Issue 6, 13th December 1995: SPORTING ROUNDUP
By Charles Hirst.
Dutch Masters Secure European Place(13/12/95)
Stone Keeps England on a Role (13/12/95)
Rep Ireland 0 Holland 2
Anfield was awash with orange and green, as two very different teams clashed for the last place in Euro 96. The countries were well represented on and off the pitch, as both sets of supporters reflected the passion involved, in a night full off emotion. The famous Kop End in the Liverpool stands, traditionally a flurry of red, was replaced in a sea of green. The Irish fans took two thirds of the stands, and boldly sang their hearts out, but did not witness the victory they had hoped for.
Instead they witnessed a Dutch performance that would have stretched the best in the world. Their shape and formation was held in perfect stability, each man knowing his role and knowing precisely where to find his teammates. Bergkamp roved behind the front three, usurping all the space that his running forwards had created for him. Overmars and Seeddorf consistently bypassed the stretched Irish midfield with their passing movements. The Dutch moved the ball with such ease along the ground, that any time Ireland won possesion they were made to look clumsy in comparison.
The Irish worked hard at feeding the ball up to their forwards in a direct manor, particularly towards Cascarino who caused arial problems to the Dutch defence. The colourful and pasionate display of the fans was matched on the pitch by the football. The game was played in a great sporting spirit, both sets of fans singing in unison to the Anfield classic "You'll Never Walk Alone". The Dutch precision was matched by the Irish heart, all great stirring stuff.
Ireland having themselves threatened through some awkward goalmouth scrambles, fell behind in the 29th minute to a Kluivert goal. Put through by Davids, Kluivert calmly directed a crisp strike past Kelly, to finish off a spectacular move that had started from Sheringham losing possesion. It was another important goal for the 19 year old who scored the winner against A.C Milan in last seasons European Cup Final.
The second half opened up, providing chances for both teams. Bergkamp was replaced injured, by Johan de Kock and it took some time for them to adapt to their new formation. The Irish worked hard to put the Dutch under pressure, but increasingly it was the Dutch who looked more dangerous. Helder crossed perfectly for Kluivert, who crashed his header against the bar. It was probably still reverberating when Davids was put through by Kluivert, only to see his shot well saved by Kelly.
The game was put out of reach in the 89th minute, when Kluivert came storming through the middle, delightfully bringing the ball under control before chipping a rising shot deftly past Kelly. Irish hearts were brocken, but their spirit wasn't as they stayed in the stadium to hail their teams efforts for many miutes after the game.
Stone Keeps England on a Role(13/12/95)
England 1 Portugal 1
Steve Stone, the Notts Forest midfielder and latest discovery of Terry Venables, cracked his second goal for England in as many games, to earn England a draw against Portugal.
Stone set about the game in his normal busy fassion, and earned himself the Man of the Match award for his alround performance, which included his 45th minute strike.
England contested well in the first half, often producing clean sweeping movements across the pitch, but too often it broke down in the last half of the field. Portugal's one touch philosophy was elegant and pacey, often mesmerising as they played themselves through their opponents. But they too lacked the penetration to worry Seaman's goal.
After a fiesty start from the Portuguese, Venables' men looked the most likely to do the damage. And so it was, on the stroke of half time that England opened the scoring with another Steve Stone goal. Ferdinand had already gone close, heading powerfully over the bar and he had a hand in setting up Stone's goal (perhaps literally). Pearce was released down the left from a throw in and swung in a cross towards Ferdinand. Ferdinand chested out to Stone who was tearing in towards goal. He smashed his shot low to the right of the keeper, to give England the lead. Although there was a hint of handball when Ferdinand controlled the ball, it was a well worked goal and came after a period of sustained pressure.
The second half saw the Portuguese hype their game up, as they came at the English defence, looking more and more menacing. The speed of their one touch football indicated a growing confidance and they duelly equalised just before the hour. Alves was released into the area by Dominguez and eluded Tony Adams, to slip his shot past Seaman. It was a goal they deserved for their impressive attacking movements. Gareth Southgate might have won the game with his first touch for England. Coming on as a sub, he rose well to head against the bar.
The game gave England a taste of top European competition, which they will need having been drawn against old foes Italy and Poland , in the World Cup Draw
Steve Stone, Man of the Match and England's goal scorer.
