Jezza’s Sports Report
Well, here I am back in our lovely little paradise isle after a typically exhausting three day trip to Blighty, this time for a family wedding in Essex, of all places! After the rain, roadwork et al in this lovely county, it’s soooo nice to be back at my favourite chair in front of the PC (yeah, right!) compiling yet another Sports report.
Moving on, to Cricket, and England’s ODI Series with Sri Lanka, Cookie obviously reads my report (good man!) as I stated that I hoped his team would pull their socks up, having been stuffed in the previous match at Durham. Well, they did listen for the 3rd match (out of 5) as they skittled the tourists out for a meagre 68 at the Oval and then knocked off the runs to win by 10 wickets and lead the series 2-1. But, as this is England, there has to be a downside and sure enough, despite keeper Jos Buttler’s superb 120 odd of 74 balls (incidentally, this was the highest individual score ever at Lords for an England player in an ODI) the Red Rose lost by 7 runs, chasing a mammoth 301 to win, thereby going in to today’s decider, level at 2-2. Here’s hoping for another Buttler bonanza, or any other England batsman/bowler for that matter!
Tennis now and the French Open at Roland Garros which has reached the Quarter Final stage, and in the men’s Our Andy is looking pretty formidable, altho’ he only just won through in the 3rd Round by 3 sets to 2, winning the last 12-10. Still, a win’s a win, but the bad news is that should he make it thru’ to the Semis, he’s scheduled to meet Rafa, who is looking imperious and unbeaten in Paris since God knows when! Mind you, Rafa has to overcome World No 4 and compatriot David Ferrer, which is never an easy task. The Usual Suspects are still there with the other semi looking like yet another classic between old foes the Fed and Djokovic.
Interesting in the Women’s, as the top 4 seeds are now out and I’m taking that Gorgeous Grunter Sharapova to make it the whole way thru’.
Now, Our Ed, a poser for you! Have you got symbols for the next two Sports, Jezza asks? Brill if you have! Firstly, Hockey, and in the World Cup, currently being held in The Hague, Holland, England’s Men, ranked World No 4, gave themselves a real chance of reaching the knock-out stage as they beat India 2-1 with a late winner, and leaves the Red Rose only 2 points behind Group leaders and World No 1 Australia, who beat Spain 3-0. So all dependent on Saturday’s clash between the Poms and the men from Down Under to see who goes through. In the Women’s, England play China today hoping to put their 2-1 group loss to the US in their opening match behind them and get some points on the board.
Secondly, Boxing, and that long awaited re-match between Title Holder Carl Froch and challenger George Groves ended as most expected, with the man from Nottingham winning in the 7th, after a one-off punch, altho’ to be fair to GG, the man from London was ahead on points at the time. Interesting to see where Froch goes from here as winning in front of 80,000 at Wembley and a worldwide audience of millions takes some beating. As for the challenger, he’s young and talented so he’ll have his chances again.
Rugby Union and a really controversial humdinger at Twickers over the w/end, in the English Premiership Final, as favourites Saracens, beaten in the European Cup the week before by Toulon, succumbed yet again, this time 24-20 to Northampton, themselves buoyed by their Challenge Cup win against Bath the week before. The match was only decided in the last minute of extra time, with the Saints scoring against the run of play and considering that Sarries had a perfectly valid try disallowed by the Video Ref, who also awarded the East Midlands side a dubious try, methinks the London club had an axe to grind. So, a miserable end to Sarries season but a great one for Northampton, having won two titles from a possible three.
Over in France, t’was time to say “adieu” to Our Jonny Wilko as he bowed out of the sport with his final appearance for Toulon in the best possible way, as they beat Castres in the French Championship Final in Paris with the mercurial one, as ever, scoring 13 points out of the winner’s 16-10 result. So, off you go in to a well deserved retirement, Wilko, you’re now a rugby legend, having won everything there is to win in the sport and thanks for the memories.
Ditto Brian O’Driscoll, Ireland’s maestro, as he also retired on a high, with his Leinster team winning the RaboDirect PRO12 Final 34-12 over Glasgow, so it’s goodnight from both but never to be forgotten!
