A big cloud hangs over my head – Russell

first_img… Anti-doping tribunal to deliver verdict todayANDRE Russell is praying and hoping that the independent anti-doping tribunal does not ban him for missing out on filing his whereabouts on three occasions in 2015.The three-member tribunal will deliver the verdict in Kingston today.If found guilty, Russell could face a maximum ban of up to two years under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules. Missing three Tests in a 12-month period amounts to a failed dope test under the WADA guidelines.“It’s been stressing and hard playing cricket and all that’s in the back of your head. But at the end of the day you have to do what you have to do,” Russell told Jamaican Observer.“It’s like a big cloud over my head. If I get a ban then definitely I’m out of cricket (during the period of the suspension); I mean all formats. So I’d just love to know I’m back and I can represent Jamaica Tallawahs, West Indies, and all the other teams I play for in the world.“Honestly, I’m being positive and I haven’t been thinking about anything else that I want to do apart from playing cricket; doing what I love. I have so many fans out there and they would be disappointed, just as I would be. I just want to remain positive at the moment.“I think I can (avoid a suspension) with the help of God; I think it’s out of my control, so I just have to wait on what happens on Tuesday (today).”In March 2016, Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) pressed a legal charge against Russell for failing to provide his whereabouts between January and July 2015. According to JADCO Russell had failed to file his whereabouts on January 1, July 1 and July 25 that year despite several reminders over email, phone and letters.In his defence, Russell told the tribunal that he had not been properly trained to file the whereabouts, and that he had authorised his agent and travel agent to file his whereabouts since he was busy with cricket commitments.The three-member tribunal comprising Hugh Faulkner, Dr Marjorie Vassell and Dixeth Palmer, a former Jamaica cricketer has been deliberating on the case for a long time and even delayed the original verdict date last December.Russell, who is recovering from a left hamstring injury which forced him out midway the Big Bash League in Australia earlier this month, remained “positive” on the eve of the verdict.Russell tested his fitness last Saturday when he returned to play a league game for St Catherine’s Cricket Club. He ended up with three wickets which played a role in his team’s victory.Last July, while playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League, Russell had said it had been “depressing” for him to carry on playing while the hearings were on. Ahead of the hearing, he hoped his prayers would be answered.“As I said in the team meeting to the guys, I just would love for them to say a prayer for me, and I’ve been praying for myself as well,” he said. “I have faith (in) the work that my lawyers put out … I think they summed up things very well.” (ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