FA Carling Premiership Results
Monday 4th December
Sheff Wed 4 Coventry 3
Sunday 3rd December
Wimbledon 3 Newcastle 3
Saturday 2nd December
Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 1
Blackburn 4 West Ham 2
Bolton 1 Forest 1
Leeds 0 Man City 1
Liverpool 1 Southampton 1
Man Utd 1 Chelsea 1
QPR 1 Middlesbrough 1
Tottenham 0 Everton 0
Monday 27th November
Notts Forest 1 Man Utd 1
Sunday 26th November
Arsenal 0 Blackburn 0
Saturday 25th November
Chelsea 0 Spurs 0
Coventry 3 Wimbledon 3
Everton 2 Sheff Wed 2
Man City 1 Aston Villa 0
Middlesbrough 2 Liverpool 1
Newcastle 2 Leeds 1
Southampton 1 Bolton 0
West Ham 1 QPR 0
Wednesday 22 November
Chelsea 3 Bolton 2
Coventry 0 Man Utd 4
Everton 2 QPR 0
Man City 1 Wimbledon 0
West Ham 0 Liverpool 0
Tuesday 21 November
Arsenal 4 Sheff Wed 2
Middlesbrough 0 Tottenham 1
Monday 20th November
Southampton 0 Aston Villa 1
Sunday 19th November
QPR 1 Coventry 1
Saturday 18th November
Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 1
Blackburn 7 Notts Forest 0
Bolton 0 West Ham 3
Leeds 1 Chelsea 0
Liverpool 1 Everton 2
Man Utd 4 Southampton 1
Sheff Wed 1 Man City 1
Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1
Wimbledon 0 Middlesbrough 0
Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 1
FA Carling Premiership League Table
P W D L F A W D L F A Pts Newcastle 17 8 0 0 20 4 4 3 2 16 11 39 Man Utd 17 6 3 0 20 8 4 2 2 15 9 35 Arsenal 17 5 3 0 14 6 3 3 2 8 5 30 Middlesbrough 17 6 2 1 14 5 2 4 2 5 6 30 Tottenham 17 4 2 3 10 9 4 4 0 13 8 30 Aston Villa 17 4 3 1 10 5 4 2 3 11 8 29 Liverpool 16 5 2 1 18 5 3 2 4 11 10 28 Nottm Forest 16 4 4 0 16 8 2 5 1 10 15 27 Leeds 16 5 1 3 11 9 2 3 2 10 9 25 Chelsea 17 4 4 1 11 8 2 2 4 5 10 24 Everton 17 4 2 3 14 11 2 3 3 8 8 23 Blackburn 17 6 1 1 24 7 0 2 7 3 17 21 West Ham 17 2 3 3 8 12 3 2 4 9 11 20 Sheff Wed 17 2 2 4 8 12 2 4 3 12 13 18 Southampton 17 3 3 3 9 9 1 2 5 7 17 17 Man City 17 3 2 3 4 5 1 1 7 5 21 15 Wimbledon 17 2 3 3 12 14 1 2 6 11 23 14 QPR 17 1 3 4 8 15 2 0 7 4 10 12 Coventry 17 2 3 4 13 16 0 3 5 9 20 12 Bolton 17 2 3 4 7 12 0 0 8 8 20 9Return to contents
FA Carling Premiership Leading GoalscorersL F C E O T Shearer (Blackburn) 16 0 5 1 0 22 Ferdinand (Newcastle) 17 0 3 0 0 20 Sheringham (Tottenham) 11 0 3 0 0 14 Fowler (Liverpool) 11 0 2 0 0 13 Yeboah (Leeds) 9 0 1 3 0 13 Wright (Arsenal) 7 0 5 0 0 12 Dublin (Coventry) 10 0 0 0 0 10 Scholes (Man Utd) 7 0 2 1 0 10 Holdsworth (Wimbledon) 6 0 4 0 0 10 Yorke (Aston Villa) 7 0 3 0 0 10 Bergkamp (Arsenal) 6 0 3 0 0 9 L=League, F=FA Cup, C=Coca Cola Cup, E=European, O=Other, T=Total.
England Face Old Foes in World Cup Draw(13/12/95)
England will face old World Cup rivals Italy and Poland in their World Cup qualification group, along with the relatively unknown Georgia and Moldavia. The task will be a hard one for England if they want to qualify by right to reach the finals and avoid the second place play offs. Italy knocked England out of the 1978 World Cup qualifying stages and it will be the fifth time since 1972 that England have been drawn against Poland. "Well the World Cup wouldn't be the World Cup without Poland" said a cheery Terry Venables, but his first reaction was "Ouch!"
