Sport Shorts

first_imgThe second annual Mike Urbanek Roller Hockey Tournament will be held at GoodSports USA in Aberdeen on March 24 and 25 for squirt, pee wee, bantam and men’s divisions. Only the first six teams to register will be accepted. Call (732) 290-0003 for more information. St Joseph of Keyport’s baseball and softball teams have extended the sign-up and final registration dates to Feb 10 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the St. Joseph gym lobby. For more information, call (732) 739-4503. Middletown Babe Ruth Baseball/Softball League will be accepting registrations for its 2001 season for ages 5-18. Registrations will be taken at the Middletown library (New Monmouth Road) Feb. 7 from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., and Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. Registrations will also be taken at the Middletown Babe Ruth Clubhouse on Feb. 3, 10 and 17, and March 3 from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, contact Al Auerbach at (732) 495-6608.last_img read more

Sports Shorts

first_imgAt the Lincroft Little League Pioneer League championship game on June 19, the Rockies knocked off the Phillies, 5-4, to win the title. The Rockies, who are coached by Cliff Grossi and Mark Gaeta, are: Matt Gaeta, Mike Diorio, Nick McGann, Mike Grossi, Josh Liberatore, Nick Daneile, Mike Frietsch, Sean Pirro, Sean McCall, Derek Noah, William Mavrode, Brian McCall and Sean Marino. One of the championship game balls went to Matt Gaeta for driving in two runs and scoring one. The other Rockies game ball went to Josh Liberatore for his outstanding play at first base. Outstanding pitching from Grossi and Mike Diorio propelled the Rockies to victory. The game-winning hit came from Daneile who drove in McCall. The Phillies put up a great fight all the way to the last inning. The Hazlet Bombers U13 boys travel soccer team is looking for two players for the upcoming season. The Bombers play in the Monmouth-Ocean Soccer Association and will be in National 2 in the fall. Tryouts will be within the next two weeks and are open to everyone. Hazlet residency is not required. The time and place is yet to be determined Anyone interested and born between Aug. 1, 1992, and July 31, 1993, contact Ed Young at (732) 739-0429. Marlboro’s Tony Giarratano made his Major League debut with the Detroit Tigers on June 1. Giarratano, who plays shortstop, has appeared in 14 games for the Tigers and is batting .143 with a home run and four RBIs. He was playing for the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate, Erie, when the team brought him up to the Major League to fill in for injured shortstop Carlos Guillen. Tiger manager Alan Trammel said the team liked what it saw from Giarratano during spring training. “He’s a baseball player,” Trammel said. “He’s very attentive. He’s a sponge. He just enjoys watching, picking things up. “He can play,” he added. “I think, looking back at spring training, that he thought he could play up here. We thought he needed a little seasoning. Hey, this might be taking a chance, but we think it’s worth it.” At Erie, Giarratano was batting .253 with two home runs and 22 RBIs. He was on a 16-game hitting streak when the Tigers brought him up.” Giarratano, a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, played his college ball at Tulane University before signing with the Tigers. Manalapan’s Chris Ranieri will be spending his summer playing baseball in South Carolina for the Carolina Chaos in the Southern Collegiate League, the southern equivalent of the Cape Cod League. Ranieri, a St. John Vianney graduate, has played collegiately for Eastern University in Pennsylvania where he set several school records for batting and stolen bases. In the fall, he will begin play for St. Francis (N.Y.) College, a Division I school in the Northeast Conference. The second annual Garden State Law Enforcement Officers Association Golf Tournament will be held on July 25 at Pebble Creak Golf Club, Colts Neck, starting at 8 a.m. Cost is $125 per golfer. Included in the fee is green fees, breakfast, award barbecue, golf shirt, golfer goody bag and lot of giveaways. For details, call Bob Griesd at (609) 259-1948 or (908) 415-4657. A competitive travel 10-year-old boys fall baseball team in the Lincroft/Middletown area is looking for competitive players this coming fall season. Tryouts are in July — boys must be born after July 31, 1994. The following are the current standings for the Monmouth Women’s Softball League: Chubby’s Bar 4-0 Huddy’s Inn/White Rose 3-1 TOL Fragrances 2-1 Grist Mill/ Conrad Smith Nursery 2-1 Dublin House/ Little Silver Pharmacy 2-2 Walt St. Pub 2-2 Arena Builders/Holmdel 2-2 Brannigan’s 2-2 Charlie Brown’s/Lincroft 2-2 The Globe Sports Bar 1-3 Murphy’s Bar/Rumson 1-3 MPPI Ins./VEI Limo 0-4 The Aberdeen/Matawan girls fall softball league will be holding registration for it 2005 season. The league is open to residents and non residents grades 4-12 as of September. For more information, go to www.leaguelineup.com/amyaa, call Jim at (732) 290-9576 or e-mail amyaa2005@optonline.net.last_img read more

