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.
Arsenal looked like they might repeat the invincible success of the men’s 03/04 team this season, but the illusion was shattered by a 0-2 away defeat to Manchester City on Sunday 2nd. This weekend, Man City maintained that momentum beating fourth placed Birmingham to draw level with the league leaders. Admittedly Arsenal have a game in hand but, with the league campaign now over until the new year, Arsenal can only hope the break allows them to regroup and capitalise on that advantage. However news that Jordan Nobbs anterior cruciate ligament injury has not only ended her season but ruled her out of the World Cup will no doubt hit camp morale.
It is a similar story in the Championship as Manchester United, who seemed to be nailed on champions so emphatic were their victories, conceded three against Durham to record their first league defeat. The result sees Durham move within just a point of their rivals. United are now on the same points as second placed Charlton Athletic, albeit with a game in hand. Tottenham remain in contention with 24 points - just one away from united - also with a game in hand. Given the weight of expectation on the fledgling team, the pressure might finally be getting to manager Casey Stoney and her troops.
Elsewhere, last Monday Ada Hegerberg received the inaugural Ballon d’Or Feminin. The Norwegian international plays for Lyon and has won Division 1 four times, the Coupe de France three, and to top it all off, the Champion’s League three times. She’s only 23! Last summer Hegerberg retired from international duty citing a lack of respect for the Women’s game in her home country. It remains to be seen whether she will return for the Women’s World Cup next summer.
Early title hopefuls Loughborough Lightning have hit a rough patch in the Tyrrells Premier 15s. Having earnt eight bonus points from their nine league wins, Lightning were put in their place this weekend ceding meek 43-7 loss away to Harlequins. It took only six minutes for the home side to get on the scoreboard. England international Riley capped off a superb performance scoring a in the first half and intercepting a sloppy pass from a loughborough lineout for a second at 53 mins. The victory allowed Quins to leapfrog their rivals to third drawing them within four points of league leaders Saracens. It was a stark reversal of the season’s previous result back in September which saw Loughborough win convincingly at home 41-17. Elsewhere Saracens swept aside the struggling Darlington Mowden Park Sharks 59-0 to stay clear at the top of the table.
The Australian WBBL (Women’s Big Bash League for the uninitiated) began with some suitably large run tallies last week. Ellyse Perry yet again demonstrated her remarkable talent - FYI, she is capped in both Australia’s soccer and cricket teams - by hitting 102 from 59 balls to seal victory for Sydney Sixers against Perth Scorchers. England wicketkeeper Amy Jones, debuting in the competition for Perth, also impressed hitting 57 from 29 balls. However the match was easily won through Perry’s excellent individual display, with the Sixers winning with more than an over to spare. Elsewhere England captain Heather Knight was unbeaten on 82 off 55 in the Hobart Hurricanes jersey. However it wasn’t enough to see her team through, as they were defeated by 5 wickets against the Melbourne stars. Nevertheless, the high scoring T20 competition - which runs until 29th January - looks set to be a thrilling spectacle sure to get us through the post-Christmas blues.