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Osborn opens season with Lincoln County checkers

first_imgBy Kelly NinasNORTH PLATTE, Neb. (April 9) – Getting their season started off right with Saturday trips to the winner’s circle at Lincoln County Raceway were Colton Osborn, Jamey Kennicutt, Casey Werkmeis­ter, Jacob Olmstead and Andrew Baumgardner.Starting on the pole and putting on a dominating performance of never relinquishing the lead was Osborn, on his way to scoring the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified win. Osborn weathered the storm of a late caution and then cruised to the victory. Runner-up Jeremy Frenier had started seventh.After starting in the second row and snaring the lead on the fourth lap, Jamey Kennicutt rolled to the win in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod division. Kennicutt built a big lead that was erased by a late yellow but hung on for the win ahead of Dillon Schultz.Finishing strong has become a formula of success for Casey Werkmeister and opening night was another night of success for him in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car division. Werkmeister tried to work the bottom of the oval but it was his move to the cushion on lap 14 that paid off for the race-winning move.Leading from the beginning until the checkered flag flew was Jacob Olmstead in winning the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature. Olmstead started on the outside of the front row and never looked back.Grabbing the lead near the midway point, Andrew Baumgardner scored the Mach-1 Sport Com­pact victory.last_img read more

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Alton Towers off limits for Ireland lock Devin Toner

first_imgThe pros of standing out as the World Cup’s tallest player shine through when Devin Toner leads Ireland’s lineout, but the 6ft 11in lock felt the cons at Alton Towers. Press Association As Ireland giants like Paul O’Connell and Donnacha Ryan squeezed their frames into the theme park’s most daunting rides, Toner cut a frustrated bystander. Too tall to lord it on the majority of the attractions, Toner was left to watch on as Ryan and company scared themselves witless. center_img “I won’t lie I didn’t really want to go to Alton Towers but I was roped into it, purely on the basis that I struggle to fit into any of the rides,” said Munster second row Ryan. “So it was more of a torture thing for me than anything else. Poor Devin Toner actually couldn’t go on hardly any of them. “But it was a good fun day out; there were some groggy heads that evening but it was good fun.” The Ireland squad split their day off last week between Alton Towers and golf at The Belfry, capitalising on their St George’s Park base to enjoy the very best in Midlands entertainment. Head coach Joe Schmidt’s side eased past Romania 44-10 at Wembley last weekend, moving from their relaxed Staffordshire set-up right into the World Cup throng. Ryan admitted it was exciting to get back into the hustle and bustle of the tournament and now expects more of the same in Sunday’s clash with Italy at London’s Olympic Stadium. “I’m loving the whole experience to be honest, this time round I’m really enjoying it all,” said Ryan. “It was quite calm at St George’s Park but when we came into Wembley the build-up was fantastic with all the fans were around. “It definitely gives you a lot more perspective if you miss out on the last while there.” last_img read more

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England’s Archer says he has moved on from racial abuse

first_img(REUTERS) – England fast bowler Jofra Archer has said the racial abuse directed at him by a fan at the end of the first Test in New Zealand was a “real shame” but that he has moved on from the incident.The 24-year-old, who was born in Barbados and represented West Indies at Under-19 level, tweeted on Monday that he had found it “a bit disturbing” to hear racial insults coming from one person in the crowd while he was batting.The England and New Zealand cricket boards are investigating the incident and Archer received an apology from New Zealand Cricket chief David White, while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has also said he will apologise to the bowler.“The first thing I want to say about what happened towards the end of the Test at Mount Maunganui is that I’m over it,” Archer wrote in a column in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.“I’ve left what happened at the ground and I’ve moved on. I should also say it was just one person who was shouting stuff. But I found the incident a real shame.”Archer, who was fast-tracked into the England side and made his Test debut during the Ashes series against Australia earlier this year, said he was fine with opposing fans having a go at him but that there was no room for racism in any walk of life.“If someone wants to shout at me and tell me I’m bowling badly, that’s fine. I may not agree, but it’s fine. It’s part of the experience of being a touring cricketer,” he said.“To hear racism, though – that’s another matter. There is no time or place for it in any walk of life, let alone cricket. It’s just not called for.”England lost the first Test at Bay Oval by an innings and 65 runs. The second Test begins in Hamilton tomorrow.last_img read more

