Tag: 昆山水墨会所

Late drama gives O’Neill a Laff

first_img “We need a big campaign from Kyle now. He’s started great and now we need him to stay fit and keep producing,” said O’Neill. “Kyle needs to give us as a centre-forward what someone like Gareth McAuley gives us as a centre-back or what Steven Davis gives us as a midfielder. “We need a big campaign from all of those players. “When you play away from home you need a focal point and that has to be Kyle because our other strikers maybe don’t have the experience Kyle does or aren’t playing at his level.” Not only was the result Northern Ireland’s success on their travels since a 2010 win in Slovenia, it was also O’Neill’s second win in more than two-and-a-half years at the helm. That is a record that had started to become an albatross around his neck, but he insisted he never lost heart about what his side could achieve. “I don’t dwell on things like that,” he said. “This is a group of players that in the last campaign got very little in their favour. We’ve had very little luck but I hoped we could change that this time. “We’ve hammered it home to them that we’ve never stopped believing in them. The performance and work-rate were there and I just felt there was a belief in the players I maybe haven’t seen before. “The work-rate throughout the game was fantastic and they executed the game plan to a tee. But to have gone behind and then go on to win is huge for us, a really big start to the campaign for us. “We believed we could come here and get something but three points is maybe more than we believed we could get. “We’ve always been difficult to beat but now we have shown we can win from that platform.” Hungary boss Attila Pinter may have a side who are ranked 61 places above Northern Ireland by FIFA, but he believes that is a false position for at least one of the teams. “You must bear in mind that Northern Ireland have several Premier League players and we have none, that tells you about the relative strength of the sides but I consider it a huge failure to lose the game from 1-0 up,” he said. “It’s impossible to draw conclusions from one match but I congratulate them, they were organised and disciplined. Northern Ireland have won this game, so maybe we can go to Belfast and win there. “But this is a good start for them and another win on the road would put them well on the way to qualification.” Press Association Michael O’Neill lauded match-winner Kyle Lafferty after he inspired Northern Ireland to a first away win in four years in Budapest. But he was the hero on this occasion, producing a fine run and assist for Niall McGinn to pull Northern Ireland level with 10 minutes to go and then scrambling home from close range to nick a 2-1 win in the closing moments. O’Neill has been critical of the Norwich forward’s discipline in the past but he was glad to see the 26-year-old deliver at a crucial time. “We needed someone to step up and Laff did that for us, I’m delighted for him,” said O’Neill. “For the first goal he made a great run, a great piece of play. We needed something big to open the game up and Lafferty gave us that. Then he finds the winner as well. “He gave us great energy all night but he needed that goal, he really did. “When he’s focused and he’s right on it he’s an asset to any team and he showed that here.” Lafferty now has 10 international goals to his name and O’Neill is hoping he can grow into the role of regular scorer – something Northern Ireland have been crying out for since David Healy’s heyday. And in looking for further inspiration, O’Neill did not have to go too far afield. Lafferty has long been a mercurial presence for his country, offering so much promise but too often failing to deliver. Indeed, he came into the Euro 2016 qualifier against Hungary having not scored in more than two years. last_img read more

