winner against man u

My very favourite Pride of Devon defeats are the ones where they’ve ridden their luck and then taken an undeserved lead. You can see the arrogance set in; they start to swagger and believe the media fairy stories about how wonderful they are. And then, every now and again, the opposition bites back and smites the Over-rated Ones hip and thigh. Defeat is snatched by the media darlings from the very jaws of victory. So it happened today, to utterly overflow my cup of pleasure.

With a deadly one-two any champion boxer would be proud of, Swansea City recovered from the blow of going behind and promptly smashed man u left and right, to leave them bleeding and bewildered on the canvas. And then, as always happens with this shabby lot, the arrogance was replaced by truculence; the Pride of Devon starting to moan even more at the ref. They snarled and they kicked, they looked for dodgy penalties, they brought on a beanpole forward and abandoned any pretence at beautiful football. And they lost. Joy unconfined, they lost!

So it’s been another highly enjoyable day to complete a miraculous weekend that’s had just about everything. In the mix, a first win for the Whites, a brilliant clinching goal, yet more silverware for the Rhinos as they continue to carry all before them, a bracing start to Sunday at Whitley Bridge car boot sale and, of course, that sadistic pleasure at the discomfiture and defeat of the hated rabble from the Theatre of Hollow Myths. Still to come: a celebratory Chinese takeaway with wine and a good movie in the very best company I could wish for. And, Lordy Lord, it’s a bank holiday tomorrow. 

I’m a very happy man right now, as you’ve possibly gathered – but, naturally, this too shall pass. For the moment I shall just enjoy it, and look forward to Deadline Day – and then the peace and opportunity for calm reflection that comes with an international break. 

See you at the next turn of the cards. This has been a better one than most!


32 responses to “Swansea Beat Man United to Crown A Weekend Mirabilis for Leeds   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Brightonwhite

    An Edwin Hawkins Singers weekend . Oh happy days , oh happy days . Great blog as always.


  2. Hi Rob this is a quote from something I read earlier
    “If Carling made weekends this would have been one of them”

    By the way I can’t find a decent Chinese takeaway in WF11 can you recommend yours ?





  4. Philip of Spain.

    Why, I don’t know but I actually watched a bit of that game today.They are a mess,especially at the back.Half of Devon in tears.I know you can only play the opposition you get but as a spectacle,The Challenge Cup wasn,t.Great for Peacock and Winfield though.


  5. Hammersfan

    Just think how perfect it would have been had you been in the Prem instead of the Championship and had you won 3-0 at Anfield instead of 2-1 at Derby County! How many managers do you expect before the end of the season Handsome? Keep dreaming!


    • Then again, we could had a home defeat to Bournemouth to reflect on – but instead we beat them twice as they blitzed the league last season. So where have you been – and when did they let you out?


  6. Rob, I’ve been at Boston Spa this aft to watch a fanastic fund-raising T20 cricket match between TABS CC (Thorp Arch/Boston Spa) & Yorkshire CCC, who 2 days before a County Championship game where they could win the title, sent a near full strength squad inc Lythy! So what you may think? Well a certain Mr Boycott was in attendance to support his local club by doing the toss at 2pm then watching Yorks bat their overs. But at 3.55 the Scum loving bastard had the audacity to do one from the ground, & he was heard to admit where he was going, making his way home to watch ‘them’. So a thoroughly enjoyable weekend was made even more complete in the knowledge that he’d be sat grimacing watching a 3rd straight victory for the Swans against the Scummers! Good job its Bank Holiday Mon so we can sink a few more than usual.


  7. A great piece as usual Rob. Enjoy the moment. I have a feeling there may be more of these in the future – Uwe developing the team over the coming months, and Man Utd getting their come uppance as Premier League teams and referees refuse to accept the Man U myth perpetuated by the media.


  8. WE are bitter, WE are hated, and WE love it. MOT


  9. Martin Spencer

    Very well said, as ever. Rarely do we have such a golden opportunity to revel in all things Leeds, so fill your boots – one and all.
    Can’t help but mention that we do also seem to be on the cusp of the best LUFC transfer window dealings since way back when….?
    Onwards and upwards, with the tipple of your choice.


  10. I’m trying to stay awake for MOTD2 to savour every last minute of this marvellous weekend, glass of single malt in hand to help celebrate THEIR demise.


  11. And Chelsea and Liverpool beaten at home, perfect but only because we won. MOT. Great read.


  12. johnnybangkok

    I was lucky to see both Leeds United and Leeds Rhinos on t’internet, and boy what a wonderful Saturday it was! I must say it was great hearing Marching On Together sung at Wembley and iPOD park or whatever they call it now in Derby. Finally I just wanted to say the respect shown towards Hull KR by Kevin Sinfield and Jamie Peacock in the aftermatch interview, and indeed by all the Leeds fans at Wembley was a lesson in decorum that many a footballer and football fan could learn!