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Younger Daniels raising game with inspiration from older sister, former outfielder

first_img Published on April 2, 2013 at 12:42 am Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesse Shirley Daniels let the first offering from Harvard’s Morgan Groom pass without a swing. She was sure it was a ball outside, but the umpire interrupted her rhythm by calling strike one. Daniels looked back in disgust, players on the Syracuse bench shook their heads in disdain, and the Syracuse crowd let out a collective moan. But no one was as angry as Daniels’ older sister Lisaira, whose displeasure could be heard throughout the Carrier Dome. “You have to be kidding me, Blue,” Lisaira yelled from about 10 rows behind home plate. “Are you blind? That wasn’t a strike.”In two seasons playing together for the Orange (12-16, 1-2 Big East), Shirley and Lisaira never had a sibling rivalry. But now that Lisaira has graduated, Shirley’s game is reaching new heights. Once committed to protecting her on the field, Lisaira now watches from the stands as her younger sister flourishes for the Orange. Shirley, now a junior, leads the Big East with 18 steals this season and has smacked three home runs from the leadoff spot.“I think she was hesitant to be great because of her sister,” assistant coach Wallace King said. “I don’t think she wanted to step on her toes, but now that Lisaira is gone she is getting the opportunity to really step out and get after it.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLisaira transferred from Georgia after her freshman season and took Syracuse by storm. She finished her collegiate career as the program’s all-time leader in batting average and steals. She ranks second in on-base percentage and triples and she’s tied for second in hits.Yet King is confident that Shirley can be even better, and Lisaira agrees. “Everything I know about softball I tell her because I want her to be better than me,” Lisaira said. “I may hold records but I want her to shatter them, and there’s no reason why she can’t.”Despite her success on the basepaths — she hasn’t been caught stealing yet — her overall numbers currently lag behind the ones her sister posted, but that’s far from her mind. Shirley and Lisaira were raised in a single-parent household. Their mother, Lisette, worked two jobs and gave her family everything she had, all of the time. Using religious and familial values, Lisette taught her children to be polite and supportive of one another. The Daniels’ were always told that family comes first. Playing in the same program didn’t diminish that — it accentuated it. “Their work ethics are remarkable, but seeing how much they cared about each other was awesome to watch,” junior outfielder Alexis Partyka said. “They are both great players, and the way that they worked off of each other made them even better.”Lisaira’s departure from the program hasn’t stopped Shirley from looking up to her. She calls her older sister her idol, and strives to play like her each time she steps between the chalk lines. In Shirley’s freshman season, the Orange faced Alabama, then ranked third in the country. Syracuse lost 9-0 and Alabama pitcher Kelsi Dunne struck out 13, and yielded just one hit in five innings. Lisaira played center field and didn’t collect a hit. Shirley was in right field and had the same luck, but saw something in her older sister that she carries with her to the day. “I remember that everyone seemed so down that game because we couldn’t get anything going,” Shirley said. “But Lisaira was hitting line drives, trying to keep everyone positive, bringing so much energy. That’s when I realized that I wanted to be just like her.”After being stunned by a bad call to start her at-bat, Daniels slapped a 3-run home run over the left-field wall to give the Orange a 5-2 lead over the Crimson. As the Syracuse crowd erupted around her, Shirley briskly circled the bases then retreated to the bench, the competitive look on her face unchanged.Lisaira yelled for her attention from the crowd and she looked up. After screaming at the umpire just two pitches ago Lisaira adopted a gentle tone and said, “You’re awesome Shirley.”Shirley mouthed back “thank you,” and finally cracked a smile. “I will always protect and support her no matter what,” Lisaira said. “The other day she texted me and told me I was her biggest fan, and I just told her that I have been all along.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Galway manager praises calibre of Tipp minors

