Welcome to RAWSport

RAWSport is the sports department of RAW 1251AM, the award winning studio radio station for the University of Warwick.

We will bring you coverage of all things sport at local and national levels. Our dedicated team will be bringing you reports, reviews, and opinions across the sporting spectrum – keeping you up to date with the activities of sporting teams across our campus, country, and beyond!

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RAW vs The Boar Match Report

RAW cruised past a below-par Boar outfit at Tarkett on Saturday, ending up 7-1 winners in a game held in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity.

Despite the chilly conditions and early start the RAW team outfit arrived in high spirits with Manager and Head of Music Tilly Goodall optimistic about her team’s chances in a clash between two of Warwick University’s oldest and most established societies. Early arrivals from both teams had a little waiting around as the ball in the RAW office was according to Fred Kelly “a non-starter.” Luckily due to the help of Niall Johnson grabbing a ball from Warwick Sport and Henry Riley searching through the local shrubbery, both teams were able to warm up with actual footballs. RAW Manager Tilly Goodall identified some talent in the RAW squad early on and was optimistic of her sides chances, despite the worries of Ed Farrar that The Boar looked the significantly thinner side.

Captain Ed Farrar’s team talk had already been written for him by recent events, with RAW having to play through the disgusting weather of the morning because The Boar had to move the fixture back by a week to go to an awards ceremony. RAW lined up in a 4-3-3 formation spearheaded by Ed Farrar with a midfield three held together by Jonny Mellor, whilst The Boar were playing 4-4- f***ing 2 with numerous writers from their apparently huge membership creating formidable opposition.

RAW started off positively, putting some early pressure upon the student newspaper with  some slick passing play which created some early openings for the student radio to test out Boar keeper Rhal Ssan with Head of Sport Ed Farrar coming close with an audacious effort from 35 yards out which just clipped the crossbar. RAW’s early pressure paid off with Jack Butler opening proceedings with an expertly placed finish past Ssan after being played in behind the newspaper’s defence in brilliant, graceful fashion by Ed Farrar, who certainly did not fall flat on his arse. Butler quickly added a second after Niall Johnson made a sparkling run into the area to set up Butler to mis-control but eventually finish with his left-foot. The floodgates were now beginning to open with Ro Carthigeya, or as he is now known, ‘The Man who cannot be tackled’, ambling into some huge space behind Daniel Ruben and Matt Allen to squeeze a finish low into Ssan’s near post.

All was going rather well for RAW, however the student radio’s achilles heel soon kicked in, as the complete lack of fitness of the squad started to show. The Boar XI were soon putting pressure upon the RAW defence with keeper Paolo Nizam starting to consider the possibility he might be called into action at some point during the game. This quickly became the case as the 6’4 shot-stopper raced out of his goal to snuff out the threat of a Boar attack down the right hand side. Unfortunately for the fresher he did not consider that despite his height he could still be chipped as Boar writer Alex Exact beautifully chipped the despairing keeper in a moment of rare quality from both sides, and a moment of rare jubilation for The Boar contingent. Soon the pressure was back upon the paper as Charlie Peters, who apparently hadn’t played football for a decade, raced through on goal after being played through by the fantastic Donal Connolly. For a moment it seemed like the ultimate keen fresh was about to score an unlikely goal, however Charlie, as usual, completely binned the chance. Struggling to get the ball out of his feet he could only attempt a tame shot straight at Ssan who deflected straight into the hands, which were absolutely in a natural position, of the rampaging Peters. Gifted a second chance of glory Charlie looked to pounce on the opportunity only to completely lose balance, fall head over heels and have to watch the ball roll out for a goal kick.

The half was soon over with RAW 3-1 up and far the happier side as captain Ed Farrar and RAW Visual commentator Rob Bowler brought the players in for a quick huddle to motivate them for the half ahead. Up for the discussion was Tilly’s confusion at how many breaks a football game had, the surprisingly excellent performance of Visual Head Honcho Jonny Mellor who was protecting the also impressive central defensive presences of Henry Riley, Luke Edwards and Conor Boyle, as well as the absolute desire of RAW to demolish The Boar with Station Manager Henry Riley stating “It was time to finish them off completely.” It was crucial for RAW to keep piling the pressure on The Boar who, despite the scoreline, were certainly still in the game and were bolstered by sabbatical officers Niall Johnson and Michael Kynaston switching sides to help even up the contest.

RAW started the second half brightly, despite star player Matt Delaney being replaced by late-comer Jack Abbey, with Fred Kelly enjoying the freedom of moving up the field. Mellor, Clarke and Kelly were all instrumental in breaking up any Boar attacks, as RAW dominated the 50/50 battles in the middle of the field with Phillips and Carthigeya finding space in the final third. The Boar did have a shout for a penalty as Jack Abbey brought down a Boar player inside the box. Despite the complaints of DDO Michael Kynaston, the completely neutral referee and RAW captain Ed Farrar decided Jack Abbey had won the ball and that in fact the player shouldn’t have run into Jack Abbey’s out-stretched leg.