Skaneateles, Marcellus, J-E tennis win in Class C sectionals

first_imgJ-E, relatively new to sectional tournament pressure, traveled to no. 6 seed Holland Patent and knocked off the Golden Knights 3-2 to earn a quarterfinal berth against Marcellus.Anisa Bort prevailed in singles over Julia Cucci 6-1, 6-4, while Meghan Whalen topped Emma Shoemaker 7-5, 6-2. Needing just one doubles point, the Eagles earned it when Katelyn Precourt and Gabby Skotinski beat Bella Adamo and Madison Parks 6-4, 6-2.Elsewhere in local tennis, Westhill relied on its singles players to beat Mexico 4-3, with Sophia Frost shutting out Caitlyn Hackett 6-0, 6-0 as Mikayla Carroll beat Grace Schipper 6-2, 6-1 and Katie Hagrman handling Amy Gilbert 6-0, 6-1.The lone doubles point needed came when Sophie Langdon and Grace Lesselroth rallied past Juliana Hernandez and Alivia Kelsey 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. Jillian Eckert and Bridget Thornton lost a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 decision to Mia Morris and Juliana Smith as Delaney Carroll and Hannah Johnston lost to Paige Masrouri and Shelby Schumacher 6-3, 4-6, 10-1.A day later, Westhill got another 4-3 win, this one over Bishop Grimes, largely because the Cobras had to forfeit three of the matches.Thornton and Madison Thomas earned the Warriors’ lone win on the court 6-2, 6-3 over Brina Deppoliti and Nadia Fenu. Frost had a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 loss to Katie Knittel as Langdon and Lesselroth, one game from a victory, fell 3-6, 7-6, 7-3 to Sarah Falgiatano and Sofia Ziankoski.But when Westhill went to the sectional Class B tournament as the no. 10 seed, it lost 5-2 to no. 7 seed Cortland last Friday, the only points gained when Lesselroth and Carroll earned straight-set singles wins.Twice in doubles, the Warriors led but could not hold on as Eckert and Thomas fell 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 to Lelyzaveta Antonova and Oumou Diakite, while Isabel Dickinson-Cimonili and Kaley Richmond lost to Ellen Conlon and Arianna DeFranco 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.West Genesee, who did not enter the sectional Class A team tournament, took on Auburn last Monday afternoon and defeated the Maroons 5-2. Katie Viau and Angelina Llanos both played singles, and both won with ease as Viau beat Makayla Huntley 6-0, 6-1 and Llanos blanked Erin Calkins 6-0, 6-0.Alyssa Congel and Margaret Mello beat Kathryn Brown and Alexis Calkins 6-1, 6-4. In three sets, Kara Chawgo and Isabelle Wells held off Taylor Chadderdon and Gabrielle McGinn 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, with Madelyn Chuff and Olivia Grome overcoming an early deficit to beat Sophie Lesch and Lillianna Spin 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.A day later, though, WG lost, 4-3, to the same Liverpool team it beat 5-2 on Sept. 12, the turnaround mostly based on the Warriors winning three of four doubles matches.Chuff and Aislin Down did beat Lea Prusinowski and Kaia Wallingford 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, with Viau and Llanos both taking singles matches. Liverpool earned the rest, including a doubles match where Chawgo and Wells fell to Kelly Geiwitz and Megan Polhamus 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.WG did prevail 7-0 over Syracuse East as Lowry beat Roshika Sharma 6-0, 6-1 in singles, while Katie Anson got past Eh Hso 6-2, 6-4 and Angelina Allen won 6-4, 6-2 over Hsar Eh Se. Four doubles teams lost just two games in eight combined sets. In singles, Isabella Kroon beat Hannah Babcock 6-1, 6-3, with Lily Miller blanking Mia Moukaiel 6-0, 6-0. Skaneateles, who beat Phoenix 6-1 earlier in the week in its regular-season finale, will face Manlius-Pebble Hill in the quarterfinals.Marcellus, who had two matches postponed earlier in the week, was refreshed for its first-round sectional battle with no. 12 seed General Brown and proceeded to shut out the Lions 5-0.Danielle Copp’s 6-4, 6-7, 10-4 singles win over Willow Boyce was the only three-set battle for the Mustangs. Kathleen DeMarle beat Maria Covey 6-0, 6-0 as Colleen Marsh beat Natalie Sheen 6-0, 6-1, while in doubles the teams of Elaina Mahoney-Megan Mitchell and Katilyn Kemp-Morgan Walsh both prevailed, too. Each of the area’s high school girls tennis teams fit in matches during the last week of the regular season before it was time for the Section III team tournaments.Once the sectional Class C tournament started, Skaneateles held the no. 3 seed in Class C, Marcellus had the no. 5 seed and Jordan-Elbridge the no. 11 seed – and each of them won their opening-round matches last Friday afternoon.The Lakers prevailed 4-1 over no. 14 seed South Jefferson as the teams of Ella Danforth-Emma Miller and Sofia Capozza-Sophia Soderberge each won in two sets. Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Tags: J-EMarcellusskaneatelesTennisWest Geneseelast_img read more