first_imgGalway manager Jeffrey Lynskey says Tipp are a stylish and compact team.Throw in on Sunday for the All Ireland Minor Hurling Final against Galway is at 1.15 in Croke Park….and Tipp FM will have full live coverage of the match. The Premier County are going in search of their first Minor hurling title since 2012 on Sunday when they take on Galway in Croke Park. Tipperary have several dual players who are also involved in the Minor footballers who will play Kerry in the All Ireland final in three weeks time. Manager Liam Cahill says he’s confident his players have plenty left in the tank ahead of Sunday’s decider…last_img read more

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Ciobanu waiting on results of Olympic selection appeal

first_imgSergiu Ciobanu reached the qualifying standard set down by Athletics Ireland at the Berlin marathon last September.However when the three man team was announced earlier this week the Moldovan born runner wasn’t included – despite finishing 24 seconds faster in Berlin than one of those selected on the team.Now living in Clonmel where he runs a physiotherapy practice with his wife Emer, Sergiu says he doesn’t know what the outcome of his appeal will be.last_img

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The great PASPA repeal: America braces itself for the biggest Brit invasion since the 1960s

first_img StumbleUpon Richard Thorp, Business Development Director at FSB, unpacks how US operators can stave off the transatlantic assault of Britain’s best bookmakers if they choose their suppliers wisely for sports betting’s grandest repeal.When Oscar Wilde wrote that Britain and the United States were two countries separated by a common language, he probably didn’t envisage sports betting getting in the way too. Yet with the likely repeal of PASPA by the Supreme Court in the coming weeks, America is bracing itself for the biggest Brit invasion since the 1960’s. Only this time, it’s the bookies, not the Beatles.However, if the U.S. betting ban is seen as unconstitutional and overturned in the defining case of New Jersey versus PASPA, it won’t be as easy as some beefy British bullies turning up in a new playground to plunder the lunch money of various unsuspecting US companies. That said, the Beatles cracked America with the single “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, and it could be a similar strategy of companionship which leads to the expertise of various UK firms being recruited by stateside outfits. The Stars Group, of course, has just bought Sky Bet for a jaw-dropping $4.7 billion, while SG Digital acquired leading sportsbook platform provider OpenBet last year. So, the hand-holding partnerships are as obvious as they are potentially diverse for both operators and suppliers.Some UK operators already have their boots on the ground for Uncle Sam, though. Paddy Power Betfair (in 2009) and William Hill (in 2012) respectively used horse racing and sportsbook acquisition to sow the seeds to a solid base from Nevada to New Jersey. Racetracks (for example, Monmouth Park in New Jersey) could be quickly converted into sportsbook sites when reform comes, and the received wisdom is that Hills’ and PPB’s ascension to the throne will be facilitated as a result. However, with so much state-by-state uncertainty remaining, the best their foundations and existing relationships afford them is a helpful head-start on the field. U.S. companies, however, could conceivably supersede and surpass those gains with their native infrastructures and business relationships, naturally allied to the right betting partner.Essentially, the U.S. remains a greenfield land of opportunity where everyone will have to make it up as they go along to some significant degree. Giants such as Wynn Resorts and their Las Vegas titan-hood will demand their slice of the action and won’t take kindly to the advance of European cowboys, who must guard against complacency lest they be exposed as all product and no distribution. After all, stateside self-interest and inevitable protectionism won’t happily hand over the keys to their untapped gambling kingdom, and legislators are always likely to favour domestic operators (via their recognised casino and racecourse gateways) over transatlantic marauders. Which brings us back to that spirit of cooperation whereby protagonists like Wynn should seek to hire the expertise of established professionals, rather than waste valuable time fumbling around in the sports-betting darkness for their own solution. In a market potentially valued in excess of $10 billion, and around 20 states already on the record for legalising gambling, it’s well worth asking for the dance. Arguably, this should actually favour an influx of suppliers over operators because the winners of this American talent pageant will be chosen for their brains, not their corporate aesthetics.To which end, FSB’s leading sportsbook