BCC men have added depth, talent for ’07 run

first_imgBY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer When Mike Costa took over as the head coach of the Brookdale Community College men’s soccer team last year, he had just 15 days to prepare for the 2006 season. This time around, he’s had an entire year to build the 2007 Jersey Blues. Costa has a mix of returning veterans and a solid recruiting class to try to turn around last year’s 6-8-2 record. “We’re definitely a lot better team,” noted Costa. “We have depth. “Our strength is midfield and our depth,” he added. It’s 25-year-old Sgt. Jared Bowen, an Iraqi combat medic veteran, who may be the face of this year’s BCC squad. Now living in Howell with his wife, who is also a medic, Bowen contacted Costa in the offseason about his desire to play college soccer, and just like that, Brookdale had its stopper back on defense. “He’s a natural leader,” said Costa. “He takes over out there and provides a physical presence we didn’t have last year.” Sweeper Vic Masino (Howell), midfielder Helder Andrade (Ocean Township), forward Tomas Cholula (Colts Neck), defender Brendan Hilliard (Raritan), midfield/forward Joe Shan (Central Regional), defender Stalin Larco (Long Branch), and defender Duane Gardner (Kingston, Jamaica) are among the key returners. They’ve spent a season under Costa and know what he expects, especially when it comes to defense. Among the impact newcomers in addition to Bowen are John Loiodice (Brick Memorial), a midfielder; goalie Greg Gantt (Neptune), and midfielder Brian Fernandes (Holmdel). Loiodice is a second generation Jersey Blue. His father, also John Loiodice, was an All-American for BCC back in 1979. Gantt, fills a need, a big need. The Blues had no one who had played goalie last fall, and Costa took care of that, getting one of the Shore Conference’s best goalies in Gantt. Fernandes and Loiodice have changed the face of the team, according to Costa, with the talent they bring to midfield. They have a way of making everyone better with their ability to distribute the ball. Brookdale’s forwards won’t be lacking for scoring chances this fall. A transfer from William Paterson, Rob Galicia (Ocean Township) brings college experience to the team. He’s another solid midfielder. Other newcomers include defender Ryan Habel (Old Bridge), defender Danny Mullaney (Howell), defenders Mauricio Roses and Eric Roses (cousins from Shore Regional), defender Dan Kissiday (Keyport), forward Bruno Bontempo (Long Branch), forward Josh Bower (Howell), forward Diego Huerta (Ocean Township), midfielder John Cella (Matawan), midfielder Ricardo Dagher (Long Branch), defender Nick Campbell (Point Pleasant Borough), defender Nathaniel Mendicta (Shore Regional) and midfielder Kevin Gardner (Kingston, Jamaica, but no relation to Danny). Costa can go to his bench this year knowing there is little if any drop-off in talent. Injuries have already slowed the team, with last year’s leading scorer, Cholula, questionable with a knee injury, and Andrade having suffered a separated shoulder. Fortunately, these injuries aren’t as devastating as they would have been last year when Costa had fewer quality players. With the defense improved over last year, and a group of midfielders who can dominate the ball and create scoring chances, the Blues should be a contender for the Region XIX title. Brookdale opened its season over the Labor Day weekend playing in a New York tournament. The Jersey Blues, whose home opener is Sept. 13 against Morris (3:30 p.m.), will be accustomed to the road in ’07 with just six games scheduled for Lincroft. Brookdale’s season got off to a promising start over the Labor Day weekend as the Blues captured the Empire Kickoff Classic in Johnstown, NY. BCC beat Jamestown, 12-0, and Finger Lakes, 3-0. Masino was named the Defensive Player of the Tournament. Huerta paced the offense with three goals while Gantt’s career began with consecutive shutouts. Shan delivered the game-winner in the final against Finger Lakes.last_img read more

