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The sports wrap 26th November 2018

LanguedocLiving, Nov 25

Champion Hamilton ends season with 11th win in Abu Dhabi.

Five times world champion Lewis Hamilton signed off on his Formula One season in style on Sunday with victory in Abu Dhabi, his 11th win of the 2018 campaign. Ferrari’s overall runner-up Sebastian Vettel finished second, and also set the fastest lap, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third in a race that also saw a rare sprinkling of desert rain. The 33-year-old Briton, who has won 51 of the 100 races in the V6 turbo hybrid era, became the first driver to score more than 400 points in a single season with a final tally of 408. Hamilton’s victory also left him 18 wins away from Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91.Two-times world champion Fernando Alonso, in his farewell race with McLaren, had hoped to sign off in the points but finished 11th. With both championships already won, Hamilton taking his in Mexico with two races to spare and Mercedes sealing their fifth successive constructors’ and drivers’ double in Brazil, Sunday’s focus was on the race and those moving on - particularly Alonso. Hamilton, Vettel and the Spaniard - three great champions - spun their cars in a cloud of smoke at the end of their slowing down lap, before stepping out for hugs and words of mutual respect. Australian Daniel Ricciardo was another saying goodbye, to his Red Bull team before moving to Renault, and he finished fourth after leading for a long stint when Hamilton pitted early.

Wales complete first clean sweep while Fiji shock France in Paris

Wales completed a first clean sweep of their autumn Test programme, battling to a 20-11 victory over South Africa on Saturday while Fiji shocked the French with their first ever victory over Les Bleus. At Twickenham, England crushed Australia 38-17 while Grand Slam champions Ireland also secured a clean sweep of autumn wins with an easy victory over the USA in Dublin. In Cardiff, Wales recorded their ninth successive Test win - a feat they have not achieved since 1999 - and a fourth win in a row over the Boks. The Welsh, ranked third in world rugby, scored two early tries to ensure a 14-3 half-time lead as they displayed not only attacking verve but some stoic defence to hold off a dominant Springbok showing in the second half. Prop Tomas Francis and fullback Liam Williams both crossed the line in the opening 16 minutes for Wales while Jesse Kriel got South Africa’s only try in the second half. In Paris, Fiji pulled off a remarkable test triumph, getting home 21-14 in front of a stunned Stade de France crowd. Both sides scored two tries but Fiji’s French-based flyhalf Ben Volavola added 11 points from the boot to prove the difference as the Pacific islanders held France scoreless in the second half to complete a rare success over a top-tier nation. At  Twickenham, England completed a highly satisfying November series with a crushing 37-18 four-try victory over a ragged Australia, claiming a record sixth successive win in the 50th meeting of the old sporting rivals. After an early try for Jonny May it was 13-13 at the break but Elliot Daly, Joe Cokanasiga and Owen Farrell underlined England’s second-half dominance as a try in each half for Israel Folau flattered the tired-looking tourists. The result capped a dire year for Australia, who have now lost 11 of their last 15 matches and were second-best all day long. In Dublin, Ireland overcame a stubborn USA 57-14 to secure a clean sweep of autumn series wins for a second straight year. At Murrayfield, Scotland ended their campaign with a scrappy 14-9 victory over Argentina to finish with two wins from four games. They were beaten 21-10 in Wales and lost 26-20 at home to South Africa, as well as thrashing Fiji 54-17. In Rome, World champions New Zealand recovered from last week's defeat by Ireland with a convincing 66-3 win against Italy. The All Blacks, beaten 16-9 at the Aviva Stadium the previous weekend, ran in 10 tries at the Stadio Olimpico.

Canada secure final place at Rugby World Cup in Japan

Canada secured the final place at next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan after beating Hong Kong 27-10 in their repechage tournament in Marseille. It means the Canucks have now reached their ninth consecutive World Cup. Hong Kong needed a bonus-point win and to deny their opponents anything from the game if they were to advance. Canada will now go into Pool B for the tournament alongside defending champions New Zealand, two-time winners South Africa, Italy and Namibia.

