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The Times Sports - 17 March 2018

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sport
Sports newspaper of the year
Saturday March 17 2018
José on
United
warpath
Mourinho in
extraordinary
12-minute rant
pages 2-3
Going
Native
Johnson’s Gold Cup triumph denies
Henderson unique treble
Pages 12-13
English
teams
collide
Manchester City
face Liverpool in
European tie
pages 4-5
Grigg:
rugby
helped
Henry Winter
interviews top
FA Cup scorer
pages 6-7
COVER PHOTO BY TIMES PHOTOGRAPHER MARC ASPLAND
2
3G S
Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
Sport Football
Mourinho: City have
a stronger heritage
Paul Hirstt
United have faded compared with rivals
Recent finishes in the League
1st
2nd
3rd
José Mourinho belittled Manchester
United’s heritage and elements of his
own squad as he launched an
impassioned defence of his Old Trafford reign yesterday and insisted that
he had no intention of leaving.
In a scene reminiscent of Rafa
Benítez’s famous “facts” rant about Sir
Alex Ferguson in 2009, Mourinho
embarked on a 12-and-a-half-minute
rant during a fiery press conference at
Carrington. Emboldened by a positive
meeting on Thursday with the executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and
managing director Richard Arnold,
who gave Mourinho their full support,
the United manager hit back at his
critics in extraordinary fashion 24
hours later.
Stung
by criticism
of
his
management following Tuesday’s
Champions League round-of-16 exit to
Seville, Mourinho claimed that:
6 Manchester City have a stronger
heritage than United.
6 He inherited a substandard squad
that will not be able to challenge City
unless Pep Guardiola does not spend a
penny this summer.
6 His players need to “grow up” and
learn to deal with pressure.
6 His squad is so weak that many
Seville players could get into the United
team.
6 United’s recent record in domestic
and European competition was worthy
of mockery.
Mourinho began his press conference in defiant tone. “Hello. I’m alive.
I’m here,” he said as he sat down. Then
followed a largely uninterrupted
lengthy monologue in which he
defended his reign in the strongest
possible terms, describing those who
had criticised him as “idiots”.
In all, the press conference lasted 23
minutes. The contents shocked some
club officials, as did his tone. Mourinho
raised his voice to hammer home his
point on several occasions, shocking
those in the room.
He read out a list of United’s recent
record in Europe, pointing out that only
4th
5th
6th
Mourinho’s
first season
7th
8th
2010-11
11-12
12-13
13-14
14-15
15-16
16-17
How Mourinho’s spending compares and the stars he inherited
Mourinho suggested he didn't inherit as many strong players as Pep Guardiola at
Manchester City. However the following have played regularly yet were signed by
previous managers: Marouane Fellaini (Moyes), Juan Mata (Moyes), Marcus Rojo (Van
Gaal), Anthony Martial (Van Gaal), Ander Herrera (Van Gaal), Daley Blind (Van Gaal).
Marcus Rashford was also given his debut by Van Gaal
David Moyes
2013-14
£65m
Louis van Gaal
2014-15
2015-16
£145m
Jose Mourinho
2016-17
2017-18
£151m
£145m
£146m
once had the club made the Champions
League quarter-finals since they last
reached the final in 2011.
“So, in seven years with four different
managers, once not qualified for
Europe, twice out in the group phase
and the best was a quarter-final,” he
said. “This is football heritage.”
In a comment that is certain to annoy
United fans, Mourinho pointed out that
their local rivals City had enjoyed far
more success of late because of what he
thinks is a history of misplaced investment in new players at Old Trafford.
“In the last seven years, the worst
position of Manchester City in the
Premier League was fourth,” he said.
“In the last seven years, Manchester
City was champions twice and if you
want to say three times because they
will be [champions again] in one more
week, two, three or four, and they were
second twice. That’s heritage.
“Do you know what is also heritage?
It’s that [Nicolás] Otamendi, Kevin De
Bruyne, Fernandinho, [David] Silva,
Appearances under Mourinho
All competitions
Mourinho signings
Rashford
94
Martial
81
Herrera
80
Pogba
78
Mata
76
Fellaini
65
Blind
54
Bailly
52
Rojo
51
[Raheem] Sterling, [Sergio] Agüero —
they are investments from the past, not
from the last two years.
“Do you know how many of United
players that left the club last season?
See where they play. Where they play,
how they play, if they play. That’s football heritage.”
Mourinho claimed he had the full
backing of the board. The Times
understands that the meeting with
Woodward and Arnold was productive.
Transfer targets were discussed and
there was no hint that the club would
not back Mourinho in his quest to
return the club to their former glories.
“We are on the same page,” he said. “I
could be in another country with a
league in the pocket. The kind of league
you win before the league starts. I could
be [but] I am not, I am here. I am not
going to run away. I am not going to cry
because I heard a few boos.”
Mourinho feels he has been subjected to unreasonable expectations and
believes that he has been left with some
inadequate players who are incapable
of challenging for the title.
“We went out to a side that’s more
successful than Manchester United in
the last seven years in Europe,” he said.
“We went out to a side that has a huge
tradition in knockout competitions, a
side in the Spanish cup final. We are out
to a team that knocked out Atletico
Madrid in two legs [of the Copa del
Rey].
“We are knocked out to a team that is
brilliant in their approach for many
years, with their scouting system, the
way they invest with every euro.
They’re a team with a great deal of
experience at the highest level, playing
every week against Real Madrid,
Valencia, Atletico, Barcelona, the best
players. There are many Seville players
who would play in my team.
“The fans, they read what people
write, they listen to what people say.
And the people that write, the people
that say, are people with a lot of ideas
and I used to call them idealists or idiots
— they can be both.”
Despite
spending
almost
£300 million on eight players since his
appointment, Mourinho feels United
will only be able to challenge City next
season if their local rivals do not recruit
more players this summer.
“If the clubs [that] are in a better situation than us stop investing and we
invest, we are side to side [with them],”
Mourinho, whose team are 16 points
behind City in the table, added.
“If they keep investing the same or
more than us, it’s difficult [to challenge].
We try but the reality is that some clubs,
they were ready to win. One thing is to
go for the jugular and another is to build
a different process.”
Mourinho also said his squad is not
strong enough mentally to make a
significant push for major honours. “If
you want to make a top team with top
mentality, you need to grow up and the
best way is to have this kind of feeling [a
defeat],” he said. “I want the fans to have
high expectations because I want the
players to have expectations too.
“One day when I leave, the next
Manchester United manager will find
here [Romelu] Lukaku, [Nemanja]
Matic, of course [David] De Gea from
many years ago, they will find players
with a different mentality, with a
different quality, with a different background, with a different status, with a
different know-how.”
Criticism of European record is unfair on his predecessors
Paul Hirst
Comment
H
e entered the room casually,
scuffing his flip-flops along the
wooden floor as he walked,
before taking his seat, but it did not
take José Mourinho long to snap into
fight mode. The United manager did
not pull any punches as he listed the
European failures of his predecessors.
David Moyes was chastised for
failing to qualify for the Champions
League, Louis van Gaal got it in the
neck for being bounced into the
Europa League by Wolfsburg. Even
Sir Alex Ferguson did not escape
unharmed, with Mourinho pointing
out that the two-times winner failed
to make the last eight in his final two
years in charge. But is United’s recent
European record really that bad?
United’s failure to qualify from a
group that contained CSKA Moscow,
PSV Eindhoven and Wolfsburg in
2015 under Van Gaal was
embarrassing. The Dutchman was a
dead man walking as soon as he
replaced World Cup-winner Juan
Mata with Nick Powell in the final
group-stage match in Germany,
which they could not afford to lose.
And yes, United’s group-stage exit in
2011, when they played Benfica, Basle
and Otelul Galati, from Romania, was
not great either.
But to criticise Ferguson for losing
to Real Madrid in the last 16 the
following year is harsh. Mourinho, of
all people, should know how strong
that Real Madrid team were. He was
in charge.
Even criticising Moyes’s record was
a bit over the top. United’s best
performances during his one season
in charge came in Europe. They
topped a group containing Bayer
Leverkusen, Real Sociedad and
Shakhtar Donetsk. United overcame
a two-goal deficit to beat Olympiacos
and went ahead against Bayern
Munich in the quarter-finals before
losing 4-2 on aggregate. United’s
recent European record is not as bad
as Mourinho makes out.
Romelu Lukaku led the line in United’s
embarrassing defeat by Seville
Manager’s
REPORTER
I’ve spoken to a few of the supporters
this week who said they were a bit
disappointed by some of the
performance levels against Seville.
What would you say to those fans?
MOURINHO
“I say to the fans that the fans are the
fans, and the fans have the right to
have their opinions and to have their
reactions.
“But there is something that I used to
call football heritage — I try to
translate from my Portuguese, which
is almost perfect, to my English that is
far from perfect.
“But translation, word by word is
something like football heritage and
what a manager inherits is something
like is that the last time Manchester
United won the Champions League,
which didn’t happen a lot of times, was
in 2008. The final was 2011.
“Since 2011, 2012 out in the group
phase. The group was almost the
same group as we had this season:
Benfica, Basle and Galati from
Romania. Out in the group phase.
“In 2013, out at Old Trafford in the last16. I was on the other bench [as Real
Madrid manager].
“In 2014, out in the quarter-final.
“In 2015, no European football.
“In 2016, comes back to European
football, out in the group phase, goes
to Europa League and on the second
knockout out, out of Europa League.
“On 2017, play Europa League, win
Europa League with me and goes back
to Champions League.
“In 2018, win the group phase with 15
points in possible 18 and loses at
home the last-16.
“So, in seven years with four
different managers, once not
the times | Saturday March 17 2018
3
2G S
Sport
MATTHEW PETERS/MANCHESTER UNITED/GETTY IMAGES
Fifa confirm
the first VAR
World Cup
Martyn Ziegler Chief Sports Reporter
12-minute rant in full (best bits in yellow)
qualified for Europe, twice out in the
group phase and the best was a
quarter-final. This is football
heritage.
“And, if you want to go to the Premier
League, the last victory was [in] ’12-13
and in the four consecutive seasons,
United finished fourth, fifth, sixth and
seventh — or seventh, fourth, five and
six.
“So, in the last four years the best
was fourth. This is football heritage.
“It means that when you start the
process, you are here, you are there,
or you are there. It is heritage. It’s
heritage.
“And if the fans, that I will always
respect, always respect . . . if the fans
. . . and many of them are the ones you
[in the media] speak with, many of
them are the ones I speak with, or I am
very lucky and very unlucky [with the
fans you speak to].
“But the ones that speak with you are
very disappointed and the ones I
speak with knows what is football
heritage.
“They know what is a process and
know when they arrive.
“When I arrived in Real Madrid, do you
know how many players played
quarter-final of Champions League?
“Xabi Alonso with Liverpool, Iker
Casillas with Real Madrid and Cristiano
Ronaldo with Real Madrid.
“All the others, not even a quarterfinal. That’s football heritage”
REPORTER
José, those stats . . .
MOURINHO
“They are real, they are real. Do you
want other real? I’ll give you a couple
more real.
“In the last seven years, the worst
position of Manchester City in the
Premier League was fourth.
“In the last seven years, Manchester City
was champions twice and if you want to
say three times because they will be in
one more week, two, three or four
[weeks] and they were second twice.
That’s heritage.
“Do you know what is also heritage?
“It’s that [Nicolás] Otamendi, Kevin De
Bruyne, Fernandinho, [David] Silva,
[Raheem] Sterling, [Sergio] Agüero —
they are investments from the past, not
from the last two years. From the past.
y of United
“Do you know how many
b last
players that left the club
y
season? See where they
ow
play. Where they play, how
they play, if they play.
That’s football heritage.
“And one day when I
leave, the next
Manchester United
manager will find
here [Romelu]
De Gea
Lukaku, [Nemanja]
Matic, of course
[David] De Gea from
many years ago, they
will find players with a
ha
different mentality, with
different quality, with a different
ferent status,
background, with a different
with a different know-how.
“And for some reason you go to the
Champions League quarter-final like
today and there are four clubs that are
always there. Always there.
“Barcelona is always there in the past
seven, eight years. Real Madrid is always
there in the past seven, eight years.
“Juventus is always there, Bayern Munich
is always there and then, of course,
appears now and again another club like
my Inter, like some other clubs like
Monaco last season.
“Some clubs but the ones that are always
there is for some reason. Is for some
reason.
“And the good thing for me and the
amazing feeling for me is that I am [on]
exactly in the same page as the owners,
as [the executive vice-chairman] Mr
[Ed] Woodward, as [managing director]
Mr [Richard] Arnold. We are exactly in
the same page.
“We agree in everything. We know that
we have a process. We agree in the
investments, we agree that we have
what we have, the investments we are
g
g to do are going to be
going
progressive season
progressively
after sea
season.
We need
n
“We
more
than the
inv
investments, we
ne also the
need
ti
time. We are
e
exactly in the
ssame page.
“S
“So, life is good.
“I have an
am
amazing job to
do. Yesterday I
met a new person
that we have in the
club work
working in a
different area,
area nothing to do
directly with my job but it is as a
person that come from another club and
I asked, ‘Why did you decide to come?’
“And the person told me, ‘Because I did a
fantastic job in another club and I know
that this club I have a big, huge job in
front of me to do, so I come for the
challenge’.
“Well done, well done — my decision to
come here was the same thing.
“I could be in another country with a
league in the pocket. The kind of league
you win before the league starts. I could
be [but] I am not, I am here.
“I am here, and I am going to be here,
and no way — no way — I am going to
change my mentality.
“For me, I don’t know if you know the
expression, I don’t know if the translation
to England makes you understand, but
there is quote that I like which is
something like, ‘In every wall is a door.’
“You know, every wall is a door?
“I am not going to run away, I am not
going to disappear, I am not going to
cry because I heard a few boos.
“I am not going to disappear from the
tunnel, running immediately.
“The next match I’ll be the first to go
out. I respect the fans, I am not afraid of
anything. I am not afraid of my
responsibilities.
“When I was 20 years old, I was nobody
in football. I was somebody’s son.
“What I was, with a lot of pride, when I
was 20 years old was somebody’s son.
You know?
“And now, with 55, I am what I am, I did
what I did because of work, because of
my talent and because of my mentality.
“So, they can be together. You know, I
understand that for many, many, many,
many, many, many years, it was really,
really hard for the people that doesn’t
like me.
“‘Here he is again’, ‘here he wins again’,
‘here he is again’, ‘here he wins again’, so
for ten months I win nothing.
“For ten months, I win nothing. The last
title I won was ten months ago, you
know?
“I beat Liverpool, I beat Chelsea, I lose
against Seville and now is their moment
to be happy.
“OK, I also learnt that in my religious
formation be happy with others’
happiness even if the others are your
enemies.
“So be with it. I am a very lucky guy and I
am really happy to be what I am.”
The video assistant referee system
(VAR) will be introduced at the World
Cup in Russia this summer after Fifa
chiefs voted unanimously for its introduction.
The technology was approved by
football’s lawmakers this month and
despite some opposition it will have its
official unveiling at the World Cup.
Gianni Infantino, the Fifa president,
told a news conference in Bogota,
Colombia: “We are going to have in
2018, for the first time, a World Cup
with VAR. We took our decision and no
one was against it.
“The trials have come up with some
facts — without VAR the referee can
make one important mistake every
three matches, with VAR it is only an
important mistake every 19 matches.”
Infantino dismissed concerns that
the political dispute between England
and Russia could disrupt the tournament. Some British MPs have called for
pressure to be put on Fifa to move the
World Cup to another country.
“No, we are not worried at all,” he
said. “We are here to organise a football
tournament, we are here to organise
the most important football and social
event in the world.
“We believe that football can bring
people together and I know that the
Russian people are really looking
forward to welcoming people from all
over the world. Political issues we leave
to the politicians.”
Fifa’s hopes of a smooth selection process for the 2026 World Cup have been
hit by four potential host cities pulling
out of the North American bid and
accusing the governing body of making
unreasonable financial demands.
Chicago, Minneapolis, Glendale in
Arizona and Vancouver in Canada have
pulled out, with officials citing Fifa’s
“inflexibility” and “financial burden”.
Fifa’s leaders had hoped that a World
Cup played mainly in the USA but
jointly hosted in Mexico and Canada
would be a commercial success but the
arrival of Morocco as an unlikely rival
bidder has caused disruption. The
North American bid is still out in front
despite the latest city withdrawals.
Pardew: I was
ready for firing
Tim Nash
Alan Pardew has said that he expected
to be sacked as the West Bromwich
Albion manager during crisis talks with
the club’s board this week.
West Brom have suffered seven
straight defeats in all competitions and
have won only once in 16 Premier
League games under Pardew. They are
sitting bottom of the Premier League
table, eight points adrift of safety.
Last weekend Pardew said that he
wanted to talk to “those upstairs” and
on Tuesday he held “clear the air” talks
with Mark Jenkins, the chief executive,
and Richard Garlick, the director of
football operations, expecting the worse.
“As a Premier League manager, after
whatever defeat it is now, you have to be
concerned about where you stand in it
all,” he said. “I told them what I think
and what needs to happen going
forward. It was mainly me being honest
about where I think it all is. Then it was
‘OK, here’s what I think and what I’ll do
if I stay, just so you know’, and I left it at
that. They listened and I’m still in a job.”
4
2G S
Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
Sport Football
All-English draw that both
Paul Joyce
City and Liverpool’s busy fortnight
5.30pm
at Everton
Northern Football
Correspondent
Apr 1
12.30pm
at C Palace
Apr 2
Apr 3
Champions League
Jürgen Klopp was following the
Champions League draw on German
TV at home when, within seconds of
Liverpool being pitted against
Manchester City, his mobile phone
beeped into life.
The first text to arrive was sent by
City’s Ilkay Gündogan, who was watching the draw on a big screen in a hotel in
Abu Dhabi where Pep Guardiola’s
squad are making the most of a free
weekend in their otherwise cluttered
calendar. The midfielder, a Klopp disciple from their days together at Borussia
Dortmund, punched into his own
handset the German words “bis bald”.
“The message came immediately, to
be honest,” the Liverpool manager said.
“Bis bald pretty much means, ‘See you
soon’ and I used a Scouse phrase,
‘Seeya.’ ”
Despite the simplicity of the
exchange between two figures who
have forged a close bond, the undertone carried an edge. This is Manchester versus Liverpool; a fixture both
clubs had been keen to avoid, but must
now embrace, and one that will do for
friendships for two nights at least.
Behind the bravado, the real impact
of yesterday’s draw in Nyon, in Switzerland, had been betrayed by the reaction
of Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of
football, when Andriy Shevchenko
pulled out the balls containing the
names of the English duo. He fidgeted
with his tie before his chin dropped to
his chest as confirmation came. Klopp
saw it and Liverpool will take heart
from that raw response.
“I think it is an absolute dream draw,”
Klopp said, before a dramatic pause,
“. . . for all Manchester United fans.
“I knew it would be difficult and that
is difficult. The good news is for
Manchester City it will be difficult as
well. I saw Txiki Begiristain’s face after
the draw and it didn’t look like it was
Christmas and Easter on the same day.
“They didn’t want us. We all know
that. Our record is not too bad against
City. We are not the team they love to
play constantly, let me say it like this.”
The reality is that it should only come
as a sliver of consolation to United supporters after their own side’s demise to
Seville that one of their rivals will drop
out of the competition and the other
will stay on course for Kiev by marching
into the semi-finals.
Who rises, and who falls, is a difficult
conundrum to unravel with the
memory still fresh of Liverpool’s swashbuckling 4-3 victory at Anfield on
Mar 31
Apr 4
Apr 5
7.45pm
Liverpool v Man City
at Anfield
Apr 6
5.30pm
v Man United
Apr 7
Apr 8
12.30pm
at Everton
Apr 9
7.45pm
v Liverpool
at Etihad Stadium
Apr 10
Apr 11
Apr 12
Apr 13
7.45pm
at Tottenham
Apr 14
5.30pm
v Bournemouth
Rest of the quarter-final draw
Barcelona
v
Roma
Seville
v
Bayern Munich
Juventus
v
Real Madrid
First leg April 4
First leg April 3
First leg April 3
January 14, when they inflicted a first
Premier League defeat of the campaign
upon Guardiola’s side.
Begiristain offered a reminder City
defeated Liverpool 5-0 in September,
although Klopp has argued that the
scoreline was skewed that day by Sadio
Mané’s first-half red card when the
visitors trailed by a single goal.
The prospect of two more absorbing,
helter-skelter affairs is obvious given
both managers’ preference for being on
the front foot.
“I love these games,” Klopp said.
“They are fantastic for me as a manager
and you know, if you play City, they do
what they do at the highest level. They
don’t defend the result, they go again.
It’s cool. For sure the first one will be a
really exciting game to watch.”
But, if the truth be told, he was not in
a mood to talk tactics yesterday, more
kick-off times. One of the subplots is
that the games, on Wednesday, April 4
and Tuesday, April 10, straddle derby
commitments for both clubs.
Klopp did not hide his annoyance
that Liverpool’s game away to Everton
has been rescheduled from Sunday at
2.15pm to Saturday at 12.30pm. City’s
home game with United is at 5.30pm
the same day and could be the fixture in
which they clinch the league title.
“I know countries where they cancel
whole match days so teams can be in
the best shape,” he said. “We play
Wednesday night and then 12.30, which
means the players get up on Thursday,
have lunch or breakfast, then we train
and next day we are second-day recovery and then you start at 12.30.
“Obviously whoever made the
schedule didn’t think we’d go to the
quarter-finals because it [the derby] was
a Sunday game. Oops. It is only Liverpool . . . I cannot see differently.
“When we play Everton, [City] play
United. Maybe they are not concentrating on that game because then they can
be champions a week later and Man
United can win a game at Manchester
City which would not help us as well
[for the top four].”
The rest of the draw sees a repeat of
last season’s final as the holders Real
Madrid confront Juventus, Barcelona
take on Roma and Seville meet Bayern
Munich. Yet Liverpool-City dominates
the landscape and the rivalry between
the clubs offered a reminder of the
clashes that routinely pitted Liverpool
with Chelsea all those years ago. Mourinho and Rafa Benítez’s relationship
buckled under the strain to the point
where they started trading insults,
although Klopp does not see that
occurring between him and Guardiola.
“I don’t really think Pep and myself
have a relationship,” he said. “We cannot lose anything. During a game he is
always 100 per cent in, I am 100 per cent
in, and so far we have never had an
argument. I am not too interested if
that will stay, but my respect will not
change. I have no idea what he thinks
about me. That is not too important.”
Winning for the two clubs, their supporters and the managers is everything.
Guardiola must forget the Manchester derby
Tony Cascarino
Comment
I
was disappointed when I saw that
Manchester City and Liverpool
had drawn each other because I
think both sides can win it. Barcelona
may be favourites but I would have
backed City and Liverpool against
strong sides such as Juventus, Real
Madrid or Bayern Munich.
Both sides have big derby games in
between the two legs but this tie must
be the priority. I know many will be
excited by the Manchester derby as
the game when City can win the
Premier League but Pep Guardiola
should forget that — rest some
players, take a draw or even a defeat.
They will win the league this
season, they can’t prioritise a derby
game just to embarrass United — that
is not worth passing up the chance to
win the Champions League.
Liverpool want a top-four finish but
there is something wrong with
focusing on qualification for next
season’s competition when you can
still win it this year.
We know the attacking qualities of
these sides but this tie will be decided
by who defends best. Much will be
made of Liverpool being one of the
few teams to beat City this season but
the most interesting aspect of that
game was that Jürgen Klopp’s side still
conceded three goals at home.
With that in mind I think City have
the advantage as they are stronger at
the back. Substitutions will also play
their part. The likes of Bernardo Silva
and Gabriel Jesus might not start but
they are so talented if you need a late
goal. Guardiola has built such a
strong squad and it is in these games
when they make the difference.
City, who are spending a weekend without a game training in Abu Dhabi, have
Arsenal fans likely to
Martyn Ziegler
Arsenal fans may be deterred from
travelling to the Europa League
quarter-final second leg against CSKA
Moscow because of the political standoff between Russia and Britain, according to the head of the club’s supporters’
association.
The fixture is due to take place in the
Russian capital on April 12, a week after
the first leg in London. Calls for sanctions against Russia over the poisoning
of the former spy Sergei Skripal and his
daughter in Salisbury have included
appeals for football games and the
World Cup to be boycotted.
Coincidentally,
the
Emirates
Stadium became part of the investigation into the poisoning of the former
KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko the
last time the teams met, in 2006. The
chief suspect, Andrei Lugovoi, went to
the Champions League match a few
hours after meeting Litvinenko and,
some weeks later, minute traces of the
radioactive substance polonium-210 —
which had been used to murder
Litvinenko — were found at the stadium.