Without practice, Lions win five straight on the ice

first_imgMiddletown High School North’s ice hockey team is playing its best hockey of the season amidst a fivegame win streak, even though it hasn’t had a practice for two weeks.“With the weather and the snowouts, we played seven games in 15 days and couldn’t get ice time for practices. It’s been really tough for that,” said coach Matt Clemente, who said the team last practiced on Jan. 20, but will look to take the ice for practice this week.It didn’t show on Feb. 7, when the Lions convincingly won the Mayor’s Cup for the second straight year, 8-1, over Middletown High School South to improve to 11-7.Goalkeeper Hunter Dillon has allowed three goals in the 5-0 stretch, with support from a solid corps of defensemen that includes returning seniors Jack Meyer, the team captain, and Nick Kirch, as well as senior Glen Davis, junior Eric Nesbihal and sophomore Ryan Davidson. Clemente said the success of the team as of late, which includes finishing in a tie for second with Freehold Township High School in the Shore Conference A North Division behind Christian Brothers Academy with an 8-4 division record for the second year in a row, falls on the defense and Dillon’s outstanding play lately.“Early in the season, it was tough because [the coaches] were trying to figure out who the goalie would be,” said Dillon, who is backed up by fellow senior Jack Heuer. “I’m glad for the support I get from Jack. We’ve got good guys on this team. Their high level and hard work made me want to improve my own level.”He said he was also inspired by the crowd of about 1,000 that came to both games against Middletown South, including a 4-2 victory on Dec. 3.“I can’t say enough about what Hunter has done in these past five games,” Clemente said. “He hasn’t been getting too many shots in games, but when he has, he’s come through.”Dillon said he is looking forward to getting back on the ice for practice this week.“I’ve gone on one end of the rink for goalie practice in the past and couldn’t even get ice time for that,” Dillon said. “It’s a good time for us to work on individual stuff.” Ironically, the team has a light schedule over the next week or so, which means they’ll get some practice time and play only two games in that stretch — a game on Feb. 10 against Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School and on Feb. 18 against Brick Memorial High School. It comes at a good time, as Vin Tomasetti is out for two weeks with a concussion that he suffered in the last game against Middletown South. “We have a group of guys ready to step up, guys like Zack Gazette,” Clemente said. Gazette scored on a penalty shot — the first time a Middletown North player scored that way this season — for a 2-0 lead that grew to a 4-1 A North victory over Freehold Township on Feb. 6. Tom Terranova, who has been a reliable scorer on the first shift, had a goal and an assist that day, while linemate Khristian Acosta also scored. Other players have also stepped up, and Dillon said they are confident enough that they can fill that void for Tomasetti. In that five-game streak, which included a 2-1 victory over Howell High School and a 6-2 triumph over Toms River High School East, Terranova and Acosta each scored twice. It was followed by a 3-0 victory over Wall High School, as Scott Huber struck for two goals and Terranova had a goal and an assist. In a game much closer than the score indicated, Middletown North scored very early in the game and had to hold that slender lead until breaking away in the final three minutes.“We’re playing really good hockey now against some of the best teams in the state,” Dillon said. “We’re ready to go into the playoffs.”Tomasetti is expected back when the Lions return to the Shore Conference and NJSIAA tournaments, where they competed last year in a 14-10 season. They have already learned the past two weeks how to handle compressed schedules and highpressure situations that both come into play when it’s tournament time.“We need to show a little bit of discipline,” Clemente said. “The last thing we need is a parade of guys going to the penalty box. One power play situation for [an opposing] team is enough to turn a game around. We need to keep the right frame of mind.” By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent last_img read more

