City survive Villa fightback

first_img Press Association Substitute Fernandinho struck a late winner as Manchester City killed off an Aston Villa comeback to claim a frantic 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium. The hosts were far from convincing but looked to have the game wrapped up when Aleksandar Kolarov curled home an excellent free-kick after the break. But FA Cup finalists Villa, initially flat after last week’s Wembley exertions, hit back, showing plenty of urgency in what is still a fight against relegation for them. Sanchez thought he had snatched a hard-earned point but City recovered to reclaim second place in the table ahead of the clash between rivals Arsenal and Manchester United later in the weekend. City were unchanged and similar to last week – when West Ham’s James Collins gifted them an opener – the hosts were handed an early goal. This time goalkeeper Guzan erred when, seemingly under no pressure, he badly miskicked a Ron Vlaar backpass and effectively gave Aguero an open goal. Naturally, City’s ace marksman accepted the chance and slid home his 27th goal of the season with just three minutes on the clock. If Guzan was hoping to force his way into manager Tim Sherwood’s thinking for Wembley, having deferred to Shay Given so far in the cup run, it was the worst possible start. Things almost got worse for the American too as he came out to claim a Kolarov free-kick but completely missed the ball. To his relief Fernando was unable to guide the ball into the empty net. City looked to have thrown away victory as Villa recovered from 2-0 down with second-half goals from Tom Cleverley and Carlos Sanchez but Fernandinho had the final word in the 89th minute. City had been gifted an early lead when Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan blundered and Sergio Aguero pounced. Guzan did deal with an Aguero shot from the edge of the area but Villa’s sloppy start continued as an aimless Leandro Bacuna backpass played in the Argentinian yet again. This time Villa were able to scramble back and Jesus Navas’ follow-up effort was blocked. Sherwood looked far from happy on the Villa touchline but his team did eventually settle and start to control some possession. A defensive lapse from City almost allowed them back into the game as the ball rebounded into Christian Benteke’s path while the back line appealed for offside. Fortunately for City, goalkeeper Joe Hart blocked from the Belgian. Toure looked laboured in the latter stages of the first half, clutching his hamstring at times. It was no surprise he was withdrawn at the interval with Fernandinho taking his place. City showed more purpose after the restart, with Navas breaking to the byline but finding no-one has he pulled the ball back across goal. Aguero went down in the area after tangling with Jores Okore but referee Mike Dean was not convinced. City looked to have made the game safe with Kolarov’s superb free-kick after Fernandinho was felled 30 yards from goal in the 66th minute. The set-piece was cleverly disguised as Milner faked and Kolarov bent a low shot around the wall which gave Guzan no chance. It seemed City had the game sewn up but Villa had other ideas and quickly responded. A free-kick of their own caused problems in the City box and Jack Grealish’s cross was only half-cleared. Cleverley came running onto the loose ball outside the area and drove a shot through several bodies and past Hart. Another nightmare seemed to be unfolding for City when Hart flapped at a corner five minutes from time and Sanchez took full advantage. They could even have lost the game and were thankful for a dubious offside flag against Benteke before he was tripped in the penalty box by Hart. But there was still time for one final piece of drama and Fernandinho provided it at the other end as he controlled on his chest from a corner and drove home the winner. last_img read more

