RelatedPosts Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League gets resumption date Goyeto wins Coal City international half-marathon FAAC: FG, States, LGs share February allocation Air Warriors Babes shrugged off their underdog tag to stun Nigeria Customs 80-56 to claim top spot in the second phase of the 2019 Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Thursday. Customs had entered into the final day of the second phase of the league at the Abuja zone as clear favourites, having led the first phase and also claiming maximum points in the second. Coach Abdulrahman Mohammed of Nigeria Customs had boasted that his experienced team was superior to the relatively unknown Air Warriors and that his players would make a light work of their opponents. However, his opposite number, Samson Sotuminu, said he had a plan going into the crucial tie and if his players stuck to the plan, they would emerge victorious. And it seemed Sotuminu’s players played to instruction from the get go, as they dominated the game throughout with solid defence and fantastic recovery rate. Captain Kasham Emanuel, Murjanati Musa and sharp-shooter Chinwe Okah were practically unplayable and ruthless in both defence and attack. Okah finished as top performer with 25 points 17 rebounds and two assists, while Musa garnered 16 points, 13 rebounds and 1 assist. Abimbola Omodeji’s highest 12 points for Customs summed up the performance of the hitherto high-flying side, who boast of experienced and well-travelled players. Air Warriors finished the second phase with maximum 14 points from seven games, while Customs were runners-up with 13 points from seven games. Sotuminu told the News Agency of Nigeria after the game that his defence made the difference against a team tagged the favourites to top the table. He said: “I watched their games and realised that if we tidied our defence we would have a chance against them. “I told my girls that they were younger and more energetic, so they should use it to their advantage. “Yes, they are more experienced and have stars, but we were more determined and more energetic. “My girls were younger, so they played as if they had nothing to lose.” Air Warriors will now go into the third phase of the league with their heads held high and a possibility of making the National Conference stage of the league for the very first time.2019 Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League Abuja Centre Phase 2 Table S/No. Team P W L GF GA GD Points 1 Air Warriors Babes 7 7 0 503 201 +302 14 2 Nigeria Customs 7 6 1 473 260 +213 13 3 Plateau Rocks 7 5 2 344 288 +56 12 4 Black Gold Queens 7 4 3 370 329 +41 11 5 FCT Wings 7 3 4 337 374 – 37 10 6 Nasarawa Amazons 7 2 5 215 440 – 225 9 7 Kanem Queens 7 1 6 210 397 – 187 8 8 Benue Princesses 7 0 7 0 140 – 140 0 Tags: Air WarriorsChinwe OkahKasham EmanuelNigeria CustomsSamson SotuminuZenith Bank Women’s Basketball League
RelatedPosts Sustain Ihedioha’s blueprint on sports development, administrator urges Imo governor Court okays Okorocha’s plea to amend suit against EFCC, Imo probe panels EFCC arrests 22 suspected Internet fraudsters in Imo Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has appointed former Nigeria International and retired Director General of the defunct National Sports Commission, Dr. Patrick Ekeji, as his Deputy Chief of Staff. Ekeji’s latest appointment was coming barely a month after he successfully carried out a previous assignment given to him by the state government as the chairman of a seven-man Imo State Sports Commission Review Committee. As the head of Imo Sports Commission Review Committee, Ekeji used his wealth of experience to save the state government from what would have degenerated into a public embarrassment when he resolved an agitation by aggrieved athletes preparing to represent the state at the now postponed 2020 National Sports Festival. The athletes were protesting over unpaid camping allowances ahead of the National Sports Festival earlier billed for Benin City, Edo State before Ekeji stepped in to pacify them amid allegation that they were paid pittance for their three weeks camping. Commenting on his appointment, Ekeji said he considered it as a call to duty to serve his own state and promised to give his best in ensuring that Imo State moves to the next level in all spheres of development. He added that it was another opportunity to put the vast experience he gained in the Federal Civil Service, where he rose to become the Director General of a major parastatal and occasionally served as acting Minister. Ekeji once served Imo State in 1993 as Director of Sports before he was appointed the Director of Sports at the National Sports Commission in December 1994, Director of Sports Development at the National Sports Commission in 2001, and Director-General of National Sports Commission in 2009, a post he retired from in 2013. Ekeji briefly coached the national football team in 1986.Tags: Deputy Chief of StaffDr. Patrick EkejiGovernor Hope UzodinmaImo State
Senderos arrived from Arsenal in 2010 and has gone on to make almost 50 appearances for the Cottagers. The Swiss centre-back was due to leave the Barclays Premier League club but has now decided to remain until the summer of 2014. Senderos struggled to make Martin Jol’s team at the beginning of the season, but he has dislodged Aaron Hughes from the XI of late, starting the last four matches. “I’m delighted to extend my stay with the club by a further year,” Senderos told Fulham’s website. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Fulham so far and I love playing for this club. “I’m relishing playing first-team football and I’m confident that we can continue our recent good form and end the season strongly. A top-10 finish is certainly achievable.” Manager Jol will now hope that star centre-back Brede Hangeland follows Senderos’ lead and commits his future to the club. Philippe Senderos has committed his future to Fulham by signing a one-year contract extension. Press Association
Bart Hanley and Michael O’Sullivan hit first half goals to help the Royals to a 2-7 to 1-6 half-time lead, with Ciaran Reid hitting Armagh’s goal. Meath pushed on after the break, with Barry Slevin adding a third goal as they strode to a 14 points victory. Press Association Meath cruised to a 3-18 to 1-10 win over Armagh to maintain a fine start to the NHL Division 2B campaign with a fifth success in as many games.