platform has already partnered with Sport Analytics and Data Corp to power FastPick.com, an easy-access take on Daily Fantasy Sports, across New Jersey. FastPick is a bespoke product for Resorts Digital Gaming, for whom FSB created the underlying sportsbook structure, making them the first U.S. casino to formally offer a fantasy sports-style game. And because casinos are likely the first port of call from which lawmakers will sanction sportsbook expansion, this association is key. Indeed, when it comes to migrating a sophisticated casino clientele over to sports betting, FSB are well versed – having already rolled out a first EPOS system for Manila’s flagship Okada Casino Resort, featuring self-service betting terminals and hand-held devices. These land-based solutions now complement our existing online ones (with the likes of Genting Group) where FSB’s pioneering tech is ably backed up by Paddy Power Betfair’s trading team.Designing the user experience to meet the rising demands of mobile and live betting, as well as aggregating the industry’s best data-feeds, will be central to any supplier remaining positively delineated from the crowd. U.S. operators hold the front-end and distribution model through the aforementioned casino, poker room and racetrack sites. It’s up to suppliers to bring the most adaptable back-end engine to drive that front-end – and multiple white-label skins will be up for grabs if that flexibility of tech and smart APIs (i.e. tailoring the platform organically to the brand, not merely bolting on a cover) is there.Consequently, chief amongst our concerns is ensuring that our next-generation architecture complies with the full suite of U.S. platform regulations, which will in turn allow us the steal a march on those lazily tying up with existing New Jersey platforms, whose infrastructures date by to the turn of the millennium. Right from the outset, FSB took the decision to only ever operate in regulated markets – leaving the black markets to our competitors. However, we were safe in the knowledge that fostering a reputation as a trusted provider for our partners and regulators would ultimately afford us the opportunity to jump to the front of the queue whenever stringent compliance and integrity tests came knocking. And upcoming U.S. regulation, of course, will present the sternest test so far. So, if U.S. operators want to beat back the Brits, it’s imperative that they move quickly and choose their suppliers wisely. The post-PASPA scene which US legislators set still has many unanswered questions – for one, will the advertising of gambling be permitted. Therefore, in a landscape of irresistible forces and immovable objects, it could prove a stop-start process. Adaptability and patience should be your watchwords. When you want to work fast, think slow. Share Submit Sharelast_img read more

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National Lottery launches £45m Community Fund network

first_img National Lottery Community Fund issues £14m in Climate Action grants August 24, 2020 The National Lottery has pledged to provide a further £45 million in funding for the UK’s ‘most vulnerable communities’ to help them recover from COVID-19 impacts.Through its ‘Community Fund’, the National Lottery has established a new network which will help it distribute central funds to five partners supporting organisations that work within communities that have been disproportionately impacted by pandemic circumstances. The network will be led by the ‘COVID-19 Social Enterprise Support Fund Partnership’, which will tasked with distributing  £20 million to social enterprises best-placed to support local, vulnerable communities in response to the COVID-19 crisis.Supporting charities that will receive £5 million include refugee support charity the Barrow Cadbury Trust, homelessness support organisation Homeless Link.The Community Fund’s new network will be further supported by social enterprise support foundations Access to Justice and UnLtd.The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, has given out more than £200 million since the start of lockdown to help communities cope with unprecedented impacts. Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “These partnerships will extend the reach of National Lottery funding at a time when communities need it most. They are each experts in their field, which is why we’re delighted to be working alongside them.“Their local knowledge, dedication and network of contacts will be critical in supporting the distribution of much-needed funding at a critical time for communities. We’re grateful to them for working with us so closely and of course to National Lottery players for making this emergency response possible.” Camelot aims for ‘Big September’ supporting a high street recovery August 26, 2020 Share Share UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Submitlast_img read more