Bust this bracket: March nearly here

first_imgIt’s never too early to talk about March basketball.You can hear and feel the sights and sounds as you hold this paper in your hands — the game-winners, heartbreakers, court-stormings, net-cutting and that oh-so-glorious CBS theme music that, if played properly, could wake any 18- to 35-year-old-male from a coma (seriously, hospitals would make a killing if they implemented this simple technology).What really gives March basketball that love affair feel is the drive from 65 down the road to the Final Four. It’s the three weeks of 64 dynamic games, all of which have a direct impact on your precious office pool bracket. They force hoops fans to time their bathroom breaks accordingly or wear two pairs of shorts and hope for the best. With all respect to the Masters in Augusta, it’s a tradition unlike any other.But one thing that gives the month the nickname “March Madness” is the mid-major upsets that undoubtedly bring people to tears, sending those paper brackets with a one-way ticket to the shredder.Last year, Bradley and Wichita State from the Missouri Valley Conference beat Kansas and North Carolina, respectively, to reach the Sweet Sixteen. And don’t forget about those Cinderella Patriots from George Mason, who reached the Final Four after beating top-seeded Connecticut. Without mid-majors, the tournament wouldn’t have that endearing dramatic flair.That’s why five years ago ESPN created the Bracket Buster weekend in mid-February, pitting mid-major conferences against one another so they may strut their stuff in front of a national audience. By itself, showcasing these schools in the thick of conference races isn’t must-see television — no matter how compelling they might be. With ESPN running the show and hyping the games up to no end, America suddenly jumps on board to cheer for the underdogs.The first go-around was a huge marketing success for ESPN and a huge résumé-booster for some mid-major schools needing to impress the selection committee. Of course, good games equal ratings, which equals M-O-N-E-Y!So ESPN does what any network would do — expand, expand and expand. The result: The small house party type of atmosphere that was originally created has turned into an overflow beyond capacity. Did someone cry party foul?The original setup in 2003 was 18 teams with eight games featured on ESPN’s family of networks. Now, 102 teams from 16 conferences will tip off next Friday and Saturday in the fifth annual Bracket Buster spectacular.”We’re willing to make it as big as the conferences who are participating want it to be,” Burke Magnus, director of ESPN’s college basketball programming, said in a press release. “[Mid-majors] get only a few cracks at national television each year. They were interested in trying to capitalize on some of the [fame] they earned in last year’s tournament.”For all the hype associated with Bracket Buster teams, few of them actually wind up busting brackets come March. Out of the Bracket Buster pool in 2005, 18 of the event’s 64 teams made the NCAA tournament. Of that figure, UW-Milwaukee was the only team to reach the Sweet Sixteen and only Bucknell, Nevada, Pacific, Southern Illinois and Vermont won a game. Even so, that one win, like No. 13 Vermont beating highly-touted Syracuse, is a memory that lasts a lifetime.”I thought you might find me in pieces around the arena because there’s no drug, nothing in the world that is that feeling [of winning],” then-Vermont head coach and current ESPN analysis Tom Brennan said after the game. “There’s nothing that can make you feel like that except competition and going through a lot with your guys, especially ones you love.”Southern Illinois athletic director Paul Kowalczyk, whose team has become highly successful in the national tournament since the creation of the Bracket Buster event, told the St. Petersburg Times the advantages outweigh the disadvantages even though the end result usually elevates one mid-major at the expense of another.”This [event] provides people the opportunity to see us later in the season, which is more of a factor if you look at the committee’s selection process,” Kowalczyk said. “They always talk about teams who are hot toward the end of the year. So this is a great opportunity to showcase yourself when you’re heading down the homestretch.”No one denies the Bracket Buster event has its merits no matter what size the pool is or how many games wind up on television. It’s a chance to get a preview of some talented teams you wouldn’t have the chance to see without the satellite dish and they play just as hard as the big boys in the power conferences.So get comfy on the couch, put on that extra pair of shorts and start taking notes because the studying you do now may make you look like the genius of the office pool.Benjamin Worgull is a senior majoring in journalism and Bracketology. To pre-register for his 11th annual NCAA Tournament pool or discuss your favorite mid-major, contact him at [email protected]last_img read more