Despite their dominance RAW were unable to create a clear-cut chance with some poor deliveries from set pieces and out wide. Luckily a piece of magic by ‘Behave Yourself’ presenter Donal Connolly created the fourth goal. Finding himself with the ball on the right, with little support and three Boar players closing, Donal beat a player and produced a beautiful cross to find Carwyn Phillips at the back post who squared to Fred Kelly to convert for a fantastic team goal. The floodgates now started to open as Fred Kelly doubled his tally with a fantastic, driven finish outside the area and off-balance to give RAW their fifth. Ro Carthigeya was also starting to wreak havoc down the left wing with his deceivingly innocuous ambling becoming impossible to deal with as Boar players were shrugged effortlessly out of the way. Matt Delaney had now been sent up front and scored his second goal in as many games for RAW as he collected a through ball and beat Ssan at his front post with a belting, low finish after cutting inside his marker. The RAW contingent went wild as Delaney kissed the camera and performed his trademark celebratory dab with Henry Riley.

The Boar had now been run ragged and the student radio started to play some champagne football with Station Manager Henry Riley moving up the field to take advantage of the space left by the demoralised Boar outfit. Ro Carthigeya was causing problems and was described by commentator and captain Ed Farrar as “like Lionel Messi, just you could probably tackle Messi if you really wanted to.” Due to the fantastic tactical decision made by Ed Farrar to bring on Jack Butler to complete his hat-trick, RAW soon completed their seven goal demolition of the student newspaper after Henry Riley drove into the box, beating three players on the way, and chipped a ball to the back post to be volleyed in by the rampaging fresher from close range. RAW ended the game, that had become increasingly open as the pure athleticism of the student radio squad shone through, by far the better side but could not add to their seven goal haul, finishing the game 7-1 victors.

Final Score: RAW 7 (Butler (3), Carthigeya, Kelly (2), Delaney) – The Boar 1 (Exact)

RAW Squad: Nizam, Kelly, Riley, Edwards, Delaney, Mellor, Johnson (First Half) Clarke, Hand, Butler, Farrar, Kynaston (First Half) Carthigeya, Brooks, Connolly, Boyle, Phillips, Peters, Abbey.

Post-Match Reaction:

Manager Tilly Goodall was delighted in her side’s victory stating that “we played liquid at times and we completely dominated The Boar with our high-press and incisive passing in the second half. Ultimately there are still areas that we can improve upon, especially our offside trap and set pieces, and we will definitely come up against stronger opposition in future games, but for now I’m pleased.”

Head of Speech Barnaby Merrill also had this to say about his own performance “Barnaby Merrill showed balance and poise in his brief cameos, and was equal to the physical challenge despite the game passing him by at times”

POM: After such an excellent performance it only seems fair to pick out two people to single out. Firstly Jack Butler for his hat-trick and living up to our expectation of being an incredibly ‘nippy’ forward player with an eye for goal. Secondly Jonny Mellor for his enthusiastic efforts displaying an impressive passing range, first touch and hard-tackling.

Big thanks to Elliot Mulligan, Deputy Editor in Chief of The Boar, for helping put this fixture together. We are looking forward to some more fixtures between the two societies in the future played in the same friendly manner.

If you still want to donate to The Brain Tumour Charity you can visit this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rawbraintumourappeal

Inspired to get involved with your student radio station’s sports team? Well make your views heard by getting involved with RAW Sport now! You can follow our twitter at @RAW1251_Sport to keep up to date with our events, our Mixcloud at RAWSport to listen back to all our shows and podcasts, and like our Facebook page RAW Sport to get in contact and get involved.



Ed Farrar’s Ashes Selections

Tomorrow morning the England squad will be announced for Ashes tour this winter with the selectors facing several different issues across the team. For what it’s worth I’ve selected my squad for the tour explaining any potentially controversial selections. Let me know what you think.

Touring Party: Cook, Stoneman, Westley, Root, Malan, Stokes, Bairstow, Ali, Woakes, Broad, Anderson, Ballance, Wood, Overton, Crane, Livingstone, Foakes

Mark Stoneman has done enough for me to start the series at the top of the order with Cook. He strode out with incredible purpose on debut at Edgbaston, and started confidently before getting a beauty from Kemar Roach on 8, and looked determined throughout the series. His maiden test match half-century at Leeds and 40* to see England through to a series win at Lords were his only scores of note really but I like the cut of his jib from what I’ve seen and it would seem harsh to drop him after only 5 innings at the highest level. They really should have had him at the top of the order at the start of the summer but that’s another argument.

Tom Westley and Dawid Malan also make my squad after their performances so far this summer. Malan has showed some real grit and determination during this summer to make some scores after a difficult start against South Africa. He still hasn’t made that massive score that will establish his place in the team, and really help his confidence at the top level, but he certainly looked the part on his t20 debut against South Africa earlier in the summer and his two fifties against the West Indies have shown me enough to get him on the plane. Westley started his test career more brightly and hugely impressed me with his application and technique. After his first three innings however he went five without reaching double figures and has looked a candidate for LBW and caught behind playing his loose on-drives. He did however make runs in his last innings of the summer which might have saved him. I feel Hazelwood might get the run on him down under with is height and accuracy but I’m a big fan of his and I feel it’s worth taking him on tour at least.

