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CrystalCastles

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About CrystalCastles

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    CrystalCastles
  • Birthday 03/03/1988

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    Indie/Emo/Rock/Metal/DNB/Pop
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    34
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    Cash & Liquidity Accountant

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    Cwmbran
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    Speedway, Football, Rugby, Cricket, Reading, Cooking, Drinking, Going Out, DVDs, Films, Music, Chess, Politics, Philosophy,
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  1. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Ah lovely, hope you are having a nice break. That would have been good. It was an incredible day, Got lucky with the weather, was looking dodgy for this afternoon/evening but held of. England had a bit of fortune early with Blundells dismissal. Then I didn't really get what NZ were trying to do, just decided to block and not score. Southee came out and played as he does and they got going and some vital runs, before being bowled out A very good opening spell by Boult, but also very bad batting by England's top 3, the ball did enough to be problematic but Crawleys and Popes dismissals were so technically poor. England as always In massive trouble and Stokes and Bairstow played well, until Stokes got tempted and played into NZ trap. After that thought they'd be struggling to get to Tea with 6 down, but Bairstow and Overton rode out the rest of the threat with the ball. The balls have been awful this year and after about 20 overs was pretty much useless. From that point on England were brilliant apart from a few silly swings, and showed how good a batting wicket it is. I agree, that I think England will be more entertaining but everyone in the press is already getting carried away by a few wins and good individual match winning performances. England have played very well, but from a Tour perspective, I think only 3 NZ players have played well every game (Blundell, Mitchell & Boult) they have lost 2 key players De Grandhomme and Jamieson to injuries and the luck in a big pivotal moments have all gone England's way. The locals always find something to moan about. Tbh I'd have played Brook if you pick Potts on the back of bowling form, Brook should have been given an opportunity in this Test series. But they have committed to Crawley & Pope and I'm still unconvinced by both of them.
  2. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Looking forward to Day 2 of the 3rd Test. Travelling up on Thursday to Sheffield, travelling across Friday morning which probably is going to be interesting. Weather forecast looks like its improving.
  3. CrystalCastles

    Gigs

    More or less. The rearranged dates coincided with Tafwyl Festival. The Castle looked bouncing from what I've seen on Social Media Think that may be why they also Televised the Stereophonics on Saturday.
  4. CrystalCastles

    Gigs

    Stereophonics supported by Tom Jones, Gruff Rhys & Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard tonight. Quite an eclectic gig Gutted Catfish and the Bottlemen couldn't do the re-arranged date, as I was really looking forward to seeing them and easily the best Welsh band in the last decade. Phonics were still good, Best music is still from there first 3 albums, with an odd banger every new album. Tom Jones is an iconic singer, set list was decent but some odd choices, and a lot of his songs really don't show his vocal abilities, that being said 45 minutes at his age is pretty impressive. Gruff Rhys and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard were both decent albeit not many people in the Stadium watching them as not exactly mainstream. Going to see Gruff Rhys in Le Pub (Le Public Space) in Newporr in July which is part of its 30th Birthday celebrations. Sadly it had to move venues to a bigger one 5 years ago, but a very iconic venue.
  5. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    I don't really know why they persisted on bowling short,not helped by Jamiesons injury, Southee having an awful test match & the ball doing very little for large periods on a flat wicket. Dropped catches very costly for New Zealand As for England it was a deserved victory Broad probably changed the course of the game and a brutal display of modern batting from Bairstow and Stokes on the final day. Undoubtedly a great test,but at the same time people will now be overhyping the result and the new era of English cricket.
  6. CrystalCastles

    Rugby

    Undoubtedly the standard of Rugby will be better with them in it, and probably from a competition perspective will make it more competitive. Sadly though i think it also devalues the history of the competitions.
  7. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Very flat wicket, but hopefully Pope will get some confidence from that to take into Headingley.
  8. CrystalCastles

    Football 2021/22

    Maybe to a degree. However attacking wing backs are now some of the most creative players in football. You have TAA who is arguably the best in the world. Southgate plays with 2 sitting midfielders, but that's pretty much what most of the best club teams try and do, dominate possession, play in the opponents half and rely on the front 4 to score and there wing backs to create chances. Southgate experimented a bit too much against Hungary, but still started with 4 attacking players in my opinion. Bellingham is better going forward than sitting, Mount and Bowen are both creative players. Not sure why players like Coady, Justin or Bowen are picked as they'll be nothing more than squad players at best in International football
  9. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Good win in the end, but reliant on a few individuals carrying a number of others. Not convinced that Pope deserves to even be in the squad let alone the team, even worse to pick him at 3. He really needs to get a score. England have won so probably won't change anything. Really hard to see New Zealands top order struggling as badly again.
  10. CrystalCastles

    Football 2021/22

    Sadly I missed the play off, as re-arranged at the same time as my holiday, didn't even get to watch it live So a very anxious day yesterday. From the highlights Wales didn't play very well, but thet did have a few good chances, Johnson unlucky to hit the post, Ramsey & Bale both missed chances they would normally take at there best. Ukraine were very good and threw everything into this game, like against Scotland dominated the ball and controlled the game, created chances Fortunately luck was on Wales side for once, big deflection/mistake for the goal & defensively everything went for us, but also need to say that both Hennessey and Ben Davies were immense. A whole generation of players coming through has made us a competitive international team and they all deserve to have made a World Cup. Nice to see them celebrating in Cardiff amongst the Red Wall as well. I think we will fall away after Bale/Ramsey/Allen retire but its been a wonderful decade
  11. CrystalCastles