Men’s and women’s teams play out West

first_imgThis weekend marks the final tournaments of the regular season for USC’s men’s and women’s golf teams.The No. 1 Women of Troy travel to Tempe, Ariz., for the PING/ASU Invitational beginning Friday and they hope to win their fourth consecutive team event.After opening the spring season with a second-place finish at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, the squad has rattled off wins at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Bruin Wave Invitationals and last week’s SDSU Farms Invitational.It was at last week’s event that the team turned in its most dominant performance of the season: Junior Sophia Popov won her record-tying fifth individual title, while three other Women of Troy placed in the top five on the way to a 30-stroke team victory.This weekend’s action is sure to be a tougher challenge for the nation’s top squad. The 17-team field will include host No. 15 ASU, defending NCAA champion No. 2 Alabama, No. 6 Arizona, No. 4 Duke, No. 14 Stanford, No. 16 Texas, No. 8 UCLA and No. 10 Washington.USC head coach Andrea Gaston knows full well the significance of this event.“This tournament is almost a preview of NCAAs,” Gaston said. “Many of the top-ranked teams will be here competing.”Fortunately, the team has had success in this tournament in the past — a team win at ASU in 2008 was part of a streak of four straight wins that ended in a national title. Gaston has confidence this team can match that record and compete on a national stage.“Our team has been working hard to prepare, and we’ve had some great success on this course,” Gaston said. “Hopefully, we’ll put ourselves in position to win.”Meanwhile, the No. 7 men’s golf team will travel up the coast to Santa Cruz this weekend for the two-day Western Intercollegiate Tournament hosted by San Jose State. Beginning Saturday, the squad will face off with the likes of top-ranked California, No. 4 Washington and No. 9 Stanford at Pasatiempo Golf Course.The Trojans are coming off two consecutive rough outings by their standards and have not had a top-five finish since their victory at the North Ranch Intercollegiate in late February. Still, the team has vast potential and knows it can compete with the best in the country.The emergence of senior Sam Smith has been crucial to the Trojans keeping their high ranking. USC’s most experienced golfer has paced the team at their last two events, while younger players have struggled.If freshman Yi Keun Chang and sophomore Anthony Paolucci can return to their early season form, the team will be in good shape for the upcoming postseason tournaments. Head coach Chris Zambri is confident, but he also knows the challenges of this course.“Pasatiempo is incredible. The course requires skill in all areas of the game,” Zambri said. “I am looking forward to seeing how the team performs.”The men will take two weeks off after returning from Santa Cruz to practice for the ultra-tough                   Pac-12 tournament and the NCAA regionals. Zambri is aware of how a tournament like this weekend’s can prepare his team for the postseason.“[This weekend] will be a great litmus test for where our team is headed into the postseason,” Zambri said.Both of this weekend’s tournaments can be followed live at golfstat.com.last_img read more

City Council has no financial accountability – Goolsarran

first_img…calls for immediate auditWith a decade-long gap of no public presentation of its financial position, the City Council has proven to have no financial accountability, former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran on Monday stated as he called for an immediate in-depth audit into the Council.In an interview with Guyana Times, Goolsarran insisted that 10 years of arrears in terms of financial reporting and auditing was not only a “disturbing trend”, but also showed that the Council had no interest in bringing the accounts up to order.Former Auditor General Anand GoolsarranHe stated that as of August 2013, the last set of audited accounts of the Council was for 2004 and that the Audit Office had received financial statements for the years 2005 and 2007. There is no evidence to suggest that any financial statements were produced for 2006.According to the Municipal and District Councils Act, within four months of the close of the financial year, the city treasurer is required to prepare and submit to the auditor financial statements for that year for audit. If the treasurer fails to comply, he/she will be guilty of an offence.“Something has to be done because no efforts are being made to find out what happened in the last 10 years. This infers serious problems,” Goolsarran said, noting that during his tenure as the Auditor General he had cause to repudiate his opinion on the Council’s financial statements. He stated that the accounts were in such a bad state that he was unable to endorse them as it related to their completeness, accuracy, and validity.The City Hall has been lashed with criticisms from all sides, more recently with the proposal to introduce a parking meter system as a means of generating revenue for the Council. There have been other discrepancies highlighted within the Council which had pushed critics to lobby for a forensic audit.A few of these discrepancies were allegations that residential property owners were been allowed a 100 per cent reprieve on the interest on rates they owed to the Council, while commercial and corporate property owners were offered a 50 per cent to 75 per cent amnesty – dependent on special circumstances.However, this 75 per cent maximum amnesty has allegedly been breached many times and some commercial and corporate property owners have been awarded discounts of up to 100 per cent.Goolsarran stated that while there was no concrete evidence to suggest wrongdoing within the Council over the last 10 years, he has deduced that non-timely presentation of financial statements implied disinterest and, therefore, raised eyebrows about the handling of fiscal matters within the Council.“The newly-elected Councillors have to demand an audit and call for accountability within the City Council. They need to reflect on how best to fix the broken system and bring the accounts up to date. Simultaneously, they need to commission a special audit for the last 10 years because gathering the information for that time would take years…and the people anxious to know what has been going on within City Hall and I am anxious…so a special audit is also necessary,” he said.Goolsarran insisted that given the Council’s lack of financial accountability, any proposal geared at enhancing the Council’s revenue base would be illogical. “It is like fixing a broken net. You cannot use it unless it is patched or you buy a new one.”“So before they engage in earning revenue, they need to fix the system because what guarantee do we have that the money collected from the parking meters would be accounted for?” he questioned.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo recently called on President Granger to commission an audit into the City Hall. He stated that the Council has been allocated millions and the country needed to know how much of those monies were spent. He stated that it was imperative to find out how many tax waivers it had given out and how it had tendered its contracts.last_img read more

