Monthly Archives: December 2012

Jimenez Breaks Leg

Miguel Angel Jimenez faces a five month layoff from golf after the Spaniard broke his leg in a ski fall last Saturday.

The oldest ever winner on the European Tour was skiing in Andalucia when the freak accident occurred.

Unfortunately for one of the most loved characters on the course, he could well miss the Masters in April.

On the accident, he said: “I broke the top of the tibia in my right leg, just where it meets the knee, and they put in two pins.

“It will take three, four or five months to recover and be able to return to competition. I was playing very well but these things happen in life.”

Jimenez had been skiing for a while and admits that he knew the dangers when he took up the sport.

“When I took up skiing I knew the risks that I was taking but I love it so much I could not stop,” he said.

It is unfortunate for the Tour professional as 2013 had looked to be one of greater success.

More information on the injury and his rehabilitation will be available on the BBC Sport and European Tour websites in the coming months.



Tagged , , , , , , ,

Cue Action – Player Profiles – Will Vallely

Matthew Stevens
Ranking – 13
Nationality – Welsh
Ranking Event Titles – 1

Matthew Stevens turned professional in 1994, and is one of the game’s most popular players. He has endured plenty of seasons amongst the elite players in the game.

In 1999 he broke into the top ten in the world, where he stayed for seven consecutive seasons.

However many would consider Stevens to have under achieved in the game given his ability. He has won two of the game’s most prestigious titles, The UK Championship and the Masters.

He won the Masters in 2000 after beating Ken Doherty 10-8 in the final, but his only ranking title victory to date came in 2003 at the UK Championship.

He has lost in the final of the world championship twice, in 2000 and 2005. In both finals he lost a four frame lead.
In the 2005/2006 season Stevens reached a career high ranking of number four.

After this Mathew’s form dropped significantly eventually resulting in him dropping out of the top 16 in 2007. However in 2011 he returned to the top 16 after 4 seasons away.

The welsh dragon is known as a good break builder and has compiled 232 century breaks to date; this is the twelfth highest amount in history. He is also fairly competent playing with his left hand.

Outside of the game, he is also a celebrity Texas hold ’em poker player and has featured in a few televised events. In 2004 he won the UK’s richest poker tournament having only been playing poker for 18 months before his victory.

Tagged , , , ,

Bowled Over – India v Pakistan ODI – By Luqman Liaqat

Opener Nasir Jamshed scored a composed century leading Pakistan to a six-wicket victory over India in the first game of the three-match ODI series in Chennai.

Jamshed’s unbeaten 101 ensured India caption Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s rescue innings earlier in the day finished unrewarded.

The Indian skipper came to the middle with India reeling on 29-5; he struck 113 not out setting Pakistan a target of 227 with the loss of six wickets.

Due to overnight rain, the match had a delayed start. Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl first in overcast conditions proving to be ideal for swing bowling. A devastating spell from Junaid Khan left India in tatters early.

Virender Sehwag drove away from his body and lost his off stump, Kohli played down the wrong line as Junaid’s ball swung and knocked of his off stump for a duck.

In between the big wickets, Mohammed Irfan beat Ghautam Ghambhir’s drive clean bowling him.

Junaid’s clinical spell didn’t end there, he also beat Yuvraj Singh for pace and he picked up his fourth wicket as Mohammed Hafeez took a sharp reflex catch at third slip to remove Rohit Sharma.

Suresh Raina helped Dhoni to repair the innings with a 79-run stand taking them past the 34th over.

Giving Dhoni a life proved costly for Pakistan as Misbah-ul-Haq put a catch down at midwicket from Hafeez’s bowling.

Eventually Hafeez did pick up a wicket bowling out Raina in the batting powerplay for 43. After the sixth wicket, Dhoni launched his innings hitting Junaid over wide long-on for six off a free hit.

He smashed Ajmal out of the ground and brought up his century with his third six off the innings putting on a 125 run stand with Ravi Ashwin who upped the tempo with 31 from 39.

A magnificent century from Dhoni featured a range of shots on both sides of the wicket giving Pakistan a testing target.

Pakistan’s chase also started poorly as Hafeez offered no shot and was bowled out for a golden duck by debutant Bhuveshwar Kumar.

Kumar also removed Azhar Ali leaving Pakistan 21-2 but a superb stand by Jamshed and Younis Khan ensured the required run rate was under control.

The 112 run stand from just 121 balls recovered the chase with Younis’s counter attacking innings of 58 off 60 bringing up his fifty with a down the ground maximum.

