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News Report Page 8 of 13
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Britain's Christmas dinner debate

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THE Nation is divided in its opinion on mashed potato at Christmas as stats reveal you're much more likely to want mash on your Christmas dinner plate if you live in the North of Britain, compared to the South. Those living in the North East are most likely to choose mashed potato, with ¾ of residents picking it as part of their perfect plate; and almost ½ of those living in the North West (49%) while only 20% of people living in the South East would consider it a crucial part of their Christmas dinner.

Looking to discover what the nation's preferred Christmas dinner plate comprises of, Seasonal Spuds; an initiative backed by the UK's leading potato producer Branston that looks to inspire the public to enjoy more potatoes; commissioned the online YouGov survey of more than 1,800 members of the public who celebrate Christmas across England, Scotland and Wales. Jackie Baker, communications manager at Branston said:- "Admittedly, we were hoping to see spuds rank highly, but we were stunned to see such a north south divide on mash."

The North West's favourite Christmas dinner plate has also been revealed; a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings....
Roast potatoes 94% Turkey 70%
Carrots 80% Brussels Sprouts 69%
Stuffing 79% Yorkshire Puddings 66%
Meat Gravy 75% Parsnips 65%
Pigs in Blankets 74%



If cost and time were no issue, which, if any, of the following would you include as part of your personal:- "perfect Christmas dinner" plate?  Please do email us to News24@SouthportReporter.Com with your thoughts on this festive issue?

According to the survey, North Westerners aren't so keen on branching out from the traditional Christmas dinner trimmings. Red cabbage, leeks and bread sauce are all distinctly less popular in the North West than in the rest of the country. Just 22% would choose red cabbage, compared to 32% of the national average. 27% of the country would opt for leeks, but 19% in the North West would agree. And bread sauce comes in at number 19 on their list (15%), whereas 25% of Great Britain would choose the creamy Christmas accompaniment.*

The survey also shows that the difference in opinion between the North and the South goes beyond mashed potato. Only 13% of northerners would choose lamb at Christmas, compared to just 21% in the southern regions. Red cabbage is also more popular with southern consumers, as 37%% of those asked would opt for it, but just 26% of those from the North said yes.*   "There is 1 thing the nation can agree on however, and that's our love of roast potatoes. Regardless of age, gender or location the survey placed roast potatoes at the top of people's dinner wish list this Christmas."

The stats revealed that on the average dream Christmas dinner plate, 92% of people included roast potatoes. 94% opted for either roasts or mash and 40% were doubling up; choosing both options to create their perfect plate of festive food.  Jackie continued:- "It just wouldn't be Christmas without potatoes; and they're so versatile you can cook them however you want to satisfy all your Christmas guests."

So, it's no wonder that demand soars for spuds during the run up to Christmas. Sales of fresh potatoes and ready prepared roasties experience a massive increase at this time of year.  "Our teams work around the clock to meet the demand for extra spuds in the final weeks of December. Production ramps up by over 80% to make sure there are enough fresh potatoes in supermarkets.** And in our Prepared factory we produce an extra 115,000 packs of ready to roast potatoes through December."

As well as showing differences in opinion depending on your location the survey also showed clear differences in opinion depending on when you were born. Veering away from tradition, nearly 75% of Gen Z, millennials and Gen X (18 to 44 year olds) included:- Yorkshire puddings in their ideal Christmas dinner, compared to 51% of baby boomers (over 55s)*.

The survey also revealed that Brexit isn't the only time Brussels is causing divided opinions between age groups. "It looks like it really is true that you learn to love the taste of Brussels sprouts as you get older. Less than ½ of 18 to 24 year olds (48%) wanted the green vegetable on their ideal Christmas dinner. Meanwhile, for more than ¾ of over 55's (78%), Christmas isn't complete without the traditional trimming." said Jackie

Younger generations are also more likely to opt for meat free gravy compared to their mature counterpart. 24% of 18 to 24 year olds picked meat free gravy, whereas 9% of people aged 55+ chose veggie gravy; similarly just 9% of over 55's would choose a nut roast. Jackie added:- "There is no denying the huge debate about eating meat products and flexitarians, vegans, and vegetarians becoming more mainstream. This is known to be something that's influencing younger generations and our stats back this up."

From the options provided in the survey, 81% of 18 to 24 year olds included a product containing meat*** That is significantly lower than the national average, which is 89%

For inspiring recipes for your Christmas dinner visit:- SeasonalSpuds.Com.  Do you agree with these findings?  Please do let us know what you think, via emailing us via:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

*  Results calculated using variables combined in Crunch  ** Figures supplied by Branston Ltd.   *** Product options containing meat included:- meat gravy, pigs in blankets, beef, gammon/ham, lamb, chicken, goose, turkey

Firwood Waterloo Ladies lose momentum against Worcester Warriors Women
Report by Christine Braithwaite.

