Ben Foakes and James Foster rescued a draw for Essex in their LV=County Championship Division Two contest with Kent at Chelmsford.
The pair put on an unbroken 142-run partnership for the sixth wicket in 48 overs to lead Essex to 166-5 after they had seemed odds-on to give Kent their first win of the four-day season.
Kent’s hopes were hit by Foakes’ unbeaten 86 and Essex captain James Foster was a more than capable foil as he finished on 52 not out at the close, with the pair gradually wearing down the visitors’ attack.
Mark Davies had set up hopes of a Kent success when he produced a wonderful spell of medium-pace bowling that brought him four top-order wickets at a personal cost of six runs as the home side started their second innings in disastrous fashion.
Five wickets fell in 22 balls as they capitulated to a perilous 24-5 – still 60 runs short of making Kent bat again and with 61 overs minimum still to be bowled.
But Foakes and Foster rebuilt the wreck of the innings with sound technique and resourceful application before the captains eventually shook hands on a draw with 13 overs still available as Kent took eight points from the clash, with Essex settling for seven.
At the start of the day, Kent’s Darren Stevens soon added the nine runs he required to reach his hundred, the fourth time in his last five championship innings at Chelmsford that the all-rounder has recorded a century.
The visitors added a further 82 runs to their overnight total to reach 296 all out, with Stevens reaching 136 before he fell to Ravi Bopara.
Hull scored three tries in the space of four minutes to stun city rivals Hull KR 22-16 at Magic Weekend in Manchester.
The Robins looked set to clinch a second win of the season over their neighbours when they led 16-6 with just seven minutes remaining at the Etihad Stadium.
Tries from Greg Eden, former Hull man Craig Hall and Alex Brown opened up a comfortable cushion for Rovers, despite them losing both Luke George and Rhys Lovegrove to injury.
However Hull had other ideas, gaining revenge for their controversial defeat to the same opponents at the event last year thanks to a stunning comeback.
Yet just as the Black and Whites felt wronged by David Hodgson’s match-winner 12 months ago, Rovers will be smarting at the award of Chris Green’s try at the death as it seemed the forward was offside in the build-up.
more to follow…
A sheepish Bergin returns to the weighing room Apprentice David Bergin was banned for 28 days after briefly dropping his hands on Classic Colori with victory in sight in the opening race on an eight-race card at Haydock.
The 5lb-claimer appeared to mistake the half-furlong marker for the winning post in the Betfred “Still Treble Odds” Handicap.
Classic Colori made smooth progress to challenge the 7/2 favourite Albaqaa a furlong out and looked as though he could hit the front whenever he wanted.
However, Bergin eased off when he was alongside Robert Tart on Albaqaa, trained by P J O’Gorman.
Bergin asked his mount for an effort in the last few strides once he realised his error but it was not enough and he was a head down at the line.
The first two pulled four and a half lengths clear of Restaurateur in third.
Stipendiary steward Simon Cowley said: “The stewards have banned him for 28 days for failing to ride out in the closing stages on a horse that otherwise would have been placed first.” Bergin’s suspension begins on June 8.
Sergio Aguero: New deal with Manchester City Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Sergio Aguero has signed a new contract which keeps him at Manchester City until 2017.
More to follow….
Tom Sykes: Topped qualifying at Donington Park Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Tom Sykes claimed the 15th pole position of his career after topping qualifying for the European round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park.
The Kawasaki rider was quickest in the first and second qualifying sessions and underlined his dominance with the fastest time in superpole ahead of Sunday’s two races.
Sykes was fastest in all three phases of superpole and broke his own lap record on three occasions as he claimed the advantage with a best lap of one minute 27.378 seconds.
Sykes will line up on the front row alongside Sylvain Guintoli, the rider who heads him in the championship standings by 18 points.
Guintoli’s Aprilia team-mate Eugene Laverty completes the front row, while the second row is headed by Honda’s Jonathan Rea, who finished ahead of Leon Camier (Suzuki) and the BMW of Marco Melandri.
Chaz Davies (BMW) heads row three from Davide Guigliano (Aprilia) and Niccolo Canepa (Ducati), with row four featuring Carlos Checa (Ducati), Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki).