    Rugby

    It was a convenient arrangement all round. Ireland didn't have as much fallout from the introduction of provinces. The biggest difference has been that the provinces have been competitive every year. They do argue that it brings in funds, but again from knowing a few people who are involved at grass root level they are actually killing the game at that level as well. I would agree with your assessments about Super Rugby and certainly a lot of common problems across Domestic Rugby in various countries. I don't really care about the URC as a competition, the WRU need to be selfish and look at the best approach for Welsh Rugby. International Standards peaked because of a Golden Generation of Welsh players, players leaving to play in France/England & probably because modern players are athletes, none of that translated to regional rugby getting any better. So i fail to see how reducing number of Regions isn't going to improve the standards either. We have had the whole teams will be stronger because they have a better quality of players to select from. That has been proven to be irrelevant, Our centrally contracted players don't play very much, none of our regions got any better. I doubt they would get as good a TV deal, or that it'd be as marketable, and yes they may not be able to pay players as much and they might not be competitive in Europe, but that's already a reality. It may be a big "IF" to have a different structure, but is it any more of an "IF" than the decision to reduce from 4 to 3. Past history shows that it didn't work when they introduced regional rugby, it didn't work when they went from 5 to 4. We have already had 15 years of the majority of the Regions being crap. Having less professional teams will just bring more of the same and ever dwindling interest David Moffett thinks that it's a good idea
  12. CrystalCastles

    Rugby

    That may be so, but what does that say about the URC as a competition, that they negotiated very hard to get as much money from the South African Sides as possible. Living in Wales, and not being someone who attends rugby regularly. I don't see what the URC gives Welsh Rugby. Other than perhaps contributing to funding centrally contracted players (Who don't play as often as English players play domestically), paying WRU executives big salaries. All the Revenue from the URC(Pro 14 etc) & from TV hasn't actually made the Regions viable, they have been loss making and subsidised for their entire existence. Year on year the situation gets worse for the WRU, The attendances are dwindling because the regions are poor with no real chance of consistently being competitive, the addition of the South African Clubs has added more clubs that are better than them. It's hard to see a Welsh Region winning it for a long time and they have pretty much no hope of winning in Europe. Looking at recent attendances of games against South African Teams in comparison to the Welsh Derbies presents a distorted picture. Post Covid & The reality is that South African Teams are still a novelty. How much of that is choosing to watch a new team that they haven't seen before. My personal experience of Welsh derbies over the last 10 years that i have gone to (Including Judgement Day) is that attendances tend to be double the attendances of other games. That is also based on having someone in my friendship group who is a Dragons season ticket holder and travels away & having a colleague who has been an Ospreys season ticket holder for the last 10 years who is from North Wales. As you say though stupid that they went down the option of collaborating with Ireland & Scotland when you look at the success and growth in England. Unfortunately like most Modern Stadiums the Principality has been an economic drain, unfortunately they thought for a long time that Rugby would pay it's way. The last 5 years they have realised the importance of other events. They have spent a lot of money on the Parkgate Hotel as well. The bottom line is that reducing regions isn't going to work, it isn't going to make that any more financially stable, won't make them any more competitive or successful, won't generate any more interest & it also what probably put about 30 players out of a job. At least if we had our own professional league with 8 Teams, minimal fixtures, you'd reduce games, you'd reduce travel for fans, and you'd give the teams a competition that they could win. I think people would be far more interested in it in Wales. The WRU don't necessarily need to invest in speculative plans, it's merely a stated aim that they have had for the last few years. Personally, I think there is massive untapped potential for crowds in mid and north wales. The bar isn't exactly that high for crowds in Wales. Ground sharing with Wrexham would probably be a real option in North Wales. I doubt that they will have a radical rethink about things because they are so badly run, but that is exactly what they need to do.
  13. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Interesting to have gone from years of Seam friendly wickets to very flat batting friendly wickets. Be interesting who will be under consideration for the Test Team, Brook can't be far away from consideration now. Glad Stokes is pushing himself back down to 6.
  14. CrystalCastles

    Football 2021/22

    Interesting results today in the Premier League Relegation battle. Wrexham put a bit of pressure on Stockport going into the last week of the National League season
  15. CrystalCastles

    Rugby

    The regional system has been a complete failure but the WRU have learnt nothing from merging clubs or from dropping the Celtic Warriors and reducing from 5 regions to 4. If they listen to consultants who think going from 4 to 3 is the solution. The proposal is seemingly either a merger between Ospreys/Scarlets or dropping the Dragons. The reality of why crowds are so bad really stems from the regions being crap and playing in a made up competition that means nothing to fans and destroyed a century of tradition and club heritage. Reducing the number of regions won't improve them, won't attract more fans and they won't suddenly become more viable. If the WRU had any sense they'd be looking at the attendances of the Welsh Regional Derbies and realise that they would be far better off walking away from the URC and having an elite domestic top level structure with 8 clubs. Whoever they decided to pull into the fold after (Cardiff, Swansea, Llanelli & Newport) The reality is for Cardiff, Swansea & Newport they'd have more fans if they ditched the Regional names and were branded as Cardiff, Swansea and Newport They want to build on increased participation in North Wales. So they could even invest in a North Wales and creating a Mid Wales Team. But all of the decisions they make will be based on cost cutting from consultants who are motivated by money rather than listening to the fans.
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