Lisicki shows anything possible to set up Bartoli final

first_imgBy Pritha SarkarNO one would have guessed that Sabine Lisicki is allergic to grass as she joyfully rolled on the most famous rectangle of turf after surviving a heart-pumping, nerve-jangling epic to set up a mind-boggling Wimbledon final against Marion Bartoli.A final that had odds of 1,500-1 at the start of the tournament became a reality on a hot and sticky Thursday afternoon as Lisicki, relying on a thunderbolt serve and sheer force of will, ended the brave resistance of Agnieszka Radwanska with a 6-4 2-6 9-7 win.Bartoli’s tactics were more unconventional as the French 15th seed enjoyed a 20-minute power nap shortly before her semi-final and woke up to inflict a 6-1 6-2 nightmare on Belgian outsider Kirsten Flipkens.Fans who might have been feeling short-changed following Bartoli’s 63-minute demolition job having forked out $150 for a ticket certainly got their money’s worth of drama and dazzling court craft as Lisicki showed the fight that helped her to jettison Serena Williams in the fourth round.The German 23rd seed showed why she had an 18-4 win-loss record at the All England Club – but 16-15 at the other slams – as she clawed back from 3-0 down to win the longest third set in a women’s semi-final since Conchita Martinez squeezed past Lori McNeil 10-8 in 1994.After outlasting last year’s runner-up and fourth seed Radwanska in a two hour 18 minute sweat-fest, Lisicki could not stop beaming.“It was unbelievable, the last few games were so exciting. Agnieszka played so well, it was a battle and I’m so happy to have won it,” said Lisicki whose smile has lit up a Wimbledon full of shocks and surprises.“I was just fighting for every single point out there. I didn’t know how it would end, I fought with all my heart but I believed I could win no matter what the score was.”Lisicki’s calm and poised demeanour was in stark contrast to the strange on-court mannerisms of Bartoli.Throughout the contest, the 28-year-old could not stand, or even sit, still for 10 seconds.In between points she was a bundle of energy, practising air shots as she bounced around like a hyperactive toddler and she repeatedly kissed the bands on her right and left wrists.The body language might have been unorthodox and some of her shots were equally eccentric but that did not stop her from seeing “the ball like a football” and she stands one match away from emulating countrywoman Amelie Mauresmo’s 2006 success.Flipkens, who suffered life-threatening blood clots 14 months ago and defied doctors orders to get her career back on track, admitted she had been powerless.“I had to play 500 percent to beat Marion today,” said the bespectacled Belgian.“I tried my slices. She didn’t have any problem with that. I tried the dropshot. She got it. I played a passing shot, she came to the net. I tried a lob. I tried everything. She was just too good,” added Flipkens who had to take an injury time out while trailing 3-0 in the second set to get her already-strapped knee retaped.Radwanska, the only top-four player to fulfil her seeding, emerged on to Centre Court with so much strapping above both knees it appeared as if her thighs had been mummified.That did not hamper her movement, though, until she came unstuck at 3-3 in the first set when she went down 0-40. After saving three break points, the Pole was thrown off balance by a cruel netcord and her reflex volley bounced long.That allowed Lisicki to bag the set but with the temperature soaring, the German wilted under a barrage of winners and she lost nine of 10 games to fall 3-0 behind in the third set – an all-too-familiar scenario as she had also trailed Williams by the same score.However, a woman who suffered a career-threatening ankle injury in 2010 knew that “anything is possible after learning how to walk again” and she started nibbling away at Radwanska’s lead before drawing level at 3-3.Told to ‘go for it’ in a text sent by Steffi Graf, the last German to win a major at Wimbledon in 1996, Lisicki followed the advice and at 5-4 she was served for a place in the final.However, a match of so many twists and turns still failed to reach its conclusion as Lisicki’s nerves got to her when she whipped a lob long on break point down.However, the German onslaught continued at such a pace that the giant Centre Court scoreboard went blank and an out-positioned Radwanska tossed her racket after an astonishing Lisicki forehand winner.The contest ebbed and flowed to 6-6 and 7-7 before Lisicki broke again for an 8-7 lead when her opponent fired a forehand volley long.A player who thrived on grabbing second chances made no mistake this time round and a blazing forehand winner left her celebrating the biggest moment of her life – at least till Saturday.“I’ve been dreaming about this since I’m a little girl. That’s why I said it’s the best place to play my first grand slam final. I couldn’t imagine any better place,” she gushed.“I just can’t wait to play Saturday.”last_img read more