With the senior England team in New Zealand, a young England XV also played at the w/end, losing 39-29 to an experienced Barbarian side at Twickers, in a pulsating end-to-end match and showed that the Red Rose’s future is looking good. As for the seniors, well, they have a mountain to climb on Saturday (9am here and not to be missed on Sky!), as they take on World Champions NZ at Eden Park, Auckland in the First Test (of two), but, at least some good news as the IRB’s Player of the Year Kieran Read, the All Blacks pivotal No 8, has been ruled out due to concussion. Hey, we’ll take any good news! Elsewhere, Ireland are in Argentina and Australia take on France.
On to Footie now, and with the World Cup on the horizon, starting next Thursday with the opener being hosts Brazil v. Croatia (watch out for an Ibiza Sun Special next week!), lots of hype going on, amongst a load of friendlies, starting with England’s 3-0 over Peru at Wembley last Friday. Now in Miami to get acclimatised, Our Woy’s team take on Ecuador tomorrow (Wednesday) and then Honduras on Saturday, but methinks they really need to work on this new strike partnership of Rooney and Sturridge as it’s certainly not clicking at the moment.
In other footie news and after David Luiz’s recent transfer from Chelsea to PSG, and Ashley Cole moving on, it’s been confirmed that Frank Lampard is leaving the Blues as well, after thirteen glorious years, countless medals as well as goals, and insider info is that he’ll be signing for new team New York City (sponsored by Manchester City, no less!) in the MLS pretty soon. If proven correct, what a scoop for the new franchise as not only would they be getting a much in demand still-world-class player on a freebie, but with the recent signing of ex-Barça and At. Madrid striker David Villa, they obviously mean business. As for replacing Frankie, well, I hear on the grapevine that Barcelona have told ex-Gunner Cesc Fabregas that he’s surplus to requirements so don’t be surprised if he turns up at the Bridge! Also, just to keep you right up to date, Tottenham have signed Southampton’s manager Pochettino and Liverpool have signed Saints’ striker Rickie Lambert for an incredible four million quid! Finally, it’s amazing isn’t it, just like buses in London, they win one Cup after 9 barren years and another comes along as well! I refer, of course, to Arsenal, as their men having won the FA Cup, their Women, currently bottom of the Super League (sorry, you Gooners, but I had to add that!) came up trumps as well, as they won the WFA Cup last w/end.
Finally this week a recommendation. If, like me, you lurve sweet things to eat, you must go to “Coffee Kat” in Cala de Bou ‘cos their cakes are absolutely stunningly scrumptious, especially the choco ones! Try them and tell me I’m lying but, please, don’t tell ‘er indoors!’ as I won’t get to watch the World Cup as a penance! Seeya!
VIII Rallye de Sant Josep
The municipal of Sant Josep hosted the Rally of Sant Josep over last weekend and it proved to be rather eventful. The Sant Josep rally is in its eighth year and consists of a conventional asphalt stage rally with timed stages on closed public roads; taking place in the amazing hilly forests of Sant Josep. A total of 35 competitors entered the event from across Spain in rally cars ranging from classic 1970’s BMW’s to the latest up to date Mitsubishi Lancer Evo’s.
On Saturday morning all started well, the sun was shining and the competitors progressed through the checkpoints and timed stages. The police closing off each timed section of road before the rally cars are released onto it for their timed run.
However after lunch heavy rain started to fall, which seemed to only increase throughout the afternoon. The torrential rain not only made the roads extremely slippery but visibility was also hampered. Many teams were prepared for the conditions and set about changing tyres at the side of the road, others had to continue in the rain on their ‘dry’ tyres.
During these hard conditions some difficulties creped in for the event and drivers. Firstly, a tourist accidentally ignored a closed road and entered one of the Cala Vadella stages causing a rally driver to have to take evasive action and swerve off the road down an embankment, rolling his car over.
Later on in the afternoon an even more serious accident involving the Renault Clio Sport of Rafael Binimelis occurred. Due to the combination of the wet conditions and oil on the road from another competitor he is reported to have lost control of his Clio at 150kmh and is now recovering in the Rosario Hospital from a fractured vertebra along with his Co-driver Xavier Verd. (We wish them a speedy recovery.)
Regardless of the conditions 24 cars actually finished the event with Mallorcan David Garcia winning outright in his Mitsubishi Lancer, in second place was Llorens Andreu in his Renault Clio and third was Bartholomew Pons.