Lois Langton , the chairwoman of the
Arsenal Independent Supporters’
Association, said: “It’s a hot potato of a
draw in view of the political stand-off
between the UK and Russia at present.
“The association will work with the
club to help ensure the safety of those
supporters who do plan to travel to
Moscow. It probably isn’t going to be
the destination of choice for many
supporters and the Foreign Office travel advice will need to be listened to.”
CSKA have insisted that there will be
no risk to travelling fans, with a spokesman telling Sky Sports News: “We are
the times | Saturday March 17 2018
5
3G S
Sport
clubs dreaded
VICTORIA HAYDN/MANCHESTER CITY/GETTY IMAGES
Hughes: I will upset
people to keep us up
Gary Jacob
Mark Hughes laid down the law to the
Southampton players on his first day as
their new manager, leaving them in no
doubt that he would push them to the
limit to keep them in the Premier
League.
Hughes said that he had not taken
the job at St Mary’s to make friends and
told his players to shape up, show greater intensity on the pitch and grasp the
reality of the mess that they are in.
The Welshman will take charge for
the first time against Wigan Athletic in
the FA Cup quarter-final tomorrow
and has eight league games, starting
away to West Ham United on March 31,
to try to climb from one place above the
relegation zone.
Hughes was brought in little more
than two months after he was dismissed by Stoke City. “We haven’t got a
great amount of time to go around the
edges and pussy-foot around,” Hughes
said. “We have to address things very
quickly and if there is something wrong
or traits in the team that are going to
hamper us we have to stamp them out.
“It has probably put them a little bit
on their toes that they needed to start
performing from the off. When you’ve
got the luxury of a bit more time, you
build relationships. Sometimes you
have to step on people’s toes. We’ve got
no time to wait.
“If we upset people along the way
then people will just have to accept it.
It’s about the end game, making sure we
are successful. Maybe that message was
very quickly taken.”
Hughes has a contract until the end
of the season but hinted he wanted to
stay if his mission went to plan and is
not worried about his approach compromising his relationship with the
players beyond the summer.
Only West Bromwich Albion, who
are bottom of the table, have won fewer
games than Southampton and the
south coast club’s run-in includes
matches with Arsenal, Chelsea and
Manchester City as well as Swansea
City, who are also fighting relegation.
Watch
the goals
Times subscribers
can watch highlights
from the FA Cup
and Premier League
this weekend
Download the Times app
from the iTunes store
He interrupted a question about his
record of having never been relegated
to chime: “That’s a good thing”. However, he overlooked the smaller print.
He was dismissed by Queens Park
Rangers and Stoke City, each time with
the club struggling near the bottom.
QPR were relegated that season.
Hughes said sympathy did not enter
his thoughts. “Human emotions you
have [are] taken out of it a little bit in
this current stage,” he said. “It is sport,
you have to accept the consequences of
not performing, not getting the results
you want. You’re always in danger and
that is the reality of what we do.
“Maybe as a consequence of how well
I did as a manager in the opening few
seasons, then obviously the expectations were a lot higher than when I’d
walked through the door.”
He recalled his time as a Southampton player in the twilight of his career.
In his first season they won the final
three games to finish one place above
the drop zone. “They still call it the
great escape,” he said. “Even now I don’t
know how we did it. Maybe that will
help me. I’d like to think if we do the job
here then maybe there will be discussions about the future.”
Oliver Kay, page 9
Conte message Alli: don’t call
for axed stars me a cheat
James Gheerbrant
beaten Liverpool 5-0 at home in the league this season but Guardiola’s side lost January’s reverse fixture at Anfield 4-3
avoid Moscow due to Russia crisis
happy to play Arsenal and don’t see any
danger for English fans that would like
to come to Moscow; we have already
played Manchester United this season
in Moscow and everything went well.”
Uefa, the tournament organiser, said
that it was “committed to remain politi-
europa league
Quarter-final draw
RB Leipzig (Germany) v Marseilles
(France)
Arsenal v CSKA Moscow (Russia)
Atletico Madrid (Spain) v Sporting
Lisbon (Portugal)
Lazio (Italy) v Red Bull Salzburg
(Austria)
First legs to be played on April 5,
second legs on April 12
cally neutral and will not get involved
in governmental affairs”.
It said in a statement: “As is the case
in all our competitions, Uefa has rules
regarding safety and security in relation to the organisation of matches and
works closely with all clubs and local
authorities to ensure all necessary
measures are implemented to guarantee safety for all involved.”
Arsenal published the latest advice
from the Foreign Office on their website after the draw.
The advice was updated this week to
warn of “possible anti-British sentiment” due to the “heightened political
tensions between the UK and Russia”
and to recommend that visitors avoid
commenting publicly on political
developments.
The World Cup in Russia has been
the main focus of calls for a boycott,
with the Labour MP Stephen Kinnock
the latest to intervene, saying that Fifa
should be approached to move the
tournament to 2019 and for it to be
played in another country.
Fifa has already rejected any such
move and the Football Supporters’ Federation will tell England fans not to
travel to the World Cup only if the Foreign Office advises travellers not to go
to Russia. In that situation, fans’ insurance policies are likely to become
invalid.
The World Cup starts on June 14 but
England’s women’s team are due to play
Russia in an away match on June 8.
inside today
Putin has poisoned the World Cup
and plan to postpone it has merit
Leading article, main paper, page 27
Antonio Conte has issued a blunt challenge to the Chelsea players who have
lost their international places on his
watch, telling them to “not complain”
and “show they deserve to play”.
Álvaro Morata and Pedro were both
left out of the Spain squad yesterday, 24
hours after Gary Cahill was omitted
from Gareth Southgate’s latest England
selection for the friendlies against Holland and Italy this month.
“[I] understand [it’s a] hard time [for
those players],” Conte, whose side face
Leicester away in the FA Cup quarterfinal tomorrow, said. “[But] there is only
one way: to work hard and show that
you deserve to play. Not complain. I can
help them to improve and to work very
hard, to show that they deserve to go [to
the World Cup].”
Conte appeared to suggest that
Southgate had spoken to Cahill before
leaving him out in favour of Burnley’s
James Tarkowski and Swansea City’s
Alfie Mawson. “I think there was a chat
between the player and the manager —
I think, I am not telling you that I am
sure,” he said. “But usually before making this decision you want to have a chat
with the player to explain the reasons.”
Dele Alli has defended himself against
accusations that he dives to win
penalties and free kicks.
The Tottenham Hotspur and
England midfielder has been booked
for simulation in matches against
Huddersfield Town and Liverpool this
season and was accused of going down
too easily against Crystal Palace last
month.
“No one wants to be labelled as a
cheat,” Alli, 21, said, insisting that
Mauricio Pochettino, the Spurs manager, had not spoken to him about the
issue. “They are just opinions and
everyone’s is different. I get into the box
and around the box a lot and I’m an
attacking player so I get fouled a lot.”
Speaking at the launch of an
initiative to reduce crime in Haringey,
Alli added: “There are some that look
bad. But it’s different when you are in
the action.
“The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the
one I saw a lot of reaction to, I was
running through and, at the time, all
that was going through my head was
that I didn’t want to step on the ’keeper.
But when you watch it back and people
start saying stuff, it can look a lot
different.”
6
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Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
Sport Football
‘Rugby made
me tough. I was
fast so I didn’t
get tackled’
Will Grigg tells Henry Winter
about his journey from
public school to beating
Pep Guardiola while
becoming the darling
of terrace songsters
W
hen Will Grigg scored against
Manchester City, the decisive
goal meant more than the pride
and joy of pushing Wigan
Athletic towards this weekend’s
quarter-finals of the FA Cup. It meant more
than the ensuing amusement at the impact it
would have on his neighbours in Cheshire, split
between City and United fans. Grigg’s welltaken goal against such illustrious opponents
meant that everyone was reminded of why he
became the centre of the infernally catchy Will
Grigg’s On Fire hit in 2016. Grigg’s good.
“The reason the song came about was because
I scored 28 goals in the season [for Wigan], and
the fans were playing on that,” Grigg recalls. “It
came from such a successful period in my career
and that got forgotten a little bit in the summer,
and when I went to the Euros [where he sat on
the Northern Ireland bench]. I’m not going to
complain, it’s been brilliant for me, fans singing
your name is what you want. It is just important
to highlight why it came about, and the amount
“
I came out to warm up,
glanced up and the screens
had the lyrics to the song. A
few of the lads were looking at
me, and I thought, ‘Wow’
of people watching the City game [on February
19] definitely helped people realise.” Grigg’s
good.
They certainly realised in Seville two nights
later, where the first strains of the original music
of Freed from Desire sent 3,000 United fans into
a wild tribute to Grigg. “I got sent a few videos
and few texts from the Seville game,” Grigg
laughs. “I live in Cheshire, so there’s a lot of
United and City. I’ve been thanked by a few
neighbours, and cursed by a few.”
It did go crazy at Euro 2016 when everyone
sang it, not just Northern Ireland fans, but even
Eric Cantona was at it. “The one that stood out
for me was we were playing Germany in the
group stages, and I came out to warm up,
glanced up and the screens in each corner had
the lyrics to the song, and a few of the lads were
looking at me, and I thought, ‘Wow.’ ”
Grigg takes all the interest in his stride,
politely agreeing to a photographer’s request to
pose with a tray of pies before training on
Tuesday. Grigg’s, Greggs it’s all the same when
the FA Cup comes around. Earlier, one of the
match-day mascots, Connah Campbell, who
worships Grigg, joined the striker and Paul
Cook’s players for breakfast in the canteen at
Euxton.
People warm to the 26-year-old, partly
because he has a fascinating story to tell, so
much more than a song and an eye for goal.
William Donald Grigg attended the rugbyplaying Solihull School, home of such exotic
alumni as the car nut Richard Hammond, the
drummer from Napalm Death, Miles Ratledge,
the former FA chairman Sir Bert Millichip and
assorted cricketers, diplomats and generals.
“It’s a great school and I was really privileged
to go there,” Grigg says. “It wasn’t a case of me
having a nice and easy background and you just
go to a nice private school. My dad was an
electrician, Mum had various jobs, and they
worked really hard to give me that opportunity.
“I did CCF [Combined Cadet Force] and the
Duke of Edinburgh. The school owns a cottage
in Snowdonia, so we’d stay there and climb
Snowdon. I played rugby. I was one of the
quickest ones so I was stuck out on the wing; we
did quite well at sevens, and went to a few finals
in London.
“It was OK for a few years, because I wasn’t
getting tackled as I was quicker than everyone.
It was nice and easy just spinning through
people, but as soon as it got to the stage where I
took a few big hits, I thought, ‘Woah, this isn’t
for me.’ ” There were two residual benefits for
football. “To a certain extent, rugby toughens
you up and some of the evasion skills are
similar,” he says.
He combined playing rugby at school with
football at Birmingham City until he was
released as a 15-year-old, having broken his leg.
He started a BTec in sports science at Solihull
College, where the team was run by Micky
Moore, manager of Stratford Town. The
Midland Alliance side had an FA Cup first
qualifying-round tie against Hednesford Town
coming up, and Moore drafted in the 16-yearold.
“He threw me in at the deep end,” Grigg says
laughing. “He didn’t tell me. He took me along,
and suddenly I was making my debut, in the FA
Cup. I was thrown into a side with men. I knew
of the FA Cup but I didn’t know the grand scale
of it as I do now. It’s crazy from being back then,
coming through the ranks [at Walsall, Brentford,
MK Dons and now Wigan], playing in the lower
leagues, to where I am now, getting to the
quarter-finals. It’s not something I’d have
dreamt of.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, playing at smaller
stadiums, and definitely makes me appreciate
playing here every week, a stadium I watched in
the Premier League.” There were almost 20,000
at the DW when City visited.
“It was a massive day. We had a game plan
where we wanted to press them high, and get in
their faces, but the first time we tried it they
passed around us like we weren’t even there.
The lads looked at each other and said we might
have to sit off a bit here, which we eventually
did.
“City’s rotation at the top end of the pitch and
midfield we couldn’t really deal with. They draw
you in to create space behind you and then
move the ball so quickly. City seem on a
different level to most teams in the Premier
League at the moment let alone teams at our
[League One] level.”
He missed the half-time shenanigans in the
Grigg aims to continue
his cup heroics against
Southampton tomorrow
since relegation in 2013, wigan have beaten premier league teams six times
year
round
team
score
2013-14
Fourth round
Crystal Palace (h)
2-1
2013-14
Fifth round
Cardiff City (h)
2-1
2013-14
Quarter-final
Manchester City (a)
2-1
2017-18
Third round
Bournemouth (h)
3-0 (replay)
2017-18
Fourth round
West Ham (h)
2-0
2017-18
Fifth round
Manchester City (h)
1-0
tunnel with Pep Guardiola remonstrating with
Cook. Guardiola was still enraged by Fabian
Delph’s (deserved)] red card for lunging at Max
Power. “I got in quite early so I missed that,
which was unfortunate,” he says. “The stakes are
so high and the sending-off they weren’t too
happy about. At the time it was a straight red and
after it was a straight red, especially nowadays.”
City’s night got worse in the 79th minute. “As
soon as I saw Kyle Walker hesitate for a split
second I knew that was my chance, and
fortunately I got to the ball first. I was in a foot
race with Kyle Walker and John Stones which
wasn’t ideal. My first touch was perfect and, as
soon as I got myself in that situation, I’d back
myself every time.” He placed the ball smoothly
past Claudio Bravo.
“I don’t think City were best pleased they’d
lost. They were coming to our place expecting to
win. Things got heated [at half-time] but they
were fine afterwards, they were respectful. I
tried to get Sergio Agüero’s shirt. They have
some security so it was hard to get in with them.
I spoke to someone outside [City’s changing
room] and he went in.” He never reappeared, so
Grigg didn’t get Agüero’s shirt. “They are quite
busy,” Grigg says politely. “They were
concentrated on getting sorted to leave.”
The 1-0 scoreline was a repeat of Wigan’s
shock FA Cup final victory over City at
Wembley in 2013 (two years before Grigg
signed). “The history the club has got with the
cup is massive,” he says. “You walk around the
training ground and the stadium and there are
the times | Saturday March 17 2018
7
1G S
Sport
MARK ROBINSON FOR THE TIMES
cup top scorers
7
Will Grigg, Wigan Athletic
61 mins per goal
6
Ian Henderson, Rochdale
105 mins per goal
5
Jack Marriott,
Peterborough United
104 mins per goal
5
Jayden Stockley, Exeter
78 mins per goal
4
Romelu Lukaku, Man Utd
40 mins per goal
4
Harry Kane, Tottenham
46 mins per goal
4
Kelechi Iheanacho,
Leicester City
65 mins per goal
photos of the cup everywhere, there are
memories everywhere, whoever you talk to,
people in the kitchen, the kit man, players and
fans, winning the cup is something that people
will never forget.
“At the start of the season our sole aim was
promotion and still is but, when you start
playing in the cup, you sense the taste for an
upset, for success, and as soon as we beat that
first Premier League team [Bournemouth in
the third round, then West Ham United] you
saw the belief in the side.
“We love an underdog in this country,
and especially the FA Cup gives everyone
from the lower leagues a chance. We
know we’ve been underdogs in those
games and will be [against
Southampton tomorrow] and
that gives you that extra
incentive.”
He knows Southampton
will be difficult, especially
with Mauricio Pellegrino going and Mark
Hughes coming in. “We’ve got a group
[WhatsApp] chat and the lads went, ‘Oh no,
not exactly what we wanted.’ You tend to
get a little reaction when a manager goes,”
he says.
He’s hoping that Steven Davis, his
Northern Ireland captain, has recovered
from a hamstring problem. “I might drop
him a little text to see how he’s feeling.
Steven’s one of the best players I’ve played
with, an absolutely amazing guy, a natural
leader not necessarily screaming and
shouting but with his ability and the way he
conducts himself.”
“As a young lad it’s difficult to get
Grigg receives a
hug from Ryan
Colclough after
scoring against
Manchester City
involved, especially going from League One into
a group of players who’ve played 300, 400
Premier League games but Davo connects all
the players. He gets everyone involved and gets
that camaraderie going.”
Grigg spoke to the Northern Ireland manager,
Michael O’Neill, and asked to be excused from
the Windsor Park friendly against South Korea
a week today as Wigan have important fixtures
against Bury that day and Walsall this
Wednesday. “You want to play for your country
but essentially the club has to come first at this
moment because of how serious the situation
we are in is,” he says. “I didn’t feel I was in a
position to miss two massive games and Michael
fully understood.
“Michael’s got so many qualities. He knows
we’re not going to dominate the ball, so he makes
us very compact. Our strengths are defending as
a team, and counterattacking when we can. It’s
not a case of, if you go away for a week, it’s all
nice and fun. He works us relentlessly.”
Grigg is similarly effusive about Cook, who
took over Wigan last summer. “The manager
here is brilliant,” he says. “We’d lost our way last
season, should never have gone down, we had a
good bunch of players. People say footballers
sometimes don’t care, but it was a horrible time,
we knew the consequences of getting relegated
[including staff redundancies]. The lads came
in this year to try and put it right but we
needed a path.”
Cook has shown them the path. “He
came in and put his strategy [of intensity]
and everyone bought into that. He got a
great atmosphere going. He’s very bubbly.
And we are creating new memories in the
cup. The FA Cup is still massive.”
Matt Hughes Football Notebook
Wilshere bid
by Everton to
include £8m
sign-on fee
the forthcoming warm-up games, and
a further £500,000 if the 25-year-old
defender plays in a competitive game,
the first opportunity for him to do so
being if he is named in Gareth
Southgate’s World Cup squad.
Tarkowski moved to Burnley for
an initial £3 million two years ago,
with the fee also including a sell-on
clause and several potential bonus
payments.
E
Silva instructs lawyers
verton are prepared to pay
Jack Wilshere a staggering
£8 million signing-on fee to
move to Goodison Park this
summer. The Arsenal
midfield player is available on a free
transfer at the end of the season as he
has yet to agree a new contract at the
Emirates Stadium, and Everton are
making an aggressive play for his
signature. Wilshere’s preference is to
stay at Arsenal despite the prospect of
earning far more money elsewhere,
but the two parties are not close to an
agreement. Arsenal’s opening
contract offer to Wilshere involved
him accepting a cut in his basic wages
to £80,000 a week, although he would
have the chance to increase it
significantly through bonus and
appearance payments.
Wolves divide top flight
P
remier League clubs are divided
on the issue of whether the
competition should take action
against Wolverhampton Wanderers if
they are promoted to the top flight. A
number of clubs feel that the fact that
a subsidiary of Wolves’s owners,
Fosun, owns a 20 per cent stake in
Jorge Mendes’s company Gestifute is
clear evidence of third-party
influence and believe that the rules
should be tightened up. Others are
relaxed about the situation, not least
because many rely on the Portuguese
agent for players and are reluctant to
challenge his influence.
Wolves have not breached the rules
on third-party ownership, as there is
nothing in the existing regulations to
prevent a club from taking a share in
a player agency, although many
within the game believe the rulebook
should be altered to outlaw such a
practice, as the Leeds United owner
Andrea Radrizzani outlined in a letter
to the Premier League, the FA and
the EFL this week. The FA and the
EFL signed off Wolves’s links to
Mendes after Fosun’s takeover in 2016
and the club are confident that they
will also comply with the Premier
League’s ownership regulations,
which are almost identical.
One significant difference between
the two leagues, however, is that with
over £100 million in television
revenue to hand out to member clubs
each season, the Premier League has
a far stronger negotiating position
than the EFL, whose interpretation of
its ownership rules may also be
affected by the fact that it needs to
have 72 different owners. The Premier
League could theoretically use the
television money as a bargaining chip
to force Fosun to reduce the size of its
subsidiary’s stake in Gestifute,
although it would only do so if such
action were demanded by 14 clubs
and if they had the support of the
FA.
Brentford’s big bonus
B
rentford are in line to receive a
£1 million bonus payment from
Burnley after James Tarkowski’s
call-up to the England squad this
week. The Championship club will
receive £500,000 if Tarkowski makes
his England debut, which is likely to
come against Holland or Italy in
W
atford are refusing to pay
compensation to Marco Silva
despite their former
manager threatening legal action
against the club. The Times revealed
last month that Silva had instructed
lawyers after failing to receive a
payoff after his sacking by Watford in
January, but his former employers are
refusing to back down. Watford’s
intransigence is understood to be
based on their belief that Silva
breached his contract before his
dismissal by talking to Everton
about the manager’s job at Goodison
Park without their permission last
autumn.
West Brom stick to plan
W
est Bromwich Albion’s
struggles under Tony Pulis
and Alan Pardew that seem
destined to end in relegation have not
altered the club’s preferred
management model, and the owners
want to appoint another British
manager to lead their attempt to win
promotion from the Championship
next season. Graham Potter, the
Ostersunds coach, the former
Swansea City manager Paul Clement
and Leicester City’s assistant coach
Michael Appleton are among the
leading candidates to replace Pardew,
who will be sacked at the end of the
season.
Not so secret talks
C
landestine meetings between
clubs and potential new players
or managers are commonplace,
but not all take place amid the
secrecy one might expect. A leading
Championship club recently sent a
delegation to meet an out-of-work
manager, who upon arriving at the
appointed hotel was surprised to find
a group of men
all wearing
the club’s
first-team
shirt.
8
2G S
Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
Sport Football
‘I offered my finalists’ medal but
Brighton wanted my white shoes’
As Brighton face Manchester
United today, Alyson Rudd
talks to Jimmy
Melia about the
final that
secured his
place in FA Cup
folklore
N
ostalgia has a habit of twisting the
facts but few would disagree that the
1983 FA Cup final was among the
most absorbing and bizarre of all
time, a match notable for fine
football, white shoes, late drama, the romance
that only a feisty underdog can bring to a
showpiece occasion — and for Jimmy Melia.
This evening the two clubs involved 35 years
ago meet again when Brighton travel to Old
Trafford for their FA Cup quarter-final.
Brighton had just been relegated when they
stepped out at Wembley in 1983 but Melia, while
unable to halt the slide out of the top flight for a
team he had inherited at the foot of the table,
had overseen a remarkable cup run.
It was a run that took him to Anfield, where
he had made his name as a player and had
registered an early interest in fairytales by
scoring on his debut aged 18 in front of the Kop.
He scored more than 100 goals in his career but
he says this is the only one he remembers
vividly. It was 1955 and he has not stood still
since. Melia is 80 but is still coaching as part of
the Liverpool family in Dallas for the club’s
international academy, flying back and forth
between Texas and Merseyside.
So entrenched is Melia in the city of his birth
that, when Brighton defeated Liverpool en route
to Wembley, he forgot who he was and why he
was there. “After the game, I didn’t realise I ran
to the Kop,” he recalls. “I didn’t mean to insult
them in any way. The emotions were so high
having just beaten Liverpool.
“The Kop was a little bit stunned because they
lost the game. I just wasn’t thinking, I was so
used to being at Anfield and being part of the
Kop, particularly as I scored my first goal in my
first game in front of the Kop.”
Melia, though, was a man who wore his heart
on his sleeve, and his sleeves were flamboyant.
“I’ve always been a smart dresser,” he says.
“There wasn’t any specific reason for wearing
white shoes.”
His footwear was a memorable feature of the
1983 final. He wore them and his players wore
them when they stepped off the helicopter that
flew them to London. It was as if relegation had
freed them of any inhibitions and they were
certainly immune to accusations of hubris. Deep
into extra time with the score 2-2, Gordon
Smith very nearly sealed victory for Brighton.
Ron Atkinson, the United manager, looked on
as his defence were torn open and assumed it
was all over but Smith summoned a relatively
tame shot that was smothered by Gary Bailey,
the United goalkeeper.
“Everyone wanted us to win the final, which
we should have done, but things happen, you
know,” Melia says. “I gave more credit to the
goalkeeper at that stage. Everywhere Gordon
Smith goes they say, ‘You’re the guy who should
have scored in the cup final.’”
Melia was not too distraught. In fact, his first
thought was for Steve Foster, a club stalwart,
who had missed the game through suspension
and could now feature at Wembley after all in
the replay, which they lost 4-0. “I didn’t expect
us to lose by so much but two cup finals isn’t so
bad,” Melia says.
He offered the finalists’ medal he was
awarded to the club after he was paraded in
Slaves to fashion: the Brighton squad from 1983, from left: Neil Smillie, Jimmy Case, Michael Robinson, Chris Ramsey, Gary Howlett, Graham Pearce,
Steve Gatting, Kieran O’Regan, Smith, Melia, Perry Digweed, Terry Connor, Gary Stevens, Steve Foster, Tony Grealish, Graham Moseley, Gerry Ryan
where are they now? brighton’s starting xi from the 1983 fa cup final
Graham Moseley, 29 years old on
match day, May 21, 1983.