Music legend Moya Brennan to feature on RTE arts series

first_imgFolk music legend Moya Brennan will be sharing the story of her life in music when she features on RTE’s ‘The Works Presents’ this week.The Clannad singer, who won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, is about to set off on a final farewell tour in 2020 for the band’s 50th anniversary.From singing in her Father’s pub in Meenaleck to the great theatres in the world, Clannad – singing mostly in Irish – sold over 15 million albums. Over the years the multi-award winning band has taken Irish music and the Irish language to a worldwide audience.  Fusing elements of traditional Irish music and more contemporary folk, new age and rock they have created a beautifully unique and ethereal sound which combines haunting melodies and mesmerising vocals to transcend the sands of time whilst appealing to a worldwide audience of all ages.Moya will be appearing on The Works Presents with John Kelly as part of a special series which has focused on leading women in Irish culture.The programme airs on RTÉ One, Thursday November 28th at 11.15pm.   Music legend Moya Brennan to feature on RTE arts series was last modified: November 26th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Wenger backs Wilshere for England recall

first_imgArsenal Arsenal boss Wenger backs ‘super fit’ Wilshere for England recall Ryan Benson Last updated 2 years ago 21:56 11/1/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) wilshere-cropped Getty Images Arsenal England v Germany Germany England Friendlies Arsenal v Crvena Zvezda Crvena Zvezda UEFA Europa League Arsène Wenger The Gunners boss believes the midfielder is back to full fitness and producing form which should lift him back into international contention Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes there is no excuse for leaving a “super fit” Jack Wilshere out of the England squad, as he puts pressure on Gareth Southgate to recall the midfielder.Wilshere 15/8 to score v Red StarWilshere has not played for England in over a year, having been a second half substitute as the Three Lions made a surprise exit at Euro 2016 against Iceland. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The 25-year-old has endured rotten luck with injuries and suffered a broken leg in April, bringing a positive loan spell with Bournemouth to a disappointing end.Wilshere is yet to start in the Premier League this season for Arsenal, playing 13 minutes from the bench, but he has appeared five times across the EFL Cup and Europa League.And, despite that lack of first-team football, Wenger is adamant that Wilshere is ready for an England recall, with Southgate set to name his squad for friendlies against Brazil and Germany.”Yes, I think he’s ready, personally,” Wenger told reporters at his pre-match news conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League meeting with Red Star Belgrade.”He was not three weeks ago, but he is today. I have the same problem [in terms of selection], but in every single competition he is ready to play. I urge them [the England coaching staff] to do it [call him up].”A super fit Jack; I don’t know how you leave him out of the England squad.”I manage him like any other player. He doesn’t need special treatment. In the last three weeks, I treat him like any other player.”Wenger has employed a rotation policy in the Europa League this season and he is adamant that it is going to continue on Thursday, meaning Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil can all expect a rest.Are you tempted to play these  and Alexis? “No because I have another trio in Theo, Jack and Giroud. They all deserve competition.” pic.twitter.com/aKD7N5r9Cv— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 1, 2017When asked if he is tempted to play his stars, the Frenchman unwaveringly responded: “No. I want to stick to that [rotation policy] at the moment.”We have [Theo] Walcott, [Danny] Welbeck, [Oliver] Giroud. We have competition, they all want competition.”All are in competitive shape and that should be an advantage for the rest of the season.”last_img read more

