Sunday, October 05, 2008

Bangor City 1-0 Connahs Quay

I've spent worse afternoons at the football. I was about to say, "but not many", unfortunately that wouldn't be true. My football watching life has been a turgid potpourri of mediocrity and tedium. Yesterday's recipe included lots of cold water.

My early morning had been spent watching Y Felinheli Under 7's play against Penrhosgarnedd at Treborth. That was wet too. My middle son Ifan was playing his second ever game, and he even kicked the ball once. There's progress for you.

I decided to visit Farrar Road in the afternoon, using my newly acquired Welsh Premiership photography accreditation. After my initial forays into photography, I've decided to step things up. I bought a new super duper telephoto from ebay and I'll be taking pics at the Wales internationals, so I used the biggest game of the day in North West Wales to get in some practise.

As the saying goes, "upgrade your ability before you upgrade your gear". Today's images were taking with my cheap old Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens while I await delivery of the next step up, a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM Lens. (The things I write for search engine optimisation). You can see that the Tamron struggled in the low light.

So there I was in my lime green bib ready for some action. I waited....and waited. This really was a dull game, enjoyed only by Bangor's most fervent supporters. The type of people who stand out in the open end, even when there are perfectly good roofs on two of the stands.

I got soaked crouched at the side of the touchline. It was an interesting aspect, even though a cameraman doesn't actually see any of the best bits. As Sion Edwards breaks clear down the left one, you have to make an instant decision. Does my camera follow his tricky feet, or do I focus on Les Davies charging up the middle for my money shot?

I usually try to get the centre forward in the hope that I capture the exact moment when ball meets head, eyes focused and drops of water elegantly showering his forehead. So far, I only know what has happened by the sound of the crowd groaning as the ball has somehow cleared the stand. My camera catches Big Les's disappointment. I have thousands of pictures of Les looking disappointed.

Connah's Quay were organised. No matter how miserable and boring a game is, I always come away with a nugget that keeps me interested enough to go again. This time I was fascinated by the way that the whole defence would shout "don't foul, don't foul" whenever Bangor attacked.

They had obviously identified Bangor's set-piece as a danger and were disciplined enough not to give away many free kicks. It was good to see intelligence rather than machismo in a Welsh premier game.

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