September 23, 2022

Grand National 50 to 1 winner Noble Yeats backed by WB Yeats’ love of poetry

It was a party weekend at our house and with great luck the boy whose birthday it was was home with his big brother.

These gatherings had to be shelved for the past two years, so they felt all the more valuable to resume.

There was nothing special on the menu, but having a full house was more than enough for us.

Forward Malachi Linton. Photo: Tim Smith

A cake was baked and decorated with candles, many cards filled the fireplace and a board game was played around a table.

The boys went to the local driving range to hit golf balls and although a walk was planned before watching the Grand National, it never happened.

I managed to choose Noble Yeats, the winner with odds of 50 to 1, explaining my choice in terms of a top amateur jockey on his back and the fact that I really like the poetry of WB Yeats. Can you think of better reasons?

The surprise for the birthday boy was a trip to Carrow Road to watch Norwich City play Burnley on Sunday.

The last time I attended a game this season was very early on when Liverpool came to town. For half an hour we held them scoreless, but then the inevitable happened as this exceptional side put on the pressure to eventually win 3-0.

Burnley hovered around the relegation zone much like Norwich, so this game gave the home side more hope.

They caught it in style and from our seats in the South Stand we reveled in a spirited performance and two fine goals from Lees-Melou and, inevitably, Pukki, to decide the matter.

Either way, it looks like the bottom three are destined for downfall at Championship level unless Everton implode in the final matches. Our eldest son returned to Newmarket when it was all over and we managed to get a few seats on the Fakenham double decker bus.

As a regular supporter in the past, I have spotted quite a few old faithful on board, who continue to show up for the Canaries year after year, rain or shine, win, do draw or lose.

I am constantly amazed at the hold football can have on people. In the lower echelons I still keep an eye out for National League teams Woking – where I grew up – Aldershot and, of course, Lynn.

Despite some recent encouraging results, Lynn seems to be on the razor’s edge on the wrong side of the table.

Woking and Aldershot might consider their performance over the past difficult year as mediocre but will be grateful to survive and look forward to better things next season.

A little treat while walking along our river this month has been the arrival of new birds. In particular, tiny mallard ducklings.

The largest brood spotted so far was 15, a number I thought was way beyond any parent.

They stick together, whether feeding on land or plunging into the water with the utmost confidence. It’s such a joyful sight that is definitely worth the time to stop and observe.