National Australia Bank ‘Schools First’ Funding

first_imgYou will have heard the phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child”. The sentiment behind this proverb is at the heart of an exciting new initiative, Schools First.Schools First is an awards scheme designed to encourage and recognise excellence in school-community partnerships. With a prize pool of $5 million every year for three years, Schools First will provide capacity building financial rewards for outstanding school-community partnerships.There will be two types of awards – Impact Awards and Seed Funding Awards. Schools are in the running to win one of 68 impact awards of the value of $50,000 each. Each State winner will receive an additional $50,000 taking their total to $100,000 and be in the running for the national award. The national winner will receive $500,000 to $1M for a truly exceptional partnership.Twenty (20) seed funding awards of $25,000 each will be available to schools across Australia. Seed funding is available to schools yet to establish a partnership or are in the early stages of their partnership.A community partnership – what’s in it for schools?By partnering with community groups, schools can:share resources access expertise create exciting opportunities to enhance student learning When schools and community groups join together, students are more engaged, teachers can be better supported and education outcomes improved.A school partnership – what’s in it for community organisations?By partnering with schools, not only can students benefit, community organisations can grow and strengthen their business through:increased participation in organisation activities strengthened industry pathways for workforce development engaged staff staff development positive brand recognition across stakeholders increased membership increased promotion of other programs/services With a robust research base, Schools First has designed a number of resources to support the development and strengthening of school-community partnerships. From March – June 2009 a national series of workshops will be presented to inform, inspire and equip schools and their current or potential partners to improve student outcomes and apply for a Schools First award.To get involved:Attend a Schools First Workshop. Log onto www.schoolsfirst.edu.au/rsvp/ to register for the workshop. More information can be found at www.schoolsfirst.edu.au  or call 1800 649141.Register for regular updates. Log onto http://www.schoolsfirst.edu.au/pages/Register.html Related Filesschools_first_workshop_dates_and_locations_-_national-doclast_img read more

10 months agoPSG goalkeeper Buffon: Man Utd stronger without Mourinho

first_imgPSG goalkeeper Buffon: Man Utd stronger without Mourinhoby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon admits Champions League opponents Manchester United are a tougher opponent without Jose Mourinho.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won his first three matches as caretaker manager — with Buffon’s former Juventus team-mate Paul Pogba scoring four goals in the last two.Buffon said: “Will it be more difficult against Manchester United without Jose Mourinho? That is maybe the case.“But that is not down to the value of the coach.“Someone like Pogba has got something to prove. I think it will be a more complicated challenge.”Asked about finally winning the Champions League with PSG, the 40-year-old said: “They’re certainly among the big contenders, but the strongest team doesn’t always win. Especially in a shorter tournament.“It’s sometimes the bravest who win.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

10 months agoEx-Real Madrid fitness coach Mauri: Ancelotti would’ve kept winning

first_imgEx-Real Madrid fitness coach Mauri: Ancelotti would’ve kept winningby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveGiovanni Mauri, Carlo Ancelotti’s long-time fitness coach, has spoken of their demise at Real Madrid.Mauri only ended his association with Ancelotti this season at Napoli, though his son is now part of the staff.On Real Madrid, Mauri told TuttoNapoli: “Not only did we win the Decima, but also a Copa del Rey, a Super Cup, a World Cup … The memory is beautiful, despite the end.”I went from being defined as a ‘hidden genius’ to being regarded as ‘the designated one’, and all for reasons of the Merengues leadership.”Yes, those seasons were the best of my career, a pity that it would end like that, we could have continued to win as my friend (Zinedine) Zidane did later.”They said that the defeat with Juve was the fault of our athletic preparation, which they defined as soft, but it was a lie: we know very well what was behind that year. We achieved the club’s record of consecutive victories, 22, and that says it all.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoSouness blasts Arsenal: Proper teams don’t play like that

first_imgSouness blasts Arsenal: Proper teams don’t play like thatby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Graeme Souness rapped Arsenal for their collapse at Watford.Arsenal stormed into a two-goal lead at Vicarage Road as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took advantage of his team-mates carving the Hornets apart to net twice.But a Sokratis mistake before half time saw Arsenal’s lead halved and Watford went for the jugular after the break.Roberto Pereyra had the final say in the game when he scored from the penalty spot nine minutes before the end. And it was Watford who came closest to winning the contest too through Abdoulaye Doucoure.”If you are an Arsenal supporter watching that you must be scratching your head,” said Souness. “It was as if this is the first team in the first half and then the second team in the second half, they capitulated.”Proper teams don’t play like that. Proper teams don’t have a half like that in the first and then play like that in the second half. Proper teams just don’t do that.”They bring on some kids – we were questioning them bringing on kids. That was a game that at 2-1 it was time to dig in and regroup and make sure they weren’t going to lose the game and they should have lost the game in the second half.”When the kids came on they were all over the place, it was like a game of basketball, and I think if you’re an Arsenal supporter that must deeply worry you.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more