Dinda finally broke the stand when Younis chipped a low catch to Ashwin.
As Pakistan were getting closer, Misbah was dismissed being bowled by Ishant Sharma with Jamshed tiring Malik scored boundaries at the other end.

Jamshed reached his century from 127 balls with a pull shot, drawing comparison with his innings against Australia in Abu Dhabi earlier in the year which was also played under excessive humidity.

Alongside Jamshed’s fantastic unbeaten hundred Malik chipped in with a run a ball 34 to ensure Pakistan finished the job inside the 48th over and head to Eden Gardens in the New Year with a lead in the series.

Tagged , , , , ,

Van Gerwen takes out Champion

Michael Van Gerwen won a thrilling darts Quarter final last night 5-4 to put out defending World Champion Adrian Lewis.

Lewis had two darts to win the deciding set but having failed to hit his double, Van Gerwen hit back and held his nerve in the tie breakers to take a famous victory.

The result is one of the best of Van Gerwen’s career, however Lewis has been out of form all season and could not reproduce his world championship form on the biggest stage.

He had lead four times against Lewis but each time the former champion came back to level the match, showing glimpses of his brilliant best.

In the end howecer, he was unable to hold out against one of the most exciting prospects in darts right now,

Van Gerwen goes on to play James Wade in the Semi Final, whilst the other two in the last four are two of the greatest players ever.

15 times World Champion Phil ‘ The Power’ Taylor will face 2007 Champion Raymond van Barneveld in the game of the tournament so far.

Taylor was dominant in his quarter final against Andy Hamilton with his average regularly going over the 100 mark, but it was his percentage on the doubles that truly won him the game, showing his best figures for many months.

You can catch all the action at MODUS Darts:

Tagged , , , ,

Terrace View – By Billie Marshall

2012 ended with aplomb in the Premier League as 35 goals were scored across eight matches on an entertaining and enthralling day for the neutrals.

Theo Walcott, enjoying his new role of a central striker, scored a hat-trick as Arsenal ran riot to defeat Newcastle in a remarkable game that finished 7-3 to the Gunners. It was the highest scoring meeting in the history of the two sides.

Walcott started and completed the scoring in a performance which will act as a keen reminder to Arsenal’s manager of just how important the youngster can be.

Newcastle came from behind three times with goals from Sylvain Marveaux and a brace from Demba Ba before Arsenal ran riot late on.

Walcott, Lukas and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had put Arsene Wenger’s side ahead, but it was a brace of goals late on from substitute Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott which end Arsenal’s year on a high.

Meanwhile problems continue for Newcastle who have now conceded 11 in their past two Premier League matches. A win for Arsenal, however, moves them up to 5th place and keeps them in contention for the coveted 4th Champions League spot.

Manchester City kept up the pressure on title rivals Manchester United with victory over Norwich City in a seven goal thriller at Carrow Road.
In an action packed affair, Edin Dzeko had put City two goals up in the first four minutes before Anthony Pilkington scored a free kick. Norwich’s fourth goal from a free-kick, the second highest in the premier league so far.
The Blues had to hold off a comeback from Norwich with ten men, when Samir Nasri received his first red card in English football for violent conduct just before the half time interval.

Despite two goals from captain for the day Russell Martin, the champions proved too strong. Goals from Aguero and a Mark Bunn own goal, gave them a valuable 4-3 victory.

Manchester United maintained a seven point lead at the top of the Premier League after a hard thought victory over West Brom.

An own goal from Gareth McAuley and a late Robin Van Persie strike gave United the three points.

It was a much changed United side, who were without injured Wayne Rooney, and the rested Robin Van Persie only on the bench. Shinji Kagawa did make a return to the United side in his first appearance since late October due to a knee injury.

In the early kick off, Tottenham Hotspur moved into third place in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland went ahead from an unlikely source, when John O’Shea tapped in for his first goal for the club.

However the joy was short-lived as Spurs turned things around just seven minutes into the second half.

An own goal from Carlos Cuellar and a good individual goal from Aaron Lennon completed the turn around and maintained Tottenham’s record of scoring in every Premier League away game this season.

The main talking point of the game, however, was Gareth Bale’s third caution of the season for simulation, and his fifth overall, meaning he will miss Spurs’ game against Reading on New Year’s day.

Aston Villa continued their poor recent form with a disappointing 3-0 defeat at the hand of Wigan at Villa Park. It is now 15 goals conceded in three games for Paul Lamberts side, who fall to 17th place.

Goals from Ramis, Boyce and Kone condemned Villa to their third straight defeat.

Stoke City scored a spectacular injury time equaliser to deny Southampton a valuable victory. With the score poised at 2-3, Cameron Jerome hit a fierce 30 yard volley to break saints hearts.