Men march on at US Open but more upsets in women’s draw

first_imgBy Steve KeatingWorld number ones Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams advanced safely to the next round of the U.S. Open on Saturday but the women’s draw saw yet another big upset as Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova was sent packing by a 145th-ranked qualifier.Third-seed Kvitova fell victim to 21-year-old Serbian Aleksandra Krunic, leaving only three of the top eight women’s seeds still in the tournament. Simona Halep (2nd), Agnieszka Radwanska (4th), Angelique Kerber (6th) and Ana Ivanovic (8th) have already been shown the door.While the women’s draw has been ravaged by upsets the top 10 men are still in the hunt, with number three Stan Wawrinka, number five Milos Raonic, eighth seed Andy Murray and number nine Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all moving on.The shock of the day was delivered by the little-known Krunic, who stung the unsteady Kvitova 6-4 6-4.The diminutive Serbian, who aims to graduate from university this year with a degree in economics, was a blur as she sprinted and slid into splits while stretching for returns.“It was an honour for me to be on the same court as Petra, who is a great champion,” said Krunic, who will come up against Victoria Azarenka in the next round.“Of course, I didn’t expect to win. Of course, I hoped to. I’m very happy.”Twice Australian Open winner Azarenka secured her spot in the last 16 with a 6-1 6-1 win over Russian Elena Vesnina.Eugenie Bouchard, a semi-finalist in the previous three slams, including a runner-up finish at Wimbledon, had to fight to keep from joining the list of upsets, the seventh-seeded Canadian holding her nerve to earn a 6-2 7-6(2) 6-4 win over Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.Williams is the last American standing at the U.S. Open after the remaining home-grown hopefuls said goodbye to Flushing Meadows on Saturday.A total of 29 Americans (12 men, 17 women) started the year’s final grand slam on Monday and by the time the gates to the U.S. National Tennis Center closed on Saturday only the world number one was still in the hunt for a singles title.The last two hopes of the men’s draw, 13th seed John Isner and Sam Querrey, both bowed out in the third round, while Nicole Gibbs and Varvara Lepchenko also made third-round exits, leaving home fans pinning their hopes on Williams heading into the second week.GRAND SLAM CASUALTYFive-time U.S. Open champion Williams played her part in the American demise, dispatching three of her compatriots in rapid succession.After dismissing Taylor Townsend in the opening round and Vania King in the second, Williams chased the 52nd ranked Lepchenko with a 6-3 6-3 victory.Williams, who has failed to reach the quarter-finals of any of the previous three grand slams this year, was just happy not to be one of the U.S. casualties.“I’ve been a casualty this whole year at grand slams,” said Williams, who will next face Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, a 7-5 6-0 upset winner over 15th seed Carla Suarez Navarro. “I’m just hoping to keep staying in there.“I just treat every round as if it’s your last. Do the best that I can. Just stay positive, you know, because I want to continue to do the best I can.”Djokovic, a U.S. Open finalist the last four years and winner in 2011, has also done his part to spoil America’s grand slam party.The Serb squashed another American hope on Saturday, pounding Querrey 6-3 6-2 6-2 to reach the fourth round for the eighth straight year while improving his record to a perfect 8-0 when facing U.S. opponents at Flushing Meadows.Isner bombarded Philipp Kohlschreiber with 42 aces and never lost his serve but still dropped a 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(2) 7-6(4) decision to the German.Briton Murray, the 2012 Open champion and 2013 Wimbledon winner, double-faulted to send his match to a fourth set, then swiftly took charge in a 6-1 7-5 4-6 6-2 win over Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.That set up a clash against Tsonga, a 6-4 6-4 6-4 winner against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.Raonic won three tiebreakers in a straight-sets win against Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos to set up a fourth-round duel with Japanese 10th seed Kei Nishikori, who beat 23rd seed Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in straight sets.Australian Open winner Wawrinka was given a walkover into the fourth round when Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia defaulted because of a right foot injury. Results from the U.S. Open Men’s Singles Round 3 matches on Saturday 16-Tommy Robredo (Spain) beat Nick Kyrgios (Australia) 3-6 6-3 7-6(4) 6-39-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) beat Pablo Carreno (Spain) 6-4 6-4 6-48-Andy Murray (Britain) beat Andrey Kuznetsov (Russia) 6-1 7-5 4-6 6-21-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat Sam Querrey (U.S.) 6-3 6-2 6-25-Milos Raonic (Canada) beat Victor Estrella (Dominican Republic) 7-6(5) 7-6(5) 7-6(3)10-Kei Nishikori (Japan) beat 23-Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) 6-4 6-2 6-33-Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) beat Blaz Kavcic (Slovenia) walkover22-Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany) beat 13-John Isner (U.S.) 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(2) 7-6(4)Results from the U.S. Open Women’s Singles Round 3 matches on Saturday 7-Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) beat 30-Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Czech Republic) 6-2 6-7(2) 6-417-Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) beat Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) 6-2 6-4Kaia Kanepi (Estonia) beat 15-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) 7-5 6-01-Serena Williams (U.S.) beat Varvara Lepchenko (U.S.) 6-3 6-316-Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) beat Elena Vesnina (Russia) 6-1 6-129-Casey Dellacqua (Australia) beat Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) 6-3 3-6 6-4Aleksandra Krunic (Serbia) beat 3-Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) 6-4 6-411-Flavia Pennetta (Italy) beat Nicole Gibbs (U.S.) 6-4 6-0last_img read more

