DONCASTER Rovers turned on the style in the second half of last Tuesday’s 3-1 pre-season win over Hull City at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The Tigers had been the better side in the first half, getting the ball down and passing it around well.
But for all their dominance they needed an own goal by former Sheffield Wednesday skipper Rob Jones, on his Rovers’ debut, to secure a 1-0 interval lead.
Although keeper Gary Woods, who has gone a long way to silence his critics during the pre-season campaign, had to pull off several top-class saves to deny the visitors, Rovers dominated the second half and scored three without reply.
I was particularly impressed by midfielders David Syers and Martin Woods, who capped his best game in pre-season with a couple of goals, as well as Kyle Bennett.
Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders had picked up a bit of a bug overnight and stayed away from the training ground on Thursday leaving his No 2 Brian Carey in charge of training,
The former centre-back also took care of media duties at the pre-match press conference for the first time. He spoke a lot of sense and is obviously in tune with Saunders.
I have a lot of time for both men and along with fitness coach Mal Purchase, the club looks to be in good hands.
As was the case for the game against Hull, there was a disappointing crowd for Rovers’ final home game of their pre-season campaign against Barnsley on Saturday, but with a host of Olympic finals on television it was probably not surprising.
Once again Jones put into his own net, causing Saunders to joke that he was thinking of playing him in attack.
Rovers midfielder Brian Stock, who has given the club great service during his time at the Keepmoat Stadium - both as a player and a captain - shook my hand after the game saying he was set to join Burnley within the next few days.
In keeping with most of the country, judging by the viewers figures, I watched Team GB pick up three athletics Olympic gold medals that evening. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric and must have helped the home athletes, though they still had to go out and perform.
Rovers took on a Doncaster Town X1 in their annual Twenty-20 cricket match at Town Fields on Sunday.
Spectators were treated to an entertaining game which ended in a dubious draw.
Rovers chairman John Ryan, who told me later that he used to play for Town in his younger days, has been a tremendous supporter of the fixture over the years and he again turned out for the club.
He showed that he knew how to handle a bat before being bowled for three in the fourth over.
It was Tommy Spurr who caught the eye, however.He cracked a hard-hitting 84 prompting Town stalwart Nick Johnson, who organised the game, to say during the post-match presentation ceremony that if he ever fancied a game he would be welcome at the club.
Chris Brown, who won the club’s recent golf day at Bawtry, also proved useful with the bat when making 42.
James Coppinger was just getting his eye when he was out for 20.
I had expected to see David Syers, who is an excellent cricketer, but he was otherwise engaged, as were several others who have played in recent years.
Lee Butler, who captained the Rovers team, tried to sign me up for the Town innings as they were a couple pf players short.
But not having played for well over 35 years, I declined as I didn’t want to let the team down or show myself up.
But I took part in a bit of a knock about inthe nets with a couple more journalists and ‘Maz’ from Rovers’ media team whilst we were waiting for the presentations to start and I bowled Maz first bowl and also hit the ball well, so perhaps I should have played. I will next season if I’m available and I’m asked.
I arrived home to learn that the Dons, who had travelled up to Cumbria the day before to give them a better chance of beating fourth-placed Whitehaven in what was a must-win game in their bid to win the Championship One title, had lost 25-18.
My immediate reaction, even though the Dons had picked up a losing bonus point, was that their chance had gone. A view confirmed by Dons’ boss Tony Miller when I spoke to him that night.
Being a former 100m, 200m and 400m runner in my younger day, those are the main events I enjoy watching at track and field championships.
I must admit that I thought Usain Bolt might not be good enough to defend his 100m Olympic title if, as had been suggested, he was less than 100 per cent fit.
His run in the heats told me little, but the way he won his semi-final convinced me that he was still the man to beat despite the fact that he was up against the strongest-ever line-up in an Olympic 100m final, and so it proved.