Steven Nzonzi received his marching orders for a bad challenge with the score line at 2-3, but it wasn’t to hinder Stoke as Jerome cancelled out earlier goals from Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez and an Andy Wilkinson own goal.

Pressure continues to grown on Fulham boss Martin Jol, after Swansea came away 2-1 winners at Craven Cottage. Danny Graham, returning to the starting 11, put Swansea ahead before a goalkeeping mistake from David Stockdale gifted Swansea a second through Jonathon De Guzman.

Bryan Ruiz did pull a goal back for Fulham, but Swansea held on despite a disallowed goal for Dimitar Berbatov late on to move up to ninth in the Premier League.

Finally, Reading claimed a vital win, after Pavel Pogrebnyak’s goal was enough to see off the challenge of West Ham at the Madejski. The win still leaves ‘The Royals’ five points adrift of safety.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Sir Wiggo

Bradley Wiggins will cap off a superb 2012 by becoming knighted in the Queens New Years Honours List.

Sir Wiggins took the Tour de France title and then ten days later took the Olympic time trial gold in his home games.

Recently this month he was crowned Sports Personality of the Year by the BBC and his knighthood ends surely his greatest 365 days of his life.

Wiggins is joined as a Sir by fellow Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie who won his fourth gold medal at the London Games, having taken gold in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and now London.

His last three gold medals came in the Finn category after he previously won gold in the laser, arguably showing he is the greatest Olympic sailor of all time.

There are also Knighthoods for coaches David Brailsford and David Tanner. Brailsford is the Performance Director for British Cycling and the Team Sky Principal and has masterminded the success of Wiggins and the other GB athletes on the road and in the velodrome.

Tanner on the other hand has been behind the success on the water in his role as Performance Director of British Rowing.

Sarah Storey becomes a Dame after her amazing exploits over a number of Paralympics. She equaled the record of Baroness Tani Grey-Thompson in the London Games and is a success in multiple sports.

All the GB medalist at the Games take away an honour as such, but the seven who already had titles, such as Sir Chris Hoy, were not credited further.

There were CBE’s for pin ups of the track Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah, and cycling beauty Victoria Pendleton also claimed a CBE whilst Greg Rutherford was awarded an MBE.

There were also awards for many of the Games makers such as the deputy to Lord Coe, Sir Keith Mills, who has been made a Knight Grand Cross and Lord Coe himself a Companion of Honour.

A full list can be found on the BBC Sport website

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Bowled Over – India level T20 Series – By Luqman Liaqat

India overcame a masterclass batting effort from Mohammed Hafeez to win by 11 runs and level the two match Twenty20 series.

The hosts posted a massive 192-5 from their 20 overs with stand-out performer Yuvraj Singh who smashed his 72 runs from only 36 balls including seven sixes.

The chase from Pakistan began brightly; Hafeez’s effortless wristwork meant he cleared the rope with ease as he tormented the Indian bowlers.

However, Pakistan were left 11 runs short in the end with Ashok Dinda claiming figures of 3-36.

Ajinkiya Rahane scored 28 and Ghautam Ghambhir assisted well with 21 as the Indian openers put on a strong 44 run stand, Umar Gul accounted for the dismissal of both men.

Virat Kohli made a steady 27 before being run out from a Saeed Ajmal direct hit, but Yuvraj was in destructive mood when he was joined by MS Dhoni.

Yuvraj was struck on the toe with a painful blow from Mohammed Irfan’s yorker early in his innings but he recovered well and looked in stride, striking the ball clean with a lovely flourish.

He hit seven sixes and four boundaries, Shahid Afridi and Ajmal were hit for maximums. Sohail Tanvir felt the force being hammered for two huge blows off consecutive deliveries.

In the penultimate over, Yuvraj fired three consecutive sixes with the last one smacked over long-on. He eventually held out in Gul’s over ending the pairs partnership of 97 off 44 balls and in the same over MS Dhoni fell, as Gul completed his four overs with superb figures of 4-37.

Pakistan began chasing the huge total of 192 confidently; Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad took on the seamers by laying a solid foundation with 74 runs in 9.4 overs before Jamshed fell to Ravi Ashwin for 41.

Shehzad followed being stumped off Yuvraj but Hafeez quickly altered the momentum with the game moving into the final overs. Hafeez faced 26 deliveries as he struck six boundaries and three maximums.

A slower ball from Ashoke Dinda bowled Umar Akmal ending a 62-run stand. With the required run rate increasing, Hafeez guided Yuvraj past point for four, before depositing Ashwin for two straight sixes over midwicket before paddling Dinda for two successive fours.