I’m also a big fan of the two ‘back-p’ batsmen I’d take on tour, Gary Ballance and Liam Livingstone. I’ve always liked Gary Balance and I feel his career has been hindered by England’s insistence that he is a number three which is absolute rubbish. His nuggety technique will break up England’s attacking order nicely and I really do think he has the temperament for Test cricket. He’s a fantastic option at number five and in my team would edge Malan. Livingstone is my back up for Westley at number three. The extra responsibility of batting there for Lancashire has really helped his game and he has played fantastically this season making some really big scores. He has the concentration and determination to get through testing periods as well as an array of attacking shots to make the bowlers toil when his innings progress. He would also challenge Westley at number three for sure, although this is more fifty-fifty for me.

It’s a straight shoot-out between Ben Foakes of Surrey and Alex Davies of Lancashire for the back-up wicketkeeper slot. I’m a big fan of Jos Buttler but you can’t go on tour to Australia having played that little red ball cricket. Ben Davies has opened the innings for Lancashire and has stepped up to the plate with the gloves in Buttler’s absence. Dealing with the pressure of keeping and trying to score runs at the top of the order is difficult, especially in Division 1, yet he has had a fantastic season with both bat and gloves so certainly deserves to be considered. Ben Foakes has also had a great season and is now widely considered as the best wicketkeeper in the domestic circuit. He has also enjoyed a great season with the bat and having watched him play a couple of times you can see that he oozes quality. He averages 45 this year playing some really important innings and had a fantastic one-day cup as well. As much as I believe Alec Stewart would compare Rob Keogh to Ravi Ashwin if he played for Surrey, I think he’s right about Foakes, so he makes my squad.

The seam bowling department has become a little bit of a crisis point after the injury to the impressive Toby Roland-Jones, who was a certainty to tour, and for me to start at the Gabba. I really feel Roland-Jones would have had a great tour and if he does recover in good time would certainly be in my team. In his absence Mark Wood and Craig Overton would join the seam bowling ranks.

Craig Overton reminds me a lot of Chris Tremlett, the revelation of the successful 2010-2011 Ashes team, a comparison that has surely been made previously. Both are very tall, with fluent, loping actions that create consistently high speeds with steeling bounce and away movement. Given Stuart Broad has seemingly lost his out-swinger, Overton would certainly bring something a little different to the bowling department, adding pace and bounce which is always helpful in Australian conditions. His performances this year have been incredible, he averages 23 with the ball, and he looks like someone who could lead the England attack in future years. He can also bat a bit which should be handy. Mark Wood has been struggling with injuries of late but I feel he has that x-factor that so many English pace bowlers lack. At his best, when he throws in his variations in run-up easily, he can be mighty effective and should be used in short spells to hurry up the Australian batting.

Picking a spinner to support Moeen Ali was a real tough one for me, but I’ve decided to go with Mason Crane over Jack Leach. Picking Crane is a massive risk for England but I do think it’s the right way to go given the fantastic record that he has in Australia. He won Grade Cricketer of the Year over the winter and even made his debut for New South Wales, the first overseas player to represent the state since the great Imran Khan. He reminds me a lot of Stuart MacGill with his bustling run up, big spinning leg breaks and his well disguised wrong-un. We all remember how brilliant a player MacGill was and I think Crane could become just as good, without a Shane Warne in his way. Modern Australian spinners, Warne and Lyon, have good records at Brisbane and Sydney so England might be tempted to play Crane alongside Moeen. He might not have much first-class experience but leg-spin tends to fair better in Australia because of it’s greater variation so it might be worth the risk. England’s wealth of all-rounders should be able to protect him as well so all in all I think it’s a good selection.


So there is my squad, who would you take down under?

RAW will start their coverage of the Men’s and Women’s Ashes Tour with blog posts, podcasts and on-air coverage that will be announced soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Inspired to get involved with your student radio station’s sports team? Well make your views heard by getting involved with RAW Sport now! You can follow our twitter at @RAW1251_Sport to keep up to date with our events, our Mixcloud at RAWSport to listen back to all our shows and podcasts, and like our Facebook page RAW Sport to get in contact and get involved.









RAW Sport’s 2017-18 Season Preview: Leicester City

The year after winning an unlikely league title was always going to be weird for Leicester City, but what can be expected from the season after the season after dreamland? Well we can be sure there will be changes at the club with the ambitious Srivaddhanaprabha family doubtless wanting to move the club further towards their goal of consistent European football, after a dramatic season to say the least last year. Whilst a Champions League quarter-final was fantastic, the league campaign was difficult throughout, excluding a period of excellence after Shakespeare took over, and surely the owners will want improvement after some significant investment. However there is no doubt this is a team in metamorphosis. With a new manager, some big signings, and a crop of talented young players breaking through this should be a fascinating season for the Foxes. But will we be seeing a surge up the table? Or a season of mid-table mediocrity?

The Transfer Window

Leicester’s summer has been quietly impressive as re-inforcements have been provided in all four areas of the pitch and the drama surrounding Riyad Mahrez has kept a relatively low-profile. Eldin Jakupovic, who has replaced Ron-Robert Ziegler, was impressive between the sticks in Hull’s promotion campaign two years ago and Harry Maguire at centre-back has obvious top flight quality which will be important as Huth and Morgan age. The versatile and experienced Vincent Iborra impressed Shakespeare when he faced the Foxes for Sevilla last season, and will likely operate as a physical attacking midfielder who will provide a goal threat and a cool head with and without possession. Kelechi Iheanacho is a truly surreal signing for the club after the hype surrounding him over the last couple of years. Despite Pep not liking the cut of his jib, the pace, movement and the natural finishing ability should suit Leicester down to the ground and his partnership with Vardy should be fantastic to watch. The biggest plus of the summer for the team however is from within the squad. Riyadh Mahrez is yet to leave, after a distinct lack of substantial bids, and through pre-season has shown his commitment to the club, if the right offer does not emerge, with some excellent displays. Matty James has also returned from injuries over the summer being the most consistent midfielder in pre-season, after nearly 700 days without playing a game for the club. His partnership with Drinkwater took Leicester to the Premier League, and if he returns to form the two Manchester United youth players could force the Foxes up the table.

