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McEnaney remains defiant as Meath look to Boylan

 

McEnaney remains defiant as Meath look to Boylan

Updated: Friday, 13 Apr 2012 08:09

coutesy of RTE

McEnaney did attend a club match in Meath on Thursday with fellow selectors Tom Keague and Graham Geraghty
McEnaney did attend a club match in Meath on Thursday with fellow selectors Tom Keague and Graham Geraghty

 

Meath boss Seamus McEnaney is expected to face a motion of no confidence at a meeting of the county board on Wednesday next. 

The Monaghan native, now into his second year in charge of the Royal county, is under pressure to step down following a poor league campaign that saw Meath relegated to Division 3.

Indeed, it is now reported that a request to ‘step aside’ was made to McEnaney, but the manager is determined to see out his two years in charge. He also claims that he has the backing of the current squad.

In a further development, Meath officials have reportedly spoken to Sean Boylan, with regard to the former boss taking over on a temporary basis.

The Duboyne legend recently stepped down from his role as ‘director of football’ within the county and would be seen as a popular choice given the current turmoil.

Meath open their Leinster championship campaign against Wicklow on 27 May. 

City beat West Brom to keep title hopes alive

 

City beat West Brom to keep title hopes alive

Updated: Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012 22:00

Carlos Tevez scored his first goal since his return to Manchester City
Carlos Tevez scored his first goal since his return to Manchester City

 

MANCHESTER CITY 4-0 WEST BROM

courtesy of RTE

Carlos Tevez scored for the first time in 11 months as Manchester City sparked back into life to keep their faint title hopes alive.

Sergio Aguero struck twice and David Silva was on target in a routine defeat of West Brom as City, perhaps belatedly, showed why they were once firm favourites for the title.

Manchester United’s failure to beat Wigan meant the gap at the top was cut to five points, and with a derby to come the game may not yet be up, but it could still be too little too late.

City suffered an apparently fatal blow to their title chances as they slumped to defeat at Arsenal on Sunday but they lived up to promises to go down fighting as they returned to the Etihad Stadium.

For much of the game they were a side far removed from the tension-ridden one of recent weeks and played much more like the carefree team they were in the autumn.

City were without injured lynchpin Yaya Toure while the suspended Mario Balotelli was present only in an executive box.

Tevez’s first start since his much-publicised dispute with the club gave the side a different look while West Brom, making five changes after manager Roy Hodgson claimed they were virtually safe, offered little.

They was a further change in the middle as referee Lee Mason, involved in controversy in United’s weekend win over QPR, was replaced by Kevin Friend.

City began well with Aguero breaking into the box in the opening minutes and cutting back, only to have his shot blocked.

The opener came after just six minutes as Aguero collected the ball midway inside the West Brom half and ran diagonally towards goal before lashing in a low shot past Ben Foster from 25 yards.

City looked back to their best as Aguero and Samir Nasri combined to set up Tevez, but he blasted over.

The fit-again Silva, whose outstanding early season form has tailed off in recent months, then skipped into the area and beat Foster only to get in a tangle with Tevez.

Silva linked better with Tevez moments later but Foster parried his close-range shot.

Micah Richards should have doubled the lead just after the half hour as he timed his run onto Tevez’s pass perfectly and cut back to shoot past Foster, but Craig Dawson blocked on the line.

Graham Dorrans shot straight at Joe Hart as West Brom made a rare foray forward but City began to slow as the first half wore on.

Tevez turned nicely to release Silva but the Spaniard was caught and it was not until after the interval City regained their zest.

Nasri volleyed wide from a Silva cross soon after the restart and City really started to lift themselves as news filtered through to the crowd that United had fallen behind at Wigan.

City’s second came in the 54th minute as Nasri seized on a poor clearance and slipped in Aguero to slide the ball past Foster.

It almost immediately got worse for the Baggies as Nasri found space and shot narrowly wide and Youssouf Mulumbu headed an Aguero cross-shot off the line.

Tevez claimed his goal on the hour, the Argentinian finding himself in the right place to tuck home an Aguero cut-back from a Nasri pass.

That proved Tevez’s final involvement as he was replaced moments later by Adam Johnson but City continued to pour forward.

A fourth goal duly arrived after Jonas Olsson conceded possession to Aguero and he quickly released Silva, who took the ball in his stride and sublimely chipped the advancing Foster.

After that, City then seemed to put their cue on the rack and play out time.

Edin Dzeko came on for the outstanding Aguero after 73 minutes and much of City’s cutting edge appeared to go with the Argentinian.

City seemed happy to wind down the clock safe in the knowledge that victory had been assured.

Nasri attempted to set up Dzeko with a delicate chip in the closing moments but the Bosnian was unable to make the most of the opportunity.