Signed from Derby in 1977, retired
five years after the final. Now aged
64 and a delivery driver for the post
office in Chepstow.
Steve Gatting 23
Brother of the former England
cricket captain Mike Gatting, Steve
played 316 games for Brighton
before moving to Charlton Athletic.
Now the Arsenal under-23 coach.
Chris Ramsey 21
The defender finished his career
playing in Malta and the US, before
becoming a coach. Managed QPR in
2015, was sacked after nine months
but returned as technical director.
Graham Pearce 23
The left back spent four years at
Brighton before spells with
numerous clubs, including
Gillingham and Brentford. Now a PE
teacher in south London.
Gary Stevens 21
Moved to Tottenham after the final
and won seven England caps. Now a
TV pundit in Malaysia after spells
coaching in Azerbaijan and Thailand.
Gary Howlett 20
Provided the cross for Smith’s goal.
Won one cap for Ireland. Now
manages Killester United in the
Leinster Senior League.
front of fans this season at the Amex Stadium
but he says the club were more interested in
being able to display those white shoes.
Melia the manager and Melia the player were
moulded by Bill Shankly. “The first memory
that springs to mind is seeing Shankly turning
up to training for the first time with a bag of
balls on his back,” he says. “Everything had been
about running and he taught us that everything
was about the ball. There was pass and move
and shooting drills, he completely changed the
club.”
When it came to his big moment, Melia
heeded the example set by the Liverpool
manager. Shankly had nothing to do with the
helicopter, which did not bother the United
team one jot, but he did inspire Melia to make
sure that it was Atkinson’s players who were
kept waiting in the Wembley tunnel.
“Shankly, he taught me, when you come out
Tony Grealish 26
The captain at Wembley. The
combative midfielder was capped
45 times for Ireland. Died from
cancer in 2013, aged 56.
Jimmy Case 29
A triple European Cup winner with
Liverpool before joining Brighton.
Known for his fierce shots on goal.
Briefly managed Brighton 1995-96,
and now works for LFC TV.
Neil Smillie 24
A journeyman career included two
loan spells at the US team, Memphis
Rogues. Managed Wycombe
Wanderers, once as caretaker. Now
a marketing manager for Nike.
in that corridor at Wembley, normally you find
the teams are waiting for each other so I made
sure that Man United went out first so we
weren’t waiting in the tunnel because that would
have made the boys more nervous. Instead, we
were confident and people say that was one of
the best cup finals played at Wembley.”
Melia left Brighton, a club in rapid decline,
five months later. “The amazing thing is I then
went to Portugal that October and won the
second division with Belenenses and the
following season I finished sixth in the top
league. I walked on water for nearly two
years.”
He is not exaggerating too much. Out in a bar
one evening Eusebio recognised Melia, walked
over and sat down for a chat. When Melia
briefly left the table, his girlfriend filled the
silence by asking Eusebio if he had ever played
football. “She said that — to one of the best
Michael Robinson 24
Capped 24 times by Ireland, the
forward went on to win the
European Cup with Liverpool but
was often used as subsitute. Moved
to play in Spain for Osasuna. Now a
Spanish citizen, working in Spanish
TV, and voiced an ugly sister in the
dubbed Spanish version of Shrek.
Gordon Smith 28
The Scot whose miss led to the
famous commentary line,
“and Smith must score”. Later
became chief executive of the
Scottish Football Association and
was briefly the director of football
at Rangers before the club went
into administration.
players of all time,” he laughs. It sounds like a
joke that Jimmy Tarbuck might tell, which is
probably because the comedian has already
heard the story many times. It was the Melia
family who kick-started Tarbuck’s career. The
pair were childhood friends through their
parents both having jobs in bookmaking.
“When I signed for Liverpool, Jimmy was
always with us, watching me play for Liverpool
schoolboys because he lived up by Penny Lane.
We all went to the Caerphilly holiday camp
together. They had a competition on for
comedians, so we pushed him in and he won the
competition and within a year he’s on at Her
Majesty’s. We all appeared on This is Your Life
when it was for him.
“The funny thing was Jimmy, a big Liverpool
fan, was on stage that Sunday, after Brighton
won at Anfield, and he said: ‘Jimmy Melia, my
mate, I hope the rest of his hair falls out.’ ”
the times | Saturday March 17 2018
9
3G S
Sport
Oliver Kay
Chief Football Correspondent
Hughes is a builder,
not the firefighter
Southampton need
S
outhampton supporters may wish to turn
the page quickly. Mark Hughes has some
obvious qualities as a manager, no matter
how badly it ended for him at Queens Park
Rangers and Stoke City, but when it comes
to the clichéd firefighting job he has taken on the
south coast, he seems an unlikely Red Adair.
Hughes has eight games to save a team who lie
one point and one place above the Premier League’s
relegation zone after Mauricio Pellegrino’s dismissal
this week. A reasonable target would be three wins
from those eight matches, so how many wins has he
registered in his first eight games in his previous
five Premier League jobs? One at Blackburn Rovers,
three at Manchester City, one at Fulham, one at
QPR and two at Stoke.
Everything about Hughes’s record, including his
time in charge of Wales, reinforces the view of a
manager who will improve a team if he is given the
time to do so. On arrival at Stoke in the summer of
2013, he promised “steady progress” — and that was
what he delivered for three seasons of top-half
finishes and appealing football before things began
to stagnate halfway through year four.
Improvement has not always been as sustained as
it was at Blackburn (four seasons) and Stoke (the
first three seasons), and the QPR experience was
pretty wretched for all concerned, but one
recurring theme is that his teams have been an
awful lot better once a difficult first few months are
out of the way.
His first eight games at Blackburn: 0.88 points per
game. His next 25 games: 1.32 points per game. His
first 18 games at Manchester City: 1 point per game.
His next 20 games: 1.6 points per game. His first 11
games at Fulham: 0.91 points per game. His next 27
games: 1.56 points per game. His first eight games at
QPR: 0.63 points per game. His next ten games: 1.5
points per game. His first 11 games at Stoke: 0.91
points per game. His next 27 games: 1.48 points per
game. You get the picture. Under Hughes there
always seems to be a moment when things click
into place. Usually that has taken a couple of
months. The difference this time is that it needs to
happen instantly.
Hughes prides himself on being a builder, not a
firefighter. Most managers do — and that includes
those renowned firefighters Sam Allardyce and
Tony Pulis, who would cite their work over eight
years at Bolton Wanderers and seven years at Stoke
respectively, as proof of that. But take a look at the
nine managerial appointments over the course of
this season (Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace, Claude
Puel at Leicester City, Allardyce at Everton, David
Moyes at West Ham United, Alan Pardew at West
Bromwich Albion, Carlos Carvalhal at Swansea
City, Paul Lambert at Stoke City, Javi Gracia at
Watford and now Hughes at Southampton) and
you will not sense much appetite for building.
Moyes, Carvalhal and Hughes are on initial
contracts until the end of the season. Allardyce’s
deal at Everton runs until the end of next
season, as do Hodgson’s and Gracia’s, but
Allardyce says that he is “under no illusions”
about his prospects if results do not improve.
Pre-season managerial appointments tend to
reflect a desire to build for the longer term —
even if the strength of that desire was summed up
by Crystal Palace’s dismissal of Frank de Boer
after losing his first four Premier League games in
charge. Mid-season appointments tend to reflect a
state of desperation, a sense of panic at the
growing threat of relegation. Every season in the
Premier League is worth at least £100 million in
broadcast revenue alone. Even with parachute
payments designed to soften their landing in
the Sky Bet Championship, broadcast revenue
will drop to £24 million in the first season after
relegation. It gets much harder after that as
the parachute payments drop and the
enthusiasm of sponsors, as well as fans, tends
to recede.
English football’s financial model has
created a damaging culture of shorttermism where, for so many clubs, survival
in the Premier League has become an end
in itself. That is why, when it comes to
managerial appointments, there is a
tendency to turn to the tried and
(relatively) trusted. That is also why,
as the financial stakes become ever
higher, there is such an aversion to
risk, both in playing style and in
team selection, where, again, the
tried and (relatively) trusted are
preferred to raw, unproven talent.
Do the managerial changes
work? In the majority of cases,
they seem to have brought the
uplift that was craved. Under their
previous managers, West Ham,
Everton, West Brom, Swansea
and Stoke all averaged less than
one point per game. (Palace did
not pick up a single point under
De Boer.) Those figures have
increased notably for Swansea
under Carvalhal (1.8 points per
game), Everton under Allardyce
(1.38), West Ham under Moyes
Diving an English disease
areth Southgate plans to speak to England’s
players about the dangers of diving at the
World Cup, warning them that, with VAR
in play, they will need to be careful. The
concern, though, is that they will be unable to
stop themselves.
Some will argue that Danny Welbeck was
“clever” when he took a tumble to win a
penalty for Arsenal against AC Milan on
Thursday, but the reality is that the
modern English footballer has been
conditioned to act this way. See an
outstretched leg? Tangle with it. Feel
contact? Throw yourself to the floor.
The contrast with Lionel Messi, who
rode every challenge that came his way
against Chelsea on Wednesday, is stark.
Diving has always been unedifying, but
it’s an English disease these days.
G
Hughes must make
an instant impact to
keep his new club in
the Premier League
but history suggests
it will be a tall order
Brady apologises to fans after protest
Karren Brady has apologised to West
Ham United supporters in the wake of
the angry demonstrations that marred
their home defeat by Burnley last
weekend, when fans invaded the pitch
and protested at the club’s owners.
Brady described it as “one of the most
painful days in the history of the club”
as supporter unrest at the London
Stadium was coupled with a slide into a
Premier League relegation battle.
In her column in The Sun, the West
Ham vice-chairman said: “Nothing is
more important than ensuring our fans
are able to come and support the team
safely.
“The board would like to offer our
sincere apologies to the vast majority of
our supporters who turned up to
support their club, lots of them with
young children.
“We take full responsibility for the
changes that need to be made to the
stadium. And let me be frank, the board
takes full responsibility for our
predicament.
“Ultimately the table does not lie
and, just like the team, we are judged on
our position. We know that improving
the situation at the club is our responsibility.
“We have eight games to play.
Getting the points we need has to be the
priority. We don’t run from difficult
situations. It is our supporters’ club. But
it is our problem to fix.”
(1.11) and Palace under Hodgson (1.04). Stoke,
though, have gone from 0.91 points per game
under Hughes to 0.75 under Lambert, while West
Brom have gone from 0.86 under Pulis to a
dismal 0.5 under Pardew.
The bar for improvement was set higher at
Leicester City and Watford, but Claude Puel and
Gracia have taken 1.48 and 1.8 points per game
respectively. The fact that Puel, Gracia and
Carvalhal have delivered the biggest upturns, all
of them having been appointed amid some
scepticism, will do little for the cause of British
managers. Neither will the fact that, for
Allardyce, Hodgson and Moyes, a notable
“bounce” has been followed by a regression.
Palace, after a slow start under Hodgson, took 25
points from 16 games (1.56 per game) between
mid-October and mid-January but have since
gone seven games without a win (0.29 per game).
West Ham, similarly, took a few weeks to get
going under Moyes but then took 15 points from
eight matches (1.88 points per game) before
winning just one of their past seven (0.71 points
per game) as a malaise has taken hold once more.
What was the brief at Everton, Palace and West
Ham, though? It was all about survival and
stability. Allardyce, Hodgson and Moyes can all
claim to have given those clubs a much better
chance of that, even if, for Palace and West Ham,
the threat of relegation remains stark. Pardew, of
course, can claim nothing of the sort. Whatever his
shortcomings, he has been good at eliciting a shortterm bounce in the past. At West Brom, there has
not even been a dead-cat bounce.
A sharp, immediate upturn is what Southampton
need under Hughes. They won just one of their last
17 Premier League matches under Pellegrino (0.71
points per game, in case you were wondering) and
a continuation of that trend would leave them on
33 points, which is unlikely to be anything like
enough.
Hughes’s way has always been to build slowly, to
work on the fundamentals and to build up speed
and intensity, being prepared to take a step back
over the first few weeks of a new job in the
expectation of taking two or three steps forward
once his methods have begun to sink in. He
will know, though, that there is no time
for that now. Firefighting is what
the job has become.
Audition for England rivals
Paul Joyce
Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland will
try to seize the initiative in the battle
to become England’s World Cup
goalkeeper when they meet today.
Gareth Southgate, the England
manager, has stated that the “No 1 jersey
is up for grabs” and Everton’s trip to
Stoke City allows the duo to go head to
head. The way is clear for Pickford and
Butland to make an impression before
England’s friendly matches with
Holland and Italy next week, with
neither Joe Hart nor Nick Pope playing
this weekend.
Southgate will not be at the match
but the England goalkeeping coach
Martyn Margetson works with
Pickford every day at Everton and Sam
Allardyce believes he is outperforming
his rivals.
“He has been our most consistent
player,” the Everton manager said.
10
2G S
Sport Football
The ultimate weekend guide 2017-18
Premier League
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Man City
Man Utd
Tottenham
Liverpool
Chelsea
Arsenal
Burnley
Leicester
Everton
Watford
Brighton
Bournemouth
Newcastle
Swansea
Huddersfield
West Ham
Southampton
Crystal Palace
Stoke
West Brom
P W
30 26
30 20
30 18
30 17
30 17
30 14
30 11
30 10
30 10
30 10
30
8
30
8
30
8
30
8
30
8
30
7
30
5
30
6
30
6
30
3
D
3
5
7
9
5
6
10
10
7
6
10
9
8
7
7
9
13
9
9
11
L F A GD Pts
1 85 20 65 81
5 58 23 35 65
5 59 25 34 61
4 68 34 34 60
8 52 27 25 56
10 55 41 14 48
9 27 26
1 43
10 45 43
2 40
13 35 49 -14 37
14 39 50 -11 36
12 28 40 -12 34
13 35 48 -13 33
14 30 40 -10 32
15 25 42 -17 31
15 25 50 -25 31
14 36 57 -21 30
12 29 44 -15 28
15 28 48 -20 27
15 28 56 -28 27
16 23 47 -24 20
Leading goalscorers: 24 H Kane (Tottenham); M Salah
(Liverpool). 21 S Agüero (Man City). 15 R Sterling (Man
City). 14 R Lukaku (Man Utd). 14 J Vardy (Leicester).
TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.20pm Radio talkSPORT 2 Times app Highlights, 5.15pm
Make-or-break week
is no time to panic
The dreaded gameweek
has arrived: four
Premier League fixtures
and only one team in the
top eight taking part.
Hopefully you have
spent the past few weeks
preparing for this —
seven or eight players,
provided three of them
play for Liverpool, is fine.
Huddersfield’s schedule
looks friendly but, as we
warned last week, they
have been uninspiring
this year.
Liverpool aside, there
aren’t many players who
stand out. A fit-again
Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m)
catches the eye, as does
the in-form Junior
Stanislas (£5.9m), while
Xherdan Shaqiri (£6.4m)
has provided a regular
goal threat in recent
weeks.
High-end FPL strikers
were dropping like flies
in Gameweek 30, which
nobody likes to see.
Harry Kane suffered
ankle ligament damage
against Bournemouth;
an obvious replacement
is Pierre-Emerick
Aubameyang (£10.5m).
He is cup-tied for the
Europa League so will be
fresh for Arsenal’s
saunter down the home
straight and has three
goals in his five league
games. And you will save
£2.3 million.
There was also news
that Sergio Agüero will
miss two weeks, which
includes Manchester
City’s win against Stoke
City on Monday and not
much else. If you’ve got
Agüero, don’t panic-sell
but wait to see how the
injury is before the
Gameweek 32 deadline
— remember that,
because of the
international break,
their next game is not
until March 31 away to
Everton. He could easily
be back by then.
BOURNEMOUTH
Injured Mings, Pugh
Doubt Fraser
(4-2-3-1)
Begovic
Francis
S Cook
Aké
Smith
King
Wilson
Stanislas
7 West Brom goals in
opening 11 minutes of games
in 2018 – two more than any
other Premier League team
Rodriguez
Livermore
Krychowiak
Hegazi
Evans
Gibbs
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 50%
D 25%
A 25%
Burke
Nyom
Foster
Home win
4/5
(4-4-1-1)
Referee G Scott (15 games)
28 Last 5 Bou WLDDL
1
Watch every Premier League
goal first on The Times
phone app with in-game
video clips. Plus see
highlights of every
FA Cup match
Sat 3pm highlights available at 5.15pm
WB LLLLL
Today
3pm
Huddersfield v Crystal Palace
TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.20pm Times app Highlights, 5.15pm
Hadergjonaj
Zanka
Schindler Malone
Hogg
Manchester United
José Izquierdo has
scored two
spectacular,
long-range goals in
his first season at
Brighton – both
against West Ham
United
October Goal away
v West Ham
CRYSTAL PALACE
Injured Sakho, Ward, Dann,
Puncheon, Wickham
Mooy
Mounié
Zaha
Schlupp
Benteke
Townsend
Milivojevic
McArthur
Van Aanholt Tomkins
Kelly Wan-Bissaka
0 Palace points in 12 league
games without Zaha in
starting XI since mid-Jan
2017; 52 in 36 with him
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 34%
D 26%
A 40%
Hennessey
Draw
21/10
(4-3-3)
Referee M Dean (20 games)
2
72
Hud LWWLD
CP DLLLL
Today
3pm
Stoke v Everton
TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.20pm Radio BBC 5 Live Sports Extra
Times app Highlights, 5.15pm
STOKE
Injured Grant, Ireland
(4-2-3-1)
Butland
Zouma Martins Indi Pieters
Cameron
Shaqiri
EVERTON
Injured Sigurdsson, Mangala,
McCarthy
Ndiaye
Allen
Sobhi
6 Everton away defeats in row;
they conceded after 73rd
minute each time
Crouch
Bolasie
Tosun
Walcott
Rooney
Gueye
Davies
Baines
Keane
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 40%
D 26%
A 34%
Jagielka Coleman
Pickford
Referee M Atkinson (22 games)
Draw
9/4
4
75
Sto LDDDL
Eve LWLLW
Today
5.30pm
Liverpool v Watford
TV Live, BT Sport 1, 10.20pm Radio talkSPORT Times app Live updates
(4-3-3)
LIVERPOOL
Not fit Clyne
Karius
Gomez
Matip
Van Dijk Robertson
OxladeChamberlain
Henderson
Can
Salah
Firmino
Mané
Richarlison
Deeney
Holebas
Antonio
Valencia
Pritchard Van La Parra
Ince
Bauer
v
HUDDERSFIELD
Injured Williams, Kongolo,
Hefele, Stankovic
Lössl
(4-3-3)
Don’t miss
a goal this
season
José Izquierdo
WEST BROM
Injured Barry, Sturridge, Chadli
Doubt Morrison
Rondón
Brunt
Head
to head
Brighton
Daniels
Gosling
L Cook
(4-2-3-1)
Paddy Von Behr,
Charlie Scott The Sweeper
Today
3pm
Bournemouth v West Brom
Capoue
Britos
Mariappa
Karnezis
Referee A Taylor (21 games)
1 Liverpool unbeaten home
league season since 1988
(2008-09) – can do it again by
avoiding defeat by Watford,
Bournemouth, Stoke, Brighton
Doucouré
Hughes
WATFORD
Injured Deulofeu, Cleverley,
Kabasele, Chalobah, Kaboul,
Wague
Femenia
Prödl
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 74%
D 16%
A 10%
Home win
1/5
(3-4-3)
0
76
Liv DWWWL
Wat WLWWL
February
Goal at home v West
Ham
Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
the times | Saturday March 17 2018
11
2G S
Sport
In association with
By Bill Edgar
Name the season
Can you work out which
season this table is from? P
1
2
3
4
20
21
22
Liverpool
Ipswich Town
Manchester United
Tottenham
Leeds United
Wolves
Middlesbrough
42
42
42
42
42
42
42
?
Answer in The Game on Monday
W
26
26
22
20
10
10
8
D
9
5
12
11
12
10
15
L
7
11
8
11
20
22
19
F
80
75
59
67
39
32
34
A
32
53
29
48
61
63
52
Sixth
round
Swansea v Tottenham
Today
12.15pm
TV Live, BT Sport 1 Radio BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT Times app Live updates
Pts
87
83
78
71
42
40
39
(3-5-2)
Bartley
Fernández
Ki
Mawson
TOTTENHAM
Injured Kane
Clucas
Naughton
Carroll
Dyer
Olsson
Abraham
Bill Edgar’s weekend numbers
The teams between the middle and just above the
bottom are the most tightly bunched in the Premier
League. This has tended to be the case over the past
two decades
SWANSEA
Injured Sanches, Rangel, Bony
Suspended J Ayew
Nordfeldt
Son
Alli
Lamela
Eriksen
Wanyama
Davies Vertonghen
Average points gap in final Premier League table
in past 20 years
Dier
Sanchez
Trippier
9 Swansea cup ties (including
EFL Cup) in past two seasons:
won all six against
lower-division sides, lost all
three against top-flight teams
Tony Cascarino’s
FA Cup predictions
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 13%
D 21%
A 65%
Swansea City v
Tottenham Hotspur
Wigan Athletic v
Southampton
Tottenham showed
against Bournemouth
that losing Harry Kane
to injury doesn’t have to
be a big deal. They
scored four goals after
he was substituted and
Dele Alli and Son
Heung-min, below,
certainly have goals in
them. Tottenham need a
victory to take away the
gloom of their
Champions League exit
at the hands of Juventus
and their squad is big
enough to achieve that.
Swansea City are
fighting relegation but I
don’t think that they or
any of the other
Premier League teams
in the FA Cup will make
many changes as they
won’t play in the league
again for two weeks
because of the
international break.
Swansea have done
unbelievably well in the
league in the past
couple of months but
they may relax a little
mentally here.
Verdict: Tottenham
Southampton lost all
their fight when they
were beaten 3-0 by
Newcastle United last
weekend, which is why
they replaced Mauricio
Pellegrino with Mark
Hughes as manager. If
Hughes’s teams have
anything it is that they
always match their
opponents physically.
He will send out his best
characters to get the job
done tomorrow. This is
a game that could give
Southampton momentum
in their attempt to avoid
the drop. Wigan have
shown that they can
hurt Premier League
teams in this FA Cup
campaign but their
pursuit of promotion
from League One is
distracting. They have
just played a tough
midweek match away to
Bradford City and have
two more games in the
six days following this.
Verdict: Southampton
Vorm
Home win
7/1
(4-2-3-1)
1st to 2nd
Referee K Friend (16 games)
0
38
2nd to 3rd
3rd to 4th
4th to 5th
TV Live, BT Sport 1 Radio BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT Times app Live updates
5th to 6th
(4-3-3)
MANCHESTER UNITED
Injured Herrera, Rojo, Jones,
Blind
Romero
6th to 7th
Valencia
Mata
9th to 10th
10th to 11th
Antonio Valencia
August 2009
Young
Matic
Pogba
Lukaku
Sánchez
Izquierdo Pröpper
BRIGHTON
Injured Sidwell
Suspended Knockaert
4 United victory margin over
Brighton in 1983 FA Cup final
replay (4-0), joint biggest in FA
Cup final since 1903
Gross
Kayal
March
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 69%
D 21%
A 9%
12th to 13th
Suttner
13th to 14th
Dunk
Duffy
14th to 15th
Schelotto
Ryan
15th to 16th
Draw
9/2
(4-4-2)
Referee A Marriner (21 games)
2
54
16th to 17th
Wigan Athletic v Southampton
17th to 18th
Tomorrow
1.30pm
18th to 19th
TV Live, BBC One Radio BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT Times app Live updates
19th to 20th
(4-2-3-1)
0
Michael Carrick
August 2006
Bailly
Murray
11th to 12th
Earliest debut among
present Manchester
United players
Lindelöf
McTominay
8th to 9th
Antonio Valencia will
become United’s
longest-serving
player when Michael
Carrick retires this
summer
Today
7.45pm
Manchester United v Brighton
7th to 8th
1
2
3
4
5
6
It will be no surprise if Swansea City take the lead
against Tottenham Hotspur today; if so, Spurs can be
expected to hit back
7
WIGAN ATHLETIC
Walton
Byrne
Dunkley
Burn
Morsy
Elder
SOUTHAMPTON
Injured Austin, Davies,
Yoshida
Power
Roberts
Massey
Jacobs
5 Previous times, before
Wigan, that a team have been
at least two divisions below
the other seven
quarter-finalists
Grigg
Tottenham in past 15 away games,
all competitions (none were 0-0)
Gabbiadini
Results: W2, D6, L4
Redmond
12 times
Tadic
Hojbjerg
Hoedt
Bertrand
Ward-Prowse
Lemina
Stephens
Cédric
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 32%
D 29%
A 39%
McCarthy
Home win
13/5
(4-2-3-1)
Results: W3, D0, L0
Referee M Oliver (25 games)
5
90
3 times
Chris Smalling
August 2010
Tomorrow
4.30pm
Leicester v Chelsea
Conceded first goal
Scored first goal
TV Live, BBC One Radio BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT Times app Live updates
(4-2-3-1)
LEICESTER
Injured Amartey
Schmeichel
Simpson
Morgan
Niddi
Hazard
Maguire
Okazaki
Mahrez
Chilwell
CHELSEA
Injured Barkley, Luiz
Iborra
Vardy
Morata
Palmieri
Albrighton
2 Chelsea goals scored, to 12
conceded by them, in away
games since early in Carabao
Cup match against Arsenal
Pedro
Zappacosta
Fabregas
Drinkwater
Cahill Christensen Rüdiger
Caballero
(3-4-2-1)
Referee C Pawson (19 games)
Spurs and United
need clean wins
after messy week
4
68
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 25%
D 24%
A 52%
Home win
5/2
Manchester United v
Brighton & Hove Albion
José Mourinho must
surely see that he was
too defensive in United’s
Champions League
defeat against Seville on
Tuesday and I have a
feeling that his team
will be far more positive
and aggressive today.
