Postponements, prices and plastic – what’s the state of pitches in Wales? With the winter bringing the state of our sports pitches in to ever sharper focus, Graham Thomas and Paul Batcup provide a snapshot of the current picture in Wales. Anyone familiar with playing community football or rugby at this time of year will know the feeling. The rain falls, the wind howls, and as you peer through your living room window to assess the conditions for the weekend game, your phone pings with a message: “postponed – see you next week.”
Mike Ruddock insists Toby Booth convinced the Ospreys players he was the man to take the region out of its desperate slump. The current Harlequins assistant coach will take in charge at the Liberty Stadium for the start of the 2020/21 season after their long search for a replacement to sacked Allen Clarke came to an end. Ruddock – hired as performance director earlier this season – has revealed that senior Ospreys players were involved in the assessment process and gave their thumbs-up that Booth was the man for the job.
Neil Harris admitted Cardiff City’s play-off hopes have taken a nose-dive after a defeat to Nottingham Forest which ended with Callum Paterson and Leandro Bacuna literally at each other’s throats. The Bluebirds boss insisted there were no serious issues between the pair who clashed at the end of the 1-0 defeat and had to be pulled apart by teammates. Tiago Silva scored the only goal of the game as Harris’ side suffered his first Championship defeat at home since he took over from Neil Warnock in mid-November. The result leaves the Bluebirds six point
The Celtic Dragons began their Vitality Netball Superleague campaign with an agonizing, but encouraging 44-43 defeat to Surrey Storm at the weekend. But despite a huge turnaround in players, former Dragon Suzy Drane tells Graham Thomas she feels optimistic about this season. The Celtic Dragons can overcome the loss of key players and prove themselves a surprise package in netball’s Superleague this season – according to the woman who was once their heartbeat. Suzy Drane – a key player for the Dragons for over a decade and a Wales legend who reached the 100-cap mark last season – believes the team’s youngsters can rise to the challenge created by major change at the club over the past few months.
Hal Robson-Kanu has paid thanks to Slaven Bilic for making him a recall option for Wales again at this year’s Euro 2020 finals. The 30-year-old striker has become the central figure in West Brom’s revitalised promotion surge and underlined his influence for the Championship leaders with two goals in their 3-0 victory at Bristol City at the weekend. The Baggies are now nine points clear of third-placed Fulham after going seven matches without a win at the turn of the year.
Neil Harris has told his Cardiff City players to show they are “serious” about promotion as they begin life without Lee Tomlin on Tuesday night. The Bluebirds manager is demanding a reaction from his side who were beaten 2-0 at Stoke City last weekend, a result which stalled their play-off surge and allowed Swansea City to climb back above them in the Championship. With 12 matches of the season left, Cardiff are six points adrift of the play-off places, giving the visit of fifth-placed Forest a critical feel in the eyes of Harris.
Jeremiah Azu was involved in a dramatic 60m final at the England Athletics age group championships in Sheffield at the weekend. The Cardiff teenager got off to a relatively slow start, but soon got into his stride to challenge Liverpool’s Henry Nwoke for the title with a late dip for the line in a desperately close finish. The commentators initially called Azu as the winner, but it soon became evident no-one could be certain whether the Welshman had retained his title or if Nwoke had just held on to earn the crown.
Celtic Dragons suffered a heartbreak defeat against Surrey Storm in their first match of the Vitality Netball Superleague season at Arena Birmingham. Cardiff-based Dragons led through the first three quarters, but found themselves in the eye of a Storm during the final 15 minutes. Almost 9,000 spectators watched Surrey hit back from... Read More
Shaun Murphy is the 2020 ManBetX Welsh Open snooker champion after a crushing victory against Kyren Wilson in the final at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena. Murphy, from Northamptonshire, lifted trophy only two frames into the final session, winning 9-1 after a stunning, dominant performance. The 37-year-old former World Champion had never won the... Read More
'The Magician' Takes Stranglehold Grip On Welsh Open Snooker Final Going Into Final Session In Cardiff
Shaun Murphy, a 37-year-old snooker professional from Essex, looks on the verge of winning the ManBetX Welsh Open for the first time. Harlow-born Murphy started the final session of the final at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena leading 7-1 against Kyren Wilson and he needs two more frames to win the Ray Reardon... Read More
A Welsh squash player is set to complete a hat-trick of titles at the AJ Bell British Squash Championship in Nottingham. Cardiff-born Tesni Evans, the World number nine who now lives in North Wales, won the women’s crown in 2018 and 2019, while Joel Making is through to the men’s final... Read More
Ronnie O’Sullivan scored the 1,042nd century break of his career on the way to a convincing victory against Iran’s Soheil Vahedi in the ManBetX Welsh Open Snooker Championships. He scored 131 in the third frame, completing the break in just over seven minutes. This was O’Sullivan’s 100th match in the Welsh Open... Read More
As the Six Nations pauses, Peter Jackson looks ahead to next season – a Lions year – and the prospects, and pitfalls, of a warm-up game in Wales for the tourists which would follow the 2021 Six Nations. The Lions are considering whether to transfer their next fixture from Twickenham... Read More