Sir Bobby Charlton paid tribute to the “fantastic” and “sensational” Sir Alex Ferguson, who has announced his retirement from the game. He added: “I am a director but I hardly do anything because we are winning all the time and it is all down to Sir Alex Ferguson. “He would get up in the middle of the night and travel 300 miles if he thought there was a school boy that he could sign. He loves the game and we at the club have had nothing to do really.” The former United striker thinks there were several reasons behind the 71-year-old’s decision to call time on his career, adding: “He has made his decision on various grounds like (because of) his family and because of the hip operation he will have this summer.” Fellow United old boy Bryan Robson was another surprised by the decision of the man he will always call ‘the boss’, and the former midfielder said: “It definitely came as a surprise because I go in to watch training every now and again. “The boss hadn’t mentioned anything, not that he would because he does not give too much away. Still, it is a bit of a surprise. It would have to happen at some stage and I think the boss must have just felt he has got a lot of grandkids and maybe he wanted to spend a bit more (time) with them.” Robson, who retains close ties with United as a global ambassador, thinks Ferguson will get a say in who replaces him, and he added: “The favourites are up there. Mourinho gets mentioned all the time and David Moyes has been mentioned for quite a time. “I think the boss gets on really well with both of them and I am sure the boss will have had a say in where the club do go next.” Press Association Ferguson will step down from his role as Manchester United manager at the end of this season, the Barclays Premier League champions announced on Wednesday. Charlton was one of the United directors who appointed Ferguson in 1987 before the Red Devils boss went on to win 13 Barclays Premier League titles – a feat that Charlton was quick to praise. “He is such a fantastic manager. Everything he has done has been fantastic,” said Charlton at the launch for the Royal Mail’s Football Heroes Special Stamps. “He is a sensational person in every form and I am really delighted for him.”
Press Association Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick have both praised the appointment of David Moyes as new Manchester United manager. “It’s great to see the new manager coming in, we’ve never had a problem with him here at United, he’s a very honest man from the players you speak to and he’s done a fantastic job at his previous club Everton. “I’m sure he’ll be very, very open and sympathetic to the traditions of the club and try and continue that and not come in and try and make crazy changes in terms of the whole characteristics of the club.” Carrick has also been impressed by Moyes’ body of work at Everton and is eagerly awaiting the start of a new era. “He’s done a terrific job at Everton,” said the England midfielder. “He’s been there a long time and has had great success with the resources he’s had. It’s obviously a big change because this club’s been run for so long by one person. “I’m really looking forward to meeting him and getting good training in pre-season and looking forward to a good future. “He’s honest and fair to his players as far as I’m aware. He sets high standards just as we expect high standards of ourselves.” The 50-year-old will officially replace Sir Alex Ferguson, who announced his retirement on Wednesday, in the United hotseat on July 1 after signing a six-year-deal at Old Trafford. Ferdinand, as one of the playing staff’s elder statesmen, was pleased both by the swift nature of the decision and the identity of Ferguson’s replacement. “It was important the club made a decision quickly and got it all sorted before people could start making rumours. The club have acted impeccably in that respect,” he told MUTV.