The Team

Formation-wise many will be expecting Leicester to line up in their tried and tested 4-4-1-1 formation that they have used so prominently over the last couple of years. However this year Shakespeare seems to have a squad with the versatility to play a variety of different options such as 4-3-3, 5-2-1-2, and the 4-4-2 Diamond. Hopefully this creates opportunities for Leicester to negate certain teams in personnel and formation which was a problem for them last year. Vardy and Iheanacho are certain to play together when fit and Kasper Schmiechel will obviously play as many games as humanly possible meaning the real competition is in midfield and defence. With Huth injured Maguire and Morgan will start off in defence early season with Daniel Amartey hopefully converting his international form into club success when given opportunities. James, Iborra, Ndidi and Drinkwater will fight for the two or three central midfield places with Albrighton and Gray likely operating out wide. It’s a strong squad this year with excellent depth and whoever it is that fits into Shakespeare’s early season team can’t be sure of their spot which should really push the team forward.

What Will Happen?

For the first time in our current spell in the Premier League I’m actually quietly confident of a successful season for the Foxes this year with the ability to adapt their formations and tactics against different opposition meaning teams shouldn’t be able to work them out, as they did last season. Iborra, Maguire and Iheanacho are all incredibly good signings in my eyes and should improve the team across the pitch. We also have a batch of incredibly talented young players in Demarai Gray, Ben Chilwell and Tom Lawrence, who have all attracted interest from other clubs, who could have a breakthrough season this year. With Mahrez on the way out the often magical England under-21 star will want to showcase his ability on a consistent basis after complaints of a lack of game time.

A series of difficult fixtures to start the season, including Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in the first six should be a good show of the character of the team and how far they can go this season. If we can gather five points or more from those fixtures it could very well give the team some momentum as they settle into the season and push them beyond what many expect of them. Ironically it may be the lack of expectation from other clubs which could be their best weapon this season as I feel that they can be far more potent than they look this season.

All in all the last couple of seasons has been an excellent time to be a Leicester city time with Domestic and European glory beyond many’s wildest dreams. Whilst I don’t expect anything as brilliant this season, the fantastic infrastructure and fanbase of the club, alongside the commitment of the owners surely creates a possibility of great things to come for the club.


Position: 8th

Top Scorer: Jamie Vardy

Player of the Season: Jamie Vardy

Breakthrough Player: Daniel Amartey

Inspired to get involved with your student radio station’s sports team? Well make your views heard by getting involved with RAW Sport now! You can follow our twitter at @RAW1251_Sport to keep up to date with our events, our Mixcloud at RAWSport to listen back to all our shows and podcasts, and like our Facebook page RAW Sport to get in contact and get involved.

RAW Sport’s 2017-18 Season Preview: Arsenal 

Barnaby Merrill (@BRTMerrill) starts off our coverage of the new Premier League season  as he previews Arsenal’s chances this coming year.

For the first time in twenty years, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger find themselves outside the Champions League looking in, as well as looking to overtake their North London rivals Spurs. Consolation came in the form of a third FA Cup in four seasons, however, making Wenger the most successful manager in the competition’s history. The big question for the Gunners is whether they can quickly return to Europe’s premier club competition, or if this is the start of a period away from football’s top table. At this point, anything is possible: the picture will be clearer on September 1st, with the future of a certain Chilean livewire the key to determining whether Arsenal can leave the disappointment of last season behind.

The Transfer Window: 

So far the club have remained bullish on the future of Alexis Sanchez, who looks likely to leave on a free transfer next season. Mesut Ozil appears close to a new deal, while the only potential departures of note are those of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere-hardly earth-shattering, though the former would be missed. Meanwhile, Sead Kolasinac has joined on a free transfer from Schalke and looks to be a worthy addition-with Nacho Monreal moving centrally as he ages, Arsenal have needed a long-term successor on the left side of defence, especially with Kieran Gibbs looking likely to move on.

Otherwise, the big story of the transfer window has been Arsenal breaking their transfer record on Alexandre Lacazette, with the French forward being recruited after Kylian Mbappe proved impossible to move from Monaco. Lacazette comes with an impressive-looking goalscoring record, but question marks remain over his failure to supplant the evergreen Olivier Giroud at international level, as well as a tendency to pad his stats with penalties. However, if the Frenchman clicks with Ozil and Sanchez (assuming both remain at the club), Arsenal suddenly have one of the league’s more imposing frontlines. Of course, if not, Giroud remains one of the best back-up strikers in the league, and I look forward to another year of him defying his critics with goals and flamboyant celebrations.

Otherwise, it appears the club are focusing on outgoings, with a number of players including Calum Chambers, Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy, as well as the aforementioned Gibbs, Wilshere, and Oxlade-Chamberlain all potentially leaving the club. Thomas Lemar has been pursued throughout the summer, but it appears Monaco have put their foot down on selling any more of their young stars.