See amazing skills from Lionel Messi as he joins #StayAtHomeChallenge [VIDEO]

first_imgBarcelona and Argentina captain, Lionel Messi has joined the #StayAtHomeChallenge with football leagues across the globe still suspended.🔵🔴 @FCBarcelona‘s maestro Lionel Messi doing the stay at home challenge 😎🏡 pic.twitter.com/pnh9XNts5E— Dugout (@Dugout) March 20, 2020Messi, 33, shared an amazing video of himself displaying his juggling skills with a T-Roll to show his indeed the GOAT.La Liga, like many other top-flight leagues in Europe, has been halted as the world continues to battle with Coronavirus.With active football out of the window, some footballers have resolved to take up social media challenges like the #StayHomeChallenge to remain active.The 6-time Balon d’Or winner joined the challenge just like many football stars across the globe.Spain is one of the worst affected countries in the coronavirus pandemic with a total case of 20,412 and a death count of 1,041.last_img read more

Arthur charged with drink-driving ahead of move to Juventus from Barcelona

first_imgBarca and Juve reached an agreement over a swap deal with Miralem Pjanic and Arthur swapping teams.The Catalans reportedly received an amount of €70 million from the move. Juventus signee, Arthur has been charged with drink-driving after he failed a breathalyser test.Arthur was reportedly held by police in Palafrugell in Spanish City, Girona after a minor accident involving his Ferrari around 4am.Local media reports indicate that his car hit the pavement and crashed into a lamppost.The player who is making a move from Barcelona to the Italian giants apparently failed a breathalyser test.23-year-old Arthur and his companions in the vehicle were confirmed to not have been hurt in the crash, with the car suffering a slight dent.When a police patrol car arrived at the scene Arthur’s blood-alcohol level was tested with the test revealing that he had 0.55mg/l of alcohol in his blood above the limit of 0.5mg/l.More from Citi Sportslast_img read more

Transfer Talk: Espanyol Reject Offer For Wakaso

first_imgTransfers: Latest news, rumours and gossip for Ghanaian players during the summer 2013 transfer window.Spanish side Espanyol have confirmed that they have rejected a €4.5 million (£3.9m) offer from an unnamed European club for Wakaso Mubarak. However, a sale has not been ruled out completely by the club, though it is thought it will have to take a bid of around €8 million (£6.9m) for Espanyol to even begin to consider letting him leave.(Sky Sports)Swansea City are going to face stiff competition from Russian duo Anzhi Makhachkala and Rubin Kazan if they are to sign coveted Espanyol winger Wakaso Mubarak.Swans boss Michael Laudrup was thought to be using his Spanish links once again to land the 22-year-old, but could be scuppered at the 11th hour by the clubs from Russia.Juventus, Everton and Inter Milan have all also shown interest in the past but it looked as if Laudrup would make the move and pay out the £4.3m required to tempt Espanyol into selling(footynews24.com)Fulham are keen on Evian’s 3million euro-rated midfielder Rabiu Mohammed but face competition from Benfica. Mohammed is expected to leave Evian during the summer and Fulham officials are believed to have held talks with the French side regarding a potential deal. However, Portuguese giants Benfica are also believed to have opened discussions with Evian and Fulham boss Martin Jol could face a battle to capture the highly-rated 23-year-old. Both Fulham and Benfica are willing to match Evian’s 3million euro asking price, while Marseille have also been credited with an interest in Mohammed.Goalkeeper Richard ‘Olele’ Kingson has signed a one-year deal for Cypriot club Doxa Katokopia.July 6 –Chievo have officially signed Maxwell Boadu Acosty from Fiorentina. The midfielder arrives on loan with an option to buy 50 per cent of his contract from Fiorentina. Acosty spent last season on loan at Juve Stabia, where the 21-year-old amassed 37 Serie B appearances. Ishmael Yartey has quit French Ligue 1 side Sochaux and returns to Switzerland to join Sion in a four year deal.Youth international Bright Addae has joined Slovenian side Nogometno Drustvo Gorica on a season-long loan deal from Parma. The 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup winner spent last season on loan at Crotone where he made 12 appearances in the Serie B. Parma manager Roberto Donadoni wants the former Wa All Stars player for first team experiencJuly 5 — Liverpool have ended their pursuit of Porto winger Christian Atsu and will put faith in youngsters instead, according to a report. Atsu had been heavily linked with a move to Anfield, but the Liverpool Echo claims that manager Brendan Rodgers will now turn to the current crop of promising youngsters.The two top clubs in Portugal, Benifica & Porto, have expressed interest in U-20 star Moses Odjer . Scouts from both clubs were in Turkey to watch the attacking midfielder help Ghana beat Portugal in the ongoing U-20 tournament. (abola.pt/)The Journal report that Inter Milan have told Sunderland to forget about landing Alfred Duncan on a permanent basis however they would consider a season-long loan move for the player. Former Arsenal and Spartak Moscow winger Quincy Owusu-Abeiye is attracting interest from newly promoted Cardiff City.Italian side Sampdoria could snap up Afriyie Acquah for next season. Acquah, who had an ill-fated spell at German Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim, is set to be loaned out for the upcoming campaign. (MTNFootball.com)Defender Daniel Opare could be on his way to Tottenham Hotspurs following a recommendation from technical director Franco Baldini. The former Real Madrid youth player is currently playing his club football in Belgium with Standard LiegeCaleb Gomah has been handed a three-week trial by Scottish Premier League side St Mirren. The midfielder played at the 2013 African U17 Championship in Morocco where the Black Starlets failed to advance from the Group stage.Bristol City have turned down a bid of £850,000 for Ghana international Albert Adomah from former Premier League side Wigan Athletic.May & June Transferslast_img read more

