If this match looked close on the scoreboard, on the field it was one-way traffic. Scotland were outclassed and overpowered from the first minute until the dying throes of this one-sided encounter, when they inexplicably sprang to life. By then, however, this match was long over. Had all three of France’s disallowed tries been added to their points tally, it would have been a much fairer representation of their superiority. There was, however, a measure of justice when they finally claimed their fourth try eight minutes into injury time, replacement No 8 Gregory Alldritt scoring from a scrum after France spurned several chances to end the game. For Jacques Brunel and France, two tries in the last four minutes concluded a much-needed win that restores some faith ahead of a trip to Dublin after their humiliating capitulation at Twickenham. Yet in truth France were made to look good by lacklustre Scotland’s extraordinary succession of errors. For Scotland this horror show lays … [Read more...] about France 27 Scotland 10, Six Nations 2019: Scots now reduced to damage limitation after failure to end 20-year wait for victory in Paris
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Within 10 minutes of this game starting, it seemed that the main question wasn’t who was going to win, but how big France’s margin of victory would be and whether they would collect a bonus point. Although France were by no means perfect, they played with purpose and confidence, and were light years ahead of the disorganised rabble which capitulated at Twickenham. As for Scotland, they haven’t won here since 1999 and never looked like changing that. Indeed, the French absolutely dominated the first half, and the only surprise was that they were only 10-3 ahead at half-time, a dismal return for 40 minutes of relentless pressure. By all metrics, Jacques Brunel’s side were the superior force: they won the majority of collisions, ran with purpose and elan when they had the ball, harried the hapless Scots when they didn’t. Were it not for disallowed tries by Damien Penaud and Gael Fickou, both of which were called back for knock-ons that were only detected … [Read more...] about Scotland’s Six Nations now reduced to damage limitation after failure to end 20-year wait for victory over France in Paris
It has been another hectic week in the region's courts, with judges dishing out some significant jail sentences. There was the Strangeways prisoner who tried to kill his cell-mate after a row over skin cream. Then there was the heartless builder who conned an elderly woman out of her life savings. The underlying problem with gun crime in the city region was revealed with two cases involving weapons and ammunition. Meanwhile, over the border in Cheshire a drugs trafficking ring who ruled the streets with the threat of gun violence was locked up for a combined total of 185 years. Cases involving dangerous driving also featured in the courts, including a man who reversed over his ex-girlfriend. Here is a run-down of the criminals sent down in the past week: The swindling builder who conned 94-year-old woman out of her life savings A 94-year-old woman was left 'ashamed and humiliated' after a swindling builder conned her out of her life savings, a court heard. Dennis Doherty, 35, has been … [Read more...] about Locked up this week: the conman builder and the ex-football turned fraudster
Throughout the year our Secret Service has been busy chowing down on an array of different dishes from many different restaurants and takeaways. Our spy also visited pubs, cafés and dessert parlours, putting a variety of places both well-known, and not so well-known, to the test. Few left us with a bad taste in our mouths, but others wowed us in every aspect. During our undercover visits, our hope is that, for the sake of both the business owner and the customer, we can report positively about the places we visit. However if our experience is not 100 per cent positive then we are duty-bound to report on exactly what we find. We've picked out our top highly recommended places to eat of 2018. In no particular order, here this year's top 10 local takeaways, according to our Secret Service. Top 10 takeaways of 2018 Time Line Top 10 takeaways given top marks by Secret Service in 2018 Yummy Chinese Takeaway Our spy branded this as "possibly the best Chinese takeaway they've ever … [Read more...] about Has your favourite takeaway made our spy’s top 10 list this year?
Beef bourguignon, coq au vin, Lancashire hot pot, Hungarian goulash, vegan chilli, or – my personal favourite – sausage stew: a good casserole dish is a meal ticket for a lifetime supply of hearty one-pot meals. Prep them, bung them in the oven, and serve them hot and bubbling to widespread fanfare. Then freeze the leftovers for a rainy day. Easy. But which casserole dish is the best? Does the ubiquitous – and undeniably handsome – Le Creuset reign supreme in terms of quality and durability? It's an important question because, when it comes to casserole pots, the best will last for (almost) ever. Buy wisely and you should have your dish for life. One of the useful things I've found while testing and reviewing casserole dishes is that the market is actually much more straightforward than it seems. People ask online whether they should be looking at casserole dishes, Dutch ovens, cocottes, coquelles – but … [Read more...] about The best casserole dishes for delicious soups, stews, and pot roasts