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There’s more good news for Connacht today as Jack Carty, Dennis Buckley and Quinn Roux have all agreed new deals with the Pro 12 champions.All 3 of those players started in last Saturdays dramatic Champions cup win over Wasps at the Sportsground.They join Tom McCartney, Bundee Aki, Ultan Dillane, Finlay Bealham Niyi Adeolokun, Sean O’Brien, James Connolly, Peter Robb and Caolin Blade in signing contract extensions with the side.
Casey Hennessy the star of the Lidl All Ireland Post Primary School Senior C-final – scoring a hat-trick of goals in Presentations Thurles’s win over Holy Faith in O’Moore Park.Their game finiahed Pres Thurles 4-10 Holy Faith 2-10.Not such good news for Loreto Clonmel. They lost out 1-8 to 3-12 against St. Joseph’s Rochfort in the Senior B football Final.
The biggest of such battles will be their maiden campaign in the CAF Champions League next year. Prize money for winning the continental competition currently stands at $2.5m or N898.7m at todayâ€™s exchange rate. That is good cash for a club like Plateau, in addition to the invaluable promotional value playing in Africa would give the beautiful state. But those rewards have to be labored for. Rather than sell the clubâ€™s best players there would be a need to add a few top players to strengthen the squad. If the club can get to the group stage of the Champions League, that would mean a prize money of at least $550,000 (N197.7m). That kind of money should cover whatever additional costs go into strengthening the team. It would also make the club even more competitive in the new NPFL season.Â Good job NTA and SupersportCourtesy of national broadcaster NTA and longtime league broadcaster Supersport, the country got to see the season finale live as Plateau and MFM dueled openly for the crown. NTAâ€™s involvement in the live broadcast of the league after over a decade is a development that must be encouraged as this means an explosion in the number of eyeballs watching the league. This would further pressure owners, officials and fans into doing the right things, and this can only be great for the league. If this is continued next season, and I believe it should, it would also make the league more attractive to fans and sponsors.Those pitches, dang!The downside to beaming the finale live was the quality of the pitches on display. Neither the Jos pitch nor the El-Kanemi pitch looked any good for the grand finish to the season, and thatâ€™s putting it mildly. In a manner of speaking, pitches are like the clothes people wear to an occasion; no matter how good-looking and brilliant they are, they must be properly dressed. You donâ€™t have to dress expensively, just decently. Those pitches looked like Baba Sala straight off the set and into a cocktail party at the Transcorp Hilton. This is not so much a maligning of those behind these pitches, but a call to action. Ours is an insanely competitive and increasingly shrinking globe and we need to raise our game; invest in dress it up a wee bit.Continental football comes to Lagos!Just two seasons ago, MFM joined the premier division for the first time, alongside city rivals Ikorodu United, and ensured that top-flight football returned to Lagos for the first time in a decade. The church-backed side battled relegation in their maiden season, but bounced back this year to go within four points of the title. Their reward is Champions League football, and our reward is that the continentâ€™s finest are coming to Lagos. It cannot be a day too soon.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Plateau United made history last Saturday when they became champions of Nigeria for the very first time. A deserved 2-0 home win over defending champions Rangers at the Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos ensured they converted 34 weeks at the summit of the Nigerian Professional Football League table into their most important piece of silverware ever. Winning the NPFL title is always a close race, and for back-to-back seasons now the champions were decided on the final day. Lagos-based MFM FC were just a point behind going into the last round, meaning that Plateau needed to win to be certain of the crown. Having been virtually invincible at home all season; winning 16 times and drawing twice, it was expected they would get the job done. Against arguably the biggest club in Nigerian football history however, none would have been surprised if there were some late drama. In the end a truly special opening goal by Emeka Umeh and a late finish by substitute Benjamin Turba made certain that the trophy would return to the beautiful highland state for the first time since Might Jetsâ€™ triumph 45 years ago.Congratulations to the Peace Boys and to the governor of Plateau State Simon Lalong for the support the team received throughout the season. As far as our league goes, triumphant teams have usually been those heavily backed by state government resources, and Lalong did his fair bit. The club showed their appreciation, maybe a bit too much, when Lalong led the victory celebrations. Not only was his Excellency quickly handed the trophy to hoist, he left the arena with it shortly after; largely denying most of the players the joy of posing for photographs with their long-awaited prize. It also meant the TV viewing audience missed the raw emotions in the celebration of the players which helps make moments of triumph a huge deal