They have an abundance
of pace that was largely
unused against the
Spanish side but it will
be more evident in this
match, which I can see
United winning by
more than two goals.
They have
a huge
squad so
can
change
things
around
and still
have far
more
quality than
Brighton.
Chris Hughton will
want his side to give
United a good game
but I suspect he
won’t be too upset
if they are
knocked out,
given that they
still need points to
secure Premier
League safety.
Verdict: Man Utd
Leicester City v Chelsea
Chelsea put in a lot of
effort in Barcelona on
Wednesday and may
struggle to cope with a
Leicester side full of
energy. Antonio Conte’s
men will not relish facing
a team with a lot of
pace, turning them and
running in behind them.
Chelsea’s system of
three centre backs suits
Jamie Vardy perfectly as
the striker loves to
sprint beyond the back
line, often from out on
the left.
Claude Puel, the
Leicester manager,
has shown that
he is capable of
reaching a final,
having done so
with
Southampton
in the EFL
Cup last
season, and
his present
team’s
league
position
means that he
has no other
worries.
Chelsea’s
record of only
five wins in
17 games in
2018 is
alarming.
Verdict:
Leicester
12
2G S
Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
Sport Cheltenham Festival
Native River
hits winning
rhythm to
strike gold
Mark Souster Racing Writer
Fifteen went to post for the 2018 Timico
Cheltenham Gold Cup, but this was in
effect a two-horse race from start to
finish, with Native River leading virtually all the way to deny the favourite,
Might Bite. It was a duel worthy of the
name, a brutal examination of equine
spirit with the pair never flinching in
conditions that favoured the winner
and that the runner-up hated, but for
which his trainer made no excuses.
In defeat, and with the trainer Nicky
Henderson’s hopes of a unique
Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase
and Gold Cup treble gone, the esteem
in which his Might Bite is held can only
have risen. Native River had not quite
captured the imagination of the public
in the same way, his unflashy attitude
never quite getting the credit it deserved. No longer. “It was poetry,” Colin
Tizzard, his trainer, said after his maiden victory in the race. A man who once
bowled out Ian Botham at Somerset
Under-15 level, he could have been forgiven for adding: “Howzat?”
It has been a testing season — and
Festival — for Tizzard, not least with
the likely end to Cue Card’s career. But
in an hour of unalloyed joy he won the
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle with
33-1 outsider Kilbricken Storm before
his victory in the highlight of the
National Hunt calendar.
It was a masterful training performance, the Tizzards, father Colin and son
Joe having kept their nerve to ensure
their horse was fresh, running only
once this season after a campaign in
2016-17 that took the edge off him as he
finished third in this race behind Sizing
John. It was also a race in which
England broke the hegemony of Ireland and a sharp reminder that perhaps
all is not lost this side of the Irish Sea.
Richard Johnson claimed his second
Gold Cup 18 years after the first on
Looks Like Trouble, now enjoying a
peaceful retirement at the champion
jockey’s Herefordshire home. From
flag-fall yesterday, Johnson had Native
River beating out a rhythm of which
Ginger Baker would have been proud.
Might Bite was
unable to pull
ahead at the
last in testing,
soft conditions
Might Bite was the stalking horse,
kept just behind his rival before being
gathered for his challenge. Two out, he
seemed poised to make his move but,
when asked by Nico de Boinville for one
last effort after the final fence, the tank
was empty. The one downside was the
beating which Johnson gave to Native
River on the run-in. The stewards
found that he had used his whip with
“excessive frequency”, handing him a
seven-day ban and a £6,500 fine, one
commensurate with the status of the
race under British Horseracing Authority regulations.
“He’s a good horse, isn’t he?” Colin
Tizzard asked rhetorically. “Might Bite
looked as though he was going to take
big race result
3.30 Timico
Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase
1 Native River ........................................... 5-1
2 Might Bite ...................................... 4-1 fav
3 Anibale Fly .......................................... 33-1
4 Road To Respect .................................9-1
us whenever he liked. But two very
good jumps at the last two kept him
ahead. I can’t believe I have actually
watched this.”
Colin Tizzard thinks he first came to
Cheltenham to watch the Gold Cup in
1973, his hair almost a mane, as befitting
the era. “I was here as a boy never
dreaming I would have a runner here,
let alone a winner of the Gold Cup. For
me it is everything in life,” he said.
“The Irish had blown us away. I went
to the sales last night [at Cheltenham]
looking to buy one and couldn’t get
near one. You’ve got no chance [against
money like that]. I said to our lot this
morning: ‘We need to buck up a bit.’ We
have now, haven’t we? Just brilliant.”
As is his unflashy way, Johnson said
that he was merely a passenger. “He is a
fantastic horse to ride,” he said. “I
thought we had gone quite steady but
sometimes when you are on a good
horse, it doesn’t feel that quick. I
thought I needed to move it on a gear
down the back straight and the more I
asked from him, the better he jumped.
It was very testing conditions. I am not
sure we will see them as testing again.”
That undoubtedly blunted Might
Bite’s speed. “It is a pity it has had to be
run on ground like this because it
changes everything,” Nicky Henderson
said. “But you can’t say he tried to shirk
it. He had every reason to turn right
halfway up that run-in [as he did last
year in the RSA Chase] and say: ‘Sod
this for a game of soldiers. I’m off back.’
He never flinched. He is a gorgeous big
horse and his life is still in front of him.
“It is always difficult to finish second
but we made a race of it. We have been
lucky over the years and you have to
accept it. It has been a great week. It was
quite nice to see an England one-two.
That is the rarest thing of the week.”
Safety to be reviewed after day of four deaths
Mark Souster
The British Horseracing Authority
(BHA) will launch a review of equine
safety at Cheltenham after six horses
suffered fatal injuries at the Festival.
“The BHA will be reviewing the
circumstances leading to the fatalities,”
Jamie Stier, the chief regulatory officer,
said. “We will examine the evidence
from the past week over the next few
days before deciding how we will
pursue the review.
“We continue to use research, safety
measures, regulation and education to
reduce fatality rates to as close to zero
as possible. This is what has contributed
to the overall fatality rate within British
racing reducing by a third in the last 20
years, and the fatality rate in jump
racing reducing to below 0.4% of
runners.
“We will also be examining whether
the existing penalties for misuse of the
whip, and how they apply, constitute an
adequate deterrent to jockeys.”
Mossback, from the yard of Gordon
Elliott, who was the leading trainer for
the week with eight winners, and
Report To Base, from the Evan
Williams stable, died on Tuesday. Yesterday the tally rose by a further four.
Willie Mullins’s Sandsend had to be put
down after breaking a leg in the County
Hurdle but worse was to come in the
final race of the meeting, the Grand
Annual Chase, with three more
fatalities. North Hill Harvey, the
favourite from Dan Skelton’s yard, the
Henry De Bromhead-trained Someplan and Dresden, from the small
Worcestershire stable of James Davies,
died after falls.
It took the tally to 16 over the past
three Festivals.
Final day at a glance
Yesterday’s results
1.30 JCB Triumph
Hurdle
1 Farclas............................. 9-1
2 Mr Adjudicator ......... 8-1
3 Sayo .............................. 33-1
2.10 Randox Health
County Handicap
Hurdle
1 Mohaayed................... 33-1
2 Remiluc ...................... 50-1
3 Whiskey Sour ............. 7-1
4 Chesterfield............... 16-1
2.50 Albert Bartlett
Novices’ Hurdle
Top trainers
4.50 Martin Pipe
Conditional Jockeys’
Handicap Hurdle
1 Blow By Blow ............. 11-1
2 Discorama ................. 33-1
3 Early Doors.................. 9-1
4 Sire Du Berlais.......... 10-1
5.30 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual
Challenge Cup
Handicap Chase
1 Le Prezien................... 15-2
2 Gino Trail..................... 25-1
3 Top Gamble ................ 8-1
4 Theinval....................... 16-1
6 Full results on page 19
1 Kilbricken Storm.......33-1
2 Ok Corral .................... 16-1
3 Santini................... 11-4 fav
4.10 St James’s Place
Foxhunter Challenge
Cup Hunters’ Chase
1 Pacha Du Polder...... 25-1
2 Top Wood................... 50-1
3 Barel Of Laughs....... 14-1
3 Cousin Pete ............. 66-1
Dead-heat for third
70,684
Attendance
Gordon Elliott ..... 8 wins
Willie Mullins .................... 7
Nicky Henderson ........... 2
Colin Tizzard ..................... 2
Paul Nicholls...................... 2
Tom George ....................... 1
Nick Williams ..................... 1
Mick Channon .................. 1
Pat Kelly ............................... 1
Henry de Bromhead ..... 1
Warren Greatrex .............. 1
Dan Skelton......................... 1
Top jockeys
Davy Russell ....... 4 wins
Jack Kennedy .................. 4
Paul Townend .................. 2
Ruby Walsh ....................... 2
Barry Geraghty ............... 2
Noel Fehily ......................... 1
Nico de Boinville ............. 1
Bridget Andrews ............. 1
Harry Cobden ................... 1
Richard Johnson ............. 1
Harriet Tucker .................. 1
Donagh Meyler ................ 1
Brian Hughes..................... 1
Noel McParlan................... 1
Mark Walsh ........................ 1
Katie Walsh ........................ 1
Keith Donoghue............... 1
Lizzie Kelly ......................... 1
Patrick Mullins ................. 1
the times | Saturday March 17 2018
13
2G S
Sport
ALAN CROWHURST/GETTY IMAGES
‘These jockeys don’t ride well
for girls, they simply ride well’
TIMES PHOTOGRAPHER MARC ASPLAND; PA; SPORTSFILE
Rick Broadbent
11
Great Britain
v Ireland
17
Rob Wright’s Festival awards
Best ride
The best coincided
with the worst. There
were just five runners
in the Arkle Trophy but
Davy Russell and
Aidan Coleman had a
rush of blood and took
each other on at a
suicidal pace in the
early stages. Many an
inexperienced rider
would have panicked
and tried to keep tabs
on them
but Ruby
Walsh, on
Footpad,
was having
none of it. He picked
his exhausted rivals up
with ease before the
second-last and cruised
to victory.
Training
performance
Gordon Elliott had
an amazing week
but deserves
extra praise for
producing Tiger Roll
Walsh celebrates his
win on board Footpad
to win at a third
Festival, all in different
races. Winner of the
two-mile Triumph
Hurdle in 2014, he
added the four-mile
National Hunt Chase a
year ago before
switching to the Cross
Country this year.
Star equine
Summerville Boy
performed miracles
to win the opening
Supreme Novices’
Hurdle,
appearing to
lose all
chance when
m
making a
jjuddering
m
mistake two
out. He was
none too
fluent at the
last as well,
but still
ffound
enough in
rreserve to
overhaul
K
Kalashnikov
close to
h
home.
Down but not out
They say they never
come back but Douvan
looked to have
returned to his old
enthusiastic self before
a crashing fall four out
in the Champion
Chase. A rematch with
Altior would be
something to savour.
Gold prospect?
Presenting Percy
looked every inch a
Gold Cup prospect
when storming home
in the RSA Chase, his
second Festival win.
His presence,
representing a smaller
stable, would be
welcome after the
domination of the big
guns this week. Patrick
Kelly has just a handful
of horses at his base in
County Galway but is
building up a
formidable Festival
record, having saddled
three winners and a
second from just five
runners in the past
three years.
Harriet Tucker wore a smile that belied
the small fact that she had just won the
biggest prize of her life with a dislocated
shoulder. For anyone still labouring
under hackneyed stereotypes about
weaker sexes, her muddy grin was the
bloody-minded counterattack. Suffice
to say that gender can officially come
off the agenda.
Her win on the defending champion,
Pacha Du Polder, in the Foxhunter
Chase, was enough to make a misogynist wince. Never mind that she had not
ridden in a race until two years ago, or
that this was only her second outing
under Rules, or even that she was only
here because she bought her own horse
and trained it in her lunchtimes.
It was the way that she talked calmly
about raw pain that dumbfounded
listeners. Popped shoulders and
dropped jaws seemed a fitting end to a
Cheltenham in which four women won
races. Given that they did not include
Bryony Frost, rated by many as the best
of the lot, or Nina Carberry, who won a
race last year four months after giving
birth, this was a decisive stride towards
equality.
First among equals was Tucker. “I
have a bad shoulder and it half-dislocated when I was coming into the
finish,” she said in a tone bereft of
melodrama. “I carried on riding and
just popped it back in. It gets like that
sometimes. It’s from a fall and I have
physio on it.”
Almost instantly someone was
tweeting a photograph of Charlie
Austin, the footballer, being nursed off
the pitch with a suspected dislocated
shoulder. He is a bear of a man, but
anyone thinking that he is tougher does
not know his ursine from his elbow.
Paul Nicholls, the trainer, heaped
praise on Tucker and a horse becoming
synonymous with this race. Two years
ago, he led Victoria Pendleton to fifth
place in her much-maligned and
hugely-successful cross-code salvo.
Last year, Frost and Pacha won.
Tucker’s day job is riding out horses
for Nicholls at Ditcheat, Somerset. She
does three lots a day. She has a lot of
guts too. Harry Derham, Nicholls’ No 2,
said Tucker would have surgery on her
right shoulder in the summer. “Bryony
and Harriet do not ride well for girls,” he
said. “They simply ride well.”
This Cheltenham may be the big
kiss-off to the embers of sexism in
racing. Bridget Andrews also won
yesterday, prompting a kiss from her
beaten boyfriend Harry Skelton and a
place in history as the second professional jockey to win at the Festival,
following Lizzie Kelly’s turn on
Tuesday. Katie Walsh’s Wednesday
win made it a landmark quartet.
Nobody need ask Andrews
who wears the trousers in her
house; they all wear jodhpurs.
She won the Randox Health
County Handicap Hurdle
on Mohaayed with
Skelton fifth. Skelton
was quick to congratulate her, leaning over
from
Spiritofthegames to give her a
kiss. “I didn’t have
much say in it,” she
said.
Skelton had the
chance to ride
Moyaayed,
trained by his
brother
Dan,
but changed
horses.
Dan
was in tears
pacha du polder: the foxhunter chase specialist
Winner
2018 Harriet Tucker
Winner
2017 Bryony Frost
afterwards. So was Nick, his dad, the
Olympic showjumping champion. “We
wrote him off and didn’t think he had
a chance because of the ground,”
Andrews said. Yet he ran so fluently
that she heard a familiar voice urging
caution. “Harry gave me a shout going
down the hill — ‘Steady, Bridge’. I was
waiting for them to swallow me up.”
Andrews and Tucker became the
13th and 14th lady jockeys to win at
Cheltenham. “I think it’s about time we
stopped talking about lady jockeys and
just call them jockeys,” Dan Skelton
said.
Fifth
2016 Victoria Pendleton
They all suffer the same. While
Andrews was explaining she had
apologised to Harry for his poor choice,
Walsh was dealing with the dark side.
She had fallen in the same race and her
mount, Sandsend, was put down, a third
death of the week, prompting campaigning group Animal Aid to talk of
“barbaric cruelty”. Harry Skelton then
fell, in the last, but was up and talking in
the weighing room an hour later. His
mount, North Hill Harvey, and
Dresden, were both put down.
Fuel for the dissenters for whom
Cheltenham is a stag-do in tweed driven
by greed. But then you have Edwulf. A
year ago he fell at the Festival and more
portentous screens were erected. Back
then Anne-Marie O’Brien, mother of
the young trainer Joseph, removed her
high heels and ran across the turf to
help. A team of vets with a collective 150
years’ experience ignored the odds. The
horse went blind. Yesterday, Edwulf was
eighth in the Gold Cup, one place
behind Kelly a year on from her fall on
Tea For Two.
Talk to Frost about listening to
the breathing of her beloved
Black Corton and she is
literally talking rhythms
of the heart.
This is Cheltenham
for its men and
women. Everybody
hurts.
Skelton, right,
hugs Andrews,
his girlfriend,
after her win
14
Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
3G S
Sport
Crane injury opens door for Leach
STU FORSTER/GETTY IMAGES
Cricket
scoreboard
Will Macpherson Hamilton
At long last, Somerset’s Jack Leach has
been called up by England. Mason
Crane, who made his debut in the fifth
Ashes Test, has suffered a partial stress
fracture to his lower back, opening the
door for the bespectacled Somerset
left-arm spinner to amble into the
squad for the two-match series against
New Zealand.
Leach’s Championship stats over the
past two summers, when he has taken
116 wickets at an average of 23.6, make
him the competition’s best English
spinner, and his call-up is overdue. That
he had to remodel his action between
those two seasons when routine testing
at Loughborough revealed a kink in his
arm — and robbed him of the chance of
a Test call-up in the subcontinent in
2016 — tells of a resilient character capable of learning on the job. He has taken
each setback with a smile and is
immensely popular with colleagues
and fans.
It was in the Caribbean on the awful
recent Lions tour that the 26-year-old’s
case as next cab off the rank became
undeniable. As Keaton Jennings’s
captaincy was so rigid that he
hesitated to bowl Crane’s leg spin,
Leach excelled. He picked
up 18
wickets at 21,
including
two
fivewicket hauls.
His eight for
110 in the series opener
against West Indies A in
Jamaica were the best match
figures yet by a Lions spinner
and he was the only player to
emerge with credit from the
series, which was lost 3-0. If England
were not going to select him now,
were they ever?
When conditions suit — which
they surely will in Sri Lanka in November and the Caribbean after
Christmas — he threatens both edges
and finds plenty of bounce. When they
do not, his tidiness and consistency are
enviable. In New Zealand he is unlikely
to play but has the opportunity to
present a case for the summer series
against Pakistan and India and beyond.
Stress fractures are never good news,
and certainly not for 21-year-olds, but
Crane is a chipper sort who will take it in
his stride, even though he has been ad-
New Zealand XI Innings
G R Hay b Broad............................................ 23
G D Phillips c Bairstow b Woakes.......... 0
*M J Guptill c Bairstow b Anderson....73
†T A Blundell c Vince b Ali.......................22
T L Seifert run out (Malan).........................2
M S Chapman c Vince b Ali....................... 9
K A Jamieson c Malan b Ali.................... 38
L V van Beek c Bairstow b Broad.........16
N G Smith c Foakes b Overton................ 0
S C Kuggeleijn c Cook b Root................25
A Y Patel c Stoneman b Root..................31
Hay c Cook b Root........................................... 1
Phillips b Anderson...................................... 14
Seifert not out................................................. 18
Chapman not out............................................6
Extras (w 1, lb 8)............................................... 9
Total (13 wkts, 90 overs)....................287
Fall of wickets 1-4, 2-51, 3-114, 4-116,
5-129, 6-130, 7-164, 8-184, 9-184, 10-232,
11-250, 12-256, 13-275.
Bowling Anderson 15-3-41-2; Woakes
15-3-63-1; Broad 16-3-36-2; Overton
13-4-37-1; Ali 21-4-67-3; Malan 3-1-12-0;
Root 7-1-23-3.
Umpires S B Haig and W R Knights.
First Test Auckland, March 22-26
(1am GMT)
Second Test Christchurch, March
29-April 2 (11pm BST)
Both live on Sky Sports Cricket
vised that his expected
recovery time is ten
to 12 weeks. The injury
comes the day
after
Stuart
MacGill, Crane’s
mentor, arrived
on tour to work
with England’s
spinners.
As so often
with such injuries,
there was no early
sense of its severity. Crane
pulled up at nets on Tuesday, and had scans on
Wednesday and Thursday;
Anderson, above, says
that Leach, left, has
a “great opportunity”
Counties to discuss payoffs
Elizabeth Ammon
County chairmen will hold an emergency meeting this month to discuss
the £1 million payoff received by Glamorgan and the proposed compensation
payments to the other Test grounds, as
revealed by The Times last week.
There is increasing concern within
the county game about the way Glamorgan were given the payment. The
money was initially described by the
ECB as compensation for not bidding
for Test matches, but the governing
body has now said that the payment
was made to allow Glamorgan to settle
a debt with a creditor. This prompted
counties to question why no such payment was offered to any other county.
Bob Warren, the Sussex chairman,
raised his concerns in a letter, seen by
The Times, to Colin Graves, the ECB
chairman, that there had been a lack of
discussion about proposed payments of
£500,000 to every Test ground as
compensation for not hosting a Test.
Warren also questioned assurances
that he had been given by Graves that
the compensation policy had been
agreed by the board 15 months previously. Warren referred to a telephone
conversation he had with Graves soon
after The Times revelations and queried
guarantees he received in that call.
“You mentioned at the start of our
conversation that the policy of
compensation was discussed and
agreed by the ECB board 15 months
ago,” Warren wrote. “I asked if you
could send me a copy of the minutes
which reflect this. You agreed with my
request. I have now looked through
these minutes and I can’t find any mention of this policy. A board member told
me he couldn’t recall a conversation
about this, let alone an agreement.”
The Times revealed yesterday that
legal advice sought by counties seems
to indicate payments such as the one
received by Glamorgan could be
unlawful as they contravene the ECB’s
articles of association. County chairmen will meet to decide their next move
amid increasing pressure on the ECB
and Graves. The ECB declined to
comment.
he had felt fit enough to bowl four untroubled overs with Chris Silverwood,
the bowling coach, at tea, but woke the
following morning in severe discomfort
and leaves New Zealand glad of an early
diagnosis.
It is worth wondering why it was felt
necessary to send the Hampshire spinner and Ben Foakes — who has also
suffered recent back troubles — on the
Lions tour after they traipsed round
Australia during the Ashes.
James Anderson, who suffered a
stress fracture early in his career, said:
“Mason has got a good head on his
shoulders and I’m sure he’ll come back
strong. It’s a good opportunity for Jack.”
England’s third practice match-day of
four brought greater intensity and an
improved performance. They slimmed
their side down to 12, with Ben Stokes
Woakes took it with Anderson yesterday, while Mark Wood had taken it
on Wednesday. Anderson, who also
picked up two wickets and bowled well,
playing as a specialist batsman, but says his long-time opening partner is
Chris Woakes and Craig Overton mak- disappointed but energised by his relegation from new-ball duties.
ing full returns (they showed good
“Obviously he’s disappointed,
rhythm, and took a wicket
he’s a very proud bloke and we
each). In all, they took 13
have opened the bowling
New Zealand XI wickets
for a number of years,”
for 287, with three each
Anderson
said.
“He’s
for the spinners, Moeen
Wickets Leach took
bowled first change in the
Ali and Joe Root, and
in the County
past and I can see what Joe
the seamers slipped
Championship
[Root] wants to do with
through the gears.
for Somerset last
looking to the future but also
Stuart Broad, action
season
having that experience comtweaked and bowling first
ing on first change.
change, looked particularly
“Stuart has done a lot of work on his
rhythmical, taking two for 36 from
16 overs. Silverwood was delighted with action and I think the last two games
Broad’s “outstanding” performance he’s looked a different bowler. He looks
and said a final decision had not been refreshed, confident, his action looks
made on who will take the new ball in strong and he’s getting the ball to move
the first Test in Auckland, which starts away from the right-handers which he’s
struggled a bit with in recent times.”
on Thursday.