ON 14 December 2019, Firwood Waterloo were unable to build upon last week's breakthrough victory against a Worcester side also gaining momentum in this tough Premier 15's league. The Liverpool outfit still had the early morning trip in their legs when they took the field and they were stunned by an early, unconverted try for Worcester Warriors, at the Sixways Stadium. They regrouped and a smashing score from Irish Fullback Lauren Delaney saw them level again within the 1st 10 minutes. Unfortunately, that was the only time Waterloo were to bother the scorers in the 1st ½ as the Warriors pack took control of the set piece. 33 unanswered points saw the visitors go in 38 to 5 down at ½ time. The 2nd ½ saw a change of attitude with the Waterloo players keen to express themselves looking to take at least a bonus point from the encounter. Last week's double scorer Laura Perrin with a fabulous interception on ½ way to get the second try of the match on 51 minutes, conversion by the returning Bethan Davies 50 to 12. Waterloo were starting to build phases and Vanessa Temple was next to score with the extras again added by Davies 50 to 19. unfortunately, a head injury to Waterloo 8 Daisy Hibbert Jones was rightly taken seriously by the medics and the resulting stoppage was to the detriment of the Waterloo momentum. Again, Worcester came out the stronger from the restart with 2 quick scores to break Waterloo hearts. Full Time 64 to 19. Firwood Waterloo continued to press for the bonus point try, but were unable to convert their pressure and the game finished without further score.

After the whistle, Neil Ryan reflected:- "The game was surely 1 of 2 halves. We started really slowly and were behind within the 1st minute. We regrouped quickly and drew level, but our set piece struggled as we lost scrum after scrum and our lineout didn't function. We had a good talk at halftime and came out a lot more focused and committed; the main aim was now to score the four tries that would allow us to take something from the game. We started with more urgency and got a further two tries on the board. Unfortunately the momentum was lost with an injury to our number 8 and we were unable to score the fourth try."

Next up is a home game before Christmas where Firwood Waterloo take on DMP Sharks in the the Battle of the North before a well earned rest. Entrance will be free with donations requested for the South Sefton Foodbank.

Firwood Waterloo Women v Richmond FC
Report by Christine Braithwaite.

ON Saturday, 7 December 2019, the boot of fly ½ Elz Isaac was the difference between 2 well matched sides as Firwood Waterloo took the spoils in a tense encounter, at The Memorial Ground Liverpool.  Under grey December skies, 2 of the longest established women's sides went head to head in the Tyrrells Premiership, Waterloo knowing that only a win would keep them in touch with the sides around them at the foot of the table. The early stages were error strewn as though both teams were aware of just how much was at stake. Both sides gave away early penalties and Elz Isaac took advantage to put Waterloo 3 points up after only 3 minutes. Richmond then had the better of the opening exchanges as their scrum put Waterloo under pressure. This platform allowed them to build pressure and Ellie Boatman took her chance to score on the right after 18 minutes. 3 to 5 - Waterloo then built some phases of their own with backs and forwards linking well. Laura Perrin was making her 1st start of the season after returning from injury and she used her physicality to force her way over after 25 minutes. Elz Isaac stepped up and slotted the extras. 10 to 5 Loo recycled well from the restart and again forced the error from Richmond who strayed offside. Isaac again taking responsibility and claiming the points. They headed into ½ time with Waterloo leading 13 to 5.  Both sides came out fired up for the 2nd ½ and the passion in the squads was evident to see as each small advantage was celebrated. The passion got the better of second row Beth Stafford (fresh from her appearance with the Barbarians last weekend) who saw yellow on 53 minutes. The home faithful began to fear the floodgates would open, but it was Waterloo who stepped up their game and worked their way up the pitch. With nothing on out wide, Perrin placed a classy kick through behind the defence. Waterloo gathered and Richmond were penalised around the breakdown. Loo spotted the defence in disarray and opted to run the ball in the opposition 22.  2 more penalties followed and Perrin again took responsibility and used her strength to force her way over the line. Isaac added the conversion and Waterloo found themselves clear with 15 minutes left to play. 20 to 5 - Back up to full complement, Loo soaked up the pressure from a Richmond side desperate to take something from the game. With 5 minutes to go, Boatman also got her second of the day, but again it was too wide for the conversion. 20 to 10. 2 minutes from time, Flanker Nessa Temple was sent to the bin for a high tackle, but Waterloo showed great fortitude to hold Richmond off and the game finished 20 to 10 to the home side.  After the final whistle DoR Neil Ryan said:- "It was great to be back at home today as we entertained Richmond. The players were aware of what was expected and they didn't disappoint. The game was a nervy tight affair with bodies being put on the line. It was great to see Pez playing so well on her 1st game back after injury. There were a lot of nerves in the 2nd ½ and it wasn't helped by 2 yellow cards. The nerves started to jangle, but we held on for the win. I'm really pleased for the ladies as we got our 1st win"

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