Scotland's passage looks easier, facing Sweden, Austria, Latvia, Belarus and Estonia. Whether Jack Charlton will be at hand to steer Ireland through the qualification stages, will be decided over the New Year, but they have a fight on their hands, coming up against Romania. The others in their group do not look too strong though as they face Liechenstein, Iceland, Lithuania and Macedonia.
Wales and Northern Ireland will both struggle to qualify, facing formidable opponents. Wales have Holland, Belgium, Turkey as their main contenders. Northern Ireland possibly have the most difficult task with Germany, Portugal, Ukraine, Albania and Armenia.
The battlelines have been drawn in Group One, with Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia Hertzegovnia all drawn together. Games will commence after next summer's European Championship.
Ferdinand Gets The Nod(12/12/95)
Les Ferdinand is getting his big chance to represent England tonight (12/12/95), having been given the nod by Terry Venables, to play up front alongside Alan Shearer.
Ferdy takes the place of Teddy Sheringham, who failed to shake of a niggerling back injury in time for tonights big clash with Portugal. The prospect of this seasons top scorers pairing up for the international, is an exciting one. Venables ignored the options of replacing Sherringham with Barmby or Beardsley, who act as link men between midfield and Shearer, for the more direct approach of adopting two recognised out and out strikers.
The famous Christmas Tree formation could not have been more appropriate for this yuletide friendly, but tonight's formation is far more likely to resemble the 4-4-2 of old.
Le Saux may start from left midfield, rather than left back, with the rest of the midfield covered by Steve Stone, Wise and Gascoigne. They will have a hard time keeping the ball from the feet of the Portuguese, who play bright football and keep possesion well.
All eyes will be up front though, anticipating an explosive impression from England's finest two strikers.
England Squad Announced; Still no Place for Ince(6/12/95)
Terry Venables has announced his England squad, for next weeks friendly against Portugal. There were some notable absentees from his list or recruits, such as Paul Ince who has again been ingnored. Also passed over was the in form Arsenal man, Paul Merson.
Venables has issued assurances that at this stage his squad is still open to changes before next summer's European Finals to be hosted in England. However those who are left out will be feeling increasingly adrift as the squad is taking a familiar look to it.
Ince has been overlooked since turning down his place for England during last summer's Umbro Cup competition. His lack fo commitment to the England squad then, has obviously impeeded his chances of a recall. The only change to the squad is the inclusion of Nick Barmby, who comes back after injury, in place of Pallister, who is unavaillable.
Seaman (Arsenal), Flowers (Blackburn), Walker (Spurs), Neville (Man Utd), Jones (Liverpool), Adams (Arsenal), Howey (Newcastle), Pearce (Notts Forest), Le Saux (Blackburn), Southgate (Aston Villa), Sinclair (QPR), Stone (Forest),Redknapp (Liverpool), Platt (Arsenal), Gascoigne (Rangers), Lee (Newcastle), McManaman (Liverpool), Wise (Chelsea), Ferdinand (Newcastle), Beardsley (Newcastle), Barmby (Middlesbrough), Sheringham (Spurs), Shearer (Blackburn).
Sellars Moves to Bolton
Scott Sellars has signed for Bolton Wanderers from Newcastle, for GBP750,000. He is expected to make his debut for them this Saturday against Liverpool. Sellars has failed to reclaim his first team place with Newcastle after recovering from a knee ligament operation last October. Bolton have also spent GBP100,000 on Plymouth midfielder Wayne Burnet.
Newcastle have two tough cup clashes ahead of them, having drawn Chelsea in the FA Cup and Arsenal in the Coca Cola Cup. Other major FA draws include Derby at home to Leeds and the holders, Everton play Rochdale, as Arsenal take on Sheff Utd.
Return to contents
Varsity Blues For Oxford(12/12/95)
Oxford 19 Cambridge 21
Oxford came within a whisker of an unlikely victory against their old foe, playing a cat and mouse game of Rugby, in the 114th Varsity match at Twickenham.