51
Gritty Leeds end Saints’ unbeaten start
St Helens
Leeds
20
0
2
28
1
Betfred Super League
Christopher Irvine
The dogged defending Super League
champions last night beat their
supposed heirs apparent, ending St
Helens’s 100 per cent record after five
previous wins.
Leeds Rhinos’ injury woes were compounded early on by the loss of Ashton
Golding, but their determination
prevailed in testing circumstances.
Golding failed a head injury assessment, but despite having been dominated territorially, the Rhinos drew
level with a converted try by Richie
Myler in making it 12-12 at the break,
instilling themselves with a steely
belief. Myler was sent streaking clear by
Joel Moon and Tom Briscoe while
Saints were short-handed, with
Tommy Makinson receiving treatment
for an eye problem. They had conceded
the opening try of the game to Anthony
Mullally, who twisted across in James
Roby’s tackle during a run of five consecutive penalties against the hosts.
St Helens’s main focus was putting
Ben Barba, their Australian full back, in
to space. Barba popped up on the end of
a move involving Danny Richardson
and Jonny Lomax, the half backs, but
was denied a second try in six minutes
by Jack Walker, Golding’s replacement.
Makinson was inches away from
grabbing Mark Percival’s hoisted kick,
but the centre’s hands were responsible
for Saints’ second try by Adam Swift,
who reacted to Richardson’s kick. Leeds
were nothing if not persistent and it
took a 55th minute penalty by Richardson, after Carl Ablett had failed to play
the ball correctly, to nudge St Helens
back in front, before Kallum Watkins
levelled matters with his third goal.
As Saints’ attack stuttered, Leeds
struck twice in five minutes through
Ash Handley. Regan Grace’s break was
brilliantly polished off by Barba and
Richardson’s conversion narrowed the
gap to two points, but Matt Parcell’s
opportunistic burst from dummy half
ensured a deserved Rhinos victory.
Salford Red Devils won for only a
second time this season in beating Hull
24-8 at home.
Scorers: St Helens: Tries Barba 2, Swift. Goals
Richardson 4. Leeds Rhinos: Tries Mullally, Myler,
Handley 2, Parcell. Goals Watkins 3, Myler.
St Helens B Barba; A Swift, T Makinson, M Percival,
R Grace; J Lomax, D Richardson; K Amor, J Roby,
L Thompson, D Peyroux, Z Taia, J Wilkin. Interchange
T Fages, L McCarthy-Scarsbrook, L Douglas, M Lees.
Leeds Rhinos A Golding; T Briscoe, K Watkins,
A Handley, R Hall; J Moon, R Myler; A Mullally,
M Parcell, B Singleton, C Ablett, J Jones-Buchanan,
B Delaney. Interchange J Walker, C Smith, M Oledzki,
J Walters.
Referee J Child.
St Helens
Wigan
Wakefield
Leeds
Castleford
Widnes
Hull KR
Hull
Warrington
Salford
Huddersfield
Catalans Dragons
P W
6 5
5 4
5 4
5 4
4 3
6 2
6 2
6 2
6 2
6 2
6 2
5 1
D
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
L
1
1
1
1
1
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
F
177
136
98
90
69
117
106
111
76
94
82
60
A
72
72
66
82
84
109
112
120
107
130
146
116
Pts
10
8
8
8
6
4
4
4
4
4
4
2
the times | Saturday March 17 2018
15
3G S
Sport
HARRY HOW/GETTY IMAGES
McIlroy stalls as Stenson sets pace
Golf
McIlroy manages to get up and down from a bunker on the 9th hole to save par
Rory McIlroy’s charge up the leaderboard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill stalled towards the end of
his second round yesterday.
Starting at the 10th, the Northern
Irishman, who began the day at three
under par, picked up shots at the 13th
and 15th holes, and although he gave
them back on the first two after the
turn, a run of three birdies from the 4th
took him to six under and within sight
of the leaders.
However, he just missed a 24-foot
putt for birdie on the 7th and followed
that by hitting his second shot into the
water on the 8th from rough to the left
of the fairway. He got up and down,
holing from more than ten feet, but put
his approach to the 9th into a bunker to
lose any chance of a birdie.
At five under overall, McIlroy — who
has missed the cut in two of his past four
starts on the PGA Tour — is guaranteed to play over the weekend, but was
already six shots adrift of the lead, held
by Henrik Stenson, of Sweden, and
Bryson DeChambeau, of the United
States.
“I could have been a couple of shots
lower, I think, but overall it has been a
solid start to the tournament,” McIlroy
said. “I need to make a bit of a move
he found himself seven shots adrift of
the pace-setters.
Stenson added a second-round 69 to
his opening 64. He had covered the
back nine in 31 on Thursday, but after
starting from the 10th yesterday he
could manage only nine straight pars to
reach the turn in 36.
That par streak was extended to 13
holes before Stenson found his range
on the greens to birdie the 5th, 6th and
7th to maintain his bid for a first win of
the season.
“I’ve been hitting a few really close
this week and setting up some good opportunities from three or four feet,”
Stenson said. “Today wasn’t as good as
yesterday but the important part for me
was 16, 17, 18. I scrambled for par all
those three holes after hitting some
not-so-good shots.
“I kept patient and made three [birdies] in a row coming home. Three under
around this golf course is never bad.
“I’d love to get a good result here and
some more practice, and carry on with
some form in Houston going into
Augusta. It is the major I have performed the least over the years and the
one I want to perform the best.”
DeChambeau eagled the par-five
16th and hit his approach to within
three feet on the last for a birdie to grab
a share of the early second-round lead.
over the weekend to get closer to
Henrik but I’m pretty pleased where
my game’s at.”
On his putting, he added: “That’s
been a huge improvement over the first
two days. I sort of messed around on the
putting green a little bit, trying to go
back to some feels I’ve had before and
putted really well. Hopefully that
continues.
“Over the weekend last year I was
hitting driver pretty much everywhere,
leaving myself wedges in. If I drive it like
that again over the weekend I feel like
I’ll have a good chance.”
Tiger Woods will have to produce
some exceptional golf if the former
world No 1 is going to secure a record
ninth victory at Bay Hill. The American
started the day within four shots of the
lead but could do no better than a levelpar 72.
Woods, in only his fifth PGA Tour
event since spinal surgery, dropped a
shot on the opening hole after hooking
his tee shot into the trees. The 14-time
major winner had his short game to
thank for saving par on the 2nd and 3rd,
and enjoyed a large slice of luck on the
4th where a wild drive hit the out-ofbounds fence and stayed in play.
However, Woods had a three-putt
bogey on the 9th and though he
managed birdies on the 12th and 16th,
Williams should not be TheRUGBYPaper
Six Nations in depth:
punished for pregnancy
Tennis
Stuart Fraser Tennis Writer
S
erena Williams began her period
of maternity leave from the WTA
tour in January last year as the
world No 1 after winning a 23rd
grand-slam singles title at the
Australian Open. So, how was Williams
regarded upon returning from her
pregnancy to official singles
competition at the BNP Paribas Open in
Indian Wells last week? As an unseeded
player.
Yes, the greatest tennis player in
history, without a world ranking because
of her 13-month absence, was not given
one of the 32 seeded slots in the draw.
This may have been the correct
procedure according to the WTA
rulebook, but it is drastically unfair.
No doubt that it was a treat to watch
Williams face her sister, Venus, the No 8
seed, in the third round on Monday night,
just five days into her comeback. But to
be pitted against a top-ten player so soon
in the tournament came across as
pregnancy discrimination.
For taking a long period out of the
sport to give birth, Williams has been
stripped of the seeding benefits that she
earned through her results. She can use a
protected ranking of No 1 to enter up to
eight tournaments in a 12-month
period, yet this cannot be used for
seedings.
“This match should not be happening
in a third round,” tweeted Darren Cahill,
the well-respected coach of the world
No 1 Simona Halep. “Serena [and all
mothers] should be protected by the
WTA and allowed to use their protected
ranking for seeding, if applicable. Women
should not be penalised for giving birth
by starting from zero.”
Victoria Azarenka, the two-times
Australian Open champion from Belarus,
was also at a disadvantage when she
returned last year. She was seeded No 5
at her last tournament, the 2016 French
Open, before giving birth and returned 13
months later as unseeded.
The Slice:
online
every
Friday
This article
first appeared
in Stuart
Fraser’s
new column,
which Times
digital
subscribers
can read
online every
Friday at 12pm
thetimes.co.uk/
sport and the
Times app
“Starting a family is the greatest gift in
the world,” Cahill added. “The WTA
should be looking after its players after
that happens.”
There was once a rule that allowed
players coming back from long absences
to receive a special seeding in WTA
tournaments. In fact, Williams herself
benefited from this when she returned
from an eight-month injury layoff at the
2004 Miami Open.
This has since been scrapped, with
some making the understandable point
that it penalised other players who have
earned a seeding through their
performances alone.
While I do agree that special seedings
should not be applied to players
returning from injury, it is time for the
WTA to consider reintroducing this for
those returning from pregnancy as,
under the present system, the tour is
falling short of supporting new
mothers.
“When reviewing these rules the
players have traditionally expressed they
do not feel that a player coming back
from a long-term layoff, for any reason,
should be allowed to be seeded,” a WTA
spokesman said.
“I do expect that this rule will be
reviewed further as part of our 2019
rules process. We remain committed to
reviewing the evolving needs of our
players and are very supportive
of those players returning from
pregnancy.”
It will be intriguing to see what
Wimbledon does when the committee
considers the seedings for this year’s
championships. The guidelines on its
website state that “the seeding order
follows the WTA ranking list, except
where, in the opinion of the committee, a
change is necessary to produce a
balanced draw”.
Rare as it is for there to be a change, it
is surely inevitable this summer as
Williams is likely to be ranked below No 8
in June. The seven-times All England
Club champion deserves a higher seeding
than that.
Unrivalled coverage of
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RUGBY
>>
Jeremy Gusco
tt
Time for Engla
nd
Ford-Farrell axi to end the
s at 10-12
Inside:
>> Cain: Dwy
Jones to get iter backs
right
PAGES 24-25
P
The ga
g me
doesn’t love
us right now
says Eddie
>> Shane: Cap
be making of taincy will
Faletau
PAGE 10
P
>> Blindside
revelations
PAGE 18
P
Wales are
hunting
£2m Italy
bonus
By PETER
■JACKSO
N
■
From CHRIS
C
IS
so we’re allway
JONES in Paris
a s
king to love
learn and make look
d you don’t get
sure we’re the you and
EDDIE JONES
bounce
claimed stronger next time we play
W
ay. are in the of the ball. We
England were
W ’re going through
We
loser’s
g a diff
ffi- it’s not a happy chair and
“two
w or three per just cult period and we’ll
place but we
r cent” out the
come mustn’t
away from
other side of it
get
their
soon matic about too melodradespite falling best I’m sure.
where we are.
g to a
W were slow
We
“These are
second successiv
to adapt to
painfu
f l
Nations defeat e Six lessons and we just didn’t the game.
learn
“That’s the challenge
first time in for the I am quickly enough
g – wh
f r
why us so fu
his
f ll steam ahead. fo
not
as head coachreign period sure. It is a tough rugby team
No
and
has
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France triumphe as going to go we were alw
a s inv
n incibility andan aura of
through this
teams are
d 22- some
at outplaying
16 in Paris.
stage.
us in certain
Champions:
Ireland celebrate
winning the
Six
Nations crown
in
Dublin
areas. The
Jones said: “It’s
“
“A
a learn- opingny team that is devel- become break down has
ing period fo
more contestable
as we
f r us
struggling at and we are through these are goes and the contest
the moment
tough peri incr
has
d h
d
PICTURE
Match action - starts
Page
W LES will
WA
be
crock of gold chasing a
in Cardiff
today that promises
to be
worth as much
Six Nations prizeas £2m in
money
y.
A storming
g
against Italy thishome run
afternoon
and France
at
venue six days the same
later
put Wa
W les in serious will
contention
to
runners-up behind finish
W les, pushed Ireland.
Wa
down to
fifth by France’s
win
against England,
seek a
maximum-point
win today
that would catapult
them
from second
bottom to
second top, more
than doubling
g their prize
money
from £1.5m to
£3.5m.
Italy come in
the hope of
completing a
sensational
double after
their
landed a thrilling juniors
g 18-7 win
in
n the Si N
8 >>
>
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16
2G S
Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
Sport Boxing
Inside the world of the
pie-loving Mormon who
wants to dethrone Joshua
TIMES NEWSPAPERS LTD
Joseph Parker, who fights the
Briton later this month, tells
Ron Lewis in Las Vegas that
he will not trash-talk because
his mother has told him not to
‘J
oshua is looking trimmer, he looks in
good shape,” Joseph Parker comments
on the latest Twitter video of his next
opponent. “I don’t go looking for his
videos online, but every time he posts
one, lots of people send it to me and say, ‘AJ’s
going to knock you out.’ ”
Parker gives a deep laugh at the knowledge
that predictions of his downfall are a regular
feature of his social media timeline. But is he
ever tempted to reply?
“Nah, I learnt that a long time ago,” the New
Zealander says. “It doesn’t affect me. You just
look at it, have a little giggle and move on.
“It’s all right, he has his supporters but there
will be messages on his page saying, ‘Joe is going
to knock you out.’ You can’t help what others
think.
“We want to fight the best Joshua there is. I
am going to be in my best shape. We want to
beat the best Joshua that has been seen.”
We are in Henderson, Nevada, a Las Vegas
suburb, where Parker, the WBO heavyweight
champion, is finishing his training camp before
flying to Britain. On March 31, at the
Principality Stadium in Cardiff, he faces
Anthony Joshua, the IBF and WBA champion,
in a world heavyweight title unification match
— the first between unbeaten boxers in 30
years.
He is on his way to cryotherapy after a
morning training session, a process that involves
him effectively standing in an adapted freezer,
providing his body recovery and
instant relief from the sweltering
temperature that is a constant in
his gym.
For the day, The Times has been
invited into Parker’s inner
sanctum. Home is a gated
community about ten miles
from Las Vegas, with the
family of his trainer, Kevin
Barry. The gym, used only by
Parker and his sparring
partners, is an adapted retail
unit with posters from his
previous fights adorning the walls.
Las Vegas has been Parker’s home
from home since 2013, when he was
still coping with the disappointment of
missing out on a place at the London
Olympics and his newly signed
promoters looked to give him an
education in the sport that was not
available in his homeland.
Barry is New Zealand’s most
famous boxing Olympian. In 1984,
he won a silver medal in Los
Angeles when Evander Holyfield
was disqualified in their semi-final
for hitting him on the break. He
never boxed again. He would
return to the United States in the
Nineties as the trainer of David Tua,
a bull of a heavyweight who would
go on to challenge Lennox Lewis for
Joshua puts his belts on the line
against Parker, the WBO heavyweight
title-holder, in Cardiff on March 31
with provision for a rematch
Parker endures some cryotherapy at his Nevada base before preparing to leave for Britain
the world title. Training Parker is a full-time
family business. Barry’s wife, Tanya, a former
Olympic gymnast — they met on the plane to
Los Angeles in 1984 — is in charge of his
nutrition while Taylor, one of their twin sons,
assists his father with training and accompanies
Parker on his roadwork and driving him around.
The two can be “like kids” according to Tanya,
recalling a time when Parker’s bed was broken
and the pair admitted that they had been
wrestling.
Parker is expected to join in with household
chores and is barbecue chef when parties are
held around the pool in the garden, which is
overlooked by a wall featuring dozens of
ornamental butterflies, Barry’s pride and joy.
That is where I chat to Barry on a warm spring
day. If there is anything that is making them
nervous coming to the UK, it is the weather.
“We are like his surrogate parents and Taylor
is every bit his brother; he probably spends eight
months of the year here,” Barry says. “Last time
there were three boxers here. Tanya makes all
their meals, does all their cleaning and
supplements and has to listen to all their
bullshit. This time we made the decision
that it would be just Joe.
“When he first came, he was like a
sponge, he wanted to learn so much.
He didn’t know what to eat, he
didn’t know how to train.
“Everyone said he was fast
but couldn’t punch, but when
I taught him to sit down on
his punches and pull the
power from his legs, all of a
sudden he got excited. I
told him to look in the
mirror and said, ‘In 18
months you will not
even recognise
yourself.’ ”
Parker knows that he
is the outsider, widely
discounted by many, but
there is a relaxed air of
confidence around the camp. He
has been watching Joshua for
seven years; he knows exactly
what to expect.
The first time that Parker and
Joshua met was backstage at the
unlikely location of the Heydar
Aliyev Arena in Baku, Azerbaijan,
where both were competing in the World
Amateur Championships in 2011. It was
such a brief encounter, Joshua is unlikely
to remember it.
“I lost to the Chinese boxer [Zhang
Zhilei, the Olympic silver medalwinner]. I walked to the back and saw
Joshua warming up,” Parker says. “I
said, ‘All the best.’ That was the last
time I saw him until the press
conference to announce the fight
a few weeks ago.
“It’s a great time to be a
heavyweight. Our team
wanted this really badly.
Everyone on the team is
doing everything to get me in
the best shape possible. The
only thing we focus on now is
that I am able to execute the
plan on fight night.
“We love the challenge of
fighting Joshua, the challenge of
fighting in someone else’s
country, the challenge of fighting
in front of 80,000 people. We are
going to embrace everything.”
He has three training sessions daily apart
from on Sunday when Parker, a Mormon, goes
to church. He tackles everything asked of him
by Barry without a word of complaint.
“There is no attitude, there is no bullshit with
Joe,” Barry says. “He will be the same guy every
single day, whether he is having his best day or
his worst. People say to me, ‘You must have had
some ups and downs?’ Not really, I can never
remember having a cross word with him.”
It’s not surprising. Parker, with his full beard
and constant smile, is a very laid-back character.
He loves his music “old”, reminiscing of how he
taught himself to play Bohemian Rhapsody on
the piano, although he admits that his sister is a
better pianist — he accompanied her on guitar.
A love of boxing goes back in Parker’s family
so far that his father, Dempsey, was named after
Jack, the 1920s world heavyweight champion.
An accident as a baby prevented Dempsey from
boxing himself but the sport is ingrained in his
two sons, Joseph and John, who is also a
professional.
“I grew up watching tapes of Mike Tyson and
Roy Jones,” Parker says. “At the age of three or
four he [Parker’s father] was holding up his
hand, telling us to punch it.
75
Parker’s knockout
percentage in his
24 wins
6
Joshua’s reach
advantage over Parker
in inches as well
as a 2in height
advantage
the times | Saturday March 17 2018
17
2G S
Sport
heavyweight punchers from the land of the long white cloud
David Tua
Brought to the
United States by
Kevin Barry, Parker’s
trainer, after
winning Olympic
bronze in 1992, Tua
proved a knockout
artist at the highest
level, stopping 43 of
his 59 opponents,
including wins over
Michael Moorer,
Hasim Rahman and
Oleg Maskaev. Lost
on points to Lennox
Lewis in November
2000 in a world
heavyweight title
challenge.
Tom Heeney
Known as “The Hard
Rock From Down
Under”, Heeney
challenged Gene
“
Tunney for the
world heavyweight
title at Yankee
Stadium in New
York in 1928. Jack
Dempsey, whom
Tunney had beaten
for the title, was in
Heeney’s corner for
the fight, although
he was stopped in
the eleventh round
of what proved to
There is a bakery where I live
that does lots of pies. That’s
where I’m going to be
heading when I go home
be Tunney’s final
fight.
Bob Fitzsimmons
Born in Cornwall, he
was still a child
when his family
emigrated to New
Zealand. It was in
the United States
that Fitzsimmons
had great success as
a boxer, though,
becoming world
champion at
middleweight,
heavyweight and
finally lightheavyweight. A
huge puncher, he
was the third world
heavyweight
champion in the
gloved era,
knocking out James
J Corbett in 1897.
“In New Zealand it’s very tough. You don’t
have very good sparring so you make do with
what you have and also you have to fund your
own trip most of the time. I remember my
parents paid for my first trip to Azerbaijan, for
the world youth champs [in 2010], when I got a
bronze medal. They did lots of fundraising so I
could get to tournaments around the world. It
was quite tough to represent your country and
try and fund your own way.
“New Zealand has a lot of good fighters but
they just didn’t get the guidance or the funding.
Without their help sending me out here to Kev,
I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Parker won the WBO title in December 2016
after it was vacated by Tyson Fury. He has
successfully defended it twice, against Razvan
Cojanu and Hughie Fury, although both were
laboured performances.
“I don’t think there has been a better time to
fight Joshua,” Barry says. “We have been looking
at this fight for the last three years and they
didn’t want it. But they looked at Joe’s two
performances in 2017 and thought now’s the
right time. 2017 was not our best year. He
had a couple of injuries and we tried
putting some weight on him, but that
just slowed him down.
“The guy who turned up in 2017
can’t beat Anthony Joshua,
simple as that. I don’t think
the guy who turned up in
2017 will turn up in 2018,
that’s why we are
confident.”
The toughest part of
spending so much
time in the US for
Parker is missing his
16-month-old
daughter, Elizabeth,
who he has watched
growing up via a video
call. While the talk on
Joshua’s side is of beating
Parker, then moving on to
Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion, there is a
rematch clause on Parker’s side of the contract,
meaning that if he pulls off the win, he will then
have to do it again. “That’s the year as I’m
planning it,” Parker says. “Beat him in Cardiff,
win the rematch and then have a nice break.”
There will be no love lost when the pair enter
the ring, but don’t expect any insults during the
build-up, not least because Parker’s mum, Sala,
will be watching. “I don’t think trash talking
suits either of us,” Parker says.
“I tried it once and it made me look
like a fool. Promoters have tried to get
me to say things, but my mum told
me off. Mum said, ‘Son, just be
yourself.’ So I said, ‘Sorry, Mum.’ I
think there is mutual respect for
one another and for what we
have achieved.”
The brief attempt at
lowering the tone was when
he labelled Joshua the “King
of Steroids”, having been
called the “King of Pies” by
Graham Norton on his
show when Joshua was a
guest. Parker backed away from
the accusation and, while he will
be coming in trimmer for this
fight, with an emphasis on
speed, he said that Norton’s
insult was not too wide of the
mark. “The thing is, I do like
my pies,” he says. “There is a
bakery where I live that does
lots of pies. You don’t get pies
like that in Las Vegas. That’s
where I’m going to be
heading when I go home.”
England Netball hires
advice for legal battle
Netball
Martyn Ziegler Chief Sports Reporter
England Netball has hired a firm of consultants in an attempt to minimise damage
to the sport’s reputation over a costly legal
case in which it paid a private investigator
to look into the affairs of the chairman of
a successful club.
The sport, which receives more than
half of its £11 million annual income from
public money and Lottery funds from
Sport England, has employed Sheridans,
the reputational risk service, to advise the
governing body “for all possible outcomes” of the case. The legal action involves Colin Meister, the chairman of the
Brentwood club in Essex, who is challenging his suspension by England Netball.
The governing body told him that the
action was taken on the grounds that he
was a potential threat to women. He has
strenuously denied that is the case and is
taking England Netball to an arbitration
panel in June.
It is believed that the consultants’ charges could run to several thousands of
pounds, but the fallout of losing the case
could be extremely damaging to the
sport’s leadership. Sport England said that
it had been assured that none of its funding
would be used for the legal action or the
reputational risk consultants, but a former
chairman of England Netball’s southern
region has questioned the use of the
money at all. Bill Alexander, who resigned
his life membership last year after a dispute with the governing body, queried
whether members “are clear what their
money is being spent on”.
The hiring of the consultants was disclosed in England Netball’s latest board
minutes, which state that the chief executive, Joanna Adams, confirmed to mem-
bers that “English Netball are working
with Sheridans reputational risk service”.
Directors had been warned that “a substantial cost provision would be required
to cover the associated legal costs” of the
case. Adams was asked by The Times how
much it was costing to use Sheridans but
she responded: “England Netball does not
comment on confidential matters.”
Meister has said previously that he
believes that the private investigator was
hired after a background check revealed
that he was conditionally discharged in
2011 for threatening or abusive behaviour
towards his former wife. She was
approached by the investigator and then
she informed Meister. “She was so angered
that, after five years of non-communication, she advised me this man was openly
seeking any dirt that England Netball
could use,” Meister said in December.
Meanwhile, after a separate complaint
by Alexander, Sport England has recommended that England Netball bring in
some changes to its guidelines. He complained that he and his wife, Carol, were
forced out of the sport after years of volunteering without any means to appeal.
An email from Sport England to Alexander says: “Sport England put forward a
number of recommendations to England
Netball following your complaint last year.