Williams ‘excited’ after making return

first_imgSerena Williams was “excited to be back” after completing her first match since giving birth fourth months ago.The exhibition match in Abu Dhabi against Jelena Ostapenko was the American’s first match for 11 months.Williams struggled with her movement at first but played some fine shots in a 6-2 3-6 (10-5) defeat.Australian Open director Craig Tilley has said Williams is “very likely” to defend her title at the 2018 tournament, which starts on 15 January.Ranked 22nd in the world, Williams would not need a wildcard to play in the first Grand Slam tournament of the new season.”I’m excited. It’s good to be back on court, this is such a good time for me,” Williams, 36, told Eurosport. “Motherhood is phenomenal. I was a little worried out there – I looked at my camp and asked, ‘Is Olympia OK?”Williams, who gave birth to her daughter in September, had not played since winning her 23rd major singles title at last year’s Australian Open.She initially struggled to get enough power behind her serve and missed several straightforward shots as French Open champion Ostapenko claimed the first set.The Latvian pushed her opponent wide, with Williams’ movement looking sluggish at first.However, she found more timing as the match progressed, increasing the speed on her serve and moving well inside the court. A fine lob over Ostapenko was the highlight of the second set but the Latvian, who stunned Simona Halep at Roland Garros in April, overpowered her in the tie-break.last_img read more

