VAR wins but Chelsea frustrated by Arsenal stalemate

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Chelsea wasted a chance to take control of their League Cup semi-final against Arsenal as the misfiring Blues were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw in Wednesday’s first leg.Antonio Conte’s side dominated possession for long periods at Stamford Bridge — where the Video Assistant Referee system (VAR) was in operation — but lacked the killer instinct required to take a step towards the final.They had 21 shots to just eight from Arsenal, yet the tie remains on a knife-edge heading into the second leg at the Emirates Stadium on January 24.While it was a frustrating evening for Chelsea as they chase a first League Cup final berth since 2015, the stalemate was a welcome tonic for their London rivals.Arsenal, who also drew both Premier League encounters with Chelsea this season, suffered one of the most chastening defeats of Arsene Wenger’s reign on Sunday as second tier Nottingham Forest won 4-2 in the FA Cup third round.While Arsenal were well below their best once again, in contrast to their surrender in Nottingham, the Frenchman will be encouraged that they showed enough spirit to keep Chelsea at bay.Conte had mostly fielded fringe players en route to the last four, but Eden Hazard, back from a calf injury, N’Golo Kante and Thibaut Courtois were called upon with a Wembley showdown against Manchester City or Bristol City in sight.Wenger surprisingly left Alexis Sanchez on the bench amid talk of the unsettled Chile forward joining Manchester City, while Mesut Ozil missed out with a knee injury.Wenger was watching from the press box as he serves his touchline ban and the Gunners boss was shifting anxiously in his seat early on when Hazard’s pass gave Alvaro Morata an opportunity that he drove into the side-netting.After a tepid opening from Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette escaped the Chelsea defence to collect Jack Wilshere’s pass, but the French striker wasted the chance as he scuffed a hurried shot wide.Chelsea wing-back Victor Moses forced David Ospina into action with a stinging drive that the Arsenal goalkeeper fumbled before recovering to snatch the ball away from Morata. – Ineffective –Moses was proving a problem for young left-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles and the Nigerian found space for another shot moments later, this time his low shot hit Ospina’s near post before Arsenal scrambled it away.Alex Iwobi was selected despite Wenger saying he could be fined for reportedly partying until the early hours of Saturday morning and the Arsenal winger almost repaid his manager’s faith with a drive that Courtois pushed away.When Maitland-Niles went down under pressure from Moses in the area, referee Martin Atkinson consulted the Video Assistant Referee, but no penalty was given.Fabregas should have given Chelsea the lead just before half-time, but the former Arsenal midfielder wastefully headed straight at Ospina from close-range.Andreas Christensen fared no better after the interval when the Chelsea defender dived to head over from inside the six-yard box.Chelsea were piecing together their most convincing spell of pressure, but they couldn’t find the finishing touch as Morata’s powerful effort was well saved by Ospina.Wenger’s response was to send on Sanchez for the ineffective Lacazette with 25 minutes left, yet within seconds Moses almost broke the deadlock when his goal-bound shot was deflected over by Shkodran Mustafi.When Christensen headed wide of an open goal after Ospina misjudged a corner, Conte must have feared it wouldn’t be Chelsea’s night.So it proved as Willian was denied by Ospina and Fabregas clipped a post in the closing moments.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Garon Park wins GolfMark Club of the Year 2013

