Thursday, 29 May 2008

Beckham from behind the half way line for LA Galaxy...

David Beckham scores from the half way line for the second time in his career, although this time in slightly less dramatic fashion - the keeper was almost level with him on his way back to goal. To Beckham's credit it did show good accuracy.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Premiership Rugby Player Launches On-Line Coaching Website

An on-line grassroots rugby site offering online coaching for kids across the whole country is launched this week by premiership rugby player and winger Tom May who will be personally blogging on the site everyday:

Tom May said "working on the site which includes online coaching for kids across the whole country has been hugely exciting ... rugby has given me fantastic opportunities in my career and I now want to put something back into the sport and if I can help the smaller clubs and the kids coming into the game then it will make me very proud."

Right now, Tom is facing a challenge of his own, embarking on a 541 cycle ride this Wednesday the 28th May across all the premiership rugby clubs in England from Newcastle to the grand home of rugby Twickenham in London on the 4th June arriving at 6.00pm.

Tom May continues .. "Compared to my normal training for rugby, this is going to be very different and much harder than I probably understand. In my position on the rugby field, I am required to work at high intensity for relatively short periods of time, the focus being on power and speed. I have realised this is completely different and the endurance and stamina required will be a real challenge. I am relying on my fitness to get me through the vast majority of the journey and I will just get through the rest somehow - probably with a rubber ring and extra padding on my cycle shorts!"

Tom will be looking to raise funds for famous duo Ant & Dec's Metro Radio charity Just for Kids and his target is £40,000 - remarkably over £25,000 has already been donated.

For a chance to win an autographed rugby ball signed by premiership rugby players and Tom's friends, log on to and make a donation for as little as £1 up to £10,000+ ! or log on to Tom's on line rugby coaching site:

Wood Wins Welsh Title By Six Strokes

England international Chris Wood extended his already glowing list of successes with victory in the Welsh Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Conwy.

English players filled the top five places with Wood (pictured - photo courtesy of Tom Ward) producing two stunning rounds on the final day to take the title by six strokes from England team-mate Sam Hutsby and by eight from Jamie Abbott from Suffolk, another England Elite squad member.

Wood finished on 289, one over par, after closing with 69 and 71, while Hutsby shot 76 and 77.

Trailing long-time leader Hutsby by seven shots at five over par going into the final 36 holes, Wood fired a superb 69, the only player among the surviving 45 to beat par, to take the lead.

A fierce wind and driving rain hit the North Wales course in the afternoon but it didn’t faze Wood who continued to stretch his lead, his closing 71 being a wonderful effort in the conditions.

Having started with rounds of 74 and 75, the Bristol golfer showed improved play on the greens and even a triple bogey seven on the 72nd hole proved no handicap.

“I putted much better today,” said 20 year old Wood, winner of last season’s PING/EGU Order of Merit. “I stayed pretty patient all the way around. My swing felt good and playing with Gary Wolstenholme kept me relaxed. This is the biggest event I’ve won so I may take a few days off now.”

Hutsby led by one from Oscar Sharpe and Welsh Walker Cup player Nigel Edwards after an opening 67 and was still one clear from Edwards after a second day 75 achieved in extremely windy conditions.

Leading final scores:
289 C Wood (Long Ashton) 74 75 69 71
295 S Hutsby (Liphook) 67 75 76 77
297 J Abbott (Fynn Valley) 70 80 74 73
299 M Armitage (Howley Hall) 71 82 68 78
301 R Brown (Worksop) 76 73 73 79

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Brit Oval To Hosts West Indian Greats

The Brit Insurance Oval will play host to some of Barbados’ greatest cricketing stars in a representative match against a PCA Masters side on Sunday 8 June, 2008.

The match, which will mark the partnership of the Barbados Tourism Authority with the Professional Cricketers Association, will see some of the world’s greatest players of yesteryear come together in a Twenty20 Challenge match in the fantastic surroundings of the Brit Oval.

The Brit Oval has a history of hosting representative matches and in recent times, organised Charity Twenty20 matches to raise funds for areas devastated by the Tsunami in 2004 and the Pakistan Earthquake in 2006.

The Challenge match on the 8 June which features former Barbados greats Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Vasbert Drakes and Sherwin Campbell, will help to promote Barbados in the run up to England's tour of the West Indies early next year.
Surrey’s latest signing for their Twenty20 campaign, Chris Lewis, will be part of the PCA Masters and he will be joined by Graham Thorpe and Martin Bicknell to give the side good representation from Surrey.

Tickets for the match are available from at a cost of just £5 for adults and £1 for under 16s.

Director of Sales and Marketing at the Brit Oval, Paul Blanchard said: “The Brit Oval is a ground synonymous with the Twenty20 format. As well as five domestic home matches this year and a number of ICC World Twenty20 games scheduled for next season, we’re excited to host a match with so many former International greats on display in what should be another great opportunity to see some excellent cricket.”

Monday, 19 May 2008

Monaco Grand Prix Preview

Speed and glamour combine this weekend as the teams descend upon the streets of Monte Carlo for one of the highlights on the world’s sporting calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix. The jewel in Formula One’s crown, Monaco is the smallest remaining sovereign state and hosted its first (pre-Championship) Formula One race in 1929, making it one of the longest serving venues in motorsport and perhaps the sport’s spiritual home.