MLB Players Association paints grim picture of talks with owners

first_imgNEW YORK — Baseball players reaffirmed their stance for full prorated pay, leaving a huge gap with teams that could scuttle plans to start the coronavirus-delayed season around the Fourth of July and may leave owners focusing on a schedule as short as 50 games.More than 100 players, including the union’s executive board, held a two-hour digital meeting with officials of the Major League Baseball Players Association on Thursday, a day after the union’s offer was rejected by Major League Baseball.RELATED: A call for teams to act as civic institutions, not big businesses, for five months“Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless players negotiate salary concessions,” union head Tony Clark said in a statement. “The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon. This threat came in response to an association proposal aimed at charting a path forward.” Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “Nonetheless, the commissioner is committed to playing baseball in 2020,” Halem said in the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press. “He has started discussions with ownership about staging a shorter season without fans.”Management officials have said they are considering a slate of perhaps 50 games or fewer. There has not been a schedule averaging fewer than 82 games per team since 1879.“The overwhelming consensus of the board is that players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well,” Clark said in a statement. “The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.”Baseball’s March 26 deal allows games if there are no government restrictions on playing in front of fans and no relevant travel limitations. The sides agreed to “discuss in good faith” the economic feasibility of playing in empty ballparks, which appears to be the likely option.Related Articles Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone MLB says that without fans it would average a loss of $640,000 for each additional game played. The union disputes the teams’ financial figures.Teams also worry about a second wave of the new coronavirus this fall and don’t want to play past October, fearing $787 million in broadcast revenue for the postseason could be lost. MLB proposed expanding the playoffs from 10 teams to 14, which would generate additional broadcast rights to sell, and players have offered to guarantee the larger playoffs for both 2020 and 2021.While baseball has reverted to the economic bickering that led to eight work stoppages from 1972-95, the NBA announced plans Thursday to resume its regular season with 22 teams on July 31, the NHL is moving ahead with plans for an expanded Stanley Cup playoffs this summer and MLS is planning to have teams return with a tournament in July.“In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, players want nothing more than to get back to work,” Clark said. “But we cannot do this alone.” How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire center_img Angels fail to take series in Oakland, lose in 10 innings Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter “Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless players agree to further salary reductions,” Clark added.Players originally were set to earn about $4 billion in 2020 salaries, exclusive of guaranteed money such as signing bonuses, termination pay and option buyouts. The union’s plan would cut that to around $2.8 billion and management to approximately $1.2 billion plus a $200 million bonus pool if the postseason is completed.MLB last week proposed an 82-game season with an additional sliding scale of pay cuts that would leave a player at the $563,500 minimum with 47% of his original salary and top stars Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole at less than 22% of the $36 million they had been set to earn.Players countered Sunday with a plan for a 114-game regular season with no pay cuts beyond the prorated salaries they agreed to on March 26. That would leave each player with about 70% of his original pay.MLB rejected that Wednesday, when Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem wrote in a letter to union chief negotiator Bruce Meyer informing him “we do not have any reason to believe that a negotiated solution for an 82-game season is possible.”last_img read more

A lonely Premier League title for Liverpool will be ‘odd,’ but so much better than a ‘null and void’ season