In response England Netball have confirmed that there has been an independent
review of their policies and procedures
and that a number of new guidelines have
been produced. We are satisfied that any
concerns have been properly addressed.”
England Netball had said that there had
been “a significant number of complaints”
against the couple. Alexander insisted that
there had been no complaints against his
wife, and two against him which he has
“robustly challenged”.
18
1G S
Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
Sport Racing
Russe Blanc can outstay rivals in Midlands National
Rob Wright Racing Editor
British trainers will be relieved to see
that there are no Irish raiders in the
Betfred Midlands Grand National
(3.35) at Uttoxeter today and Kerry Lee
can lift the prize with Russe Blanc.
This race is going to provide an
extreme test of stamina over four and a
quarter miles on heavy ground and few
will relish the test.
Russe Blanc has been below form
recently but there are reasons to believe
that he can stage a revival here. He
shaped well when fitted with blinkers
on his first two starts this season, but
has been disappointing tried in cheekpieces in three starts since.
He has certainly dropped to an
attractive handicap mark as a result,
now 4lb lower than winning another
marathon — the Classic Chase at
Warwick — two seasons ago, while he
has recorded a win and two places in
three previous starts at this track.
It could just be that he needs blinkers
to make him concentrate these days
and, if that is the case, he will run far
better than the 40-1 offered by Coral
suggests.
Get On The Yager rates the main
threat. He was unsuited by a drop in trip
Rob Wright
1.30 Grapevine (nb)
3.50 Champagne Champ
2.05 Copain De Classe
4.25 Royale Django
2.40 Kildisart (nap)
5.00 Sebastapol
3.15 Bun Doran
Going: soft, good to soft in places
Racing UK
1.30
Matchbook Betting Exchange Novices’
Hurdle (£4,159: 2m) (9 runners)
127
Josh Moore
1 32U412 DISTINGO 30 (V,D,BF,S) G L Moore 5-11-6
0051 THE PREMIER CELTIC 19 (D,G) P Phelan 5-11-6
107
J Best
2
2-P GEORGE GENTLY 20 (BF) D Skelton 5-11-0
123
P Brennan
3
117
J J Burke
4 30-244 GOING GOLD 50 (G) R Hobson 6-11-0
541 GRAPEVINE 12 (D) N Henderson 5-11-0
112
N De Boinville
5
5 LORD DUVEEN 144 P Hobbs 5-11-0
115
R Johnson
6
16/ MERE IRONMONGER 700 (C,D,BF,G) B Powell 6-11-0
-R McLernon
7
F-12 SAO 28 (H,D,BF,S) P Nicholls 4-10-13
H Cobden v134
8
0 STYLISH DANCER 10 D Skelton 4-10-0
84
Bridget Andrews (3)
9
9-4 Sao, 4-1 Grapevine, 5-1 Distingo, 8-1 George Gently, Lord Duveen, Mere Ironmonger, 14-1 Going
Gold, The Premier Celtic, 20-1 Stylish Dancer.
2.05
Matchbook VIP Novices’ Limited
Handicap Chase (£8,447: 2m) (5)
ITV4
136
N Fehily
1 241110 DEAUVILLE DANCER 91 (T,D,G,S) D Dennis 7-11-13
134
S Twiston-Davies
2 1P1-31 COPAIN DE CLASSE 20 (D,S) P Nicholls 6-11-8
v137
F23232
KAYF
BLANCO
21
(C,D,BF,S)
G
McPherson
9-11-6
K
K
Woods
3
134
C Poste
4 212113 VOCALISER 24 (P,D,G,S) R Dickin 6-10-6
136
D England
5 352F30 FREE STONE HILL 23 (T,D,G) D Skelton 8-10-3
7-4 Copain De Classe, 5-2 Kayf Blanco, 4-1 Vocaliser, 5-1 Deauville Dancer, 12-1 Free Stone Hill.
Rob Wright’s choice: Copain De Classe had a confidence-boosting win at
Fontwell and remains open to improvement
Danger: Vocaliser
2.40
Matchbook Silver Plate Handicap ITV4
Hurdle (£21,896: 2m 5f) (11)
Mr L Williams (7) v139
1 2-5602 ZUBAYR 12 (C,BF,S) P Nicholls 6-11-12
131
2 111444 ARTHUR'S GIFT 28 (D,S) N Twiston-Davies 7-11-12 T Humphries (7)
131
D Jacob
3 2-2125 KILDISART 28 (BF,S) B Pauling 6-11-12
130
A P Heskin
4 3-0431 AZZERTI 37 (S) A King 6-11-12
130
Paul O'Brien (5)
5 2-126P TREACKLE TART 80 (D,G,S) C Longsdon 6-11-12
130
R Dunne
6 -P6222 SOLOMN GRUNDY 34 (W,S) N Mulholland 8-11-9
132
Josh Moore
7 3104-1 GRAASTEN 33 (D,G,S) G L Moore 6-11-7
129
N Fehily
8 11-233 JUST A STING 56 (BF,S) H Fry 6-11-2
456214
129
DJANGO DJANGO 21 (S) Jonjo O'Neill 5-11-2
Jonjo O'Neill (7)
9
132
10 3/F2P2 MONBEG THEATRE 24 (T,P,D,S) J Snowden 9-11-2 S Twiston-Davies
133
P Brennan
11 41-U52 STICK TO THE PLAN 100 (T,D,G) D Skelton 6-10-13
9-2 Azzerti, 11-2 Zubayr, 13-2 Graasten, Just A Sting, Kildisart, 8-1 Django Django, Solomn Grundy,
9-1 Monbeg Theatre, 10-1 Arthur's Gift, 12-1 Stick To The Plan, 33-1 Treackle Tart.
Wright choice: Kildisart travelled well until a mistake two out at Ascot and
is well worth another chance Dangers: Solomn Grundy, Stick To The Plan
3.15
1
2
3
Matchbook Silver Bowl Handicap ITV4
Chase (£25,024: 2m 4f 110y) (10)
P63-23 BUN DORAN 63 (D,BF,S) T George 7-11-12
0-2362 KILCREA VALE 56 (D,G,S) N Henderson 8-11-10
260322 BENTELIMAR 52 (D,BF,F,S) C Longsdon 9-11-9
P Brennan
N De Boinville
J J Burke
Fontwell Park
Rob Wright
1.40 Big Robin
4.00 Itoldyou
2.15 Clondaw Westie
4.35 Magoo
2.50 She’s Gina
5.10 Fizzlestix
3.25 Three Faces West
Going: heavy
At The Races
1.40
Novices' Hurdle
(£4,094: 2m 5f 164y) (10)
J McGrath
1 /0F-1 BIG ROBIN 25 N Henderson 6-11-7
N Scholfield
2 1/53 BELLE EMPRESS 26 Miss E Lavelle 7-11-0
Kevin Jones (5)
3 PPP30 BOOLA RIVER 21 J S Mullins 8-11-0
45 CHLOE'S COURT 33 R Walford 5-11-0
Matt Griffiths
4
J Sherwood (3)
5 P-P21 ILLTELLMEMA 62P Miss S Smith 6-11-0
P0 JOLLY JET 20 Mrs L Jewell 6-11-0
T Garner (3)
6
63 OSCARS LITTLE ROSE 46 S Thomas 5-11-0
J Davies
7
8 3-532 POTTERS SAPPHIRE 27 (B) Mrs L Wadham 5-11-0 G Sheehan
9 50U45 STRAWBERRY SPIRIT 29 (P) A Murphy 5-11-0 J Quinlan
H Bannister
10 3/P06 WELCOME POLLY 59 (P) C Mann 6-11-0
8-11 Big Robin, 7-2 Potters Sapphire, 8-1 Illtellmema, 10-1 others.
2.15
Handicap Chase
(£4,614: 2m 1f 165y) (5)
20225 ROTHMAN 21 (T,P,C) C Gordon 8-11-12
T Cannon
4-11P BREDON HILL LAD 43 (T,P,CD) S Gardner 11-11-12
Lucy Gardner (3)
J E Moore
3 3-255 MR MUDDLE 46 (V,D) G L Moore 11-11-11
B Powell
4 50F65 LE CURIEUX 41 (D) B Powell 6-11-10
D Bass
5 -301U CLONDAW WESTIE 9 (T,P) Mrs L Hill 7-11-5
2-1 Clondaw Westie, 3-1 Bredon Hill Lad, 100-30 Rothman, 6-1others
1
2
2.50
1P1541 COBRA DE MAI 22 (T,P,D,F,G,S) D Skelton 6-11-9
139
Bridget Andrews (3)
C Deutsch v145
5 33-234 CEPAGE 28 (S) Miss V Williams 6-11-9
138
A P Heskin
6 14-232 BRANDON HILL 36 (S) T George 10-11-8
144
N Fehily
7 22P/1- MINELLA PRESENT 657 (H,T,D,G,S) N Mulholland 9-11-7
141
C Poste
8 014U-P THOMAS CRAPPER 35 (T,P,D,G,S) R Dickin 11-11-5
143
S Twiston-Davies
9 516445 ORBASA 29 (B,D,G,S) P Nicholls 7-11-2
139
H Cobden
10 4-F3P1 FAVORITO BUCK'S 21 (CD,G,S) P Nicholls 6-11-0
4-1 Brandon Hill, 11-2 Cobra De Mai, Kilcrea Vale, 6-1 Bun Doran, Favorito Buck's, 7-1 Bentelimar,
12-1 Cepage, Orbasa, 14-1 Minella Present, Thomas Crapper.
4
Kempton Park
Mares' Handicap Hurdle
(£6,077: 2m 1f 162y) (6)
A Thorne (7)
1 -5546 COILLTE LASS 25 (P) P Nicholls 7-11-12
M Tissier (7)
2 15124 BANJO GIRL 29 Mrs L Wadham 6-11-1
G Sheehan
3 -3116 NARANJA 29 J Snowden 6-10-13
B15 HARMONISE 21 (H) Sheena West 4-10-6
M Goldstein
4
J McGrath
5 0501 SHE'S GINA 46 J S Mullins 5-10-4
J E Moore
6 644P- AT FIRST LIGHT 379 (C) D Weston 9-10-0
9-4 Banjo Girl, 5-2 Naranja, 5-1 Harmonise, 6-1 She's Gina, 8-1 others.
3.25
141
141
143
Wright choice: Bun Doran should appreciate this stiffer test after looking
one-paced over two miles
Dangers: Favorito Buck’s, Minella Present
3.50
Better Odds With Matchbook Insights
Novices’ Hurdle (£4,159: 2m 5f) (8)
31 CHAMPAGNE CHAMP 21 (S) B Millman 6-11-7
129
N Scholfield
1
3-1U3 CHOSEN PATH 36 (G) A King 5-11-7
W Hutchinson v130
2
109
N Fehily
3 33-11P EQUUS AMADEUS 153 (W,G) T Lacey 5-11-7
1-106 CEREAL KILLER 24 (S) P Nicholls 6-11-1
104
S Twiston-Davies
4
-P Brennan
5 -23123 DE NAME EVADES ME 125P (S) F O'Brien 6-11-1
5 GOSHEVEN 81 P Hobbs 5-11-1
-R Johnson
6
104
J Sherwood (3)
7 S51/36 MIGHTY VIC 20 (T,S) Miss S Smith 10-11-1
5-P
-QUITE
RIGHT
86
P
Gundry
7-10-8
J
Best
8
11-4 Champagne Champ, Chosen Path, 5-1 Cereal Killer, 11-2 Gosheven, 15-2 Equus Amadeus, 8-1
De Name Evades Me, 20-1 Mighty Vic, 33-1 Quite Right.
4.25
Matchbook Betting Podcast Handicap
Chase (£7,408: 3m) (10)
ROYALE DJANGO 41 (T,P,D,F,G,S) T Vaughan 9-12-3
J Best v114
112
RUSSBOROUGH 37 (P,G) Miss V Williams 9-12-3
C Deutsch
112
ALLEE BLEUE 28 (S) P Hobbs 8-12-3
R Johnson
-SANDS COVE 721 (D,G,S) H J Evans 11-12-2
T Dowling (5)
56
SWINCOMBE SCORCHIO 51 (W,T,D,S) P Gundry 8-12-2 N Scholfield
106
GORSKY ISLAND 41 (S) T George 10-12-2
C Gethings
110
ABRACADABRA SIVOLA 66 (T,P,D,G,S) D Pipe 8-11-12
D Noonan
87
KINGSTON 30 (G,S) A Carroll 9-11-11
L Edwards
111
INVICTA LAKE 19 (P,D,G,S) Miss S Smith 11-11-9
J Sherwood (3)
CKALCO DES LOGES 25 (T,BF,G,S) D Skelton 6-11-8
79
Bridget Andrews (3)
4-1 Abracadabra Sivola, Ckalco Des Loges, 9-2 Allee Bleue, 15-2 Gorsky Island, Royale Django,
Swincombe Scorchio, 12-1 Invicta Lake, 14-1 Russborough, 18-1 Sands Cove, 22-1 Kingston.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
P533PF
P/4-25
-00332
1336P/
14-PF0
-02P3P
000545
61-06P
0453FU
153PP6
5.00
Matchbook Maiden Open National Hunt
Flat Race (£3,119: 2m) (12)
-CILAOS GLACE G L Moore 5-11-3
Josh Moore
1
-LUCKY ACCORD P Hide 6-11-3
A Glassonbury
2
-MANVERS HOUSE R Walford 5-11-3
H Cobden
3
-OAKLEY P Hobbs 5-11-3
R Johnson
4
2 RHYTHM IS A DANCER 36 (T) P Nicholls 5-11-3 S Twiston-Davies v116
5
00 SAVANNA ROAR 81 B Pauling 5-11-3
97
D Jacob
6
2 SOLDIER OF LOVE 133 F O'Brien 5-11-3
109
P Brennan
7
-EBONY GALE P Hobbs 4-10-10
Conor Smith (5)
8
-GAELIC POET T Vaughan 4-10-10
J Best
9
-MISTER FISHER N Henderson 4-10-10
N De Boinville
10
1 SEBASTOPOL 69P (G) T Lacey 4-10-10
-N Fehily
11
-STARJAC P Webber 4-10-10
R McLernon
12
9-4 Mister Fisher, 11-4 Rhythm Is A Dancer, 7-2 Soldier Of Love, 6-1 Oakley, 10-1 Sebastopol, 16-1
Cilaos Glace, 25-1 Ebony Gale, Gaelic Poet, Savanna Roar, 33-1others.
Handicap Hurdle
1-3FF THREE FACES WEST 28 (P) P Hobbs 10-12-2
T Cheesman (5)
M Bastyan (5)
2 51260 KRIS SPIN 42 (D) K Lee 10-11-12
H Teal (7)
3 -0146 OH LAND ABLOOM 12 (D) N King 8-11-12
-4312
KING
UTHER
35
(V,C,D)
C
Gordon
8-11-5
T Cannon
4
C Shoemark
5 34230 BOOK OF GOLD 21 (P) O Sherwood 6-11-4
J E Moore
6 P-35P ANTONY 113 (C,BF) G L Moore 8-11-2
11-4 King Uther, 7-2 Three Faces West, 9-2 Antony, Kris Spin, 7-1 others.
1
4.00
Handicap Chase (£3,314: 3m 2f) (5)
25502 ITOLDYOU 30 (V,CD) Mrs L Jewell 12-11-12
T Cannon
133-4 MATROW'S LADY 30 (T,P,C) N Mulholland 11-11-10
Mr J King (5)
3 PP00P FLUGZEUG 117 (P,CD) J S Mullins 10-11-2 Kevin Jones (5)
D Crosse
4 PP4P4 WHAT LARKS 12 (P) Dr J Naylor 10-10-11
5 000P0 CANYOUHEARMENOW 12 (T,P) Mrs D Grissell 7-10-8
M Goldstein
13-8 Matrow's Lady, 5-2 Itoldyou, 100-30 Flugzeug, 10-1 others.
1
2
4.35
Handicap Hurdle (£4,094: 2m 3f) (9)
1/ MAGOO (T,,,W) P Nicholls 6-12-3
A Thorne (7)
1
2 6002U DUKE OF KILCORRAL 20 N Mulholland 5-11-12
Mr J King (5)
3 31205 BURST YA BUBBLE 20 J S Mullins 6-11-10 D Sansom (5)
4 14-02 GUARDS CHAPEL 44F (C) G L Moore 10-11-8 W Clarke (7)
5 06555 SAMSON THE MAN 25 (H) N Williams 5-11-6 T Garner (3)
6 52532 MISS ADVENTURE 15 (P) P Middleton 6-11-5
M Bastyan (5)
J E Moore
7 -01F3 LE CAPRICIEUX 36 G L Moore 7-11-3
8 UP536 TEA TIME FRED 22 (P,D) S Gardner 9-10-12
Lucy Gardner (3)
T Cannon
9 U52U2 BE DARING 33 (BF) C Gordon 7-10-5
100-30 Le Capricieux, 7-2 Magoo, 9-2 Be Daring, Guards Chapel, 8-1 others.
5.10
Conditional Jockeys' Handicap
Hurdle (£3,119: 3m 1f 166y) (4)
1 132-2 FIZZLESTIX 19 C Gordon 6-11-12
2 PP605 SHOOFLY MILLY 33 (T,B) J Scott 9-11-12
3 44345 GOOD NEWS 107 Lydia Richards 6-11-5
4 -UF65 POINT N SHOOT 26 (T,B) N Hawke 7-11-5
5-4 Fizzlestix, 9-4 Point N Shoot, 3-1 Shoofly Milly.
H Reed (3)
R Hawker (6)
Doubtful
M Bastyan
3.35
Rob Wright
1.50 Sahara Haze
4.10 I Just Know
2.25 Big River
4.45 Alf ’N’ Dor
3.00 Du Soleil
5.20 Whiskey In The Jar
3.35 Russe Blanc
5.55 Champagnendiamonds
Thunderer: 3.00 Fleminport (nap). 3.35 Get On The Yager.
Going: heavy
6 Inspection 8am
At The Races
1.50
Betfred St Patrick’s Day Mares’
ITV4
Handicap Hurdle (£4,159: 2m 7f 70y) (7)
91
Mr B Jones (7)
1 043401 SAHARA HAZE 22 (S) P Dando 9-11-12
91
J Nixon (7)
2 223140 TARA WELL 7 (T,P,S) R Dickin 8-11-0
92
A Coleman
3 50-532 MOZO 76 (H,T,C,S) A Honeyball 7-10-8
64
B Poste
4 -04050 HOLLOW PARK 107 (T,W) K Price 6-10-6
78
C Hammond (7)
5 4-2P43 SPECIAL PRINCESS 9 (P,S) M Hammond 8-10-5
v93
L Murtagh (5)
6 6-2P2F FROSTY DAWN 20 M Sowersby 10-10-1
66
R Day (3)
7 43-PP5 AGENT LOUISE 10 (P,C,G,S) M Sowersby 10-10-0
15-8 Sahara Haze, 9-4 Mozo, 9-2 Tara Well, 8-1 Frosty Dawn, 10-1 Hollow Park, 12-1 Special
Princess, 25-1 Agent Louise.
Wright choice: Sahara Haze finally broke his duck when winning by six
lengths at Warwick and can follow up in a weak race
Danger: Mozo
2.25
Betfred Novices’ Handicap Chase
ITV4
(£18,768: 3m) (6)
143
D R Fox
1 1-1P31 BIG RIVER 30 (T,D,G,S) Miss L Russell 8-11-12
142
T Scudamore
2 5-13P1 SOLIGHOSTER 35 (D,S) N Mulholland 6-11-8
144
M Hamill (5)
3 526113 ANOTHER VENTURE 28 (P,D,BF,S) K Bailey 7-11-3
60-211
142
LOOKSNOWTLIKEBRIAN
19
(S)
T
Vaughan
7-10-8
A
Johns
4
141
T Whelan
5 46201P BIG MEADOW 27 (CD,S) N King 7-10-6
N P Madden v146
6 -53423 BEHIND TIME 27 (P,S) H Fry 7-10-3
11-4 Big River, 3-1 Solighoster, 7-2 Another Venture, 9-2 Behind Time, 6-1 Looksnowtlikebrian,
10-1 Big Meadow.
Wright choice: Big River beat Cheltenham Festival runner-up Shantou
Flyer at Kelso and can defy top weight
Danger: Another Venture
3.00
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
-23244
-1F342
-5216P
21P-02
21411121155
-42154
-55022
10-33P
2-3011
324566
3-1F2P
Betfred Treble Odds On Lucky15'S ITV4
Handicap Hurdle (£12,512: 2m 3f 207y) (12)
CLYNE 20 (S) E Williams 8-11-12
A Wedge
OVERTOWN EXPRESS 21 (S) H Fry 10-11-5
N P Madden
SIR MANGAN 28 (D,G,S) D Skelton 10-11-3
J Bowen (3)
THELIGNY 77 (D,G,S) T Vaughan 7-11-3
A Johns
PEARL SWAN 391 (T,V,D,G,S) P Bowen 10-11-0
S Bowen
CAVE TOP 49 (CD,BF,S) O Greenall 6-10-12
B Hughes
SAKHEE'S CITY 21 (P,D,S) P Kirby 7-10-11
A Nicol
APPLESANDPIERRES 21 (P,C,D,F,G,S) D Skelton 10-10-8 H Skelton
HITHERJACQUES LADY 56 (W,D,G,S) O Sherwood 6-10-8
L Aspell
FLEMINPORT 26 (D,S) Jonjo O'Neill 5-10-7
A Coleman
SOLSTICE STAR 28 (T,D,S) M Keighley 8-10-5
H Stock (5)
DU SOLEIL 45 (H,C,S) Miss V Williams 6-10-3
T Scudamore
143
130
142
139
-v147
140
143
146
142
134
141
13-2 Applesandpierres, Overtown Express, Solstice Star, 8-1 Cave Top, Fleminport, Sir Mangan, 9-1
Pearl Swan, 10-1 Clyne, Theligny, 11-1 Hitherjacques Lady, Sakhee's City, 14-1 Du Soleil.
Wright choice: Du Soleil raced too enthusiastically at Leicester but should
be calmer now fitted with a hood Dangers: Sakhee’s City, Fleminport
Rob Wright
5.45 Kreb’s Cycle
7.45 Rose Berry
6.15 Arkadian Empire 8.15 Society Ranger
6.45 Amadeus Rox
8.45 Multiviz
7.15 Breathless Times
Going: standard
At The Races
Draw: 5f-1m, low numbers best
5.45
Russe Blanc can
bounce back to form
at Uttoxeter now he
is fitted with blinkers
Uttoxeter
Wolverhampton
(£6,077: 3m 1f 166y) (6)
The best bet of the day is at Kempton
Park, where Kildisart has
excellent claims in the
Matchbook Racing Is Commission Free Silver Plate
Handicap Hurdle (2.40).
He was still travelling
well until blundering two
out at Ascot last time and
his previous run, when
second over this course
at Southwell last time and, while he has
yet to prove that he stays quite this
far, he has been shaping as though
a thorough test will suit.
Big River looks the one to
beat in the Betfred Supports
Jack Berry House Novices’
Handicap Chase (2.25).
The form of his latest
defeat of Shantou Flyer
received a boost when
the latter finished a
fine
second
at
Cheltenham
this
week and Big River can
follow up.
Handicap
(£7,246: 1m 1f 104y) (7)
K Shoemark
1 (3) 03-11 ABE LINCOLN 18 (T,P,C) J Noseda 5-9-9
J Osborn (7)
2 (2) 2000/ TENOR 1004 (T) John Ryan 8-9-7
3 (7) 1325/ GREATEST JOURNEY 1050 (C) M Appleby 6-9-7
A Rawlinson
L Morris
4 (4) 6/64- C NOTE 100 (T) Mrs H Main 5-9-5
5 (5) 5-460 MYTHICAL MADNESS 7 (P,CD) D O’Meara 7-9-1 P Makin
6 (1) 4411- ROAD TO DUBAI 145 (D) G Scott 4-9-0 Hayley Turner
B A Curtis
7 (6) 0-123 KREB’S CYCLE 7 I Williams 4-8-7
5-4 Abe Lincoln, 7-2 Road To Dubai, 6-1 Kreb’s Cycle, 7-1 Mythical Madness,
10-1 C Note, 14-1 Tenor, 16-1 Greatest Journey.
Course specialists
Fontwell: Trainers K Lee, 4 from 9 runners, 44.4%; P
Nicholls, 27 from 66, 40.9%; N Mulholland, 34 from
129, 26.4%. Jockey Mr J King, 3 from 4 rides, 75.0%.
Kempton: Trainers N Henderson, 49 from 188,
26.1%; P Nicholls, 31 from 141, 22.0%; N TwistonDavies, 11 from 56, 19.6%.