Spurs move up to third in Premier League after win over unbeaten Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur ended Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a brilliant display of attacking football at Wembley that saw them seal an emphatic 3-1 win and refresh their title challenge on Saturday. The win moved Spurs up to third but unbeaten Manchester City still looked in a class of their own at the top as Leroy Sane scored twice in a 4-0 stroll over West Ham United at the London Stadium. It put City on to 35 points from 13 matches but nearest pursuers Liverpool, also still unbeaten, remained just two points behind the champions, keeping up the pressure with a 3-0 victory. Spurs were at their scintillating best at a raucous Wembley. After City and Liverpool had earlier won, the writing was quickly on the wall for Maurizio Sarri’s men in the day’s late fixture on Saturday as Chelsea went 2-0 down inside 16 minutes to goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Spurs added a sensational third when Son Heung-min carried the ball from inside his own half, beat two men with ease before finishing neatly. Substitute Olivier Giroud added a late consolation header for Chelsea but Spurs’ win moved them on to 30 points, now two points clear of their London rivals. Sane’s double along with goals from David Silva and Raheem Sterling helped Man City record their eighth consecutive victory. Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool had to be patient at Vicarage Road but were rewarded when Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino netted late goals that subdued Watford. In the Scottish Premiership, champions Celtic moved two points clear with an easy 3-0 away win over Hamilton Academicals, while Old Firm rivals Rangers moved up to second with a 3-0 home win over Livingston. Hearts slipped down to third after a disappointing 2-0 loss to lowly St Mirren.

PSG extend record-breaking start with win over Toulouse

French champions Paris Saint Germain continued on their relentless winning path to another title, beating Toulouse 1-0 to extend their record-breaking start to the Ligue 1 season. PSG have won all 14 league games, a record at the start of one of Europe's top five leagues. Edinson Cavani scored the only goal early on with an exquisite flick past a defender and volley. Star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were both out injured but could both return when PSG face Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday. Montpellier slipped down to third spot on the table after a disappointing 2-2 home draw against mid-table Rennes, to be replaced by Lyon who beat St-Etienne 1-0 at home on Friday. In the Spanish La Liga, Sevilla moved to the top of the table after beating Real Valladolid 1-0 at home. They are one point ahead of champions Barcelona who drew 1-1 away to third placed Atletico Madrid. The shock result of the weekend was sixth-placed Real Madrid’s 3-0 loss to Eibar, their first defeat under new coach Santiago Solari. In the Italian Serie A, champions Juventus extended their lead over Napoli and Inter Milan at the top of the table to eight points with a 2-0 home victory over SPAL. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 10th Juventus goal as they remain unbeaten in the league. Ronaldo turned home Miralem Pjanic's free-kick to give Juve the lead. Mario Mandzukic sealed the win when he converted from close range after keeper Alfred Gomis parried Costa's shot. Napoli, who drew 0-0 at home to Chievo, and Inter Milan who beat Frosinone 3-0, are on 28 points. In the German Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund lead the table by four points after a 2-1 away win over Mainz 05. They increased their chances of ending Bayern Munich’s six-year title reign when the champions could only draw 3-3 at home to Fortuna Dusseldorf to go fifth in the table, nine points behind Dortmund. Borussia Monchengladbach are second after a convincing 4-1 home win over Hannover 96.

England move closer to series whitewash against Sri Lanka

England moved a step closer to a first series whitewash in Sri Lanka after punishing their sloppy hosts on day three of the third Test in Colombo. The tourists fell to 39 for four, but Jos Buttler hit a calm 64 as England posted 230 to set Sri Lanka 327 to win. The home side closed on 53 for four, still needing another 274 runs, after Moeen Ali struck twice and Jack Leach and Ben Stokes claimed one wicket each. England have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Unless Sri Lanka pull off an unlikely highest successful chase at the Sinhalese Sports Club, England will win every Test in a series on the island for the first time.They will also become only the third side after India this year and Australia in 2004 to win 3-0 in Sri Lanka.