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Frustrated Clippers are no match for Timberwolves down the stretch

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error It was an ugly ending to an otherwise gritty effort from the injury-depleted Clippers.“Mainly, up until the end of the game, Teague had more free throws than our entire team,” Rivers said, referring to Timberwolves point guard Jeff Teague, when asked what bothered him most. “I thought we were driving and just as physical as them. It’s rare, when you’re the home team and the free throws are 39-22.“Listen, we don’t want to get fourth-quarter techs.”Rivers refused to blame Griffin. Lou Williams deserves All-Star selection, Clippers coach Doc Rivers says Assistant Mike Woodson followed Rivers to the locker room before play could be resumed.Related Articlescenter_img PreviousMinnesota Timberwolves forward Taj Gibson, left, and Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell battle for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, right, shoots as Clippers forward Blake Griffin defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. Wiggins scored 40 points in Minnesota’s 126-118 victory. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, left, shoots as Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng, of Senegal, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, shoots as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica, of Serbia, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Taj Gibson, right, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers guard Milos Teodosic, of Serbia, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Minnesota Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones, center, has his shot blocked by Los Angeles Clippers guard Sindarius Thornwell, left, while guard Tyrone Wallace defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, left, shoot as Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng, of Senegal, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, left, passes while under pressure from Los Angeles Clippers forward Wesley Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Clippers forward Blake Griffin, right, and Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica grapple for a loose ball during the first half of Monday’s game at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)CORRECTS FROM GORGUI DIENG TO NEMANJA BJELICA – Los Angeles Clippers guard Tyrone Wallace, left, shoots as Minnesota Timberwolves center Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica, of Serbia, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers guard Tyrone Wallace, left, shoots as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica, of Serbia, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague, left, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, right, reacts after he was called for a offensive foul that nullified a three point basket as Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica, of Serbia, celebrates during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers forward Wesley Johnson, left, and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins go after a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, left, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, left, talks to referee Eric Lewis after receiving a technical foul during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, right, complains about a foul call to referee James Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. Doc Rivers was ejected from the game during the second half. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin hangs on the net after throwing the ball out of bounds while trying to pass it to guard Lou Williams with seconds left in an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica, left, of Serbia, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Taj Gibson, left, and Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell battle for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves won 126-118. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, right, shoots as Clippers forward Blake Griffin defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. Wiggins scored 40 points in Minnesota’s 126-118 victory. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 21Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, right, shoots as Clippers forward Blake Griffin defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. Wiggins scored 40 points in Minnesota’s 126-118 victory. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin blamed himself for the Clippers unraveling late in a 126-118 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night at Staples Center. He barked at referee Eric Lewis a nanosecond after Montrezl Harrell’s dunk gave the Clippers a two-point lead with 4 minutes, 50 seconds left.Griffin drew a technical foul from Lewis. The Clippers’ rhythm and momentum suddenly ground to a halt. Their lead evaporated and, as the game turned in the Timberwolves’ favor, their anger and frustration boiled over in the closing minutes.Assistant Sam Cassell drew a technical foul from referee C.J. Washington with 2:44 to play.Coach Doc Rivers was ejected with 7.4 seconds remaining. “Just like players can lose their composure, officials can lose their composure,” Rivers said. “Sam got a tech for saying, ‘Three seconds.’ Blake got a tech for saying, ‘Over my back.’ One ref told me I couldn’t talk. I thought I was the head coach. As long as I’m respectful, I can say whatever I want.”Rivers then pointed out that there was more to the Clippers’ loss than technical fouls.For starters, Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins torched them for 40 points on 16-for-28 shooting. Teague added 30 points, going 7 for 14 from the field and 16 for 17 from the free-throw line. Wiggins’ floater from the paint broke a 111-111 tie with 3:46 to play.Griffin countered with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for his second triple-double of the season and the seventh of his career. He was one point shy of his season high and he established a career high for assists, topping his previous best of 11.“It was and it wasn’t,” Griffin said when told of Rivers’ opinion that the referees lost their cool in crunch time. “I can’t be the one to get a tech there in the fourth quarter and put us in a hole. It kind of started the whole onslaught, I guess, for lack of a better word, of technicals.“We’ve got to be better, but there’s a reason why there’s so much disparity and so much back and forth and so much tension.”Griffin didn’t elaborate, but he did say he objected to a couple of late calls, especially an offensive foul on Harrell that nullified a 3-pointer from Lou Williams that would have given the Clippers a 111-106 lead with 5:14 left.“Plays like that,” Griffin said.Harrell added 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting and grabbed six rebounds. Williams scored 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting in a reserve role, the ninth consecutive game in which he’s scored 20 or more off the bench, the longest streak by an active player in the NBA.Williams also had seven assists.“Not a great officiated game, but it happens in the NBA once in a while,” Williams said. “I just thought (the Timberwolves) were the more aggressive team and played harder. Down the stretch there were some calls that went their way that kind of shifted the momentum of the game. It happens.”last_img read more