Jockey H Cobden, 8 from 28, 28.6%.
Uttoxeter: Trainers K Price, 4 from 10, 40.0%; O
Murphy, 3 from 8, 37.5%; Dr R Newland, 16 from 55,
29.1%; D Skelton, 24 from 102, 23.5%.
Jockey H Skelton, 26 from 82, 31.7%.
Wolverhampton: Trainers J Noseda, 15 from 42,
35.7%; O Murphy, 3 from 11, 27.3%.
Jockey L Edmunds, 11 from 47, 23.4%.
6.15
Wright choice: Russe Blanc has a good record at this track, is well treated,
and can return to form Dangers: Get On The Yager, Back To The Thatch
4.10
Novices’ Hurdle (£6,506: 2m 7f 70y) (4)
1 5-0412 CADEYRN 21 (BF,S) M Scudamore 6-11-8
2 P1/15 PIRI MASSINI 28 (D,S) O Murphy 7-11-8
122 CONINGSBY 42 (S) T Lacey 5-11-2
3
4 P3-341 I JUST KNOW 65 (D,S) Mrs S Smith 8-11-2
2-1 Piri Massini, 5-2 Coningsby, I Just Know, 9-2 Cadeyrn.
4.45
T Scudamore
F Gregory (7)
Mr T O'Brien (5)
D Cook
122
126
v131
--
Handicap Chase (£6,506: 2m 4f) (7)
1 421-PP COBAJAYISLAND 50 (T,C,D,G,S) M Scudamore 10-11-12 T Scudamore v123
116
D R Fox
2 425/23 PRESENT FLIGHT 19 (T,F,G) Miss L Russell 9-11-12
106
M Hamill (5)
3 1P032P MAGUIRE'S GLEN 58 (D,S) G Harris 10-11-11
-B Hughes
4 F0/630 JAUNE ET BLEUE 27 (S) D Dennis 6-11-6
115
A Johns
5 P0-034 WINGS OF SMOKE 57 (T,D,F,G,S) T Vaughan 13-11-5
118
D Cook
6 P1332F ISKABEG LANE 6 (BF,S) Mrs S Smith 7-11-5
101
J Bowen (3)
7 3U33P3 ALF 'N' DOR 43 (T,P,D,BF,S) P Bowen 7-11-5
7-2 Alf 'N' Dor, 4-1 Cobajayisland, Iskabeg Lane, 6-1 Present Flight, Jaune Et Bleue, 10-1 others.
5.20
Novices’ Hurdle (£4,809: 2m 3f 207y) (7)
B Hughes
1 /1-321 JUST DON'T ASK 34 (D,S) C Longsdon 6-11-7
F Gregory (7)
2 1-2P11 WHISKEY IN THE JAR 29 (C,D,S) O Murphy 6-11-7
4- IRON HORSE 364 R Phillips 7-11-1
D Hiskett (5)
3
0P0 LAKE WASHINGTON 25 Miss V Williams 5-11-1
A P Cawley
4
T Phelan
5 12/0-P LOCH GARMAN ARIS 42 (G) G Hanmer 8-11-1
J Bargary (3)
6 3/2-06 COSTANTE VIA 21 N Twiston-Davies 7-10-8
B Poste
7 00-P00 DEFINITE WINNER 9 (T) K Price 7-10-8
Evens Whiskey In The Jar, 5-4 Just Don't Ask, 10-1 Costante Via, 20-1 others.
5.55
119
v130
-87
-103
87
NHunt Flat Race (£2,599: 1m 7f 168y) (4)
10 LECHLADE MAGICIAN 35 (D,S) A Honeyball 5-11-9
A Coleman v121
1
32 CHAMPAGNENDIAMONDS 51 Miss L Russell 5-11-2
115
D R Fox
2
2 CLONDAW FIXER 76P G Bewley 6-11-2
-J Bewley (3)
3
231 SMITHS CROSS 48P (S) M Scudamore 6-11-2
-T Scudamore
4
11-10 Lechlade Magician, 9-4 Smiths Cross, 7-2 Champagnendiamonds, 10-1 Clondaw Fixer.
Handicap (£3,752: 1m 4f) (10)
Fran Berry
(2) 340-5 TIDAL WATCH 24 Jonjo O’Neill 4-9-6
A Kirby
(10) 00-06 CAPE BANJO 24 N Mulholland 5-9-5
(4) 63064 WHAT USAIN 9 (H,P,C,D) M Appleby 6-9-5 A Rawlinson
(1) 51-13 THEGLASGOWWARRIOR 37 (D) J Goldie 4-9-5
P McDonald
5 (8) 62241 AKKADIAN EMPIRE 19 (C) I Jardine 4-9-5
C Rodriguez (3)
L Morris
6 (9) 250-3 YENSIR 14 (P,BF) O Murphy 5-9-4
7 (6) 1312- OVERHAUGH STREET 178 (H) E De Giles 5-9-2
C Shepherd (3)
8 (3) 0-001 BLUE ROCKS 17 (C) Mrs L Williamson 4-8-13
G Malune (5)
9 (5) 04-25 LONDON GLORY 31 (B,D) D Thompson 5-8-12 A Mullen
K O’Neill
10 (7) 3-600 THAHAB IFRAJ 7 A Dunn 5-8-11
3-1 Theglasgowwarrior, 7-2 Tidal Watch, 9-2 Yensir, 6-1 Cape Banjo, 8-1
Overhaugh Street, 10-1 Akkadian Empire, 12-1 London Glory, 14-1 others.
Handicap (£3,105: 1m 6f) (13)
L Morris
1 (11) 06-32 KATIE GALE 11 (V,D) R Brisland 8-9-9
2 (1) 430-1 CAPTAIN GEORGE 22 (P,CD) M Blake 7-9-8
M Godwin (3)
B A Curtis
3 (7) 14-46 CAPTAIN SWIFT 31 (P,CD) J Mackie 7-9-7
4 (8) 500-6 MISTER FIZZ 22 (P,C) Miss I Pickard 10-9-7 T Clark (3)
A Kirby
5 (6) 630-0 DANCE ROCK 19 N Mulholland 5-9-7
G Wood (3)
6 (4) /553- GOLD CHAIN 170J (P,,,W) C Ellam 8-9-6
S W Kelly
7 (2) 106-4 LEORO 14 (T,P) C Mann 4-9-4
G Malune (5)
8 (9) 20-46 CARACAS 52 K Frost 4-9-4
9 (12) 0-414 VOLTURNUS 30 (D,BF) J Osborne 4-9-2 J Dinsmore (7)
02-05
ROCK’N
GOLD
22
A
Wintle
5-9-1
Hollie Doyle
10 (3)
T Marquand
11(13) 435-0 AMADEUS ROX 29 (P) A King 4-8-13
A Mullen
12(10) 014-5 RAJAPUR 32 (B,D) D Thompson 5-8-11
13 (5) 6-000 MEDIEVAL BISHOP 20J (P,C,D) T Forbes 9-8-7 R Hornby
4-1 Captain George, 6-1 Dance Rock, Katie Gale, 8-1 Amadeus Rox, Volturnus,
10-1 Captain Swift, Gold Chain, Leoro, 12-1 Caracas, 14-1 others.
7.15
Betfred Midlands Grand National ITV4
Handicap Chase (Listed: £70,338: 4m 2f) (18)
138
Bryony Frost (3)
1 01-05U SILSOL 28 (T,B,G,S) P Nicholls 9-11-12
151
Mr Jack Andrews (7)
2 -63U15 MILANSBAR 21 (B,C,S) N King 11-11-10
142
H Skelton
3 -66112 GET ON THE YAGER 40 (G,S) D Skelton 8-11-8
D Cook v152
4 5-P134 HAINAN 21 (S) Mrs S Smith 7-11-7
144
Mr Z Baker (5)
5 4-0410 BENBENS 70 (G,S) N Twiston-Davies 13-11-6
146
J Bowen (3)
6 -3P114 WESTERN CLIMATE 63 (G,S) T Weston 9-11-5
141
S Houlihan (5)
7 -30121 REGAL FLOW 5 (F,G,S) R Buckler 11-11-3
146
R Patrick (5)
8 40-P22 ALFIE SPINNER 70 (T,P,S) K Lee 13-11-1
147
W Kennedy
9 1-3022 WEST OF THE EDGE 21 (P,S) Dr R Newland 10-10-13
130
T Bellamy
10 -13R3F BALLYMALIN 42 (G,S) N Twiston-Davies 8-10-12
141
S Bowen
11 4P-15F BOB FORD 98 (H,G,S) Dr R Newland 11-10-12
148
T O'Brien
12 -F231F BACK TO THE THATCH 21 (S) H Daly 6-10-11
148
13 PP211P THEMANFROM MINELLA 21 (T,B,G,S) B Case 9-10-10 M Kendrick (5)
147
Ross Chapman (3)
14 11-161 PLUS JAMAIS 21 (S) I Jardine 11-10-9
146
L Aspell
15 -21204 KRACKATOA KING 27 (V,C,BF,S) K Lee 10-10-8
121
D R Fox
16 -4U4PP RUSSE BLANC 6 (B,C,S) K Lee 11-10-5
141
A Wedge
17 14-342 BILLY BRONCO 65 (S) E Williams 7-10-4
145
A Tinkler
18 P-3111 THE ARTFUL COBBLER 26 (S) H Daly 7-10-3
6-1 Back To The Thatch, Get On The Yager, West Of The Edge, 8-1 The Artful Cobbler, 10-1 Milansbar,
14-1 Alfie Spinner, Hainan, Silsol, 16-1 Ballymalin, Benbens, Bob Ford, 20-1 others.
1
2
3
4
6.45
and distance, has worked out extremely
well.
Kildisart is open to plenty of
improvement after just four starts over
hurdles and rates terrific value at the 7-1
offered by William Hill.
The Matchbook Silver Bowl
Handicap Chase (3.15) looks a tricky
puzzle to solve but Bun Doran should
not be far away.
Tom George’s charge has plenty of
form in better company than this and
has shaped as though in good heart
over two miles on both starts this
season. This longer trip is more suitable
and he has the class to defy top weight.
Novice Stakes
(£3,752: 6f) (4)
1 (4) 2-1 BREATHLESS TIMES 72 (CD) R Charlton 3-9-8
A McNamara (3)
S W Kelly
2 (1) 621- JACK TAYLOR R Hughes 3-9-8
A Kirby
3 (3) 62-1 KION 12 (CD) J Osborne 3-9-8
Q TWENTY BOY M Usher 3-9-1
L Jones
4 (2)
5-4 Breathless Times, 7-4 Kion, 3-1 Jack Taylor, 33-1 Q Twenty Boy.
7.45
Fillies’ Handicap (£10,397: 7f) (7)
1 (1) 314-4 BINT ARCANO 47 (CD) J Camacho 5-9-7 C Rodriguez (3)
2 (5) 412-1 IFUBELIEVEINDREAMS 24 (D) I Mohammed 4-9-5
S Levey
3 (6) -1154 TITAN GODDESS 10 (D) M Murphy 6-9-2
Nicola Currie (5)
C Bishop
4 (2) 1-164 PATTIE 36 (D) M Channon 4-9-0
L Edmunds (3)
5 (7) 52-02 ROSE BERRY 17 (H) C Dwyer 4-8-13
B A Curtis
6 (3) 001-1 MADE OF HONOUR 35 K Burke 4-8-8
L Morris
7 (4) 06-04 ACADIAN ANGEL 12 (D) J J Quinn 4-8-2
5-2 Ifubelieveindreams, 3-1 Made Of Honour, 5-1 Bint Arcano, 8-1 others.
8.15
Handicap (Div I: £3,105: 1m 142y) (9)
P Bradley (5)
1 (1) 26022 SATCHVILLE FLYER 7 P D Evans 7-9-9
2 (7) -4200 SOCIETY RANGER 5 (P,CD) S Duffy (Ire) 5-9-6 R Winston
3 (6) -0020 JOYS DELIGHT 10 (P) D M Loughnane 4-9-3 R Kingscote
4 (3) 3-003 THE KING’S STEED 36 (T,B) S Lycett 5-9-1 K Shoemark
L Morris
5 (2) 0-004 OK BY ME 38 (P) I Williams 4-8-13
M Godwin (3)
6 (8) 00-06 GOLDEN EYE 7 S Kirk 4-8-13
7 (5) 50-00 PIPERS PIPING 21 (CD) Miss M Rowland 12-8-12 R Hornby
Jane Elliott (5)
8 (9) 0-400 LESANTI 8 E De Giles 4-8-12
9 (4) 60-05 TESS GRAHAM 40 (H,P) S Hollinshead 4-8-12 P Mathers
3-1 Satchville Flyer, 7-2 Society Ranger, The King’s Steed, 8-1 others.
8.45
Handicap (Div II: £3,105: 1m 142y) (9)
1 (8) 63343 LORD MURPHY 17 (T,CD) D M Loughnane 5-9-7
R Kingscote
L Morris
2 (6) -2002 LIVING LEADER 24 (C) G Harris 9-9-6
3 (4) 00100 GONE WITH THE WIND 17 (T,P,CD) R Bastiman 7-9-4
P Dennis (3)
4 (3) 0050- SIMMO’S PARTYTRICK 190 G Harker 5-9-1 Sam James
R Winston
5 (1) 04530 MULTIVIZ 5 (BF) S Duffy (Ire) 5-9-0
6 (5) 00/63 FINAL ATTACK 17 (D) S Hollinshead 7-8-13 W Cox (5)
7 (2) 50406 SHEER INTENSITY 10 (P) P D Evans 5-8-12 P McDonald
P Mathers
8 (9) 0-064 EMIGRATED 2 (T,V) D Shaw 5-8-12
9 (7) 0-060 CAIUS COLLEGE GIRL 9 (H,T) A Wintle 6-8-12
F Marsh (5)
9-4 Lord Murphy, 5-2 Multiviz, 9-2 Living Leader, 6-1 Final Attack, 12-1 others.
Blinkered first time: Fontwell 2.15 Mr Muddle. 5.10 Point
N Shoot. Kempton 1.30 Distingo. Wolverhampton 8.15 The
King’s Steed.
the times | Saturday March 17 2018
19
3G S
Sport
Fixtures
Results
Today
Football
Kick-off 3.0 unless stated
FA Cup: Quarter-finals: Swansea v Tottenham
(12.15); Man Utd v Brighton (7.45).
Premier League: Bournemouth v West Brom;
Huddersfield v Crystal Palace; Stoke v Everton;
Liverpool v Watford (5.30).
Championship: Fulham v QPR (12.30); Barnsley
v Millwall (1.0); Birmingham v Hull; Brentford v
Middlesbrough; Bristol City v Ipswich; Leeds v
Sheff Wed; Norwich v Reading; Sheff Utd v
Nottm Forest; Sunderland v Preston; Wolves v
Burton; Bolton v Aston Villa (5.30).
P
Wolves................37
Cardiff.................37
Aston Villa..........37
Fulham................37
Derby...................37
Middlesbrough....37
Sheff Utd ............ 37
Bristol City..........37
Preston................37
Millwall...............37
Brentford ............ 37
Ipswich................37
Leeds...................37
Norwich...............37
QPR ..................... 37
Nottm Forest......37
Hull......................37
Sheff Wed...........37
Reading...............37
Bolton..................37
Barnsley..............37
Birmingham........37
Burton.................37
Sunderland..........37
W
24
23
20
19
16
18
18
15
14
14
14
15
14
12
12
13
9
8
8
8
7
8
7
5
D
7
7
9
11
14
7
5
13
15
13
11
7
8
13
10
6
12
14
12
12
12
6
9
13
L
6
7
8
7
7
12
14
9
8
10
12
15
15
12
15
18
16
15
17
17
18
23
21
19
F
66
58
61
64
55
53
51
53
46
44
53
47
49
38
43
43
53
39
42
32
37
25
26
38
A
32
31
36
39
34
35
43
42
37
37
45
47
51
42
53
54
56
51
54
56
54
57
64
66
GD Pts
34 79
27 76
25 69
25 68
21 62
18 61
8 59
11 58
9 57
7 55
8 53
0 52
-2 50
-4 49
-10 46
-11 45
-3 39
-12 38
-12 36
-24 36
-17 33
-32 30
-38 30
-28 28
League One: Blackpool v Southend; Charlton v
Fleetwood; Gillingham v Blackburn; MK Dons v
Bury; Northampton v Rotherham; Oldham v
Portsmouth; Oxford Utd v Peterborough;
Plymouth v Bristol Rovers; Rochdale v AFC
Wimbledon; Scunthorpe v Shrewsbury.
P
Blackburn............37
Wigan..................34
Shrewsbury.........35
Rotherham..........36
Scunthorpe..........37
Peterborough......36
Plymouth.............36
Charlton .............. 35
Bristol Rovers.....36
Bradford..............35
Gillingham...........36
Portsmouth.........36
Southend.............36
Blackpool.............36
W
22
21
21
19
15
15
15
14
15
15
12
15
12
11
D
10
8
8
5
13
11
9
9
5
5
13
4
10
12
L
5
5
6
12
9
10
12
12
16
15
11
17
14
13
F
70
63
47
60
54
58
44
44
51
48
42
43
42
43
A
35
23
26
43
44
45
43
46
53
52
40
47
54
47
GD Pts
35 76
40 71
21 71
17 62
10 58
13 56
1 54
-2 51
-2 50
-4 50
2 49
-4 49
-12 46
-4 45
Walsall................37
Doncaster............36
Oxford Utd..........35
AFC Wimbledon..36
Oldham................35
Northampton......36
Fleetwood Town.35
MK Dons..............36
Rochdale..............33
Bury.....................36
11
10
11
11
10
10
10
8
7
7
11
13
9
8
10
9
8
11
12
9
15
13
15
17
15
17
17
17
14
20
47
43
50
36
50
35
46
35
33
30
54
44
53
47
60
57
57
50
41
53
-7
-1
-3
-11
-10
-22
-11
-15
-8
-23
44
43
42
41
40
39
38
35
33
30
League Two: Lincoln v Grimsby (1.0); Notts Co
v Mansfield (1.0); Accrington v Forest Green;
Barnet v Wycombe; Cambridge Utd v Swindon;
Carlisle v Crawley; Cheltenham v Chesterfield;
Colchester v Yeovil; Crewe v Coventry;
Morecambe v Exeter; Newport v Luton; Port
Vale v Stevenage.
P
Accrington...........36
Luton...................37
Notts County ...... 37
Wycombe............36
Mansfield............36
Exeter..................35
Coventry..............36
Lincoln City.........36
Swindon..............36
Carlisle................37
Newport County . 36
Crawley...............36
Colchester...........36
Cambridge...........37
Cheltenham.........37
Stevenage...........36
Yeovil..................36
Port Vale.............36
Crewe..................36
Forest Green.......36
Grimsby...............37
Morecambe.........35
Barnet.................37
Chesterfield........35
W
22
20
18
18
16
18
17
15
18
15
13
15
13
13
11
11
10
9
11
10
9
8
7
8
D
5
10
11
9
14
6
7
12
3
10
13
7
12
11
11
10
9
10
4
7
10
12
9
6
L
9
7
8
9
6
11
12
9
15
12
10
14
11
13
15
15
17
17
21
19
18
15
21
21
F
61
78
59
68
55
45
41
50
55
53
46
42
46
37
52
48
46
39
43
43
31
35
34
36
A
39
39
38
52
37
38
30
39
54
46
46
44
42
47
53
53
57
51
59
61
54
46
54
64
GD Pts
22 71
39 70
21 65
16 63
18 62
7 60
11 58
11 57
1 57
7 55
0 52
-2 52
4 51
-10 50
-1 44
-5 43
-11 39
-12 37
-16 37
-18 37
-23 37
-11 36
-20 30
-28 30
FA Trophy: Semi-finals, first Leg: Brackley v
Wealdstone; Bromley v Gateshead.
FA Vase: Semi-finals, first leg: Marske Utd v
Stockton Town; Thatcham Town v 1874
Northwich.
Vanarama National: AFC Fylde v Hartlepool;
Boreham Wood v Tranmere; Bromley v
Dagenham & Red; Chester v Aldershot; Dover v
Macclesfield; Eastleigh v Leyton Orient;
Guiseley v Halifax; Maidenhead v Barrow;
Maidstone v Sutton Utd; Solihull Moors v
Torquay; Woking v Wrexham.
P
Macclesfield........36
Sutton Utd..........37
Tranmere ............ 37
Wrexham ............ 37
Aldershot............37
Boreham Wood...37
Dover Athletic .... 37
W
21
20
18
16
17
16
16
D
8
9
10
15
12
14
12
L
7
8
9
6
8
7
9
F
51
57
61
43
58
51
50
A
37
39
37
28
45
34
33
GD Pts
14 71
18 69
24 64
15 63
13 63
17 62
17 60
AFC Fylde............37
Ebbsfleet ............37
Bromley...............35
Dagenham & Red 37
Gateshead
36
Maidenhead ....... 37
Eastleigh.............36
Halifax.................37
Leyton Orient......37
Woking................37
Maidstone...........36
Hartlepool...........36
Barrow ................ 34
Solihull Moors.....36
Torquay...............37
Chester ...............37
Guiseley .............. 36
16
14
15
14
11
12
10
11
11
12
10
9
8
9
7
6
5
10
14
10
9
15
12
15
12
10
7
12
11
12
8
9
12
10
11
9
10
14
10
13
11
14
16
18
14
16
14
19
21
19
21
68
48
58
55
51
51
53
41
43
45
43
39
41
37
33
32
31
46
42
42
51
39
56
58
48
50
58
55
52
48
52
61
61
68
22
6
16
4
12
-5
-5
-7
-7
-13
-12
-13
-7
-15
-28
-29
-37
58
56
55
51
48
48
45
45
43
43
42
38
36
35
30
30
25
Vanarama
North:
Alfreton
Town
v
Kidderminster; Blyth Spartans v Curzon
Ashton; Boston Utd v FC United of Manchester;
Bradford P A v AFC Telford; Darlington v North
Ferriby Utd; Gainsborough v Stockport County;
Leamington v Nuneaton; Salford City v
Spennymoor Town; Tamworth v Harrogate
Town; York v Southport.
South: Bognor Regis Town v East Thurrock;
Braintree Town v Whitehawk; Chippenham v
Weston-super-Mare; Concord Rangers v St
Albans; Dartford v Hemel Hempstead;
Gloucester v Hungerford Town; Havant and
Waterlooville v Hampton & Richmond; Poole
Town v Bath City; Truro City v Chelmsford;
Welling v Oxford City.
Evo-Stik Premier Division: North: Altrincham v
Stalybridge; Barwell v Lancaster City;
Hednesford v Marine; Matlock Town v Farsley
Celtic; Nantwich Town v Halesowen; Stafford
Rangers v Coalville Town; Stourbridge v Ashton
Utd; Sutton Coldfield Tn v Mickleover Sports;
Warrington Town v Grantham; Whitby v
Rushall Olympic; Witton Albion v Shaw Lane;
Workington v Buxton.
South: Basingstoke v Hereford; Bishop’s
Stortford v Slough; Frome Town v Kings
Langley; Gosport Borough v Redditch; Hitchin v
Dorchester; Kings Lynn Town v Farnborough;
Merthyr Town v St Neots Town; Royston Town
v Banbury; St Ives Town v Chesham; Stratford
Town v Kettering; Tiverton v Biggleswade
Town; Weymouth v Dunstable.
Bostik Premier: Billericay v Needham Market;
Burgess Hill Town v Brightlingsea Regent;
Enfield Town v Staines Town; Harrow Borough
v Lowestoft Town; Leatherhead v Dorking
Wanderers; Leiston v Wingate & Finchley;
Merstham v Harlow; Met Police v Margate;
Thurrock v Folkestone Invicta; Tonbridge
Angels v Kingstonian; Tooting & Mitcham v
Hendon
P W D L F A GD Pts
Celtic...................29 20 7 2 59 20 39 67
Rangers...............30 18 4 8 61 35 26 58
Aberdeen.............29 16 5 8 43 33 10 53
Hibernian ............ 30 14 10 6 43 33 10 52
Kilmarnock..........29 11 10 8 39 38 1 43
Hearts.................30 9 12 9 29 29 0 39
Motherwell ......... 29 10 5 14 34 39 -5 35
*St Johnstone....30 9 7 14 30 43 -13 34
Hamilton Acad....27 8 5 14 38 48 -10 29
Dundee................29 8 4 17 30 47 -17 28
Partick Thistle....29 6 7 16 26 47 -21 25
Ross County........29 5 6 18 31 51 -20 21
Championship: Brechin v Dumbarton; Dundee
Utd v Inverness CT: Dunfermline v Morton;
Livingston v Falkirk; Queen of South v St
Mirren.