FIFA whistleblower says report violated confidentiality

first_imgA former employee of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid has accused FIFA investigators of violating confidentiality promises made when she agreed to provide evidence of alleged corruption related to the bid.On Sunday, former Qatar bid employee Phaedra Almajid sent Michael Garcia, a New York lawyer hired by FIFA to investigate corruption, a two-page complaint.It alleged that soccer’s world governing body breached its own ethics code by making public information which unmasked Almajid as one of more than 70 witnesses who had cooperated with Garcia’s investigation.In a report made public earlier this month, Hans Joachim Eckert, a German judge hired by FIFA to evaluate a still-secret investigative report prepared by Garcia about FIFA’s decisions to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar, examined “allegations of corruption” which a “whistleblower” had made to Garcia beginning in December 2012.Eckert’s report said “serious concerns” about the informant’s credibility had been “apparent from the outset”.It noted that the person at first made public allegations of corruption, then issued a sworn statement retracting them.Eckert said Garcia’s report concluded that the evidence provided by the informant “could not be relied upon to corroborate” their story and that Garcia also expressed concerns that the informant had “altered evidence”.Eckert added that FIFA could therefore not rely on the evidence of alleged corruption by the Qatar bid that the informant had supplied.Almajid said that while Eckert did not identify her by name, in practice his report pointed to her as the informant because it mentioned she was the person who made allegations in public in 2011 about corruption related to the Qatar 2022 bid.“Within hours of publication of Herr Eckert’s summary, I had already been widely identified as one of the ‘whistleblowers’ in German and British media,” Almajid’s complaint said.She said this violated public “assurances of confidentiality” that a FIFA lawyer reiterated as recently as “two months ago.”Almajid reportedly was the source for allegations that Qatar’s World Cup bid paid bribes to three FIFA executives from Africa to secure their support for Qatar’s bid.FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said in a statement to Reuters that allegations of confidentiality breaches “should be examined” by its disciplinary committee and FIFA “cannot prejudice any decision that said Committee could take in this or any similar situation.”last_img read more