Clive Brittain labelled Rizeena “exceptionally good” after she caused a minor upset in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh. The Newmarket handler is no stranger to handling top-class fillies, with the likes of Sayyedati, User Friendly and the brilliant Pebbles among those to have passed through his hands down the years. Rizeena still has some way to go to reach the heights of that esteemed trio, but her genial trainer is confident she is in the same class after seeing her grab Group One glory at the home of Irish Flat racing. An impressive winner of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, Rizeena then finished second in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket before placing third behind crack American colt No Nay Never in Deauville’s Prix Morny after a slow start. Despite that smart form she was still third best in the Moyglare market at 9-2, with Charlie Hills’ superb Albany Stakes heroine Kiyoshi the 13-8 favourite ahead of the Aidan O’Brien-trained unbeaten filly Tapestry, who was supplemented earlier in the week, at 2-1. As the pacesetters faltered, Kiyoshi was the first to commit for home, but just as she had done at Ascot, she hung across the track in the closing stages, impeding a couple of her rivals in the process. Tapestry was also in their pitching, suffering some interference, but Rizeena was produced right on cue by jockey-of-the-moment James Doyle to swamp them all and get up by a head. Kiyoshi passed the post in second, ahead of Tapestry in third, but the stewards reversed the placings after an inquiry. Brittain said: “I couldn’t believe she was 7-1 (earlier in the day). I know you had the other filly who had won at Ascot (Kiyoshi), but we’ve come out and been competitive twice since. I came here doubly confident. I knew they’d go a good pace and credit to them, there were some good fillies in the race, but we’re exceptionally good. “I’ve trained some good fillies with Sayyedati, User Friendly and Pebbles, of course, and she may not be that far behind them. She’s just developed and I’d be very surprised if she doesn’t make a three-year-old, given her temperament. “I’ll talk to Sheikh Rashid (Dalmook Al Maktoum, owner). We’ll look at the Cheveley Park Stakes and there is also the Prix Marcel Boussac and the Fillies’ Mile.” Stan James were suitably impressed by Rizeena’s display , slashing her to 6-1 favourite from 20-1 for next year’s 1000 Guineas. Jamie Spencer, rider of Kiyoshi, was given a four-day ban by the stewards for careless riding. Press Association
They may have won just one of O’Neill’s seven competitive matches, taking the notable scalp of Russia, but two impressive showings against a star-studded Portugal probably deserved more than the one point they yielded. Now Evans wants to take as much as possible from their remaining fixtures – away at Luxembourg, Azerbaijan and Israel – to tee up their next European campaign. “We’re in a good place as a squad. It feels like we have things worked out a bit and if we can continue in that fashion there is that wee bit of hope,” said Evans. “The extra teams are qualifying in the next campaign and that gives us a big incentive. But we need to go back to this campaign first, finish as strong as we can and put points on the board. “That might have an effect on the seedings and the draw for the next qualifying campaign. “There is a good spirit among the squad. You hear people saying ‘we enjoy it’ but we actually are enjoying it. It’s a good atmosphere.” Success at the Stade Josy Barthel, a ground named after Luxembourg’s only Olympic gold medallist, would be the ideal way to keep the feelgood factor going after Northern Ireland threw away a winning position against Portugal on Friday on the way to a 4-2 defeat. Evans accepts his side have not always been at their best when playing lesser opponents in recent years, a fact borne out by a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, but is hopeful that will change. “It won’t be bigger in terms of publicity than Portugal – beating them at home would have people talking about great nights at Windsor Park – but these are the games we haven’t done as well in, against teams at the same level as us or below,” he said. Jonny Evans has called for a strong finish to Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign with a view to greater things in the future. After Tuesday night’s Group F match in Luxembourg, just one more double-header remains on the road to Rio and, although Northern Ireland will not be there, Evans is full of enthusiasm for the challenges ahead. Euro 2016 will see an increase from 16 to 24 teams and Manchester United defender Evans believes that represents a chance for Michael O’Neill’s improving side. Press Association “The onus is on ourselves, you get a lot more time on the ball in these games. “There is that pressure if we don’t produce or if we don’t score early, but if we stick to what we did well against Portugal, no matter what the opponent, I think we’ll be fine.” Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty are both absent having been sent off against Portugal, with Rangers forward Dean Shiels called up as cover. Shiels’ only international goal came in the home clash against Luxembourg, but he is unlikely to dislodge Jamie Ward or Martin Paterson if both remain fit.
Cardiff are currently battling to avoid relegation, standing six points from safety with just five games left. “It’s a big blow because Craig has been a player who’s made things happen for us,” Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BBC Wales Sport. “We’ve just got to find out how severe it is. ” It’s very unfortunate because he has been terrific. But that’s football. Sometimes you can’t pick everyone you want. Every team has injuries.” Cardiff visit Southampton on Saturday, after which they face appointments with Stoke, Sunderland, Newcastle and Chelsea. Cardiff winger Craig Noone looks set to miss the rest of this season after suffering an abdominal injury. Press Association Noone, who joined Cardiff from Brighton in 2012, was hurt during last Saturday’s 3-0 Barclays Premier League home defeat against Crystal Palace. And the 26-year-old is now poised to seek specialist advice in the United States, with a Cardiff spokesman stating it is likely that Noone will be sidelined for the remainder of this term .
Press Association The Magpies scored three times in the space of 14 first-half minutes as Siem de Jong took full advantage of goalkeeper Ivan Necevski’s 19th-minute error before Riviere and then defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa struck. Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot had only one save to make to deny Corey Gameiro after the break, and substitute Adam Armstrong rounded off the scoring seven minutes from time. The striker, a £5million summer signing from Monaco, needed just 26 minutes to open his account with the Magpies taking the game by the scruff of the neck. Before kick-off, manager Alan Pardew and captain Fabricio Coloccini laid wreaths on the seats which would have been occupied by fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney who died in the Malaysia Airlines crash last week while en route to New Zealand. Emmanuel Riviere marked his debut with a goal as Newcastle cruised to a 4-0 victory over Sydney FC in Dunedin.