Felipe Massa: Suffered a nasty accident in final practice Sky Bet Formula 1 Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Formula 1 Betting 10 Free Bet A downcast Felipe Massa described the heavy crash in final practice which has left him at the back of the grid for the Monaco GP as “strange” but is vowing to remain positive in a bid to salvage something from the weekend.
The Brazilian will start from the back row of the Monte Carlo grid for the second time in his eight-year Ferrari career after the team were unable to repair his F138 in time for the first knockout phase of qualifying following a hefty accident in the earlier Practice Three session.
Massa had only completed eight laps when he crashed in spectacular fashion under braking for Ste Devote, first understeering into the outside barrier and then hitting the tyre wall at the corner head-on – impacts which wrecked his car’s front suspension.
Although Ferrari later confirmed that the accident had been down to driver error, Massa said the nature of the incident – and the fact he locked up both front brakes – had nonetheless been unusual.
“When I braked I touched the bump and maybe the car touched the floor and locked both front wheels which is not an easy thing to happen,” he told reporters.
“Normally you lock one, locking both is a very difficult thing to happen, but it happened and it made me go to the wall,” he “So I hit the guardrail on the left and then it was just waiting for the wall to arrive which is not a nice thing to see and is not a nice feeling, but actually nothing happened to him.
The car was completely damaged; when I got out of the car and looked and there was no suspension, around the car was pretty damaged and I knew it was going to be very difficult to fix the car.
“We tried everything we could.
You saw even Romain Grosjean had a crash much later than mine and he just managed to go out at the end of Q1 so you see that it was not easy for us to fix the car.” Massa, who said he felt fine aside from some small muscular pain in his back, added that the data showed he had actually braked earlier for the first corner than his best lap from Thursday.
“I was looking at the data and honestly when I braked it was even a little bit earlier than the Thursday on the best lap I did on the soft tyres and I locked very easy the front tyres,” he added.
“So it’s a bit strange but it happens.” The 32-year-old has past experience of trying to come through on Monaco’s tight streets after starting from the back row in 2006 following a crash in Q1.
On that occasion he clawed his way up to ninth place over the course of the 78-lap race and he is hoping some classic Monaco unpredictability can come to his rescue this time.
“For sure it’s the worst track to have this problem but we need to be positive and try everything we can for tomorrow,” Massa acknowledged.
“Here is a track which is very difficult to overtake on – we know – but it’s also a track where many things happen.
During the race maybe we have a safety car, maybe not, we don’t know.
We need to be prepared, be positive and need to try if things change.”
Niall Morris: scored the opening try for Leicester Leicester bounced back from successive Aviva Premiership final defeats to beat Northampton 37-17 in a thrilling climax to the domestic season at Twickenham.
This was a 10th English title for the Tigers but they had lost on their last two final appearances – to Saracens in 2011 and Harlequins last year.
Northampton battled bravely and scored three tries in their first final appearance, but they were not helped by the dismissal of their skipper Dylan Hartley for dissent on the stroke of half-time.
Leicester made a fast start and were quickly ahead thanks to Toby Flood’s penalty and on seven minutes they had the first try, Flood’s inside pass creating the initial break for Vereniki Goneva, before the fly-half was on hand to take a return pass and put Niall Morris in at the corner.
Flood then converted for a 10-0 lead.
No side has ever come back to win the final after trailing by more than three points but Northampton quickly responded, as Manu Tuilagi failed to release in the tackle, Lee Dixon took a quick tap penalty and Luther Burrell sent Stephen Myler in for a try.
Myler missed the conversion.
Flood’s game was to end after just 20 minutes following two crunching tackles by Courtney Lawes – the first judged illegally late, the second ruled fair.
Ben Youngs missed the subsequent penalty chance and shortly afterwards George Ford was on for Flood.
He had his first points after a 60-metre burst by Mathew Tait earned a penalty for offside, then the chance of another three from in front after Northampton’s scrum crumbled.
Sent to the stands But first Hartley abused Wayne Barnes for his decision and was sent to the stands.
Ben Foden was denied a first-half try by the TMO but did get over in the corner shortly after the break, after a brilliant pass from Mike Haywood to Myler.