P
St Mirren................27
Livingston..............27
Dundee United.......24
Morton...................28
Dunfermline ..........27
Queen of South......27
Falkirk....................27
Inverness CT..........25
Dumbarton.............26
Brechin City ........... 26
W
19
14
13
11
10
10
8
8
5
0
D
3
8
4
9
8
8
9
6
9
4
L
5
5
7
8
9
9
10
11
12
22
F
49
44
34
38
40
40
31
30
16
18
A
28
28
29
28
30
37
40
31
32
57
GD Pts
21 60
16 50
5 43
10 42
10 38
3 38
-9 33
-1 30
-16 24
-39 4
League One: Albion Rovers v Arbroath; Alloa v
Airdrie; Forfar v Ayr; Stranraer v Queens Park.
League Two: Annan v Clyde; Berwick v
Stenhousemuir; Cowdenbeath v Elgin;
Edinburgh v Stirling Albion; Montrose v
Peterhead.
Rugby league
Betfred Super League: Catalans Dragons v
Warrington (5.0); Wakefield v Widnes (6.30).
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup: Fourth round:
Normanton Knights v Rochdale (2.0).
Rugby union
NatWest Six Nations: England v Ireland (2.45);
Italy v Scotland (12.30); Wales v France (5.0).
Greene King IPA Championship: Doncaster v
Richmond (2.30); Hartpury RFC v Cornish
Pirates (1.0); Rotherham Titans v Bristol (2.0).
Principality
Building
Society
Welsh
Premiership: Bargoed v RGC 1404 (1.30);
Carmarthen Quins v Cardiff Rugby (12.30);
Llandovery v Ebbw Vale (1.0); Merthyr v Llanelli
(12.30).
Other sport
Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen v
Dundee; Hearts v Partick; Ranger v Kilmarnock;
Ross Co v Hamilton.
Badminton: Arena Birmingham: Yonex AllEngland Open.
Basketball: BBL Championship: Leicester v
Cheshire (7.30).
Ice hockey: Elite League: Guildford v
Manchester (6.0); Belfast v Fife (7.0); Braehead
v Milton Keynes (7.0); Coventry v Dundee (7.0);
Sheffield v Nottingham (7.0).
1.50 (2m 3f 81yd hdle) 1, Blunder Buss (B
Hughes, 7-1); 2, Arthurs Secret (7-2); 3,
Traditional Dancer (5-1). 9 ran. 1l, 6l. C Grant.
2.30 (2m 7f ch) 1, Dun Faw Good (Miss C
Walton, 5-2); 2, Robins Legend (7-2); 3,
Attention Please (9-4 fav). 7 ran. 1Ol, 13l. J
Walton.
3.10 (2m 85yd flat) 1, Sporting Press (B
Hughes, 2-1 fav); 2, Leostar (11-2); 3, Macardle
(7-2). 11 ran. Sh hd, 10l. K Dalgleish.
Placepot: £148.10.
Quadpot: £40.90.
3.55 (2m 3yd hdle) 1, Potters Midnight (Jack
Quinlan, 8-1); 2, All My Love (4-1); 3, Mellow
Ben (11-2). 8 ran. 1l, 6l. Mrs L Wadham.
4.35 (3m 38yd ch) 1, Morney Wing (Joshua
Moore, 9-1); 2, What Happens Now (6-1); 3,
Popelys Gull (16-1). 6 ran. NR: Amiral
Collonges. 3Nl, 9l. C J Mann.
5.10 (2m 5f 44yd ch) 1, Heresmynumber (Adam
Wedge, 2-1); 2, Wood Pigeon (11-8 fav); 3,
Alpha Indi (9-4). 4 ran. 1Nl, 22l. Ali Stronge.
Placepot: £114.40.
Quadpot: £21.60.
Tomorrow
Football
Ladbrokes Premiership
Football
St Johnstone (0) 1
FA Cup: Quarter-finals: Wigan v Southampton
(1.30); Leicester v Chelsea (4.30).
Sky Bet Championship: Derby v Cardiff (12.0).
Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership: Motherwell v
Celtic (2.15). League One: Raith v East Fife
(4.10).
Bostik Premier: Dulwich v Worthing (3.0).
Women’s FA Cup: Quarter-finals (2.0): Arsenal
v Charlton; Durham v Everton; Liverpool v
Chelsea; Sunderland v Man City.
Super League Two: Watford v Sheffield FC
(3.0).
Rugby league
Betfred Super League: Castleford v Wigan
(3.30).
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup: Fourth round (3.0):
Barrow v Sheffield; Batley v Leigh; Coventry v
Pilkington Recs; Halifax v Oldham; Hunslet v
Bradford; North Wales Crusaders v
Featherstone (2.30); Whitehaven v Dewsbury;
Workington v London Broncos; York v Swinton.
Rugby union
Anglo-Welsh Cup Final: Bath v Exeter
(Kingsholm, Gloucester, 3.0).
Greene King IPA Champioship (3.0):
Nottingham v Bedford; Yorkshire Carnegie v
Ealing Trailfinders.
NatWest Women’s Six Nations: Italy v
Scotland (2.0).
Women: Tyrrells Premiers 15s: Richmond v
Loughborough (1.30, Richmond Athletic
ground).
P W
14
14
11
10
10
8
7
3
1
0
Saracens
16
Harlequins 17
Wasps
16
Gloucester-H 17
Loughborough 16
Bristol
16
Richmond
16
Darlington MP 16
Firwood-W 16
Worcester 16
D
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
2
1
L
1
3
5
6
6
8
9
12
13
15
F
590
642
456
536
365
426
237
238
180
80
A
142
260
237
372
322
295
381
365
456
920
B Pts
14 72
15 71
15 59
13 55
11 51
9 41
6 29
7 21
3 11
0
2
Other sport
Badminton: Arena Birmingham: Yonex AllEngland Open.
Basketball: BBL Championship: Leeds v
Leicester (4.0); Glasgow v Sheffield (5.0);
Manchester v Worcester (5.0);
Ice hockey: Elite League: Dundee v Fife (5.0);
Manchester v Nottingham (5.30); Cardiff v
Sheffield (6.0); Edinburgh v Braehead (6.0);
Guildford v Coventry (6.0).
Hibernian
(1) 1
Kane 83
Ambrose 2
3,652
Sent off: O Marciano (Hibernian) 14
Badminton
Yonex All England Open: Birmingham: Quarterfinals: Men: Shu Yuqi (China) bt Chen Long
(China) 21-10, 21-17. Women: Chen Yufei
(China) bt M Blichfeldt (Den) 21-17, 21-12; Tai
Tzu-ying (Tapei) bt A Ohori (Japan) 21-12,
21-13; P Sindhu (India) bt N Okuhara (Japan)
20-22, 21-18, 21-18. Mixed doubles: Y
Watanabe & A Higashino (Japan) bt C Adcock &
G Adcock (GB) 21-18, 15-21, 15-21.
Cricket
World Cup Qualifier: Ireland v Zimbabwe
Harare (Ireland won toss): Zimbabwe 211-9
(50 overs: Sikandar Raza 69 not out; T J
Murtagh 3 for 36). Ireland 104 (34.2 overs: T S
Chisoro 3 for 22). Zimbabwe (2pts) beat Ireland
by 107 runs.
Twenty20: Colombo: Sri Lanka 159-7 (M D K J
Perera 61, N L T C Perera 58). Bangladesh 160-8
(19.5 overs: Tamim Iqbal 50). Bangladesh won
by two wickets.
Golf
US PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational
Orlando, Florida: Leaders after two rounds
(United States unless stated): 133: H Stenson
(Swe) 64, 69; B DeChambeau 67, 66. 135: T
Gooch 65, 70. 136: An Byeong-hun (S Kor) 68,
68. 137: C Hoffman 71, 66. 138: R Fowler 67, 71;
B Horschel 68, 70; L List 71, 67; P Reed 68, 70;
R Moore 71, 67. 139: R McIlroy (N Ire) 69, 70.
Others: 140: J Rose (GB) 69, 71; T Woods 68, 72.
Rugby league
Betfred Super League: St Helens 20 Leeds 28;
Salford 24 Hull FC 8. 6 Table on page 14
Rugby union
Women’s Six Nations: England 33 Ireland 11;
Wales 3 France 38.
6 Table on page 12 in The Scrum
Guinness Pro14: Cardiff Blues 31 Benetton 25;
Edinburgh 12 Munster 6.
Tennis
BNP Paribas Open
Indian Wells, California: Quarter-finals: Men:
R Federer (Switz) bt Hyeon Chung (S Kor) 7-5,
6-1. Women: V Williams (US) bt C Suarez
Navarro (Sp) 6-3, 6-2.
Yesterday’s racing results
Cheltenham
Going: soft (heavy in places)
1.30 (2m 179yd hdle) 1, Farclas (J W Kennedy,
9-1); 2, Mr Adjudicator (8-1); 3, Sayo (33-1). 9
ran. 1Ol, 3Kl. G Elliott (Ire).
2.10 (2m 179yd hdle) 1, Mohaayed (Bridget
Andrews, 33-1); 2, Remiluc (50-1); 3, Whiskey
Sour (7-1); 4, Chesterfield (16-1). 24 ran. NR:
Brahms De Clermont, I Shot The Sheriff,
Krugermac. 2Ol, Ol. D Skelton.
2.50 (2m 7f 213yd hdle) 1, Kilbricken Storm
(Harry Cobden, 33-1); 2, Ok Corral (16-1); 3,
Santini (11-4 fav). 20 ran. 3l, 1Kl. C L Tizzard.
3.30 (3m 2f 70yd ch) 1, Native River (R Johnson,
5-1); 2, Might Bite (4-1 fav); 3, Anibale Fly
(33-1). 15 ran. NR: Double Shuffle, Minella
Rocco, Shantou Flyer. 4Kl, 4l. C L Tizzard.
4.10 (3m 2f 70yd ch) 1, Pacha Du Polder (Miss H
C Tucker, 25-1); 2, Top Wood (50-1); 3=, Barel Of
Laughs (14-1). 3=, Cousin Pete (66-1). 24 ran.
Nk, 3Nl. P F Nicholls.
4.50 (2m 4f 56yd hdle) 1, Blow By Blow (D
Meyler, 11-1); 2, Discorama (33-1); 3, Early
Doors (9-1). ; 4, Sire Du Berlais (10-1). 23 ran.
NR: Amour de Nuit. 5l, 1Nl. G Elliott (Ire).
5.30 (2m 62yd ch) 1, Le Prezien (B J Geraghty,
15-2); 2, Gino Trail (25-1); 3, Top Gamble (8-1);
4, Theinval (16-1). 22 ran. NR: Forest Bihan, The
Game Changer. 4Kl, nk. P F Nicholls.
Placepot: £32,088.70.
Quadpot: £441.20.
Musselburgh
Going: good to soft (good in places)
11.30 (2m 85yd hdle) 1, Morning With Ivan (J
Corbett, 9-2); 2, The Compeller (10-1); 3,
Character Onesie (8-1). 9 ran. 7l, 2Nl . S Corbett.
12.05 (2m 3f hdle) 1, Bedrock (R Chapman, 4-9
fav); 2, Jesse Jude (100-1); 3, The Road Home
(7-2). 5 ran. NR: The Steward. 8l, 2l. I Jardine.
12.40 (2m 195yd ch) 1, Celtic Flames (D R Fox,
2-1); 2, Middlebrow (8-11 fav); 3, An Laoch
(5-1). 4 ran. 1Ol, 6l. Miss Lucinda V Russell.
1.10 (2m 3f 193yd ch) 1, Nefyn Bay (B Hughes,
9-4 fav); 2, John Williams (11-4); 3, Chain Of
Beacons (10-1). 6 ran. Ol, 8l. D McCain Jnr.
THE HOME OF
LIVE FOOTBALL
Fakenham
Going: soft (heavy in two dips)
2.00 (2m 3yd hdle) 1, Ascendant (Patrick
Cowley, 4-11 fav); 2, Saucysioux (5-2); 3,
Hurricane Rita (11-1). 5 ran. 6l, 4l. J Farrelly.
2.40 (2m 5f 44yd ch) 1, Enjoy Responsibly (H
Beswick, 5-2); 2, Mortens Leam (9-2); 3, After
Aspen (7-4 fav). 4 ran. 13l, 2Kl. O Sherwood.
3.20 (2m 3yd hdle) 1, Weebill (James Nixon, 1-4
fav); 2, Telegraph Place (25-1); 3, Schap (8-1). 6
ran. 6l, 1Kl. Olly Murphy.
Lingfield Park
Going: standard
1.00 (1m) 1, Secret Return (Rhiain Ingram, 4-1);
2, Accomplice (20-1); 3, Sonnet Rose (5-2 fav).
9 ran. NR: Highway One. Kl, nk. Karen George.
1.40 (7f 1y) 1, Bungee Jump (Nicola Currie,
5-1); 2, Fire Diamond (10-1); 3, Al Khan (12-1).
7 ran. NR: Laytown, Rivellino. 2l, 2l.
K Ryan.
2.20 (1m 4f) 1, Night Story (James Doyle, 10-11
fav); 2, Yabass (7-4); 3, Rocky Shores (50-1). 4
ran. 1Kl, 2Ol. C Appleby.
3.00 (1m 4f) 1, Koeman (Charles Bishop, 6-1); 2,
Island Brave (9-4); 3, Amazing Red (15-2). 9 ran.
NR: Miss Minuty. Kl, nk. M Channon.
3.40 (1m 1yd) 1, Fountain Of Time (George
Wood, 3-1); 2, Effervescence (16-1); 3,
Sketching (16-1). 12 ran. 1Ol, Kl. C Appleby.
4.20 (7f 1yd) 1, Alifax (A Kirby, 2-1); 2,
Haverland (10-1); 3, Sweet Symphony (5-1). 8
ran. NR: Jazzy Girl. Kl, 1l. J Osborne.
5.00 (7f 1yd) 1, Freebe Rocks (Oisin Murphy,
11-4 fav); 2, New Orleans (3-1); 3, Cloud Eight
(3-1). 9 ran. Hd, 1Kl. M Bell.
Placepot: £828.10.
Quadpot: £51.30.
Wolverhampton
Going: standard
5.45 (1m 1f 104yd) 1, Stringybark Creek (S
Donohoe, 3-1); 2, Street Poet (13-8 fav); 3, Let
Me In (16-1). 13 ran. Ol, 1Nl. J Farrelly.
6.15 (5f 21yd) 1, Carpet Time (B Curtis, 1-3 fav);
2, Rivendicato (10-1); 3, Shanghai Elastic (4-1).
4 ran. NR: Remal Dubai. 1Kl, 2Nl. T Barron.
6.45 (6f 20yd) 1, Dazeekha (J Hart, 5-1); 2, New
Rich (8-1); 3, See Vermont (9-1). 11 ran. NR:
Ambitious Boy, Chip Or Pellet. Kl, 1Kl. M
Herrington.
7.15 (6f 20yd) 1, Clergyman (D Tudhope, 9-4
fav); 2, Wedgewood Estates (9-1); 3, Celerity
(100-1). 12 ran. NR: Dreams Of Glory. 2N, Ol.
Rebecca Bastiman.
7.45 (6f 20yd) 1, Rock On Baileys (L Edmunds,
9-2); 2, Montague (4-1); 3, Our Man In Havana
(16-1). 7 ran. NR: Kodiac Express. 3Ol, 3l. C
Dwyer.
8.15 (7f 36yd) 1, Ramblow (Nicola Currie, 25-1);
2, Beatbybeatbybeat (8-1); 3, Thorntoun Lady
(7-1). 8 ran. Ol, ns. M Appleby.
8.45 (1m 1f 104yd) 1, Sunshineandbubbles (J
Fanning, 13-8 fav); 2=, Champagne Pink (7-4);
2=, Perceived (6-1). 8 ran. Kl, dht. Jennie
Candlish.
Placepot: £203.20.
Quadpot: £88.40.
FA CUP
CHAMPIONS
NSHIP
HIP
PRE
E MIE
M R LEAG
L EAGUE
UE
FA
A CUP
P
SWANSEA
FULHAM
LIVERPOOL
MANCHESTER UTD
V
V
V
TOTTENHAM
V
QPR
WATFORD
BRIGHTON
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20
1G S
Saturday March 17 2018 | the times
Sport
Giles Smith
Warmth, cheap prizes and struggling
players: you couldn’t beat a bit of Bully
GRAHAM CHADWICK/EMPICS SPORT
J
im Bowen died this week, at the age of
80, and the sport of darts duly honoured
him as one of its own, which he clearly
was, even though he was also a comedian
from Wirral who never threw a dart in
anger. On Premier League night at the
Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on Thursday,
Dave Clark of Sky Sports led an onstage tribute
in which Wayne Mardle spoke of how Bowen
and the show he hosted “had done wonders for
the world of darts”, and John Part praised him
for the “profile outside of the normal boundary”
that he helped to create for darts players.
And then, when play began, Peter “Snakebite”
Wright arrived at the oche, having generously
handed over half of his mohawked head to an
exquisitely accurate, full-colour rendering
(handpainted by Jo, Wright’s wife) of Bully, the
cartoon farm animal in a darts smock, who
served Bullseye as a kind of subtitling for the
hard of thinking, and who was also, incidentally,
quite clearly the precursor for the cartoon duck
in cricket.
Bullseye, lest you need to be told, was an ITV
gameshow that unprecedentedly twinned
general knowledge questions and darts.
Between 1981 and 1995 it did this so well that we
now think of it as part of the unbreakable
triumvirate of classic gameshow formats based
on sports, the other two being Big Break
(inspired by snooker) and The Golden Shot
(inspired by phone-in crossbow shooting).
At its peak, going out into the peculiar
flatness of a British Sunday afternoon, Bullseye
racked up an audience of 19.8 million and, at
one stage, there was a five-year waiting list for
tickets to sit in the audience. Never
underestimate, in the right economic climate,
the nation-galvanising allure of a three-way
battle to win a cheap British car or, in the really
glamorous weeks, a cheap British speedboat, or
even just a cheap British hostess trolley — and
not least if they are throwing in a chance to see
Bobby George in action at the same time.
Alternatively, contestants walked away with a
tankard, a set of darts and a “bendy Bully” — a
ten-inch rubber facsimile of the aforementioned
cartoon animal. Nobody seemed to complain,
least of all people involved in darts. Clearly no
other show since Sid Waddell’s pub-games
compendium The Indoor League had done so
much to usher the sport on to the small screen
at prime viewing time and promote its stars.
Not that it was easy on them. Time and again
the greats of the oche would step up to the
Bullseye board to generate money for good
causes, only to limp back to Bowen’s table,
clutching their heads and muttering apologies.
Phil “The Power” Taylor, in his first appearance
on the show in 1990, scored 180, which sounds
typical of him. But this was with nine darts —
an almost unthinkably low haul for three visits
to the board from the future 16-times world
champion. Jocky Wilson, whose place on a
Couch potato’s
guide to the
weekend’s TV
who maintained that he “only ever did a
reasonable job” on the show and, furthermore,
that his work throughout the first series was
“rubbish”. It’s true that the filming of the first
two episodes went so badly awry (two extremely
drunk contestants from Belfast didn’t help) that
they could not be broadcast, much to the
irritation of the producers, who had seen a prize
car dished out in one of them.
Still, Bowen was too modest. OK, there were
times when he famously appeared to be at least
fleetingly on professional autopilot. (Contestant:
“I’m a miner, Jim, but I’ve been out of work for
nine months.” Bowen: “Smashing.”) And there
was a rich vein of schadenfreude in the gleeful
exposure of losing competitors to the bounty
they had just missed out on (“Let’s have a look
at what you would have won”), which did not
bespeak an entirely cotton-wool environment.
Yet to watch the host comically toss his cue
cards over his shoulder in open-mouthed
despair at the confusion unfolding before his
eyes is to realise that Bowen shared with Sir
Bruce Forsyth that rare ability to express
exasperation at the incompetence of the
contestants and have it communicate nothing
but inclusion and warmth.
Shows since then have attempted to tap darts
for its honest spirit, but without success. One
Hundred and Eighty, despite the top-line
involvement of Davina McCall, Freddie Flintoff
and Russ Bray, the furnace-larynxed PDC
referee, lasted just one series on Sky in 2015 and,
whatever else you want to say about it, it was no
Bullseye. As for the real thing, both Ant and Dec
and Vernon Kay have helmed one-off revivals
for ITV’s Gameshow Marathon, and the show
was brought back by Challenge TV in 2006,
with Dave Spikey in the Bowen role. But it did
not catch on, to nobody’s particular surprise. It
wasn’t that the game had not changed; the
world had.
As Clark said in Nottingham, in his closing
link, echoing the old Bowen battle cry: “You
can’t beat a bit of Bully.” He was right. And no
one ever will.
Bullseye, hosted by Bowen for 14 years, drew audiences of nearly 20 million people in its heyday
darting Mount Rushmore would be guaranteed
in any era, did not do much better when he
managed 205 — although all credit to him for
keeping a cigarette on the go at the same time.
Raymond van Barneveld, hair freshly
shampooed, white socks visible above his black
shoes, flung in a relatively respectable 265 on
his first, fuzzy-lipped trip to the studio. But even
that was hardly setting the board alight,
comparatively speaking, and vanishingly rare
was the darter who could duplicate anything
like his competitive form under the Bullseye
lights. In fact, if memory serves, Eric Bristow, in
particular, never did.
Today 9.30am Motor cycling, MotoGP
Qatar: FP3, BT Sport 2. 11.45am FA Cup,
Swansea v Tottenham, BT Sport 1. 12pm
Championship, Fulham v QPR, Sky
Sports Main Event. Six Nations, Italy v
Scotland, ITV. 1pm Motor Cycling,
MotoGP Qatar: Qualifying, BT Sport 2.
1.30pm Cycling, Milan-San Remo,
Eurosport 1. 2.25pm Six Nations,
England v Ireland, ITV. 4.30pm Six
Nations, Wales v France, BBC One. Golf,
PGA Tour, Arnold Palmer Invitational,
But then perhaps no show had quite
the same automatic levelling effect in general.
Even as Bowen was introducing the special
guest star George Best, who came on, looking a
little underslept, to throw for charity in 1984,
some of the elderly audience members behind
him were manifestly passing around a packed
lunch in a Tupperware tub.
Bullseye’s uncomplicated tone both derived
from and helped further mould the tone of
darts, which, even now in the age of the packed
Enormodome and the raging walk-on, remains
our time’s most down-to-earth of sports. And
central to the creation of that tone was Bowen,
Sky Sports Golf. 4.55pm Super League,
Catalan Dragons v Warrington Wolves,
Sky Sports Action. 5pm Premier League,
Liverpool v Watford, BT Sport 1.
5.15pm Championship, Bolton v Aston
Villa, Sky Sports Main Event.
7.30pm FA Cup, Manchester United v
Brighton, BT Sport 1. 7.40pm La Liga,
Real Betis v Espanyol, Sky Sports
Football. 10.30pm Boxing, Matt Askin v
Stephen Simmons and Joe Joyce v
Donnie Palmer, Channel 5.
Tomorrow 12.30am Winter Paralympics,
day nine, Channel 4. 12.30am NBA, San
Antonio Spurs v Minnesota Timberwolves,
BT Sport 1. 11.30am Championship, Derby
v Cardiff, Sky Sports Main Event. Serie A,
Sampdoria v Inter Milan, BT Sport 1.
12pm Ligue 1, Nice v PSG, BT Sport/ESPN.
1.15pm FA Cup, Wigan v Southampton, BBC
One. 2pm Serie A, AC Milan v Chievo, BT
Sport/ESPN. 2.15pm Scottish Premiership,
Motherwell v Celtic, Sky Sports Main
Event. 2.30pm Anglo-Welsh Cup final,
Bath v Exeter, BT Sport 1. 3.30pm Motor
Cycling, MotoGP: Grand Prix of Qatar, BT
Sport 2. 4.05pm FA Cup, Leicester v
Chelsea, BBC One. 4.30pm Golf, PGA Tour,
Arnold Palmer Invitational, Sky Sports Golf.
6pm Tennis, WTA Tour, BNP Paribas Open
at Indian Wells, BT Sport 2. 7.30pm Serie
A, Napoli v Genoa, BT Sport 1. 8pm Tennis,
ATP Tour, BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells,
Sky Sports Arena. 10.30pm Golf, LPGA, The
Founders Cup, Sky Sports Golf. NBA, New
Orleans Pelicans v Boston Celtics, BT Sport 1.
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