The script for the game could not have been more heartrending for the deep blues, as they took a surprising lead, only to lose it (through a controversial penalty try), regain it and then on the final second , lose it in a dramatic finally.
n the last five minutes of the game there were three scores as both teams juggled with the lead, but it was to be Cambridge's day. The referee awarded a penalty try to Cambridge for deliberate offside, which brought the light blues level with Oxford. The Dark Blues faught back bravely, David Humphries hit an upright with a drop goal effort, and was awarded a penalty in the process. He duely stepped up to convert the three points and all believed it to be over.
As the game ticked into injury time though, Cambridge came at Oxford one last time. Consardo hoisted a huge up and under, which Singer collected well deep inside Oxford's 22m zone. The ball was released down the three quarters, where John Evans appeared in an unlikely position. The front row man could not be stopped from ten yards out, as his momentum carried him over for a classic victory.
Bath v Wigan; Proposed Union and League Challenge(6/12/95)
The proposal of a two match series to be played between the champions of Rugby Union and Rugby League, may be set for next May. The games could possibly be held at Twickenham and Old Trafford,a nd would be regarded as a symbolic gesture between the two rival bodies.
The clash would probably generate something in the region of two millio pounds if it went ahead. Negotiations are currently under way, but it is believed that both clubs a keen on the fixture.
The proposal comes at a time that the RFU are coming under attack from northern Labour MPs, for discriminating against Rugby League. Anger has been expressed over the RFU's refusal to lift it's archaic ban on "returning" Rugby League players. Orrell, who have been attempting to recrute the forces of Nigel Heslop and Martin Strett, have been frustrated by the RFU's ban.
Latest scores from Englands tour of South Africa
First Test is Washed Out.
Mighty Mike the Magnificent
England vs South Africa (2nd Test)
South Africa 1st Innings A C Hudson c Stewart b Cork 0 G Kirsten c Russell b Malcolm 110 W J Cronje c Russell b Cork 35 D J Cullinan c Russell b Hick 69 J N Rhodes c Russell b Cork 5 B M McMillan lbw b Cork 35 D J Richardson c Russell b Malcolm 0 S M Pollock c Smith b Malcolm 33 C E Eksteen c Russell b Cork 13 M W Pringle not out 10 A A Donald b Malcolm 0 Extras 22 Total 332 2nd Innings A C Hudson c Russell b Fraser 17 G Kirsten c Russell b Malcolm 1 W J Cronje c Russell b Cork 48 D J Cullinan c Gough b Cork 61 J N Rhodes c Russell b Fraser 57 B M McMillan not out 100 D Richardson c Ramprakash b Malcolm 23 S M Pollock lbw Cork 5 C E Eksteen c Russell b Cork 2 M W Pringle c Hick b Fraser 2 A A Donald not out 9 Extras 21 Total (9 wckts dec) 346 England 1st Innings M A Atherton b Donald 9 A J Stewart c Kirsten b Pringle 45 M R Ramprakash b Donald 4 G P Thorpe c Kirsten b Eksteen 34 G A Hick c and b Eksteen 6 R A Smith c and b McMillan 52 R C Russell c Rhodes b Eksteen 12 D G Cork c Cullinan b Pollock 8 D Gough c and b Pollock 2 A R C Fraser lbw Pollock 0 D E Malcolm not out 0 Extras 28 Total 200 2nd Innings M A Atherton not out 185 A J Stewart b McMillan 38 M R Ramprakash b McMillan 0 G P Thorpe lbw Pringle 17 G A Hick c Richardson b Donald 4 R A Smith c Pollock b Donald 44 R C Russell not out 29 Extras 34 Total (5 wckts) 351 Result: Draw
England 1st Innings M A Atherton c Donald b Pollcock 78 A J Stewart c Matthews b Schultz 6 M R Ramprakash c Richardson b Donald 9 G P Thorpe c Richardson b Pollock 13 G A Hick lbw b Pollock 141 R A Smith b McMillan 43 R C Russell not out 50 D G Cork c Matthews b McMillan 13 D Gough b McMillan 0 R K Illingworth b Donald 0 A R Fraser not out 4 Extras 24 Total 9 wkts 381 Result: Draw (rain stopped play)
England vs South Africa A
South Africa A - 1st Innings Total : 490-9 dec Second Innings Total : 148-4 England 1st Innings Total : 308 Second Innings Total : 309 Reult : South Africa A won by 6 wkts
Mighty Mike the Magnificent
Mike Atherton staged one of the all time epic rearguard innings in the history of test cricket, to save the second Test for England. In a magnificent display of courage and concentration, Atherton stood firm in his crease for ten and three quarter hours, staving off the South African pace attack.