first_img8 Feb 2013 Garon Park wins GolfMark Club of the Year 2013 Garon Park Golf Club in Essex has completed a remarkable revival by winning the prestigious title of GolfMark Club of the Year 2013, supported by COBRA-PUMA GOLF. It’s a triumph for co-owner Alan Walker, who bought the club from the administrators in May 2010, and for his team. “We are absolutely chuffed, this is a wonderful achievement for a club which was in the doldrums three years ago. “This will boost morale at the club and tell everybody that we are something special,” said Alan, a past captain of the PGA and a PGA Master Professional. He was accompanied at the awards dinner by PGA professional Ben Jones and the club’s junior organisers Micky and Carol Pearson. They have all played key roles in the success of the 27-hole complex, which is now a thriving centre offering opportunities for all. This England Golf award, which is now in its fifth year, recognises golf clubs that make an outstanding and innovative contribution to junior and beginner golf, showing a willingness to improve and develop.   The award was announced at the England Golf Partnership’s County Golf Development Conference at Holywell Park Conference Centre at Loughborough University.  The conference also applauded the two runners-up, Upton by Chester Golf Club in Cheshire and Leamington & County Golf Club in Warwickshire. Alan Walker told the audience how the GolfMark experience – which led to Garon Park receiving a High Achiever award – had been the foundation of the club’s success story.  “Opportunities arose and we decided to take them,” he said. Mr Walker’s connections with Garon Park go back to 1994, when he designed the course and ran the club for five years, before selling it. He jointly bought it back after hearing it had gone into administration and decided the way forward was to “get to the backbone of the game, junior golfers.” In 2010 there were just five juniors, today the club has 115, encouraged by the “passion and commitment” of Micky and Carol Pearson, and enjoying protected fees and a range of coaching and teaching programmes, offered by Ben Jones and his team of professional coaches for the junior section. Next the club turned its attention to beginner golf and set a target of bringing 100 novices into the game last year. They exceeded that by 50 players and have set themselves a target of 250 new beginners this year. “Through the ‘Get into golf’ programme and our own version of ‘Get further into golf’ and ‘Get into playing golf’, we have made our market,” said Alan. The club works closely with Essex County Golf Partnership and is committed to growing the game and their business. The secret, says Alan, is: “Doing the basics and seeing them through. We are passionate about people and we make them feel very, very welcome.” Presenting the award, Craig Verrinder, UK Marketing Manager for COBRA PUMA GOLF, said: “We are delighted to be able to recognise Garon Park for their outstanding efforts in providing a golf facility that truly supports the development of the game. “Golf is changing and the ability to offer venues that are inclusive and fun for golfers of all abilities is key to enhancing golf participation within the community.   “COBRA PUMA GOLF are proud to continue supporting the GolfMark programme and helping golf grow across the UK.” England Golf is delighted that COBRA-PUMA GOLF support the GolfMark award scheme and provide prizes for the Club of the Year award and quarterly and annual prize draws. Richard Flint, Golf Development Manager for England Golf, commented “It is great to see the success that GolfMark clubs can have, particularly in these challenging times. Garon Park has adapted, become more business and customer focused and with their flexible, welcoming approach have become a truly inclusive facility”. “The golfing landscape has changed and it is important that golf clubs monitor and react accordingly.  England Golf continues to invest in resources, such as GolfMark and their County Golf Partnership network, to ensure golf clubs can benefit to maximum effect.” Contenders for the 2013 award were nominated by their County Golf Partnerships and a shortlist was drawn up by a panel of England Golf Partnership (EGP) representatives. Individual visits were made to the final three clubs to determine the winner. Any affiliated golf club can apply to work through the GolfMark process and achieve the accreditation, by visiting www.golfmark.org  There are currently 620 golf clubs with GolfMark and a further 545 working towards accreditation.  England Golf is currently reviewing the GolfMark initiative to support and recognise golf clubs in both business and development.  It is expected that GolfMark will be re-launched in late 2013. GolfMark is an EGP initiative which is part of its ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and an integral part of its vision to ‘Grow the Game’. Caption: (from left) Alan Walker, Craig Verrinder, Carol and Micky Pearson, and Ben Jones.last_img read more

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Slippery Rock’s Andre Freeman ready to ‘D’ up in NFL

first_imgANDRE FREEMAN When Andre Freeman stood up and walked towards me I knew it. And you would know it too. This guy is special. First the million dollar smile hits you and then see what the NFL clearly sees. the 6’0 190 pound 22 year old defensive cornerback from Slipper Rock University has all the tools needed to make his mark on the NFL. And Andre didn’t gain the size or the skills by accident. Mr. Freeman Sr. was set to make his mark on Sundays with the Buffalo Bills back in 1986 when life took him in another direction including a fabulous family.Further evidence of great things to come came when “Elite Sports and Entertainment Management Co.,” owned and operated by Five Starr Corporation introduced the All-Conference grad to Sports Entertainment Management Group LLC operated by partners Eddie Edwards Jr. and Dwayne Woodruff (former two time Steelers Super Bowl Champion and All-Pro Cornerback).Numerous NFL scouts think that Freeman is the real deal and ironically the Buffalo Bills are showing strong interest in him.Freeman, who just returned from playing in the Hansen Bowl in Virginia Beach, has no doubt he can play at the next level and only needs to pack on another 10 pounds of muscle and drop his 40 yard dash down from a 4-4 to a 4-3 and he’s set to go.Based on all “The Rock” has told me about Andre coupled with his near perfect attitude and work ethic, I said he can’t miss on the gridiron but just in case he graduates with a degree in Safety Management. Not to mention the fact that you know how we Rock Grads roll. You got Ron Hunt, Jeff Lake, Chuck Sanders, “Flyin Myron” Brown and yours truly to clearly show you that failure is not a option.last_img read more

