Manchester Away – February 2015

This is the first blog I have done on this site, hope it works ok and meets the standards that the others have set before me!

It all started on 25th December, another Christmas was drawing to a close when Kirsty gave me one final present, a couple of tickets to the Coronation Street tour, a night in a hotel in Manchester and all over the magical weekend of February 14th – when the Rocks were in Manchester – perfect!

So, February came round soon enough and we set out for Manchester, we missed lunch with my Dad and brother and Lisa in Glasgow but that was so we could ensure we got to Manchester before nightfall, I saw on a map there were a few roundabouts on our route in Manchester and I wanted to have them cleared in daylight.

hat

Didn’t have the bottle to wear this at the game

We set off at 1 o clock and stopped around 2 o clock for food in the services (if people haven’t tried the McDonalds Grand Burger yet, you must, it is tremendous.)  Kirsty bought me a hat to wear at the game on Sunday, I didn’t have the bottle to though.  This is going to be my wedding smile in the wedding pictures, I think it is a winning look.Then Kirsty took the wheel so I could check my coupons on the drive down, I came close to one line coming in, only one goal being scored in the Port Vale game scuppered me, there is always one…

So, we got down to Manchester soon enough and checked into our hotel, a nice little place right near the city centre.  We took a wander up for dinner, I saw chicken schnitzel on the menu for the first time ever (I saw it on a menu the next day for the second time ever, must be a Manchester thing?)

Next morning we were awake nice and early, I was like a little boy on Christmas Eve as we were going on the Coronation Street tour.  We arrived in plenty of time but my hopes were dashed somewhat as our tour guide announced that we were not allowed to take photographs, I took one anyway (please don’t grass me up anybody) – 10 points for whoever can guess whose house this is

illegal

When we got outside we were allowed to take as many pictures as we wanted, it was pretty cool because we were in the first tour of the day and had time out on the street when there was only a few of us there.  I made it my mission to get the Rocks top in front of some famous landmarks.

underworld roy rov

There is me outside an underwear factory, outside Roy’s Rolls and behind the bar in The Rovers, if only Steve MacDonald  had joined me in that photo I would have been ridiculously happy!

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I also found a basketball hoop outside Kevin’s garage so I took this picture to remind The Rocks where the ball should go.

So, we left the tour and walked back to the car, I saw a tranquil English scene that I wouldn’t expect to see in industrial Manchester.

boat

Tranquil.

We had a bit of time to kill so we decided to do the Old Trafford tour.  This cost £18 which I think is disgraceful, we still paid it mind you.  I worked out that Man Utd must make over £5 million a year from tours, they should be doing it for free, or for a minimal donation to pay the wages of the tour guides, who were excellent.  Anyway, it goes without saying that I took this picture outside:

ot

It was pretty hard to take that because of the position of the sun in the sky, the lighter nights are great but summer can lead to some pretty difficult photos.  The tour was interesting, I like to compare Man Utd’s food prices with the Emirates food prices.

ot price

As can be seen, Hot Dogs are the same price, pies are 50p dearer, The Emirates need to sort their prices out.

So, onto the main event, Glasgow Rocks @ Manchester Giants.  This was a new arena for me, it was in a big indoor football arena, it looked like there were another 10 or so pitches under the roof but this main pitch had seats around it and was lit, the rest was in darkness.  The lines were a little confusing for me.

lines

Confused.com

The Rocks played pretty well I thought, I saw a Manchester paper report saying both teams were lacklustre which I thought was a little unfair.  Special mention should go to Paul Egwuonwu who I thought had his best game for us.  He was really aggressive under the basket which Coach Davis seemed to really get excited about!

The final score could have been really different if we didn’t get an important offensive rebound with about 10 seconds left I think.  We were 3 points up and took a shot with the shot clock running out and 12 seconds odd left on the game clock, we missed but grabbed the rebound to save me from a nervy last few seconds!

Other things I noticed about the game:

  • We should do that throw a duck think, it looks fun and looks like it makes money for the club.
  • Johnny Bunyan fell and took a sore one to the back of the head on his way down, he missed the first free throw straight after it but got the second one, I was impressed he didn’t leave in an ambulance!!  It looked ouch!
  • The arena is freezing, take a jacket if you go in!
only

Me and Kirsty were the only Rocks’ fans there, here is Kirsty looking lonely

It was a bit embarrassing at the end of the game when the players applauded us!!  I felt guilty that 10 professional sportsmen were applauding an oaf like myself but it was nice to get that acknowledgment.

  • Kieron Achara took offence when Kirsty told him he needs to work on his free throws

ach

(disclaimer, this is clearly not true! He definitely does not need to work on his free throws)

  • Tommy Freeman has an interesting line in warm up gear:

camo

So, that was it, a fine weekend, thanks to Kirsty for my Christmas present.  We got home about 11ish having done a good few miles

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Go Rocks etc.