in international sports.The governor must however note that we are extremely poor at dealing with success in this country. Success quickly gets into our heads and we begin to misbehave until we fail. Last season Rangers practically fell to pieces after their first league triumph in 32 years. Rather unwisely, they sold their best player Chisom Egbuchulam for peanuts to a backwater league in Europe and unsurprisingly finished 13th on the table this year, even flirting with relegation at some point during the season. Imama Amapakabo, the coach that snapped the spell, was shown little respect before being sacked. Not only was he owed a backlog of wages (N58.7m by his own account), his pleas for the strengthening of the squad fell on deaf ears. 2015 champions Enyimba suffered the same fate, finishing 10th in 2016. Plateau may want to learn from the duo or they could just be battling relegation next year. So Plateau, keep your best players and coaching crew, and give them significant raises for a job well done. Not only do they deserve it, they need the motivation for bigger battles to come. read more
Manchester City moved above Chelsea into third spot in the Premier League after an impressive attacking display against Sunderland.Throwing away the conservatism that has blanketed recent displays, City opened the scoring when Adam Johnson exchanged passes with Yaya Toure to fire in.Carlos Tevez then doubled the lead from the penalty spot on 15 minutes.David Silva made it three before substitute Patrick Vieira slid in and Toure added a fifth on 73 minutes.City could have easily made it more convincing but in contrast to recent performances, it was a showing full of purpose and promise marked by a change in the line-up and formation.Johnson, Tevez, Silva and Toure all showed what they can do when they have more licence to burst forward but they were given lots of room to create openings thanks to a poor defensive offering from Sunderland.Even though they are a point above Chelsea, having played one game more, the manner of the victory will also give City boss Roberto Mancini food for thought ahead of crucial games against Liverpool in the league a week on Monday and against Manchester United in the FA Cup final on 16 April. Perhaps the Italian manager was influenced by the defeat by Chelsea a fortnight ago, where they struggled to create any meaningful chances.He opted for a more adventurous formation with Mario Balotelli and Tevez up front, while midfielder Gareth Barry was dropped to the bench, just five days after captaining England against Ghana.More importantly, Johnson received only his ninth start of the season to give City added thrust on the right and it was not long before the winger was involved, setting up Balotelli for one of many shots that were blocked.As early as the ninth minute, Sunderland were wary of the English 23-year-old and it was this space that helped create the well-taken opener.The Black Cats stood off Johnson as he received a pass from Toure on the right and as the Ivorian took the return pass and set off down the wing, Johnson was on hand to receive his cutback, burying his shot into the net for his seventh goal of the season. That fine goal seemed to knock the visitors sideways and just as they were trying to recover, Silva found Tevez with a diagonal ball to create a second.Following the lofted pass, the Argentine tried to lift the ball over Sunderland defender Michael Turner, but he was caught in the box leaving referee Howard Webb no option but to point to the spot.Making his first start since November, Turner had no complaints about the penalty and Tevez duly tucked the ball into the corner for his 22nd goal of the season, although keeper Simon Mignolet got a hand to it.City had chances to put the game out of sight before half-time with Tevez and Balotelli having further shots closed down, and at that stage the City fans watching must have wondered why Mancini had not opted for a similar line-up when the Premier League title was still within their grasp.Sensing their standing in their game, City eased down a gear, allowing Sunderland to grasp more of the ball in midfield before half time. In fact, the visitors finished the period the stronger team with Stephane Sessegnon setting up Danny Welbeck, who missed his kick, while Asamoah Gyan had Joe Hart scrabbling with a looping effort.But the pressure was short-lived as Johnson impressed early in the second half to combine with Silva.His energy was in contrast to the frustrating Balotelli, who had another shot blocked soon after, but the Italian did have a hand in the goal which ended the game as a contest just after the hour.Tevez made a superb run across the back of the Sunderland defence and was found expertly by Nigel de Jong. And although his cross led to a Balotelli shot which was charged down, Silva was on hand to pick up the rebound to make the game safe.City were out of sight soon after when Vieira came onto replace Johnson on 65 minutes and scored with his first touch.Aleksandar Kolarov fired across goal following a cleared corner and Vieira slid in at the back post to steer the ball across the line. A bad day got even worse for Sunderland when captain Lee Cattermole tried to square the ball to his defence from the left flank but his lobbed pass was a disaster waiting to happen and Toure nipped in to slot in City’s fifth.It finished off a miserable day for Sunderland boss Steve Bruce, whose side have not won a game for seven games now.Where they once had European aspirations, they will now be looking down towards the bottom of the table, just six points above the relegation zone.For City, an almost perfect day was denied towards the end when Balotelli’s free-kick was well saved by Mignolet, but this win will give them a momentum that might be hard to break as the season comes to a conclusion.Credit: BBC read more