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Fans could return for 20-21 season: Premier League chief

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said on Friday that fans could be allowed to attend top-flight matches in the 2020-21 season on a “phased basis”.The Premier League plans to resume the 2019-20 campaign on June 17 following the coronavirus lockdown.But the remaining 92 fixtures will be played behind closed doors to minimise the health risks of football’s return in a country badly hit by the pandemic.The prospect of playing the next season with no fans is unappetising for the Premier League and Masters suggested it could be possible to being back supporters at some stage.“No one knows when matches will move away from the behind-closed-doors model and it is right to have contingency plans in place, but there is optimism at the Premier League and at clubs that we will see fans back in the stadiums next season and it may happen on a phased basis,” Masters told Sky Sports News.“Hopefully it will be a huge morale boost and that is what we’ve been working towards.“We’ve got some incredible fans in this country and we all know the Premier League as we know and love it won’t be fully back until we have fans back through the turnstiles.”The biggest concern for ‘Project Restart’ is another wave of the virus, which could lead to the competition being suspended again.With that in mind, Masters said it was crucial clubs agreed on a plan for what would happen if the season had to end early before games resume.But he would not be drawn on whether an unweighted points-per-game model would be used in decide the final table in the event of the season being abandoned.“We need to have plans in place so that we go into the start of the season knowing that if it can’t be completed, what then happens,” Masters said. “(But) I’m not going to give away any of the details of the private discussions we are having with our clubs.”– ‘Legitimate concerns’ –The video assistant referee (VAR) system is set to be used in the remaining matches, but Masters said it would be done remotely rather than from the officials’ usual base at Stockley Park.“VAR has its own social distancing issues but we think there is a way of completing the season with VAR, so absolutely our intention is to complete the season with VAR in place,” he said.“The hub itself could be a problem, so if you can’t do the hub you have to do it remotely, and that’s what we’re looking at.”Liverpool are two wins away from clinching their first English title for 30 years, but they could be forced to play at a neutral venue when the trophy is within reach on police advice.Police chiefs are concerned about the safety risks of Liverpool fans gathering outside Anfield or any other stadium their team are playing at.Masters said talks with the police about neutral venues for some games are on-going, but he hopes Liverpool can at least have a trophy presentation.“They (the police) have legitimate concerns but we think we can mitigate some of the issues they’re trying to deal with,” he said.“Ultimately, we want the season to be played out on the pitch and we’re discussing a number of options to make it as fair as possible.“We’ll do everything we possibly can to deliver a trophy presentation. It’s really important to mark that moment and to give the fans that memory to mark it.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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