If Arsenal can keep hold of Sanchez, and add another central midfielder, then the window has been a success. Otherwise, the squad remains vulnerable to injury, though the first eleven looks strong and stable for the first time in a while.

The Team

Since a late-season switch to a 3-4-2-1 formation, Arsenal have looked fairly solid. Laurent Koscielny is superb when fit, while Nacho Monreal, Shkrodan Mustafi, and Rob Holding have all thrived in the new system. Arsenal can be left wide open, and having three centre-backs appears to alleviate the risk of being caught cold. However, time will tell as to whether the new system can stay the course. Hector Bellerin and new signing Kolasinac are perfectly suited to wing-back roles, while Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey appear to be growing into a superb midfield partnership. The main risk is that the injury-prone Ramsey could be missing for a large period of time, with his replacements being Mohamed Elneny, who is a fine player but lacks attacking impetus, and Francis Coquelin, who lacks any semblance of a functioning brain, or indeed footballing ability. I remain convinced Coquelin remains at the club due to compromising photos of the coaching staff, and will not be dissuaded.

Arsenal’s attacking verve has already been discussed, and Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, and the youngster Alex Iwobi are all able deputies. The addition of Lemar would help take some of the creative burden off Mesut Ozil, but Arsenal are reasonably well-stocked in forward positions. Theo Walcott and Lucas Perez appear surplus to requirements in the new system, and could also leave the club, though Walcott may be retained due to his knack for big goals, and the possibility of a return to a back four.

What Will Happen?

I am naturally somewhat pessimistic about Arsenal’s chances, so as to avoid disappointment, but a return to the top four is eminently possible, with Liverpool and Chelsea facing the additional challenge of Champions League football. Wenger seems likely to play a weakened side in the Europa League, meaning the scheduling conflict faced by Manchester United last season may not affect the Gunners as much. Manchester City and United have both strengthened and will likely improve on last season, but Arsenal defeated both sides last season, so anything is possible. Meanwhile, Spurs have an incredibly strong side, but appear paralysed in the transfer market, and have lost Kyle Walker to City. Everton’s investment has made headlines, but not a single player they have recruited would improve the sides above them, so Arsenal should look above rather than below in their efforts to improve this year.

However, a lot hinges on whether Lacazette fits into the side, Sanchez remains at the club and motivated to play well, and whether a worthy alternative to Aaron Ramsey can be recruited in the event of the Welshman breaking down. Arsenal have been linked to Nice’s Jean-Michel Seri and Sporting’s William Carvalho-two very different players, but certainly capable of partnering Xhaka effectively.

Speaking of the Swiss midfielder, I’m tipping him to have a breakout season-he was never as bad as reported last season, and appears to be shouldering greater responsibility in this pre-season, frequently speaking to the referee and cutting out the rash challenges that blighted his first campaign. It must be remembered that he captained his former side, and so has the potential to be a crucial player for the Gunners.

Arsenal are as well-placed to do well as they were last season, but as ever a lot hinges on injuries, and the tactical performance of Arsene Wenger. He showed newfound flexibility last season, but an overreliance on senior pros might prove hard to shake, while tensions remain between him and Sanchez. With the Frenchman under continued pressure from sections of the Arsenal fanbase, a lot will hinge on his management of this talented squad, and if a title challenge can be sustained. However, returning to the Champions League must be the priority for this season-in truth, anything else is a bonus.


Position: 3rd

Top Scorer: Olivier Giroud

Player of the Season: Granit Xhaka

Inspired to get involved with your student radio station’s sports team? Well make your views heard by getting involved with RAW Sport now! You can follow our twitter at @RAW1251_Sport to keep up to date with our events, our Mixcloud at RAWSport to listen back to all our shows and podcasts, and like our Facebook page RAW Sport to get in contact and get involved.

News: Match Report- RAW Sport vs Warwick Women’s Football

The annual RAW vs Warwick Women’s Football game never fails to disappoint, with this year being no exception, as the Student Radio team pulled off a famous victory, whilst also presenting why they should keep on, well, presenting.

RAW started off brightly, having long spells of possession without creating any real chances with Women’s Football looking dangerous on the break. In fact it took around 15 minutes for the first real save of the game as the precise RAW build up play led to two one on ones that the Women’s Football keeper came out on top in with two magnificent saves. So impressive was the oppositions defence that RAW’s best chances seemed to only come from corners with the combination of some excellent goalkeeping and poor finishing keeping the game goalless. A highlight of the first half was Nick Harris’s venomous strike from a cleared corner, which was launched miles over the bar and the fence behind.

RAW started to tire towards the end of the half with huge gaps being left in midfield as the frustration of not being able to break the deadlock, alongside a complete lack of match fitness, starting to become telling. It was soon decided that a bit more muscle needed to be injected into the RAW defence, however within seconds of station manager Henry Riley and Sports Officer Ted Crowson being introduced, RAW went 1-0 down as a lack of pressing allowed a viciously struck long range effort which, due to vicious winds, swerve and a poorly prepared pitch, Head of Sport Ed Farrar was unable to keep from finding the net.

