Clan's three-game winning streak came to a juddering halt at Braehead last night at the hands of high-flying Panthers, writes Nigel Duncan. Matt Francis netted twice in the first 12 minutes and Clan were 5-0 adrift after 29 minutes. Jade Galbraith scored replied eight minutes later but Clan never looked likely to repair the damage and missed a chance to move into fourth spot.
n Todd Dutiaume, Fife Flyers' player/coach is confident that his charges will bounce back from their worst spell of the season so far, writes Nigel Duncan. Flyers suffered back-to-back defeats by Braehead Clan and Dundee CCS Stars last weekend but Dutiaume said: "It is not that we're playing bad hockey. We haven't played badly all season, apart from perhaps the game in Edinburgh where we only turned up for the last 10 minutes. We'll regroup and be ready for this weekend and two more tough games." They travel to Hull Stingrays tonight (6.30) and entertain high-flying Nottingham Panthers tomorrow (6.30pm).
Glasgow City will be officially crowned Scottish champions for the sixth successive season tomorrow after their final home match of the campaign against Aberdeen at Petershill, 2pm, with free entry for all spectators.
The players will be presented with the trophy by the Scotland coach, Anna Signuel, who will be looking to get over the last-kick-of-the-ball defeat by Spain in the European Championships play-off last midweek, as will several of the City players.
City, in the Scottish Cup final having already secured the title and League Cup, can still make it a treble-winning season. The battle for the runners-up spot behind City remains a three-way fight among Forfar Farmington, Celtic and Hibernian. Forfar play host to Celtic at Station Park and, if they win, would put Celtic out of contention.
Greenock's Chris Doak, who has already earned promotion to next year's European Tour, moved into the top-six at the Challenge Tour's Apulia San Domenico Grand Final in Italy with a four-under 67 for an 11-under 202. He is six strokes behind the leader, Joachim Hansen from Denmark, with one round to play. Raymond Russell, who needs to move up from 22nd on the money list and into the promotion places of the top 21, leaked three shots on his last five holes in a 70 for 204 and is set for a tense final day.
n Catriona Matthew's fine run continued as she eased into a share of third with a six-under 66 during round two of the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship. Matthew, with a fourth and a second on the tour in recent weeks, lies on an eight-under 136, just two behind the co-leaders, Park Inbee of South Korea and the Norwegian Suzann Pettersen.
n Carly Booth, a two-time winner on the Ladies' European Tour this season, had to settle for a level-par 72 on the first day of the Suzhou Taihu Open in China. It left the Scot seven behind Spanish pacesetter Carlota Ciganda. Kylie Walker sagged to a 77.
Allan McNish must win tomorrow's FIA WEC finale at Shanghai and hope for a miracle if he is to land the first world title of his career, writes Kenneth Stephen. The Dumfries- born driver goes into Sunday's final round 16½ points behind the Audi Sport sister car of Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer. Even if he and Tom Kristensen can secure their second win of the campaign, it may not be enough to stop the Le Mans winning sister car taking the world crown. Fassler, Lotterer and Treluyer only need a sixth place finish to take the title. McNish knows the odds are stacked against him. "Tom and I cannot afford to worry about where our sister car places; it is just a case of us going on full-out attack after recent race results. We have an uphill battle but we'll be giving it our all," he said. It will be the first time that McNish has raced at the 3.39 mile Grand Prix circuit.
Berwick Bandits are counting on Craig Cook, the Edinburgh Monarch racer, as they bid to secure a second piece of silverware this season, writes Nigel Duncan. Cook, the new Premier League Riders' champion who is based in Cumbria, guests in place of Ricky Ashcroft, Bandits' injured No.1, in the first leg of the Premier Challenge Trophy final against Rye House Rockets tonight (7pm). Joe Jacobs, the rising star from Mildenhall Fen Tigers, will also ride for Berwick as a National League guest in both legs – the second leg in on Sunday– in place of Klaus Jakobsen who has returned home to Denmark.
Organisers of this weekend's Central Region A Graded Junior Open have had to ask the neighbouring Dunblane club to provide additional facilities because the host club Bridge of Allan is not big enough to cope with the exceptionally high number of entries, writes Kevin Ferrie.
John Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Squash and Racketball, admitted yesterday that some logistical problems have been created after they decided to increase the size of the competition to address demand for places, but is clearly delighted at having to deal with such a problem. "SSRL has turned away entries to this event in the past but the demand this year was just too big to ignore," he said. "As a result we will be operating on two sites this year which will bring operational challenges. It is anathema to me to turn young people away."
It is all the more rewarding for organisers that squash is receiving such a level of interest despite their sport missing out on the bounce in interest the Olympic. "The demand can be attributed to our much-improved regional coaching programmes and, of course, to dedicated parents," said Dunlop. "It is also only possible because of a great bunch of volunteers who keep the sport in Scotland going."
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