“It was a back and forth game but eventually Nigel Ziegler broke the tie with a beautiful goal from just outside the 18 yard box kicking the bottom side of the crossbar as it went in.”LVR opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over Princess Margaret of Penticton before getting past North Kam of Kamloops 3-0.The win was especially gratifying for the Bombers as it came against former coach Jamie Spendlove, who now coaches at North Kam.“We were lead by our Grade 12’s this weekend with Nigel (Ziegler) scoring two, Jonah Thiele getting two and Darian Johnson scoring two,” Liddell explained.“Spencer Atkins got our other goal.”“We also have three player from the international program. Arnau Espinault, and David Grey from Spain, and Atsuki Hoshi from Japan,” he added.Wednesday, LVR edgesd J. L Crowe Hawks of Trail 4-3. 4-3.Ziegler and Jonah Thiele.The Bombers meet the Hawks in a return game Wednesday at Lakeside before heading to Cranbrook.The Bombers are now preparing for the zone championships and a date at the BC High School Boy’s Soccer Championships the last week of November in Vancouver. The L.V. Rogers Bombers got a great start to the high school roundball season by capturing the top prize at the Summerland Rockets Boy’s Soccer Tournament held recently in the Central Okanagan.Nigel Ziegler scored the only goal of the game to spark the Bombers to a 1-0 victory over Keremeos Sparks in the final.Grade 9 keeper Ryder Marzicola registered the shutout in goal.The Bombers are in Cranbrook next weekend compete in the Mount Baker Wild Tournament.“The boys were very tired, this being the third game in one day,” said Bombers coach Simon Liddell. read more
From the kick off, the Blackhawks showed they meant business forcing a line drop out in their first set of play.The Blackhawks spread the ball out wide quickly creating an overlap for to Zac Santo to score the first try the game after only three minutes.Former NRL player, Robert Lui could not add the extras with his kick sailing wide.Right from the restart, the Blackhawks caught the Hunters defence when they attacked the blindside from a scrum to put Santo into space to run away to score his second.The kick again was difficult again for Lui who missed his second conversion attempt for the game to leave the score at 8-0.After 10 minutes, the Hunters finally got their first touch of the ball and after consecutive sets of six worked their way up the Blackhawks half.Quick thinking by Hunters halfback Ase Boas saw him fire a pass out wide to Stargroth Amean who then gave it on to Adex Wera to cross over and score.Noel Zemming made the kick right from the side line look easy as he swerved it in to put his side back in the game.The Hunters went quiet for the next 10 minutes as the Blackhawks dominated possession threatening to score.10 metres out from the tryline, Lui saw an opportunity and took it throwing a short ball on to Jahrome Hughes who gave flicked it to Tom Humble who was too hard to stop barging his way over to score near the posts.Lui this time made sure adding the extras.The Blackhawks continued to put the pressure on taking a 14-6 lead going into the break. read more
The Milan supervisor is optimistic about the way forward for Calcium: “The sports activities metropolis of Milanello is open and we’ve resumed coaching, retaining our distance. We’re strolling in direction of a restart.” Based on Scaroni, “we should get used to dwelling with the virus and this also applies to soccer”, as a result of “you can’t stand till you have got contaminated.” The Milan participant approves the ‘German system’: “If an contaminated particular person seems, it’s remoted in quarantine and the others proceed enjoying”. And, because it collects La Gazzetta dello Sport, also joked about Ibrahimovic: “I feel he needs to play once more …”. After Fiorentina, Sampdoria and Torino too Milan declares having new infections to COVID-19 amongst his gamers. The president of the rossonera entity, Paolo Scaroni, acknowledged him throughout the ‘WarRoom’ assembly, from Rome ‘InConTra’: “We’ve an contaminated participant who’s therapeutic, however Paolo and Daniel Maldini are already properly.” read more
O’Dayne Richards maintains he will be working hard to medal at the IAAF World Championships in London next year.The 27-year-old Richards has a bronze medal under his belt from last year’s Beijing World Championships.”I am always looking to not just maintain, but increase. If you are not number one, you still might have work to do to maintain it,” said Richards, who is all about medal contention in London.”Definitely, that is the way I have to think as a professional athlete. I always have to think I am able to win a global title, break records – and world records,” he continued.OPTIMISTICHe said he is optimistic about next year, due to his ability to “fight through injuries, surgery and still make it to the Olympic final” in Rio.”It kinda gives me hope that I will still manage to get into the top 10 or even top three in the world next year in London, so I am really looking forward to that,” he told The Gleaner, adding that he took lessons away from Rio ahead of the new season.”Patience is one of the things I took forward from 2016, to be mindful of the fact that anything can happen and not to pressure myself too much.”I look forward to the possibilities that are ready and waiting for me in 2017, if the Lord wills,” he added.Richards is also a 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Pan Am Games gold medal winner last year. He explained that despite not medalling in Rio, he will grow from the experience.”I am grateful for what happened this year. I had a few injuries and because of that I wasn’t able to perform as well as I would like, but I still managed to make it to the Olympic final and I am grateful,” he reiterated. read more
Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours An MRI revealed a torn left ACL, an injury that will sideline Porzingis for the rest of this season and perhaps a good deal of the next.“Obviously he was devastated that he has that injury and so are we,” coach Jeff Hornacek said. “It’s a tough thing to have happened. He’s had such a great year and we’re trying to grow with him.”Disappointment could be felt not only in New York but around the NBA. Porzingis is a popular player for his wide array of skills at 7-foot-3 that led Kevin Durant to nickname him a “unicorn,” but also for the personality he brought to New York when he arrived in 2015 as a teenager from Latvia.“Was hoping for the best news when I saw the play after the game,” LeBron James wrote on Twitter . “Best wishes and have a speedy healthy recovery.”Porzingis was set to play on James’ team next week when he made his debut as an All-Star, and he was also set to defend his title in the Skills Challenge. He hoped to return from Los Angeles to a playoff race after not coming close in his first two seasons.ADVERTISEMENT That’s all that’s left after Porzingis was lost to a torn ACL, ending his All-Star season and probably any hopes the Knicks had of making the playoffs.They say they’ll keep playing hard, but the first trade they made after Porzingis’ injury showed they aren’t loading up for a playoff push.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“Look, we want to compete every night,” general manager Scott Perry said Wednesday. “We want to continue to fight.”Porzingis had hoped they would fight all the way to the playoffs for the first time in his career. But those plans were derailed when Porzingis crashed to the court, punching the floor in pain after a dunk in the second quarter of a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. View comments “He is a competitor, man. That’s one thing he wants to do, get the journey started right away,” teammate Courtney Lee said. “So I think he is mentally strong and he is mentally ready to switch his focus from playing and helping us make the playoffs to now rehabbing and getting back 100 percent and helping us when he gets back.”Well-wishers around the league think he will.“Setback for a major comeback!” the National Basketball Players Association tweeted, with a photo of Porzingis.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis is helped off the court after being injured during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)NEW YORK — Without Kristaps Porzingis, there’s no reason for the New York Knicks to be thinking about the postseason.It’s time to look to their future.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Sanchez reaches deal to avoid prison time in tax fraud case LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson New York was already facing a tough climb from 11th place in the Eastern Conference, and that would have been difficult even with Porzingis carrying them.The Knicks probably would have needed to find some help by Thursday’s trade deadline, and perhaps they would have tried given Porzingis’ stated desire for a playoff push. But now they are better off playing for the lottery than the playoffs, and any moves they make would likely be with that in mind.That appeared to be the case Wednesday when they sent Willy Hernangomez, voted to the All-Rookie first team last season, to Charlotte. The Knicks got back a pair of second-round picks along with forward Johnny O’Bryant, who Perry said would be waived.“We were without second-round picks,” Perry said, “and we value first-round picks and second-round picks, but we were without picks in 2020 and 2021. So this deal allowed us to do that.”For now, the Knicks will likely give more time to rookie guard Frank Ntilikina, and Perry and Hornacek said players from the team’s G League affiliate could get opportunities.Porzingis had at least given New York reason to entertain playoff hopes in a season that started days after Carmelo Anthony was traded to Oklahoma City. Even the Knicks didn’t know if Porzingis was ready to flourish in the No. 1 role at 22.But he wanted the challenge and has been up for it, averaging 22.7 points and a league-leading 2.4 blocked shots per game.The only thing he couldn’t really do is put to rest injury concerns that often follow players at his age and size. He had missed at least 10 games in each of his first two seasons and will finish with only 48 games played in this one.He had come back stronger this season in hopes of becoming more durable and better handling the pounding in the post.Now he will have to work even harder to come back from a serious injury. read more