Australia beat England to win Women’s World Twenty20 title

Australia completed an emphatic eight-wicket win over England in North Sound, Antigua, to secure their fourth Women's World Twenty20 title. England, bidding to come double world champions, were bowled out for 105 with two balls remaining. Australian leg-spinner Georgia Wareham took two for 11 and completed a stunning runout to restrict England. Ashleigh Gardner backed up her three for 22 with an unbeaten 33 as Australia chased down the total with 29 balls remaining. After winning the toss and opting to bat, England were unable to find any rhythm, with only Danni Wyatt (43) and captain Heather Knight reaching double figures. Despite being sloppy in the field, Australia were ruthless with the bat, as captain Meg Lanning (28 not out) and Gardner worked the ball around the field with ease. The chase looked all too easy as the match came to a close with nearly five overs to spare - with some England players left in tears as Australia celebrated their first world title in four years.

Cilic beats Pouille to wrap up Croatia Davis Cup win over France

World No.7 Marin Cilic beat Lucas Pouille in straight sets in Lille on Sunday to secure Croatia's second-ever Davis Cup title. An inspired Cilic beat Pouille 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 to give them an unassailable 3-1 lead over hosts and defending champions France. France had pushed the final into a third day after Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert won Saturday’s doubles rubber. "It's not every day that you become a world champion," 30-year-old Cilic said. Pouille, 24, did not have a single break point and despite pushing Cilic hard in the first set, he lost the last four points of the tiebreak and never threatened a comeback.This is the final staging of the team competition in its current format before it changes next year. Croatia last won the competition in 2005. Cilic's victory meant the scheduled fifth match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Borna Coric was a dead rubber. Coric won his other singles rubber against Jeremy Chardy, while Cilic put Croatia 2-0 up by beating Tsonga.

Belgium win World Cup of Golf for first time

Belgium won the World Cup of Golf for the first time with Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry holding off Mexico and hosts Australia in Melbourne. The pair went into the final day with a five-shot lead and carded a four-under 68 in Sunday's alternate shot foursomes to win by three strokes on 23 under. Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter's 70 left the Englishmen eighth on 15 under. Australia, backed by a vociferous home crowd, started six shots adrift of the Belgians but had four birdies on the front nine and three more from the 12th on the back nine, including Cameron Smith holing a bunker shot on the 14th, lifted them to 20 under par. Belgium bogeyed the 15th to see their lead cut to two but Australia's charge stalled when Marc Leishman missed a four-foot birdie putt on the 16th and they finished with two more pars to sign for a 65. Mexico's Abraham Ancer, who won last week's Australian Open, was playing with Roberto Diaz and although the pair did not threaten the lead, three late birdies saw them close with a six-under 66 to join Australia in second. Defending champions Denmark were tied for fourth at 17 under par alongside Canada.

Gurney beats world No.1 van Gerwen to win Players Championship

Northern Ireland's Daryl Gurney has claimed the second major title of his career with victory over PDC world No.1 Michael van Gerwen at the darts Players Championship in Minehead. The Londonderry man claimed the 100,000 sterling first prize after sealing an 11-9 win in the final with a bullseye. The victory comes 13 months after Gurney's first major triumph at the World Grand Prix final. It is the first time Van Gerwen has tasted defeat at the event since 2014. World No.5 Gurney won the last three legs to end the Dutchman's remarkable run of success at the event.


For full reports on all the weekend sporting events go to:,,,,,

Calendar Keynotes: 26 November - 2 December 

Monday, 26 November

Football: English Premier League – Burnley v Newcastle, Spanish La Liga – Real Sociedad v Celta Vigo.

Tuesday, 27 November

Football: European Champions League, Group E – AEK Athens v Ajax, Bayern Munich v Benfica, Group F – Lyon v Manchester City, 1899 Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donesk, Group G – CSK Moscow v Viktoria Plzen, Roma v Real Madrid, Group H – Juventus v Valencia, Manchester United v Young Boys.

