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Aggers gets to grips with Gaelic football

Adam Mountford | 16:07 UK time, Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Adam MountfordIt was Anil Kumble completing his first Test century which was deservedly voted the Test Match Special Champagne moment at the Oval.

But there were many more memorable events that took place on the air over the past five days.

I particularly enjoyed Jonathan Agnew trying to understand the rules of Gaelic football as he saw his reputation as a tipster going down the tube on Sunday.

If you missed it I will try and explain the background. Aggers was asked to provide some sporting predictions by a national newspaper to help raise money for charity.

His first tip was that Arsenal would keep a clean sheet in their opening Premier League match at home to Fulham. Unfortunately Arsenal conceded within 52 seconds!

So that left him clinging onto his prediction that Monaghan would surprise favourites Kerry in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final.

So probably for the first time ever on Test Match Special, listeners were not only brought up to date with events at The Oval but also with the latest from Croke Park.

Aggers eventually found out the final score was 1-12 1-11 but wasn't sure what that actually meant.

Fortunately hundreds of you e-mailed or texted in to explain all, and the news that Kerry had produced a late comeback to win didn't go down too well.

Sunday started with Jonathan trying to explain the rules of cricket - with plenty of help from you. The reason was that we were joined in the TMS box by the multi-award winning American actor John Lithgow.

John LithgowThe star of "Third Rock from the Sun" and cult film "The World according to Garp" was at The Oval as part of his introduction to the game.

Lithgow is in London rehearsing with the RSC and he told us that he was teaching a fellow cast member about the joys of baseball in return for an education into the world of cricket.

He told us that he was already well versed in matters of sledging and jelly bean throwing and Aggers had to explain that these were not necessarily the parts of the game he should be concentrating on !

Lithgow was probably the only person at the Oval who didn't know who Geoff Boycott is. Fortunately Geoff was not in the box when he made that admission.

We had plenty of fun with Boycott during this match. On Friday we dedicated our lunch interval to a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Boycott scoring his one hundredth hundred in a Test Match at his home ground.

Two Aussies who played in that match at Headingley, Jeff Thompson and Rodney Marsh, enjoyed telling Geoff that they were sure he was out at least twice during that famous innings.

Boycott did not agree.

We also heard from many of you who were in Leeds that day including one woman who admitted running onto the field when Geoff drove Greg Chappell for four to reach the landmark.

As you have probably gathered Geoff Boycott is a man never shy of giving an opinion.

On Monday morning he said the authorities should simply open the gates and let everyone come and see the action for nothing.

This led to Simon Mann reading out the following e-mail from Alastair Barwick:

"Please can Geoffrey Boycott stop talking about having free admission to the fifth day of a Test Match. I find myself agreeing with him, which is something I’m not really used to!"

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 04:50 PM on 14 Aug 2007,
  • James Lane wrote:

It was hilarious listening to the confusion over the Gaelic football while I was on my tractor. I did, however, miss what the scoring system was and how the handicap worked!

Also, John Lithgow was great to listen to too! Keep up the interesting guests!

  • 2.
  • At 06:47 PM on 14 Aug 2007,
  • Lance Bellers wrote:

Oh, I missed the Gaelic football thing, I'd love to hear that - could the BBC stick it up as a Listen Again? I looked at the match report I couldn't quite get how the 1-12 1-11 thing actually works - now I really want to know!

  • 3.
  • At 07:50 PM on 14 Aug 2007,
  • Dave Hartin wrote:


Kerry 1-12 Monaghan 1-11

translates to

Kerry 1 goal (worth 3 pts) & 12 pts = 15

Monaghan 1 goal (3) & 12 pts = 14

so Kerry win by one point.

Put simply the game is played 15 vs 15 on a rectangular pitch larger than a rugby field (remember how big the playing area of Croke Park looked with a little rugby pitch in the middle during the 6 nations?) with a spherical ball both harder and larger than a soccer ball. The ball can be picked up and kicked or passed with the hand. The posts at either end are almost the same dimensions as rugby posts but the crossbar is slightly lower and the goalmouth slightly wider. 30 mins each way (or 35 sometimes). In the goal under the crossbar (where there is a goalkeeper) is a goal (3 pts), over the crossbar is 1 pt. Side with the most points wins. Easy, huh?

Try for a fuller explanation.

Dear old Aggers has only been to Ireland once (for the Ire Vs Eng ODI last year in Belfast) hasn't he? Maybe he should take in a game on the next trip?

  • 4.
  • At 08:27 PM on 14 Aug 2007,
  • Markymark wrote:

I really enjoy the on air chemistry that Simon Mann and Geoff Boycott have (Well maybe lack of is more like it!) Somehow Boycs just doesn't seem to get when Simon is pulling his leg! The fury that Boycott launched when Simon read out the email from Mr Barwick and then Simon chuckling along in the background was a great radio moment!

  • 5.
  • At 09:53 PM on 14 Aug 2007,
  • Senny wrote:

Loved the TMS commentary. The gaelic football and the recollection of Geoff's 100th hundred was a highlight for me. Great job team!

  • 6.
  • At 09:19 AM on 15 Aug 2007,
  • Tarlach Beag wrote:

Besides not being able to ascertain who were the winners in a match that finished 1-12 - 1-11 (am I the only one who thinks that is self-explanatory, whether or not you know the scoring system??) I was greatly frustrated by Aggers' statement during the broadcast 'That is so Irish!!' - I'm mystified - would he care to explain what he meant?

  • 7.
  • At 09:23 AM on 15 Aug 2007,
  • S White wrote:

I was worried that TMS had lost too many characters in recent years and was beginning to lose its charm. I think that the current cast is beginning to gel quite nicely and Simon Mann and some of the newer brigade are beginning to become at ease with things.

Would also be interested to know how far into europe people can pick up LW radio. I made the mistake of buying a euro car with no LW radio facility. A disaster for euro holidays and I'm too tight to buy a new car stero.

  • 8.
  • At 10:42 AM on 15 Aug 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

Please reassure me that Blowers will be back on the team soon.

No real critism of the others but Blowers is special.

I also really enjoy Geoff Boycott's musings as I think he is a highly intellegent person who really loves the game of cricket and wants to do anything to promote it.

  • 9.
  • At 01:47 PM on 15 Aug 2007,
  • mg wrote:

To S White.

You can receive R4 LW without too much fuzz in France to just south of the Loire, in Ireland except the extreme west and in most of Belgium. That's where I've listened to TMS.

I had no success on the northern Spanish coast with the 2005 Ashes. I had expected it to work because of the shipping forecast covering Fitzroy and Trafalgar.

It all depends on the weather, the exact location, your radio and the time of day.

  • 10.
  • At 11:24 PM on 15 Aug 2007,
  • David wrote:

We all missed Blowers throughout most of the summer on TMS. Surely the new TMS administration havn't fired him, have they?

  • 11.
  • At 01:39 PM on 16 Aug 2007,
  • Manuel Magaña wrote:

Is there any way at all to hear a replay of the John Lithgow interview? I'm quite curious to find what his reactions were to the test match.

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