  13. Robert Heath

    I have my own personal rating system for sporting weekends according to various factors. There have been way too many Black Weekends in the past few years, but this was the mythical 5 Star Golden Weekend! I actively dislike rugby, so wasn’t much excited about Leeds RL winning whatever it was they won, and I’m not that bothered either way about the fates of nonentity teams like Barnsley or Hudders. What thrilled me were the various feeble capitulations at home of Newcastle, Chelsea and Liverpool. I was nervous all day yesterday thinking Swansea might blow it, but they pulled it off. The only thing missing was YCCC racking up a score of 385-2 against some muppets like Lankyshire. How could there not be a round of County games on a Bank Holiday weekend? (Let me guess…………..summat to do with some stupid biff-baff one day tournament?) Still………….a GOLDEN WEEKEND………….here’s to more of ’em!


    • Let the Lankys enjoy their moment winning crickets version of the Zenith Data Systems trophy…its pyjama wearing, circus cricket! YCCC will stick to the real stuff


  14. Sniffers shorts v the man who sold the world

    They ….. I say they my work mate colleagues that follows said hated ranks of Red were full of aplomb for seeing Dave score his ha trick against the midweek pub team from Bruge ….. After my jibes as such the said colleagues said this is the start of things good and Rodney would be on his regular form and soundly thrash the swans ….. Oh what joy I have left text piss taking as I want to gloat firstly at the Leeds haters the guffaw I constantly get ….. The excuses I got for when pesto turned his nose up to go to chelshit …. You missed this one Rob Palace sitting higher than the ex champions and super gob …. My big nose best mate has suffered greatly this season for his outrageous statements …. He does get in a tizzy as he can only retort to what division we play in and are owned by a crook …. Oh how the little dog laughed ….. I do hope we can improve on Saturday lunch time I have always told this blog youth is the answer I think we missed out on Barton he or someone like him needs to lead the ranks ….. However we were superb at times the movement of cookie was sublime , the great play and good humour of Bamba refreshing to see ….. We showed we wanted the win Woods thunderbolt made my hairs stand up I went cold with delight ….. Adeymi Dallas Antenucci all again making huge contributions Silvestri the new Cat again two outstanding saves All the boys were superb …… There have been some huge knockers including yourself Rob of Cellino close season ….. Well maybe it’s time to apologise he has brought in fantastic back room staff a great manager players who want to wear the shirt play with passion …… Let’s hope we can be a force to be reckoned with I said in another statement we were leeds are was corrected WE ARE LEEDS MOT


    • I’m not really disposed to apologise, Sniffer – I think the credit for this season’s improvement in Cellino’s conduct is down to Adam Pearson. Left unfettered, Cellino was making a right pig’s ear of things – IMHO


  15. You have made great point about Skychester absurd self belief of greatness. It is especially hilarious when you look at their transfer activities. They tried to bring Pedro, but when failed, they asked for Neymar and Barca responded for this with a laugh. And now they are repeating same nonsense with Real Madrid and de Gea. They can’t admit to themselves that they are average team (even in EPL) and more importantly, a feeder club for Spanish Giants and they follow their hollow myth of greatness thinking that they can take Bale. Marvelous.


    • There’s no delusion like self-delusion. Tragically, man u are supported in their daft beliefs by the assembled media, who are never happy until any new signing has recited the “biggest club in the world” mantra, bollocks though it is.


  16. wetherby white

    ah yes-what a weekend, think I was slipping into unconsciousness by about 6.30 on Saturday evening! The Rhinos, Yorkshire County Cricket and at long long last..the mighty whites finally showing signs of something special for this season. Please keep it up lads and my fear of collecting a pensioners bus pass wont have to come true before we get promotion.
    Likes your piece in Sabotage Times recently Rob.


  17. Leeds win away. Chelsea lose at home. Sweet!


  18. Rob,
    I saw this comment on the BBC Sport site and thought it summed up excellently!

    Shall we praise LVG?

    £230m spent, the British record signing goes awol then leaves for PSG, Valdes thrown out, De Gea, last season’s saviour, sits in the stands, Falcao left in pieces, RVP angry, sold for a song now scoring for fun at his new club, a myriad of top players in their prime reject MU’s advances, pitiful returns from new signings…

    Long may he reign at the Theatre of Farce!


  19. Pingback: Swansea Beat Man United to Crown A Weekend Mirabilis for Leeds   –   by Rob Atkinson - sportsdroid

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