England approached the final day of the Test in a seemingly impossible position, having reached 167-4 on the fourth day. But Atherton's stuborn denial, alongside his teammate Jack Russell, caused a sensation at the Wanderers ground in Johannesburg. Atherton finished his remarkable innings on an unbeaten 185.
Robin Smith's was the only wicket to fall, 45 minutes before the lunch break, having made a steady 44. The South African crowd had swelled in numbers by then, in anticipation of the expected victory, but what was to unfold before them, was an individual victory of heroic proportions. Whether they appreciated this quite as much as the preferred home teams win was unlikely, but the slow handclapping that occaisionally rang around the ground, could only have come from the uneducated who did not know what they were witnessing.
It was a titanic effort that required immeasurable concentration and patience. Russell, who earlier in the match had taken a world record of 11 catches, played his part in the innings without fault. He blocked out the steaming pace of the South African bowlers, demoralising them as he crept to 29 runs from 339 balls!
Ray Illingworth, the England coach, called Atherton's innings "one of the greatest innings of all time". Atherton probably could not be on a higher pedestal within the team and from this dizzy height can expect to command absolute authority over his troops, and inspire a fresh fighting spirit that has been absent from the England team of late.
Mark Ramprakash had another failed outing into Test cricket, scoring a total of 4 in his two innings. It is likely that John Crawly will step in to replace him at the number three spot, for the third Test.
First Test is Washed Out
After getting away to a good start in their first innings, England were forced to retreat to the pavilion and watch all their hard work pour down the drain. Heavy rain impeeded play, forcing the result of a draw.
During the first days play and on the morning of the second, Graeme Hick had guided England to safety with a marvellous 141. Hick was well supported by his captain, Michael Atherton who made 78. They shared a third wicket partnership of 142, to steady the innings after an early slump of 64 for 3.
Jack Russell played a characteristic terrier like innings on the second days play, to reach 50 not out, and Robin Smith opened his account on his return to his birthplace with a quickfire 43.
South Africa's stratergy of playing five strike fast bowlers, in an attempt to intimidate the English batsmen, came to nothing as Graeme Hick dug in alongside Mike Atherton for a crucial stand.
The Second Test against South Africa starts on Thursday 30th November.
Return to contents
Williams Team May Have Been Responsible For Senna's Death(13/12/95)
A report has been issued by Enrico Lorenzini, a proffesor at Bologna University, that faulty welding on Senna's Williams car may have caused the fatal crash at Imola. The 600 page thesis outlines the botched job that was done in welding the steering column of the car. The poor welding resulted in the steering column breaking, causing complete steering failure at high speed.
If the report is found to be true, then Frank Williams may be sued for up to thirty million pounds by Senna's family. The official reports are expected in the next few weeks. Lorenzini's report should ensure that the official investigation will not be ignored by the FIA, or treated as unimportant.
Villeneuve Proves his Steel(6/12/95)
Jacques Villeneuve has arrived on the Formula 1 scene and already made his impact. During his first practice in the Williams car at Silverstone, he clocked in at only a second slower than his teammate Damon Hill. In another practice session at Estoril, he came in quiker than Shumacher, who was test driving his new Ferrari. At the same meeting, Gerhard Berger struggled with the Benneton and lost control. The car was a write off, so he was unable to complete his practice.
Return to Contents
Bruno Under Fire From Tyson(13/12/95)
The war of words has already begun between the Heavyweight title contenders, Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson. Tyson has one the first round, promising to bash Bruno! He declared he knew how to fight big Frank, and tht it would not be a difficult task to overcome the British World Heavyweight Champion.
Tyson shrugged off any suggestion that Bruno hurt him with a powerful left hook, the last time they met. Tyson eventually won that contest in the sixth round, but only after Bruno had shaken him up some.
Meanwhile Big Frank had to be content with runner up in the BBC's annual Sports Personality of the Year award. Thought to be heading the list, he bowed out to Johnathan Edwards, who smashed the world record for triple jump during the summer.
Soccer Virtual Library: has links to every football page on the web.
Coopers & Lybrand Ratings of Test Cricketers
Formula One Grand Prix Page
1996 Olympics Home Page
WWW Rugby Server
The Electronic Telegraph
1995 November: 1, 2, 3, 4. December: 5