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Black Friday Football Rivalry Bigger Than The Game

first_imgBy Chris Rotolo |Thanksgiving may be about friends, family and feasting.But for those in the Two River area who like to get out and throw around a football, the day after Thanksgiving is all about “the Rivalry.”For the past six years, the Rivalry Series flag football knockout tournament has pitted town against town in a good-natured Black Friday competition that also raises serious money for Lunch Break of Red Bank.This year, the 2018 edition will include an even larger field of participants. Joining Little Silver, Shrewsbury, Fair Haven and Rumson will be squads from Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport and Red Bank.“The past couple of years we’ve started to include more and more people from different communities and the word continues to spread, and the interest grows,” said Rivalry Series organizer Rick Brandt of Little Silver.The games will kick off Friday, Nov. 23 at Count Basie Field in Red Bank and run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children from different towns will play each other at grade level. There is also a division for women and another for men 18-34 and over 35.The first games will pit Little Silver against Shrewsbury, Red Bank against Middletown, Rumson against Fair Haven and Oceanport against Monmouth Beach.In the beginning, it was just a group of Little Silver friends who took to the turf for some post-holiday pickup football. The opposing team was from neighboring Shrewsbury.“When we first started playing as 12-year-olds back in 2002, I’m not sure we ever thought it would get to this point,” Brandt said. “Bragging rights were all we were worried about back then. But it’s come a long way.”Brandt learned early on about Little Silver’s deeply embedded, but friendly, rivalry with Shrewsbury.“When you’re growing up in those towns, the rivalry is seen and felt everywhere,” Brandt said. “It’s in your recreational sports. It’s in the schools. It’s everywhere you look.”“The funny thing about it is, you play against those guys for so long in so many different organized sports and pickup games that you actually start to like them,” Brandt said with a laugh. “Then you get to high school and your sharing classes with them and you can’t figure out why you were ever rivals in the first place.”Brandt said as the friendships grew, so did the traditional game itself. In their high school years, friends and family began attending, some to tailgate, other to mingle, and all to lend voice to their respective cheering sections.In college, though the distance between them increased, it was the game that helped maintain the bond between the friends. And each year the audience continued to grow.In 2013, Athlete’s Alley of Shrewsbury starting equipping players with personalized team jerseys, giving the day its own uniform. Inspired by the all the participation, Brandt formed a partnership with Lunch Break and over the next two years raised nearly $2,000 for the organization though small donations from those who played in and attended the game.“It was a nice start, but I thought we could do more,” said Brandt.Between 2015 and 2017 the series’ organizers pledged $10,000 donations to Lunch Break and hit their mark each time.In 2016, the traditional game was expanded, offering games for men, women and children from Little Silver and Shrewsbury.Last year, players who participated in the RIvalry Series raised $10,000 for Lunch Break of Red Bank. Photo courtesy Rick BrandtThis year donations are pouring in and Brandt expects the Rivalry Series will have raised $50,000 for Lunch Break by week’s end.One day, Brandt, working with his brother Rob Brandt, would like to see Rivalry Series expand even more and include teams from every part of Monmouth County.“We’re calling it the Rivalry Series, and we did that on purpose, because I’m not sure I want to limit this to just football,” Brandt said.“Down the line, I have no doubt that we can run basketball and softball events and have them be successful. There are so many different sporting events we can launch and then you’re really talking about a lot of money being raised and a lot of good being done in our community.”Rivalry Series Schedule of EventsFriday, Nov. 23The GamesBoys & Girls (3rd & 4th grade), 9 a.m.Boys & Girls (5th & 6th grade), 9 a.m.Boys & Girls (7th & 8th grade), 9 a.m.Men 35 & older, 11 a.m.Women 18 & older, 1 p.m.Men 18-34 years old, 3 p.m.After PartyVal’s in Rumson, 7-10 p.m.For more information or to register for competition visit therivalryseries.com.This article was first published in the Nov. 22-27, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

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BARKING MAD! GAME HALTED AFTER DOG BURSTS THE MATCHBALL…….TWICE!

first_img‘It’s a funny old game’, it’s a term often used in sport, and it was an appropriate term to describe the bizarre incident which occurred during Derry City’s U19 League of Ireland match this afternoon. Derry City U19’s hosted Longford Town at The Curragh earlier this afternoon, and they earned themselves an excellent 3-1 victory. However, according to popular Facebook page SOCCER DONEGAL one of the talking points after the game, was the hilarious incident when a dog ran onto the field of play and burst the match-ball not once, but TWICE!The little black bulldog was in a bullish mood, and he could watch any more of the action on the side-lines, and just had to get involved in the play.Unfortunately, referee Marty Quinn showed the dog a red card when he ran on and burst the ball.Incredibly a short while after, he was back at it again, and burst another match-ball! Thankfully, he was kept off the pitch again, and the other match-balls remained intact – and Derry went on to win the game 3-1.BARKING MAD! GAME HALTED AFTER DOG BURSTS THE MATCHBALL…….TWICE! was last modified: May 28th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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) Tags:BizarreburstDOGfinn harpsLOIMatch-BallnewsRefSportTwicelast_img read more

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