Myler’s missed conversion left the scores at 16-10 Tigers stretched that lead when Northampton were pushed off their own scrum ball and Graham Kitchener threw a dummy and charged between front-rowers Brian Mujati and Soane Tonga’uiha to the line.
Ford missed the conversion but his penalty gave Leicester a 24-10 lead, before Foden’s jinking run and Luther Burrell’s offload to Lee Dickson hauled Northampton briefly back into the game, with Myler converting.
But the 14-men tired in the final quarter and first Tuilagi and then Vereniki Goneva were able to cross for tries, wrapping up a victory for Leicester which was nowhere near as comfortable as the scoreline suggests.
Dylan Hartley: Lions tour in doubt for Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley faces an anxious wait to find out if he will go on the Lions tour after his sending off in the Aviva Premiership final.
The Northampton and England hooker was dismissed seconds before half-time at Twickenham after allegedly verbally abusing referee Wayne Barnes.
Hartley had been warned about his language by Barnes just two minutes before he was sent off in the wake of Barnes awarding opponents Leicester a penalty.
Barnes had told him: “Please keep your comments to yourself or I may have to deal with it.
Do not talk to me like that.” The penalty for verbal abuse of a match official ranges between six and 18 weeks and if Hartley is found guilty of any charge stemming from the incident that would surely end his hopes of going on the tour.
Warren Gatland’s squad depart for Hong Kong and the first fixture of their 10-match tour on Monday.
Northampton assistant coach Dorian West told ESPN at half-time: “I don’t really know what’s been said out there.
“I know Wayne had a word with Dylan before that.
We will have to listen to the ref mic and see what’s been said.
Dylan is obviously very disappointed and feels hard done to.
He insists he was talking to his player.”
Franz Beckenbauer: Won the World Cup as a player and manager with West Germany Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Franz Beckenbauer claims the success of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund means Germany are on course to win next year’s World Cup.
Beckenbauer, the president of Bayern Munich, says England and other countries can learn from Germany’s drive to promote its youth players into its top club sides.
The all-German Champions League final at Wembley is an outcome of the decision in 2000 to oblige all professional clubs to have academies, and a major programme to appoint youth coaches, according to the man who won the World Cup as a player and manager with West Germany.
Beckenbauer told a news conference in London: “Germany is on its way.
Teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and the national team are on their way, maybe next year on their way to Brazil to win the World Cup.
They have a good chance.
“That means that German football is really on the top.” Since 2000, the number of German players in the Bundesliga has risen to a level of 60%, with benefits felt in the national team, even though there are no restrictions on the number of foreign players.
“There are no gentleman’s agreements left in Germany – it’s an open field like in England,” added Beckenbauer.
“Everybody gets the chance to sign a contract, it could be 11 foreigners.
“I think what helps us in the last 10-15 years is our academies and youngsters, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gotze, Marco Reus, all these young players, Manuel Neuer, they all came from the academies.” Beckenbauer, speaking as a global ambassador for Gazprom’s Football For Friendship international children’s forum, said France had led the way in 1990.
He added: “When I was at Olympique Marseille for a year in 1990, after the World Cup, France billed that all professional teams have to have an academy.
All these players, like Zinedine Zidane and Christophe Dugarry, eight years later when they won the World Cup they had come from academies.” Beckenbauer admits, however, that all countries’ fortunes change over time.
He said: “Football is like life, up and downs.
In the ’70s the German teams, with Bayern Munich we won the Champions League three times, six players from Bayern Munich won the European Championship and won the World Cup in 1974.
“And then late in the ’70s the decade was finished, then the Italians came, Inter Milan and Juventus.
Then the English came: Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.
“Then the Spanish came, their national team won the Euros two times; Barcelona, Real Madrid, for four or five years the best in the world.
But now the Germans are coming back.
It’s up and down, it’s a cycle.
I hope the period for Germany will be a long cycle!” Beckenbauer insisted the German rules on club ownership were also “healthier” – super-rich prospective owners can only take over a maximum 49% of the club and not the majority of the shares.
“Fifty-one per cent has to stay in the club so you can share as a partner but not share the majority,” he said.
“If you give your potential out of your hands, say to a sponsor, and he says tomorrow ‘No I don’t want to be the sponsor any more’, what are you going to do? It’s healthier to have our system.”