Monday, August 17, 2009

They're off

What a weekend. A sporting achievement that mesmerised all who saw it. The combination of power and speed, the complete triumph of athleticism over what was considered possible. Fantastic.

Sadly Usain Bolt doesn't play in the SPL. While Bolt was stopping the world for a little under 10 seconds the SPL was slowly chugging back to life looking for all the world like an obese, chain smoker trying to get out of bed.

Celtic impressed but only in as much as Aberdeen struggled. The European hangover continued at Pittodrie. The impression that the Dons face a bleak few weeks has not lifted.

Rangers cantered to victory over Falkirk ensuring the Ibrox flag party went swimmingly. Falkirk's important battles will not be in Glasgow this season and Rangers will know bigger challenges lie ahead.

Kilmarnock proved yet again how Jim Jefferies can breed resilience in a squad. For Hamilton the 3-0 defeat might be an ominous sign of troubles ahead. Killie fans would probably be quite happy if the league ended today.

John Hughes gave Benjelloun the chance to redeem himself. More winners in the closing stages will help Benji overcome the doubters at Easter Road. St Mirren's thrawnness when down to 10 men for most of the match suggest Gus McPherson will have a suitably stubborn side again this year.

Motherwell fought back to draw with St Johnstone and put a bit of a downer on Perth's SPL return. More evidence that Jim Gannon will be this year's dark horse and confirmation for the Saints that life will be hard but not impossible.

Dundee United took the lead early against Hearts and survived some patchy moments before Danny Cadamarteri took his second on the break. By then Hearts had lost new captain Michael Stewart as Hearts disciplinary hangover continued into the new season.

What did we learn? Not much we didn't know on Friday night. The SPL's not the place for surprises and whatever intrigue lies in store this year will not show itself in these preliminary skirmishes.