APOEL through to Cup semis after beating Anorthosis

first_imgNicosia giants APOEL are through to the last four of the Cyprus Cup after a 2-0 win over Anorthosis in the second leg of their quarter-final at the GSP Stadium in the capital on Wednesday.The Cyprus champions sealed a 2-0 aggregate victory following a goalless first leg.Algerian star Rafik Djebbour was the hero, scoring twice in the second-half after 67 and 80 minutes.last_img

Former England wicketkeeper Prior announces retirement

first_imgBy Martyn HermanFormer England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has retired from all forms of cricket on medical advice, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Thursday.The 33-year-old, known as the ‘engine room’ in two Ashes-winning sides, has been suffering with an Achilles tendon injury and has not played since last year.“Today is a very sad day for me as I am forced to announce my retirement from the game I love,” Prior, who was also an aggressive middle-order batsman, said.“I had been hoping and expecting to be fit for the start of the 2015 season. Unfortunately, this has proved impossible, and I have now had to reach this decision.”Prior played 79 Tests for England, the first in 2007 against West Indies when he made 126 not out and the last against India at Lord’s last year.Only Alan Knott claimed more dismissals for England than Prior’s 256 while Prior also made 4,099 Test runs.last_img read more

Europa League group stage draw

first_imgBy Brian HomewoodFormer European champions Ajax Amsterdam and Celtic, who both suffered the indignity of being knocked of the Champions League qualifiers by underdogs this season, will meet in the Europa League after being drawn together in the group stage on Friday.Four-time European champions Ajax, beaten by Rapid Vienna in the premier competition, and Celtic, who were ousted by Malmo, were placed in Group A alongside Turkey’s Fenerbahce and Norwegian side Molde.Anderlecht will meet Tottenham Hotspur in a repeat of the 1984 final after they were drawn in Group J alongside Monaco and Qarabag.The English Premier League side won the UEFA Cup 31 years ago on penalties after both legs against Anderlecht ended 1-1.Napoli were draw with Club Bruges, Legia Warsaw and Midtjylland in Group D while Borussia Dortmund must face PAOK, Krasnodar and Qabala in Group C.Liverpool were drawn against Swiss side Sion, who they beat 6-3 at Anfield in 1996, Girondins Bordeaux and Rubin Kazan in Group B.Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, last season’s runners-up, will face Lazio, St Etienne and Rosenborg in Group G.Fiorentina coach Paulo Sousa faces a quick return to FC Basel, the team he led to the Swiss league title last season, after their were paired in Group I, which also features Lech Poznan and Belenenses.Basel’s St Jakob Park stadium will host the final. GROUP AAjax Amsterdam (Netherlands)Celtic (Scotland)Fenerbahce (Turkey)Molde (Norway)GROUP BRubin Kazan (Russia)Liverpool (England)Bordeaux (France)Sion (Switzerland)GROUP CBorussia Dortmund (Germany)PAOK Salonika (Greece)Krasnodar (Russia)Qabala (Azerbaijan)GROUP DNapoli (Italy)Club Bruges (Belgium)Legia Warsaw (Poland)Midtjylland (Denmark)GROUP EVillarreal (Spain)Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic)Rapid Vienna (Austria)Dinamo Minsk (Belarus)GROUP FOlympique Marseille (France)Braga (Portugal)Liberec (Czech Republic)Groningen (Netherlands)GROUP GDnipro Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine)Lazio (Italy)St Etienne (France)Rosenborg (Norway)GROUP HSporting Lisbon (Portugal)Besiktas (Turkey)Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia)Skenderbeu (Albania)GROUP IBasel (Switzerland)Fiorentina (Italy)Lech Poznan (Poland)Belenenses (Portugal)GROUP JTottenham Hotspur (England)Anderlecht (Belgium)Monaco (France)Qarabag (Azerbaijan)GROUP KSchalke 04 (Germany)APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus)Sparta Prague (Czech Republic)Asteras (Greece)Group LAthletic Bilbao (Spain)AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands)Augsburg (Germany)Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)last_img read more