RAW went into half-time a goal down, with Henry Riley declaring “I don’t want to be cocky, but I was Man of the Match,” despite being at fault for the first goal, and Barnaby Merrill proclaiming that “everything wrong in the world is Ed Farrar’s fault.” All was not well in the student radio ranks with a decisive change in tactics needed to get back into the game. The Second-Hal began with Ted Crowson and a perturbed Barnaby Merrill, it’s unclear whether this was at having to betray his beloved student radio station or just laziness, moving into the Women’s team as the game was reduced to 10 players a side.

RAW again started brightly and were creating space out wide for the wing backs to exploit with any attacking threat from the opposition being thwarted by clever, if often clumsy RAW defence. Women’s Football were creating opportunities as some mazy runs and clever passing meant RAW were put under considerable pressure before RAW equalised as some opportunistic play from RAW Sport favourite Matt Delaney allowed the student radio a foothold in the game. Whilst many described the goal as scuffed, lucky and miles offside, RAW were back in the game and started to pile on the pressure, with the Women’s Football keeper making a string of fine saves to keep the score at 1-1. Michael Kynaston was proving a physical threat up front, nearly forcing a couple of openings, with Matt Delaney opening up space again and again down the right flank, but RAW just couldn’t produce that moment of magic to pull ahead.

RAW’s lack of a clinical finisher ending up hurting them as Women’s Football capitalised on a lucky bounce of the ball, and a lack of a linesman, to slot home their second goal, against the run of play. At this point it became clear that drastic measures were needed, with dramatic tactical changes being enforced, as Jack Abbey put on the gloves and RAW moved players forward in an attempt to win back the initiative. These tactics were nearly proven horribly misjudged as Jack Abbey kicked his standing leg rather than the ball attempting to deal with a back pass. Quickly though this initiative paid off as Elliot Mulligan, looking far more dangerous to the Women’s Football goal from Left-Back compared to Centre-Forward, raced through on goal to calmly slot home an equaliser. The quality of James Lewis and Nick Harris, dropping deep to control the game, was starting to show as RAW began to create more and more space across the park, and soon went ahead through an Elliot Mulligan strike from just outside the box with snuck under the keeper.

RAW had all the momentum behind them and quickly doubled their lead as Captain Ed Farrar scored a wonder goal, to create a Pandemoanium hat-trick, which led to one opposition player comparing him to the ‘Fat Ronaldo’, although it is unclear if this was a compliment or not. After flicking the ball over his marker, Farrar controlled the ball with his head, before striking the ball over the keeper and into the top left corner from distance. This moment of brilliance left everyone present speechless, apart from the man himself when he found out it had not actually been filmed, and unfortunately convinced the new Head of Sport that he was in fact brilliant at football, leading to even more audacious attempts in the middle of the park.

The game from this point was effectively reduced to an unorganised farce as formation and tactics were abandoned in search of overall glory. RAW’s very own Social Secretary James Lewis suffered from this as he was nutmegged by Ted Crowson on the wing before being tackled three consecutive times by Women’s Football’s Elle who terrorised RAW’s star player towards the end of the game. Neither team looked like having the energy to be able to change the game at this point and soon the full time whistle was much welcomed by both sides at the end of the game with the score being…

RAW Sport- 4 (Delaney, Mulligan (2) , Farrar)

Women’s Football- 2

Player of the Match for RAW went to Matt Delaney for his tireless work at right-back for the entire game, however the overall player of the match was Women’s Football’s Left Winger Elle who ran rings around us all day, and made even the brilliant James Lewis look a little bit silly. What next for RAW after this grand victory? We will just have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, the Pandemoanium team will likely need their egos brought back down to earth for the new season.

Inspired to get involved with your student radio station’s sports team? Well make your views heard by getting involved with RAW Sport now! You can follow our twitter at @RaW_Sport1251 to keep up to date with our events, our Mixcloud at RaWSport to listen back to all our shows and podcasts, and like our Facebook page RAW Sport to get in contact and get involved.

Opinion: Ed Farrar’s Player’s to Watch- County Championship

The Seventh of April is a very important day. Not only is it my birthday, but it is also the start of England’s domestic cricket season with the four-day County Championship getting underway. With the upcoming changes to the domestic T20 competition, pressures upon the smaller counties, and an upcoming Ashes tour this winter, this could be a defining season in the history of our domestic tournaments. With this in mind I have selected a squad of players who I expect to make a massive impact this summer. Some are established county stars, some are relatively unknown, but I expect them to all have stellar summers. So without further ado….

Michael Carberry (Hampshire) Averages: First Class: 42.63, T20: 30.93, SR:123.05

Ok so this man’s ability is absolutely no news to anyone, but I had to include him after his successful return from his cancer treatment, in which he struck a century against Cardiff MCCU last Sunday. Obviously it wasn’t against the most potent bowling attack in the country, nor does it mean that the former England opener will return to his brilliant best, but we have seen a story like his before. India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh recovered from Lung Cancer to return to the India national side and re-create some of the best form of his career, and I believe Carb’s can do the same. He certainly has the character to battle back from this adversity and I look forward to seeing some vintage stroke-playing this season.