Ryan to target London 2012 road race

 

Ryan to target London 2012 road race

Updated: Tuesday, 10 Apr 2012 

courtesy of RTE

Caroline Ryan with her bronze medal at the World Cycling Championships in Melbourne
Caroline Ryan with her bronze medal at the World Cycling Championships in Melbourne

 

World Track Cycling Championships 25km points race bronze medal winner Caroline Ryan has confirmed she will target qualification for the Olympic road race in three months time.

The Kildare rider flew in to Dublin Airport on Tuesday afternoon, five days after becoming the first Irish cyclist to win a world medal in over 100 years.

Ryan won bronze by getting involved in a breakaway and then taking third in two of intermediate sprints in the 100 lap race.

Commenting on the win, she told RTÉ Sport’s Jacqui Hurley: “It’s brilliant. We always said we could do it but to get it. For everything to work out on the day, for the race to go your way…..we planned it all tactically but sometimes it doesn’t work out but everything slotted into place at the right time”.

The 32-year-old Garda, who later set a new Irish record for the women’s individual pursuit on the final day of the Championships, switched from rowing to cycling in 2008 after missing out on qualificaiton for the Beijing Olympics.

She is not in a position to qualify for track events this time around but along with coach Brian Nugent intends to focus on gaining one of the 100 slots available in the road race at the London games.

She added: “We are going to go out and fight hard for it. It’s possible, definitely.

Newcastle 2 Bolton 0

Newcastle 2    Bolton 0Hatem Ben Arfa

9 April 2012Last updated at 16:40 GMT

courtesy of BBC

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport

Hatem Ben Arfa’s second-half wonder goal lit up a dreary contest with Bolton and set Champions League chasers Newcastle on the way to a fifth successive victory.

Ben Arfa turned brilliantly inside his own half and ran 70 yards before coolly beating keeper Adam Bogdan.

Papiss Cisse made it 2-0 when he tapped home substitute Shola Ameobi’s cross.

Newcastle are now level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham while Bolton stay one point above the drop zone.

The game will rightly be remembered for Ben Arfa’s stunning 73rd-minute solo effort but it was not in keeping with the rest of a turgid affair which saw the hosts struggle to find their rhythm

 

Pardew hails ‘special’ Ben Arfa goal

Magpies manager Alan Pardew has regularly played down his side’s chances of European qualification this season, but that stance has changed slightly in recent weeks.

Four consecutive wins had taken them to the verge of a Champions League spot, and withTottenham stuttering and Chelsea facing an FA Cup semi-final and two demanding games against Barcelona, the expectation levels have suddenly risen.

But a tired first-half display suggested Pardew’s men found the pressure of chasing a top-four spot too much.

Newcastle, who switched to a 4-4-2 formation with James Perch moving into midfield to replace the injured Cheick Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini returning at centre-back, looked solid but lacked urgency and any potency in attack.

January signing Cisse, who had scored nine goals in eight gamesbefore kick-off, barely had a sniff of the ball and Bogdan cannot have had an easier 45 minutes of football.

Bolton’s win or bust

Bolton have only drawn two Premier League games this season and none on the road

The Hungary international keeper’s only minor scare in an otherwise chanceless first period came when his punched clearance from Ben Arfa’s inswinging free-kick saw the ball bounce back off Sam Ricketts and out for a corner.

Bolton, who turned in an abject display in Saturday’s 3-0 home humbling at the hands of Fulham , were resolute, organised and grew in confidence the longer the game remained scoreless.

They barely threatened before the break but Mark Davies twice went close in the second half, forcing Tim Krul into a fine low stop and then failing to connect with a Kevin Davies cross when well placed.

But Ben Arfa’s superb run and cool sidefoot finish broke their resistance and the prolific Cisse grabbed his 10th goal in nine games from close range from substitute Ameobi’s inviting cross.

 

Our fate is in our hands – Coyle

The visitors felt the Senegal striker was offside but to no avail and Newcastle were able to close out the victory.

Bolton’s only minor reward for a gutsy performance is the fact that they stay out of the relegation zone as none of the sides above them were in action.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle:

“We accept Ben Arfa’s finish was quality. But for our part, there was a lot to be pleased about.

“The disappointment is we are left with no points,

“But what I do know is if we offer that level of performance for the total duration of a match, then we will pick up enough points to stay in the Premier League, and that’s what we have to do.”