first_imgAll of Liverpool has waited for this moment for 30 years. OK, not all of Liverpool, but the biggest part, the portion of the city that prefers red to blue and considers Anfield to be sacred ground. These people waited three decades for their return to the very top of English soccer and maybe were just a few days away as March dawned.And then the world stopped. Cold. OK, not all the world, but most of it, and certainly everything of consequence in regard to sport. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Premier League officially as of March 13. LFC’s derby game against Everton, which was scheduled three days later and might have contained the opportunity for Liverpool to clinch its first EPL title, was placed on hold. The ecstasy that will result from Liverpool’s trophy ceremony, whenever it arrives, ordinarily would be a massively collective enterprise. There would be the three dozen on the field comprising players and staff, but also 51,000 in the stands if it were to happen at Anfield. And then, in the immediate aftermath, probably a few hundred thousand flooding the streets. We saw last June what it looks like when Liverpool wins something big; the Reds’ sixth Champions League title compelled a parade the BBC estimated as drawing 750,000 to the city’s streets.The club’s fan base spreads far beyond the walls of the stadium, even well beyond the city’s or nation’s borders. The Liverpool Football Club discussion group on Facebook contains recent comments from fans located in Pakistan, Malaysia, Northern Ireland and Ghana. Oddly, their experience of reveling from afar will be universal in 2020. Within the confines of those 90 minutes (plus injury time), they’ll be as close to the action as the lifers who usually jam into the Kop.“It won’t have the same feeling or atmosphere, admitted,” Mark, a fan from South Africa, posted on Facebook. “But the fact that it will be our NINETEENTH time as top-flight victors will be all that matters.” Which has meant 30 years of waiting plus one month … two months … ultimately, three months and five days. Under visionary manager Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool had compiled 82 points through the first 29 games of the 2019-20 Premier League season. Second-place Manchester City had 57 through 28 games. Any subsequent combination of LFC victories and City defeats adding up to two would deliver the title to Liverpool. But there were no games to be won or lost. Imagine being that near to a dream, and that far away.MORE: Everything to know about the Premier League’s return“As we know by virtue of all the ways we haven’t won it, you don’t win the league at the last moment. You win the league over a long period of time,” Neil Atkinson, a writer and podcast host at The Anfield Wrap, told Sporting News. “So we have those big moments, and those moments were ours as far as winning the league. But in terms of the league suddenly disappearing, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel like, ‘Oh, God, what next? What is going to turn up to stop us now?’ It does feel like: You name it, it’s lined up to stop us.“People always react to things differently, but I think some people did find it a little bit of a blow.”It’s going to happen now. It’s just a matter of negotiating the exact day and time. The Premier League returns today from its extended hiatus with two games: Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United and Manchester City vs. Arsenal. If Man City loses that game, Liverpool’s first opportunity to claim the title could come Sunday at Goodison Park.Of all the ways in which Liverpool could clinch in this unprecedented season, the most fitting might be if the Reds defeat Everton and Man City handles Arsenal but then, somehow, finds a way to lose to Burnley on June 22. This would make Liverpool champions of England as they watch on television.The most likely scenario, though, has Liverpool securing the title at Anfield on Wednesday, June 24 against Crystal Palace. Ordinarily, Atkinson would be in his seat around row 30 of the Dalglish stand, near the halfway line for that monumental occasion. Now, he will be watching from his home when Liverpool’s players assemble on the field and captain Jordan Henderson raises the Premier League trophy in a shower of confetti and cheers from his teammates, alone.“I think it’s going to be, obviously, odd,” Atkinson told SN. “The pubs are unlikely to be open. If they are open, it will be outdoor space, and they’ll be very, very strict on numbers. I think that there won’t be a parade until the football team is ready for there to be one, and that will be going into next year. The manager said, ‘There will be a parade, but when we’re good and ready, we’ll decide.’ I think that’s great, that’s a great attitude to have. There will be a party, but we’ll just have to wait for it, to an extent.”When Liverpool visited the United States for preseason games last July, after a short offseason that followed their sixth UEFA Champions League title, the obsession with winning the Premier League almost was tangible. “We want to keep making history for this football club and this team, and I’m very confident we can do that,” Henderson said during a stop at Notre Dame.MORE: Klopp: Liverpool can’t match Man United’s dominanceLiverpool owned a glorious history when the Premier League was launched as more or less a rebranding of England’s First Division in 1992-93, with 18 titles in their history and 11 in the previous 20 years, the most recent in 1990. But they’ve not won the league since. They finished second four times, three times under the Premier League banner.They wound up seven points behind Arsenal in 2001-02 and four off Manchester United’s pace in 2008-09. The most painful was in 2013-14, when a rousing victory over Man City in early April put the Reds in command of the title race with four games remaining. In a home game against Chelsea, though, Steven Gerrard slipped in his own half and sent the ball rolling toward Demba Ba, who had no defender in front of him as he raced to slide a shot past LFC goalkeeper Simone Mignolet. Chelsea parked a bus full of players in front of its goal, and Liverpool could not rescue the draw it needed to remain on pace to win the Premier League.Last year’s runner-up finish was nearly as painful, but the Reds performed so spectacularly the ache seemed less severe. The Reds did pretty much everything they could to win it. They lost only one game and accumulated 97 points, the third-highest total in the history of the league, but still they finished second to Manchester City’s 98. The Champions League victory superseded that disappointment, but it was right back on everyone’s agenda when the 2019-20 season began.The team’s fixation on ending the title drought was obvious as Liverpool tied a record with 18 consecutive victories and went 27 games without a defeat. Man City performed well but kept dropping points with draws, allowing the LFC lead to burgeon until the season shut down in March.There at least is some relief the title will happen. There was a moment during the quarantine when many Liverpool fans worried about whether forces beyond their control might conspire to erase everything that occurred in the 2019-20 season: the 27-1-1 record, the performance on course to set an all-time record for accumulated points, the league-best total of 21 goals allowed.It always was a preposterous conceit, that a team that had earned a 25-point advantage over its closest competition would not eventually be crowned as champion, but there were those pushing with whatever political and psychic power they could muster to have the season declared “null and void.” It happened in the Netherlands, where the Eredivisie shut down operations for the 2019-20 season because of the pandemic and chose not to award a championship. That meant it wasn’t impossible.There were fans of Liverpool’s rivals, who’ve longed delighted in the Reds’ dearth of Premier League titles, agitating for that outcome: Manchester United and Everton in particular. But also there were the teams presently occupying the final three positions in the standings: Norwich City, Aston Villa, Bournemouth. If the season were wiped out, they would not be relegated. That’s what prompted the legitimate concern.“There were a lot of people who were trying to cry it in,” Atkinson said. “What that did was, that blocked the idea of having a proper discussion about what should happen next. I’ve got to be careful with this, because whether we like it or not, The Anfield Wrap is part of the media. But I think that in the United Kingdom, we have a media culture that fixates on the simple and does so repeatedly if it generates engagement, which it can do through people just taking extreme positions.”Playwright Nicky Allt had a lot of success with the comedy “One Night in Istanbul”, which was built around Liverpool’s miraculous 2005 victory in the Champions League and later turned into a feature film. He says the long wait for this league title will make anything won by Klopp after this “bonus trophies” because “he’s brought us back to greatness” with the 2019 Champions League win and, soon, the Premier League title.“I can remember exactly where I was when we won it in 1990,” Allt told Sporting News. “I stood drinking in the Salisbury Pub on Walton Breck Road and a mate said to me: ‘I’m emigrating to Australia now I’ve seen Liverpool win the lot!’ I haven’t seen him since that night. I sometimes thought he was the jinx, him moving away like that.“I’ll be back in the same pub, now called The 12th Man, and I’ll basically be singing a load of songs and drinking a load of ale until I’m drunk.”last_img read more