ICC mulling possible changes to bad light regulations

first_imgThe ICC’s cricket committee is likely to discuss regulations around delays for bad light and wet weather after farcical scenes during the Test summer in England. Despite the huge efforts of all involved to ensure cricket could resume behind closed doors, the Tests against West Indies and Pakistan have been marred by frequent interruptions after the umpires deemed the light to be unfit for play.There have also been prolonged delays in resuming after rain has stopped. This culminated in a decision to break for lunch after a delayed start and just one hour of play on the second day.On the fourth day, play was abandoned shortly before 4pm, with the ground subsequently bathed in sunshine. It is understood there was some frustration at the ECB over the decision, with one insider suggesting play could have resumed at 6pm. On the final day, the rain stopped at 11.15 am, but play did not resume until 3.20pm.The ECB has spent heavily to ensure the return of cricket in the face of Covid-19. As well as arranging charter flights for the West Indies and Pakistan players, they have met the costs of creating bio-secure bubbles to satisfy safety concerns and convince the government – and the governments of the opposition teams – that games can be played without compromising the health and safety of all involved.The match officials, however, have been uncompromising in their adherence to normal playing conditions. The ICC’s cricket committee is likely to discuss whether this has been an admirably consistent approach, or a little inflexible in the modern age with improved protective equipment and less tolerance for such delays from spectators.With match officials judged on many criteria, including their ability and desire to get the game on, it is possible the team at the Ageas Bowl in particular – standing umpires, Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough, third umpire Richard Illingworth, fourth umpire Martin Saggers and match referee Chris Broad – will marked down by the ICC for their performance.Among the other options likely to be considered by the cricket committee will be the use of a pink ball – a decision which might impact on the colour of the sight screens in operation – and whether it would affect the integrity of the game to change the ball as required when the light fades.Paying under floodlights. While the lights have been used at several stages this summer, the current convention dictates that once the artificial light has taken over as the primary source, play should be abandoned. This issue was looked at by the ICC a few years ago, with the Full Member boards rejecting the idea of playing on under floodlights. It might be that floodlight technology has improved, too, allowing more play in such circumstances.More transparency over the light meter readings is another possible area of improvement. At present, the umpires take readings by which they judge the light on subsequent days to ensure fairness to both sides. If such readings were published, or if the broadcasters and host venues were able to have access to such meters, it might improve expectations from spectators and avoid some of the frustration that has surrounded recent matches.ESPNcricinfo understands there is are no major concerns over the venue. Drainage at the Ageas Bowl is understood to be comparable to other Test venues in England, while extra groundstaff had been drafted in from other clubs to aid preparation of the surface for the third Test – which is scheduled to begin here on Friday – and the warm-up game played by members of the Pakistan white-ball squad.The only minor quibble concerned the length of the covering over the area where the bowlers run-ups. There were some suggestions these were a little shorter than those provided elsewhere and the delay on the fifth afternoon was lengthened by concerns over damp run-ups at the hotel end of the ground. But the application of sawdust seemed to help speed the drying process.The ECB is also likely to review its own playing conditions. While other nations are prepared to start play earlier on subsequent days after rain, the ECB has long argued this would cause confusion with ticket holders. If, for example, a decision was taken at 7pm on Friday to start play one hour earlier the following morning, it is felt it would be difficult to communicate that information to 25,000 or so ticket holders which might, in turn, leave them open to claims of refunds from those that miss out on watching any play.In the case of behind-closed-doors games, however, that is not a factor and it is understood there is growing momentum to change this playing condition ahead of the final Test of the summer, which starts on Friday. In the longer term, it is possible the terms and conditions of the ticket sales could cover such a scenario.The overall impression is that many in the game’s administration, not least those at the ICC, have been stung by the criticism in recent days. As a result, “The Farce Show” – as it was dubbed by one wag – could prove to be something of a watershed moment for the sport.(ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

College Football Playoff updated rankings: Who are the top four teams in the first CFP poll of 2019?

first_imgMORE: What first set of rankings say about which teams will make PlayoffThe other mild surprise was No. 4 Penn State (8-0) ahead of No. 5 Clemson (8-0). The Tigers are the defending national champion and on a 24-game win streak. Ohio State and Penn State play on Nov. 23. Georgia (7-1) is the highest-ranked one-loss team, at No. 6. The College Football Playoff rankings will be released each Tuesday leading up to conference championship weekend, and the final rankings will be unveiled on Dec. 8.The College Football Playoff semifinals will be on Dec. 28 at the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta and PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. The CFP championship game will be Jan. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.With that, the full Week 11 College Football Playoff rankings:College Football Playoff rankings 2019Who are the top four CFP teams after Week 10?RankingTeamRecord1Ohio State8-02LSU8-03Alabama8-04Penn State8-0Who are the first two teams out of the CFP after Week 10?RankingTeamRecord5Clemson9-06Georgia7-1CFP top 25 rankings after Week 10RankingTeamRecord1Ohio State8-02LSU8-03Alabama8-04Penn State8-05Clemson9-06Georgia7-17Oregon8-18Utah8-19Oklahoma7-110Florida7-211Auburn7-212Baylor8-013Wisconsin6-214Michigan7-215Notre Dame6-216Kansas State6-217Minnesota8-018Iowa6-219Wake Forest7-120Cincinnati7-121Memphis8-122Boise State7-123Oklahoma State6-324Navy7-125SMU8-1 The first set of College Football Playoff rankings were unveiled Tuesday and — surprise — the No. 1 team was neither LSU nor Alabama.Instead, Ohio State (8-0) took the No. 1 spot in the initial rankings, one spot ahead of No. 2 LSU (8-0) and No. 3 Alabama (8-0). The Tigers and Crimson Tide play Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in a “Game of the Century.”last_img read more