The two week gap between the Turkish and Monaco Grands Prix afforded the team a three day test at Paul Ricard in France last week. With the circuit’s layout having been re-configured to replicate the Monegasque track, the team tested a new aero package which will be rolled out for this weekend’s race. Nico and Kazuki benefited from a day’s running each laying the ground work for a competitive outing at the sixth round of the Championship.

Nico Rosberg

I am very much looking forward to racing in Monaco. Actually, I am very much looking forward to the next two races. Monaco is a true Williams track, and Canada should be as well. We’ll certainly have a much better chance at both than we had in Turkey and I believe Monaco is the one race where we can, with a bit of luck, maybe get on to the podium again.

It will be a great weekend as it’s also my home Grand Prix. My family and friends will all be there and, for once, the journey to the track will be a short one, just a 100 metre walk! I can’t wait!

Kazuki Nakajima

I think Monaco will be a big challenge for me. It’s a track at which I didn’t do particularly well at when I raced in GP2 last year, and this is my first race in a Formula One car there. It’s not an easy track and to get it right takes great skill and precision, so it’s a big test for all the drivers.

The team has always seemed to get the car to work well at Monaco, so I hope I can draw upon their experience and use it to my advantage. It’s a really glamorous race and the atmosphere will be pretty special. As its Nico’s home Grand Prix, it would be good if we can do well there.

Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1

Monte Carlo is such a great circuit for Formula One. The drivers and engineers have to deal with so many extremes that doing well there is a real achievement. As a street circuit, Monaco has typically very low grip levels at the start of the weekend, but that significantly changes as the Bridgestone rubber is laid onto the track by the cars during practice and qualifying. In fact, the circuit evolves so much from one run to the next, it’s quite difficult to evaluate set-up changes.

Maximum downforce is the key, as well as the driver getting plenty of laps in during practice to get acquainted with the circuit. We will have some aero improvements on the cars for Monaco, which should improve our competitiveness and enable us to fight for points.

Monte Carlo, Monaco

It’s the social event of the season, but Monte Carlo is also one of the most challenging destinations on the calendar. The two mile lap may be the shortest seen all year, but still places extreme demands on the car and requires a unique set-up. First and foremost, Monaco is a street circuit, so soft tyres and a high downforce configuration are prerequisites to counterbalance the poor grip levels which play havoc with the track in the opening sessions. The lap itself is dominated by slow speed corners and undulations, so a solid mechanical and aero balance is key. Evocative corners, such as Lowes, Chicane and Rascasse are all taken in either first or second gear, so not only are the brakes worked considerably harder in Monaco than anywhere else, but the number of gear shifts made reaches over 4,000, approximately 500 more than at any other track.

With speeds dipping to as low as 28mph on the entry to corners such as the Lowes hairpin, good traction to power the car out of the exit is also crucial to set a competitive lap time. With just 45% of the circuit driven at full throttle, the longest period lasting just eight seconds through the tunnel where speeds peak at 180mph, drivers record the lowest average lap speed of all races at Monaco so engines are given a relatively easy ride over the weekend.

The tight, twisty nature of the track means precision is also paramount for the drivers, for the smallest of errors will be brutally punished by the unforgiving, and menacingly close, armco. Physically, the 78 lap race is also one of endurance as the drivers have to wrestle their machines round streets more suited to cruising convertibles. In summary, the playground of the rich and famous transforms itself into one of the season’s greatest challenges, where only the best reap the reward.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

O’Sullivan Top Of The World

Ronnie O’Sullivan has regained the No 1 position in the official world rankings to go with his World Snooker Championship title.

The Rocket became only the third player to lift the world trophy three times at the Crucible as he beat fellow Essex cueman Ali Carter 18-8 in Sheffield on Monday.

O’Sullivan, 32, becomes the first player ever to hold the official No 1 ranking on three separate occasions, having previously topped the list in 2002/03 and from 2004 to 2006.

“It’s a real buzz to win it. There is no bigger tournament, this is our pinnacle, it’s our greatest stage. I’ve got three now and I would like to win more,” said O’Sullivan, whose previous world titles came in 2001 and 2004.

Stephen Maguire, the only player other than O’Sullivan to win two ranking titles this season, is up to a career high position of No 2. Shaun Murphy stays third while Welsh Open winner Mark Selby completes the top four.

Despite defeat, Carter is into the top eight for the first time in his career as he jumps seven places to No 7, with Ryan Day also moving into that bracket, up eight spots to No 8.

Crucible semi-finalist Joe Perry has regained a place in the top 16, as have Mark King and Royal London Watches Grand Prix champion Marco Fu. Talented Northern Ireland cueman Mark Allen is into the elite for the first time, leaping 13 places FROM No 29.

The four to drop out of the top 16 are Ken Doherty (18), Mark Williams (22), Stephen Lee (26) and Steve Davis (29).

Further down the list, the biggest mover is China’s Liang Wenbo, who enjoyed a giant-killing run to the quarter-finals at Sheffield and rises from No 66 to No 40.