Last-minute lesson helps Lema to victory

first_img A last-minute golf lesson transformed Lema Townsend’s game and helped her to an impressive three-stroke victory in England Golf’s Grand Medal Final at Peterborough Milton Golf Club.“Twenty-four hours ago I couldn’t hit a ball,” said Lema, from Overstone Park in Northamptonshire (image © Leaderboard Photography).“I spent hours at the driving range with the pro getting my swing back,” she added, after she returned her winning score of net 67, five-under par, and claimed the title of England’s best woman club medal player.The other prizewinners were Belinda Rattray of West Kent, who scored net 70, playing off 25; and Michele Desmond of Knole Park, also in Kent, who had net 71, playing off 17 handicap.Lema’s lesson was her last-ditch effort to rediscover her form for the final: “It was desperation, absolute desperation,” she said. But, the session with PGA professional John Cuddihy at Delapre Golf Centre did the trick: “He was magic,” said the 15 handicapper.And, as she played in the Grand Final, her confidence gradually returned. “On the second, a par three, I managed to get a five and it was awful. But then something started to click,” she said. “It was lovely playing with my two partners, they relaxed me and they both had nice swings, with nice rhythm, and that helped.“I didn’t know my score until I added it up at the end and, although I knew it was nice, it was a bit of a shock!” And when her win was confirmed she added: “It’s not real is it! I came here with no expectations.”The competition, played in testing conditions with a long period of heavy rain, was contested by the cream of England’s club medal players. Each finalist had returned the four best medal scores at her club during 2013 and had won through a regional final to take her place at Peterborough Milton.The field represented a wide range of club golf, with handicaps of the competitors spread from two to 30, and there was much praise for the course from the players.Belinda took up golf only three years ago, encouraged by her fiancé and caddy, Dick Seamer, who has played in The Open as an amateur. “I used to play tennis, but now I’m into golf and I love it, I’m really enjoying it,” she said.“I had a tough start when I went in thick rough on the first and had to take a drop,” she said. “But my fantastic caddy kept me on the straight and narrow and tried to help my course management. I only went in one bunker and I didn’t go in any deep rough after the first.”Michele learned golf as a child, but has been playing seriously for only the last two years, and commented: “Today was stressfull! I stood over my first putt and my hands were shaking, I’m just not used to competitive golf.“This is by far the biggest event I’ve ever played in and the conditions were tough – but I enjoyed it in the end! And I was very pleased with my score.”She took third place on countback from Elaine Mankelow, who was representing the host club in the event and was the 2013 ladies’ captain at Peterborough Milton. 29 Jun 2014 Last-minute lesson helps Lema to victory last_img read more

