What a summer it has been for sporting fans this year, one that could almost rival last year where the 2018 World Cup provided spectacular viewing for football fans around the world. This summer saw a surge in popularity of women’s football as the Women’s World Cup made it to our screens courtesy of the BBC. It was nice to be English this summer, with their success in a variety of sporting disciplines over the course of the sunnier months (being Scottish, on the other hand, was less enjoyable). They made it to the semi-final of the Women’s World Cup and, much like the men, ended their campaign for success at that point. Additionally, they finished third in the Netball World Cup, something which I should imagine most of you were unaware was even happening, let alone did so well in. This summer enabled us to witness some of the most exciting cricket of our generation.
England’s success in the Cricket World Cup was nothing short of sensational, and that’s coming from a Scottish person who was hoping they’d fall short and lose in the semi-finals for the second time this summer. In a dramatic super over, England managed to snatch a victory from New Zealand. The Ashes was almost another dramatic win, after Ben Stokes put in enough work for a full cricket team. But, in the end, it wasn’t quite enough, and despite ending in a draw, Australia retained the title for another year. In the Euros, they are storming their (albeit relatively easy for a team of England’s standards) group, winning all of their last four games and are on course to have another successful international campaign.
At the other end of the spectrum is where we find Scotland, after another, unsurprisingly, lacklustre summer of sport. In terms of our hopes for the Cricket World Cup, well, they were shattered before they’d even begun — a common theme with Scottish sport. The Women’s World Cup was our chance for redemption, and we were so close. This is one loss Scotland don’t deserve the blame for — that’s on VAR (a story for another day). Despite starting our Netball World Cup campaign strong, we didn’t even manage a top ten finish. I don’t even know if the Euros are worth discussing anymore. Let’s just say that when you find out you’re in the same group as Belgium, that’s enough to send anyone packing. However, we gave it our best shot and, in true Scottish fashion, royally screwed things up. All I can say is thank goodness for the Nations League.
So, where do we go from here? Well, the Premier League and Scottish Premier League are getting well underway now and promise to be another exciting season, so you’ve got your weekends packed full of sport for the next few months, featuring a few international breaks where you can stay up to date with your international team of choice and find out how long Scotland’s wait for international football will be. The Champions League group stages also began last week, with the English teams not faring too well thus far. The Euros, too, have begun, with the English teams involved in this tournament fairing slightly better.
The Women’s Champions League is getting into gear with the round of 32 just concluding last week. The Dunhill is about to begin here in St Andrews, so if you have a spare few hours, get yourself along and check it out – it’s free for students. For something slightly different, get yourself along to watch some of St Andrews sports teams on a Wednesday and show your support.