The Weekend Roundup
Missed all the sports action last week? We got you. Every week we bring you the essential news and results to make sure you haven’t missed out.
Manchester City have opened up their lead at the top of the WSL table to two points ahead of Arsenal. Whilst this sounds impressive given the Gunners domination early in the season, their rivals have two games in hand, and City will be ruing defensive frailties after a squandering a two goal lead this weekend. Reigning champions Chelsea needed to bounce back after their defeat to Birmingham last round, but looked to be continuing their poor form after goals from Tessa Wullaert and Georgia Stanway gave the hosts a first half lead. The blues stalwart, Ji So-yun showed why she’s one of the best in the world as her brace drew the visitors level. Afterwards Manchester City head coach Nick Cushing was clearly frustrated, ‘We should have won the game. We were put under pressure but we had two great chances on the counter that we should have scored.’
Arsenal were out of league action this weekend after their 2-1 win against Championship promotion hopefuls Manchester United in the FA WSL Cup. The Red Devils put up a decent fight against the Cup holders.
A packed crowd greeted England for their first home game of this year’s Six Nations campaign. After both sides inflicted heavy defeats on their opponents last week, this fixture was set to be a cracker. A wonderful take from Jess Breach, showing none of the expected nerves of such a young player, from a speculative Daley-Maclean kick secured the first try for England after 10 minutes. The early control set the tone for the first half. England went into the break 24-0 ahead. An early score for France after the resume, could have unsettled the hosts but they responded quickly with a try of their own. Although France were able to add to their own tally, England were relentless, using the force of their front row combined with the speed of their wingers to close out the match 41-26.
Earlier in the weekend, Italy held Wales to a low scoring 3-3 draw, whilst Ireland settled their nerves after an opening defeat to comfortably sink Scotland 5-22.
It’s been 26 years since Britain played a Fed Cup on home soil and what a brilliant home coming it was. Currently in Group 1 Europe/Africa Zone, GB is vying for promotion to World Group II for the first time since 1993.
Boulter and Konta were instrumental in taking Britain threw to the Promotion tie in April, with victories in all their singles matches. Boulter, who broke onto the international scene last season, now has a Fed Cup record of 6 out of 6. Highest ranked Brit Konta struggled with fatigue in her last match, collapsing to the floor after her winning point. Despite this captain Anne Keothavong will take confidence from the fact she was able to battle through. Youngsters Harriet Dart and Katie Swan also played their part with two confident doubles performances. With four away promotion defeats when asked after the tournament what her wish for the promotion match would be, Keothavong replied simply ‘a home tie.’ We will only have to wait until tomorrow to discover whether that wish comes true.
The Superleague weekend kicked off with the Glasgow Derby as Strathclyde Sirens hosted Celtic Dragons. This hardfought and closely contested match, saw the Sirens lead for the first half, before Dragons surged in the third to swing the game in their favour closing it out 50-46. Early errors on the Dragon’s centre had given their rivals an advantage, but rotation in the C position created more focus from the first pass and better execution. ‘It was a torrid match that could have gone either way,’ Dragons’ head coach Tania Hoffman surmised after the match.
Manchester Thunder retained their unbeaten record hammering the struggling Severn Stars 62-49. However repeated turnovers in the first quarter will be something that head coach Karen Greig will look to stamp out if they are to maintain the league lead. Elsewhere, Loughborough Lightning suffered a humbling 50-75 home defeat to Team Bath and London Pulse also lost at the Copperbox to midtablers Surrey Storm.
Lindsey Vonn, the GOAT of female skiing, retired from the slopes in style this weekend. A bronze medal in the Ladies’ Downhill meant the 34-year-old becomes the first female skier to win a medal at six World Championships. Vonn first competed on the senior circuit in 2001 and has gone on to win 20 World Cup titles – a record. Anyone too young to remember her greatest moments should seek out some compilation vids ASAP. Astounding.