Olympia’s Baker Is A Gardener – Percival Landing Landscaping

first_imgSubmitted by Cathy JohnsonDespite his last name, Sam Baker doesn’t work in a kitchen. His true avocation is working in the great outdoors.Sam loves his job as the Olympia Parks Department maintenance staff lead, and he has helped make our parks beautiful for 23 years.  First working for the parks department in 1986 as a seasonal employee, Sam quickly knew that being outside and working with plants would be a career, not just a job.  After being hired full time, he “climbed the corporate pruning ladder” over the years and now leads the crew.Sam and his co-workers have the huge responsibility of caring for the 40 park sites in Olympia.  There is a three person mowing crew and a three person landscape crew, and they are always busy tending to the diverse needs of each of the park sites.Because Percival Landing is so well loved and used, a seasonal employee is dedicated to help care for it during the summer months.  Percival Landing is probably the most visible of the parks and can be challenging to maintain because of the amount of foot and vehicle traffic it receives.  With the playground areas, boating access, restaurants, office traffic, and leisurely strolls along the waterfront, Percival is used frequently.The plants need to be low maintenance and resilient to thrive in the full sun with dogs, people, and vehicles all around (and sometimes in) them.  The Otto Luyken Laurel, St. John’s wort, and other tough plants do the job.  Perennials in the large planting boxes provide wonderful seasonal interest.  Percival Landing is especially enjoyed during Lakefair and the other fun downtown events, and Sam and his team treat it like the crown jewel that is.The City of Olympia has a well-deserved reputation for being “green” , so weed killing chemicals are generally not used, and organic fertilizer is used as much as possible.  The most challenging area for Sam and the staff is the 4th Avenue corridor, where horsetail was accidentally brought in with new topsoil.  Since horsetail is almost impossible to eradicate, the parks department added plants to “mask” the horsetail.  This was a great low cost solution in lieu of chemicals and labor intensive (costly) removal.The Olympia Garden Club has adopted the Memorial Shade and Bog Gardens in Priest Point Park. Their dedication and expertise free up the park staff so they can turn their attention to other areas. Sam would welcome any expansion of this volunteer effort by other local groups with the time and training to adopt other parks.Sam and the crew single out the colorful hanging baskets downtown as one of their two favorite aspects of Olympia. The baskets seem to give life and a visual boost to the city streets. Their other favorite is the community garden beds.  Sadly, the planting beds are in short supply, so those folks who are lucky enough to have one always seem to make the most of them.   Certainly we all enjoy seeing  how people use their five by ten foot plots – flowers, vegetables, fruit, herbs, etc.When not hard at work, Sam enjoys being home with his family.  His property is patrolled by five chickens which keep his family happily in the egg business.  I asked him if his chickens were named Poached, Fried, Scrambled, Pot Pie, and Cordon Blue, but he just smiled! Facebook26Tweet0Pin0last_img read more