Wednesday, 28 November

Football: European Champions League, Group A – Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Group B – PSV Eindhoven v Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur v Inter Milan, Group C – Napoli v Red Star Belgrade, Paris Saint Germain v Liverpool, Group D – Lokomotiv Moscow v Galatasaray, FC Porto v FC Schalke 04.

Thursday, 29 November

Football: Europa League (major clubs) – Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Ludogorets Razgrad, Standard Liege v Sevilla, FC Jablonec v Rennes, Chelsea v PAOK Salonika, FC Red Bull Salzburg v RB Leipzig, Rosenborg v Celtic, Bordeaux v Slavia Prague, Zenit St Petersburg v FC Copenhagen, FK Qarabag v Sporting Lisbon, Vorksla Poltava v Arsenal, AC Milan v F91 Dudelange, Spartak Moscow v Rapid Vienna, Rangers v Villareal, Apollon Limassol v Lazio, Eintracht Frankfurt v Marseille.

Golf: USPGA Tour, Hero World Challenge, Albany GC, Bahamas (till 2 December), PGA European Tour, Australian PGA Championship, Royal Pines Resort GC, Gold Coast (till 2 December) 

Friday, 30 November

Rugby Union: Gallagher Premiership – Harlequins v Exeter.

Golf: USPGA Tour, Hero World Challenge, Albany GC, Bahamas (till 2 December), PGA European Tour, Australian PGA Championship, Royal Pines Resort GC, Gold Coast (till 2 December).

Cycling: Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup III, Berlin, Germany (till 2 December). 

Saturday, 1 December

Football: English Premier League – Manchester City v AFC Bournemouth, Southampton v Manchester United, Scottish Premiership – Kilmarnock v Hibernian, Livingston v Motherwell, French Ligue 1 – Lille v Lyon, Guingamp v Nice, Monaco v Montpellier, Nimes v Amiens, Spanish La Liga – Real Valladolid v Leganes, Getafe v Espanyol, Real Madrid v Valencia, Italian Serie A – Fiorentina v Juventus, German Bundesliga – Borussia Dortmund v FC Freiburg, Hannover 96 v Hertha Berlin, Werder Bremen v Bayern Munich, 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Schalke 04.

Rugby Union: Gallagher Premiership – Bristol v Leicester, Gloucester v Worcester, Northampton v Newcastle, Saracens v Wasps, French Top 14 – Montpellier v Clermont Auvergne, Castres v Agen, La Rochelle v Racing 92, Lyon v Pau, Toulon v Grenoble.

Golf: USPGA Tour, Hero World Challenge, Albany GC, Bahamas (till 2 December), PGA European Tour, Australian PGA Championship, Royal Pines Resort GC, Gold Coast (till 2 December).

Cycling: Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup III, Berlin, Germany (till 2 December).

Sunday, 2 December

Football: English Premier League – Chelsea v Fulham, Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool v Everton, Scottish League Cup Final – Celtic v Aberdeen, Scottish Premiership – Hearts v Rangers, French Ligue 1 – Toulouse v Dijon, Marseille v Reims, Bordeaux v Paris St Germain, Spanish La Liga – Girona v Atletico Madrid, Barcelona v Villareal, Alaves v Sevilla, Italian Serie A – AC Milan v Parma, Sassuolo v Udinese, Chievo v Lazio, Roma v Inter Milan, German Bundesliga – RB Leipzig v Borussia Monchengladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt v VfL Wolfsburg.

Rugby Union: Gallagher Premiership – Bath v Sale, French Top 14 – Perpignan v Bordeaux Begles, Toulouse v Stade Francais. :

Golf: USPGA Tour, Hero World Challenge, Albany GC, Bahamas (final day), PGA European Tour, Australian PGA Championship, Royal Pines Resort GC, Gold Coast (final day).

Cycling: Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup III, Berlin, Germany (final day).






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