Dinda finally had Hafeez and Kamran Akmal as they both held out in the deep during the penultimate over.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar saw off Afridi, who had earlier in the over smashed him for a huge six.

Pakistan required 20 from the last over, which turned out to be too much for Shoaib Malik who couldn’t repeat his heroics from Tuesday and Umar Gul despite his boundary.

The reply from the team in green foundered to 181-7 as the series ended on level terms.

If the two rivals put on a show equivalent to this in the one-day format we could be in for a thriller of a series, which begins on Sunday at Chennai.

Tagged , , , ,

In the Ring – Anthony Ogogo – By Billie Marshall

Anthony Ogogo has been announced as the latest recruit to Golden Boy promotions after signing his first professional contract.

The Olympic bronze medallist is coming off a highly successful year for British sport and the Lowestoft fighter is hoping to add his name to the long list of British success stories currently in Boxing.

Following his impressive displays in the London Games, in particular his defeat of world number 1 Levgen Khytrov, Ogogo attracted plenty of interest, including Matchroom sport, but chose to sign for the American company.

The 24 year old stated: “I can’t wait to get started, 2012 has been one of the greatest years of my life. To represent my country at a home Games was an incredible experience and the bronze medal I won will always be close to my heart. Following the Olympics I’ve been looking to the future and considering a number of options, and feel that the time is now right to turn professional with Golden Boy.”

Chief Executive of Golden Boy, Richard Schaefer has backed the latest recruit to be a big hit on the international stage in the future.

Schaefer said: “Anthony Ogogo has everything you look for in a boxer. He can fight, he has style and charisma and he has amazing crossover potential. I have no doubt that Anthony has the skills in the ring and the personality outside of it to make him a global boxing star.”

With names such as Danny Garcia, the WBC and WBA (Super) Light Welterweight Champion, and Floyd Mayweather, Ogogo is in the company of boxing greats.

An opponent has yet to be confirmed for Ogogo’s first professional fight, although it is likely to take place early in the new year on February 9th in Las Vegas.

Tagged , , , ,

Pit Stop – Season Review Part Four – By Lewis Brearley

Now that the 2012 Formula One season has concluded it’s time to reflect and analyse the successes and failures of the drivers and their respective teams. In the fourth and final part of the review, it’s the turn of the rest of the grid.

Outside the “Big Three” championship contending teams – Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari – three other teams won races and the other six teams all made progress in what was one of the closest and most competitive grids in the history of Formula One.

Kimi Raikkonen won for Lotus in Abu Dhabi, the peak of a sublime and consistently fast comeback for the 2007 world champion, after inheriting the lead when Lewis Hamilton suffered one of his multiple slices of misfortune.

It was a win that earlier in the season, most had predicted to be inevitable such was the race pace of the Lotus E20. Yet when it happened it was a surprise as the team’s pace had dropped due mainly to the technical department’s decision to prioritise a promising double DRS system causing a negative effect on the development of more worthwhile areas.

The DRS system was found to be too hard to get working and was never even raced.

Nico Rosberg took a dominant pole and win on the weekend that it all came together perfectly for Mercedes in Shanghai. It was a win that put Rosberg in with the leading contenders in the championship table and seemed to indicate the change of the championship contending “Big Three” to a “Big Four”.

However it turned out to be the only light in the long and dark tunnel that Mercedes’ 2012 season ended up being. A tunnel so dark that a seventh place for Michael Schumacher in the season finale at Interlagos was celebrated after five pointless races for the silver team from Brackley.

New arrival Lewis Hamilton will be having sleepless nights praying the team emerges from their current state of failure.

Pastor Maldonado took a surprising yet sublime victory for the resurging Williams team at Barcelona too. After inheriting pole when Lewis Hamilton suffered his inevitable misfortune he dominated the whole race, holding off Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, while expertly extracting the maximum from his Pirelli tyres.

Like Mercedes, it was the brightest light of a relatively poor season for the team from Grove who finished eighth in the championship. However, it was a season that showed promise that the old championship contenders may one day return to the glory of regular podium positions.

In the state-backed Maldonado they have pace and finance, but in order to achieve this aim, he needs to gain consistency in his race pace and wheel to wheel skill.

Sauber and Force India showed flashes of pace throughout the season, with Sauber taking four podiums and Force India taking two fourth places. These two teams used ingenuity and technical know-how to overcome their smaller budgets and outpace fully financed works squad Mercedes by the second half of the season.

With technical rules staying stable for next season, the grid should be even closer next year, a prospect bound to wet the lips of Formula One fans everywhere.

Tagged , , , , ,