Daniel Bell-Drummond (Kent) Averages: First Class: 37.12, List A: 38.00, SR:80.70

Rob Key once declared that this man had the talent to play 100 Tests and anybody who has seen him at his brilliant best would find it difficult to disagree. Unfortunately as stylish and exciting as his stroke-making may be, the inconsistencies in his form have never led him to being a true candidate for that England opening slot. His continued presence in Division Two may be another reason for that, and after Kent’s controversial exclusion from promotion last season, he will be determined to finally win promotion. A couple of good performances in the North vs South series also shows his worth against the white ball and I could see him performing across all formats this summer. An Ashes hopeful? If he was to push his average into the mid-forties whilst keeping his free-flowing stroke-play, I could certainly see it.

Scott Borthwick (Surrey) Averages: First Class Batting: 37.10, T20 Bowling:22.27, ER:7.90

I’ve given up on this man’s bowling completely, but I get the feeling that on a spin-friendly surface down in London he has the chance to get some overs under his belt in the shorter format’s this summer. His batting however is his real strength and having developed as a player at Chester-Lee Street at Number 3, after being promoted directly from Number 8, scoring a gluttony of runs on the flatter pitches at the Oval should be easy enough. Scoring 1,000 runs playing for Durham is quite a big deal with the seam-friendly pitches they play on, and I do believe people underestimate this under the illusion he is just that leg-spinner England threw in for a failed Ashes tour. He possesses a wide range of shots, a good temperament and ,in my opinion, the ability to bat in England’s top order for the long term. He will need a massive summer to break into the England side for the Ashes however, and will need to show he can play under pressure after being overlooked for the national side previously.

Colin Ackermann (Leicestershire) Averages: First Class Batting: 40.38, Bowling: 40.66

A quality batsmen playing for Leicestershire? This must be too good to be true. Well apparently not. Mr Ackermann was leading scorer in the Sunfoil Series, South Africa’s first class competition, can contribute some useful off-spin, and is prolific across all three formats. So why exactly is he going to turn out for one of the worst domestic teams inn the world? Well after his chances of appearing on the International stage have been reduced by his home nation’s transformation policies, it’s time to cash in on an English contract. Plus Leicestershire have improved over the last couple of seasons and if he, Clint McKay, Mark Cosgrove, and Ben Raine can find some form, the Foxes may even challenge for promotion to Division One this season. So this looks like an exciting time for my county and hopefully this man will be churning out runs at the forefront.

Liam Livingstone (Lancashire) Averages: First Class: 49.86, T20: 19.20, SR:131.95

The Lancashire batsmen first gathered media attention after smashing 350 off 138 balls in a match for his club, and he has moved on from demolishing sub-par village attacks, to scoring at an average of nearly 50 at first-class level. His form last season saw him get an England Lions call-up and I’m backing him to have another stellar season and force his way into playing a part in the Ashes tour over the winter. It was now Warwickshire coach Ashley Giles faith in him that led him to his success, and if Trevor Bayliss shows similar belief, he will have a huge impact on the biggest stage of them all. His clean striking and temperament also makes him formidable in the shorter formats and he will be looking at breaking into the national one day set up as well.

Aneurin Donald (Glamorgan) Averages: First Class: 35.76, High Score: 234 (off 136 balls)

Let’s start with the fact that this man has an excellent name. Quintessentially Welsh. I really do think the name Aneurin should come back into fashion. Away from his name he’s also rather good at cricket, equalling the record for the fastest first-class double century last season at Colwyn Bay. Whilst he did score it against Derbyshire, his innings of 136 balls containing 15 sixes was still very impressive, and it just presents his destructive ability with the bat. He is one of those modern cricketers who has the ability to score runs all around the game, but he also has a solid technique to go alongside this. A talent like his can’t afford to be wasted for an outfit like Glamorgan and they will need to drive him to excellence to give them any hope of getting into Division One at any point soon.

Harvey Hosein (Derbyshire) Averages: First Class: 32.40, Top Score: 108

Not many cricketers can say they have equalled a world record in their time, let alone on their first-class debut, but that is exactly what the Derbyshire keeper achieved at the Oval in 2014. At just 18 years of age he equalled the world record number of dismissals, claiming 11 catches in the match, and instantly raised expectations of a stellar career to follow. His ability behind the stumps has never been questioned, but his batting performances have not quite matched those just yet. He will need to kick on with the bat this season to further his career, but after his impressive maiden century against Worcestershire at the end of last season, under the pressure if following-on, I think he has the ability to average far higher than 32.

Jofra Archer (Sussex) Averages: First Class: 27.28, BBI: 4/31, Batting: 24.37

Making your first class debut against Pakistan is surely a daunting task, but not for this former West Indian Under-19, as he took 4-49, dismissing Hafeez, Masood, Azhar Ali, and Misbah Ul-Haq for his wickets. Quite a prolific start and his County Championship debut followed soon after. He went on to impress with some excellent displays of seam bowling, think Chris Jordan but accurate, and also some exciting stroke-play, again think of Chris Jordan. He has a strong action which looks like it could generate another yard of pace and does move the ball around prodigiously off the seam. Sussex will be hoping they have found another Barbadian of high quality who can lift their prospects in all formats, after a poor season last year.