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (2) & SUBSTITUTIONS (6)

Newcastle United

  • 26 Krul
  • 02 Coloccini
  • 03 Santon
  • 05 Simpson
  • 06 Williamson
  • 14 Perch (Ferguson – 46′ )
  • 04 Cabaye
  • 10 Ben Arfa (R Taylor – 85′ )
  • 18 Gutierrez Booked
  • 09 Cisse
  • 19 Ba (Sh Ameobi – 64′ )

Substitutes

  • 35 Elliot
  • 16 R Taylor
  • 31 Ferguson
  • 34 Tavernier
  • 13 Abeid
  • 15 Gosling
  • 23 Sh Ameobi

Bolton Wanderers

  • 01 Bogdan
  • 02 Steinsson
  • 18 Ricketts
  • 31 Wheater
  • 32 Ream
  • 07 Eagles (Miyaichi – 78′ )
  • 10 Petrov
  • 16 M Davies
  • 19 Reo-Coker Booked
  • 21 Pratley (Klasnic – 82′ )
  • 14 K Davies (Ngog – 78′ )

Substitutes

  • 22 Jaaskelainen
  • 03 Alonso
  • 12 Knight
  • 17 Klasnic
  • 24 Ngog
  • 29 Sordell
  • 30 Miyaichi
Ref: Jones
Att: 52,264

Man Utd 2 QPR 0

Man Utd 2 QPR 0

8 April 2012Last updated at 14:46 GMT courtesy of BBC

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport

Manchester United went eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after a controversial Wayne Rooney penalty helped them defeat QPR.

Paul Scholes also scored from 25 yards as United secured an eighth straight league win, while Michael Carrick was denied by a post.

QPR’s Shaun Derry was harshly sent off for fouling Ashley Young, who was offside, before Rooney fired home.

 

Scholes ‘integral’ to success – Ferguson

But United were the better side, 37-year-old Scholes sealing victory.

Despite the controversy surrounding the first goal, United appear to be in unstoppable form as they race towards a record 20th top-flight crown.

They have secured 34 of the last 36 points available and their next two games are away to Wigan, who have failed to take a point off Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in 13 league meetings, and at home to Aston Villa, who have won one of their last nine league games.

All in all, it is going to require a demise of epic proportions to prevent Ferguson from getting his hands on the 13th league title of his Old Trafford reign.

QPR manager Mark Hughes had told his players to go out and ‘enjoy’ themselves as there were no expectations on them. Yet they were under pressure from the first minute to the last.

Did you know?

Sir Alex Ferguson has now won 52 out of 70 Premier League games against one of his former players. He is unbeaten in his last 30 Premier League matches against them, since a 4-3 defeat at Mark Hughes’s Blackburn in February 2006.

United peppered the visitors’ goal with in excess of 20 attempts as Hughes, who won two titles as a player at Old Trafford, endured a miserable return to his former club.

Paddy Kenny had already denied Rooney from a free-kick when the United striker fired his side ahead from the penalty spot after Derry, the captain, was harshly dismissed for a 14th-minute challenge on Young, who was clearly in an offside position.

It was a huge call by referee Lee Mason, Young going down after Derry made contact with the England international, and left the visitors, now without a Premier League clean sheet in 23 outings, with 10 men for more than 75 minutes.

They might have been fortunate to take the lead but no-one watching could deny that United were better than their struggling opponents.

 

Struggling clubs hard done by refs – Hughes

QPR deserve credit for the way they battled on after falling a man down but Young, who was unmarked and eight yards out, spurned a fine chance to double the lead after Rooney’s 23rd-minute pin-point cross.

The relegation-threatened Londoners deliberately left midfielder Joey Barton, who is on nine bookings, out ahead of Wednesday’s must-win home game with Swansea.

Yet a mistake by Rafael da Silva almost allowed Adel Taarabt a chance to score, Jonny Evans making a vital block to deny QPR an equaliser.

At the other end Rafael saw his low effort hit Kenny before deflecting on to the woodwork and rebounding to safety before Scholes made sure of the points with his third goal since coming out of retirement.

Again Rafael was involved, the Brazilian laying the ball into the midfielder’s path before the former England international found the target with a perfectly executed low drive from outside the area beyond the despairing Kenny in the 68th minute.

Michael Carrick was denied by the woodwork as United finished strongly, QPR avoiding a heavy defeat which would have sent them into the bottom three on goal difference.

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (2) & SUBSTITUTIONS (6)

Manchester United

  • 01 De Gea
  • 03 Evra
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 06 Evans
  • 21 Rafael Booked (Jones – 74′ )
  • 16 Carrick
  • 18 Young (Giggs – 61′ )
  • 22 Scholes (Cleverley – 74′ )
  • 25 Valencia
  • 10 Rooney
  • 19 Welbeck

Substitutes

  • 40 Amos
  • 04 Jones
  • 11 Giggs
  • 13 Park Ji-sung
  • 23 Cleverley
  • 42 Pogba
  • 14 Hernandez

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Kenny
  • 03 Hill
  • 34 Taiwo
  • 35 Ferdinand
  • 42 Onuoha
  • 02 Diakite (Wright-Phillips – 71′ )
  • 04 Derry Dismissed
  • 07 Taarabt (Smith – 71′ )
  • 14 Buzsaky
  • 10 Bothroyd (Campbell – 81′ )
  • 12 Mackie

Substitutes

  • 24 Cerny
  • 06 Gabbidon
  • 18 Young
  • 32 Wright-Phillips
  • 09 Campbell
  • 21 Smith
  • 52 Zamora
Ref: Mason
Att: 75,505

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