There was always a danger that the hype and build leading up to such a fixture could fall flat, it's like that Saturday night out with your mates you've been promising yourself since the Monday before - you've been looking forward to hitting the dance floor and chugging a cheeky Corona ever since your boss dropped that first to do list on your ungrateful desk at the start of the week. The reward at the end had better at least match the pain and suffering that came before...
Luckily, as this daft attempt at a modern day metaphor thankfully ends, it was.
The strange dynamic for our very own version of the derby (t'Classico) is that both sides have something in the way of a different minimum requirement. For the claret of Burnley it's all about securing that elusive victory which has remained out of their grasp for over 3 decades, where as for our boys it's "the streak". If we aren't going to win just make sure we don't lose, heaven forbid if you're a player on the Blackburn side that loses, the shame would be too much to bear.
It's almost a shade on the cowardly side if you're of the Arte Et Labore persuasion, it's never acceptable to play for a draw, but as many a local will tell you on either side of the divide - it's all about the bragging rights.
The game itself was the proverbial two halves, from a Rovers point of view I would say (pushing my near rouge coloured glasses onto the bridge of my nose) that we were value for the point. Yes, Burnley certainly looked the handier of the sides in the first half, which was as much our own doing than anything wonderful being dished up in the form of dynamic attacking brilliance from the home side. Rovers seemingly sole tactic for the first 45 minutes was to go direct, Burnley pressed and harried like you'd expect from a side playing in a fierce local derby but Rovers didn't move the ball about with nearly the correct level of intent, precision or speed to cause the Claret rearguard or midfield much bother. Come to think of it in the opening 45 minutes we'd have struggled to cause even a set of traffic cones a tinge of danger - one sprightly attack aside.
Certainly pitting Jordan Rhodes as a hold up man against the likes of Jason Shackell was about as much use as trying to boil a butter kettle.
|Lee Williamson photographed as a young child.|
Burnley can point in the direction of the fortuitous circumstances surrounding Jordan Rhodes' *wonder strike and the undeniable excellence of the Stanislas strike, but before yelping in the cries of an unfairly treat child about the injustice of it all they should perhaps consider their own attacking threat. How many times did they genuinely scare Jake Kean and his erratic kicking in the Rovers net? The answer is, well, not a lot.
Truth is their so far successful attempt at replacing former wall builder Charlie Austin in the form of the Danny Ings and Sam Vokes partnership were well marshaled by the enigma known as "Dannley" at the heart of the Rovers backline.
And then there is of course the uproar of Lee Williamson and his 105 second super cameo which culminated in an unintentionally early audition for the British Lions' tour to New Zealand in 2017. Yes, Danny Ings was fouled, without question it was a sending off, but try and identify to me one Burnley player who wouldn't have acted with exactly the same course of action if it was Josh King about to burst through on goal in the last minute in role reversal circumstances.
Seriously take your time, I've got all night (I haven't by the way).
Burnley can feel aggrieved that we rode our luck in the key incidents in the game, but as a staunch backer of "The Bastards" my sympathy won't extend too far. Your time will come Burnley, but it wasn't to be on Saturday.
Call it fate, call it misfortune, call it what you like, I call it 34 years and counting...
*He meant it, definitely.