Mason Crane (Hampshire) Averages: First Class: 38.68, BBI: 5/35, List A: 30.91

Leg-Spin is having a massive revival across the world at the moment, and believe it or not, a group of young English players at the fore-front. Whilst in recent years the erratic Imran Tahir has been carrying the torch of the lost art, a group of young players have broken through on the international stage. Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan has ripped through Ireland, England Lions, and Zimbabwe recently, and is a future test star in the making. New Zealand has Ish Sodhi, Pakistan has Shadab Khan, and now we have Mason Crane. Having impressed enough over the Australian summer to be the first overseas player to appear for New South Wales since Imran Khan, this young man certainly has enough about him. He turns the ball prodigiously, has good control over his flight, and uses his variations cleverly enough to trouble even the best batsmen. His spell of four wickets for one run in ten balls in the last game of the North vs South series just shows his game-changing abilities. This will be a breakthrough summer for the Hampshire man and along young leg-spinners like Matt Critchley, Matt Parkinson, and Josh Poysden, this will also be the beginning of a bright future for English Leg-Spin.

Harry Podmore (Middlesex) Averages: First Class: 24.27, T20: 28.50, ER:9.05

I really like the cut of this young quick bowlers jib. His first real exposure to professional cricket was in the shortest format of the game, making his debut in 2014, where he impressed at the death with his ability to use his natural bounce as well as nailing his yorkers. He is not just a white ball specialist however, his pace, natural height, and power gives him the ability to perform with the red ball. His first class debut for Middlesex last year produced figures of 4/54, and having impressed in the season opener against the MCC in Abu Dhabi, I think he can break in to the Middlesex team this year, especially if Stephen Finn is away on England duty. He will certainly be in competition with Middlesex team-mate and fellow young quick bowler Tom Helm this season, but I think Podmore is ahead in the pecking order and is in the best place to perform.

Ben Sanderson (Northamptonshire) Averages: First Class: 22.45, BBI: 8/73

After being released by Yorkshire in 2011, it seemed unlikely that the quick bowler from Sheffield was going to make the impact that his potential warranted. However good performances in club cricket, after a spell playing minor county cricket for Shropshire, earned him a trial with Northamptonshire and since he hasn’t looked back. Last year he starred in the struggling counties T20 Blast triumph, taking 3-31 in the final, as well as taking 55 wickets at 21.04 in the 14 County Championship he played. Few have seemingly picked up on his success however, potentially due to his team or the division he plays in, but there are few better seamers around the circuit at the moment and I fancy he will enjoy another prolific season.

Twelfth Man

Jack Burnham (Durham) Averages: First Class: 25.64, High Score: 135*, List A: 17.25

After announcing himself at the Under-19 World Cup in 2016 with three centuries before England’s exit in the Quarter Finals, Paul Collingwood gave this man the chance to bat at 4 throughout the 2016 season. Whilst his form was solid, rather than spectacular, he will have learned a lot from Durham’s troubling season both on and off the pitch. Now with the departure of Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick to Surrey, Durham will need this man to score heavily to keep their heads above water in a campaign that will be very difficult for the county. Whilst his team may not get too many positive results, I think we will see this man develop into one of the finest young players on the circuit.

So here is my team of players to look out for. There are so many bright young prospects in County Cricket at the moment and i’m backing players like Matt Parkinson, Tom Helm, and Shiv Thakor to have big seasons as well. If you are looking for an insider’s view, look out for Ben Raine, Lewis Hill, and Callum Parkinson at Leicestershire, they all have a great amount of talent.

Here are my predictions for the competition winners this year also:

Specsavers County Championship Division 1- Surrey

Specsavers County Championship Division 2- Leicestershire. Please? (Probably Kent)

Royal London One Day Cup- Warwickshire

Natwest T20 Blast- Middlesex

Disagree with any of these views? Well make your views heard by getting involved with RAW Sport now! You can follow our twitter at @RaW_Sport1251 to keep up to date with our events, our Mixcloud at RaWSport to listen back to all our shows and podcasts, and like our Facebook page RAW Sport to get in contact and get involved.


Opinion: Barnaby Merrill’s Premier League End-of-Season (P) Review and Predictions

With most sides facing nine or ten more games before the end of the season, we can now comfortably call this the ‘run-in’ period of 2016/17’s Premier League campaign. The idea of a ‘run-in’ is nebulous and poorly defined, so I’m going to define it there. Like that. Defined. Bam.

I digress.

It’s time for a few late-season thoughts, predictions, and even some hot transfer tips, straight from the shadowy figures that haunt my dreams. One of them is called Jorge. Continue reading “Opinion: Barnaby Merrill’s Premier League End-of-Season (P) Review and Predictions”

Opinion: Ed Farrar’s Lions XV Pick

The time is approaching for Warren Gatland to select his British and Irish Lions squad for this summer’s tour to New Zealand, and the kiwi has some difficult decisions to make across the field. Given the poor form of his Wales side over the last couple of years, I Ed Farrar, Head of Sport at RAW and staunch supporter of the GatlandOut campaign, decided to provide my opinions on the subject to help the Lions coach with his selection issues. Continue reading “Opinion: Ed Farrar’s Lions XV Pick”

Opinion: Why I Won’t Support Nottingham Nightmare

Southampton Storm, Manchester Magic, Nottingham Nightmare. Please give me a break.

That’s what it’s going to be. Eight teams with gimmicky names fighting it out in the ECB’s ingenious answer to the success of the IPL and the Big Bash. I do wonder whether these franchises will go down the, somewhat, tasteful route of Australian franchise teams such as the Perth Scorchers or the Sydney Sixers. Continue reading “Opinion: Why I Won’t Support Nottingham Nightmare”