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The sports wrap 6th August 2018

LanguedocLiving, Aug 5

Catalans reach Challenge Cup Final after famous victory over St Helens.

Catalans Dragons reached the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final after a sensational 35-16 semi-final victory over the runaway Super League leaders St Helens at Bolton on Sunday. The Perpignan-based rank outsiders and only French top-tier club were 27-0 ahead at half-time and defended their lead after the interval despite a St Helens comeback. Lewis Tierney ran in at the corner to open Catalans' try-scoring account after Australian Josh Drinkwater's early penalty. Ben Garcia scored two tries either side of man-of-the-match Tony Gigot's score as Catalans opened up an unassailable lead. Mark Percival and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook crossed for St Helens after the interval but Sam Moa's try wrapped up a sensational win for Catalans, who will play Warrington Wolves on 25 August after they defeated Leeds Rhinos 48-12 in the other semi-final. Catalans' shock win means they will appear in the final for the first time since a 30-8 loss to Saints in 2007. Saints' defeat in Bolton means they have fallen at the penultimate hurdle of the competition for the fifth time since their last final appearance in 2008. The win by the Catalans, who are coached by ex-England boss Steve McNamara, underlines their change in fortunes in 2018, having initially started the campaign disastrously. Their Super League form improved, however, as they sealed a place in the Super 8 with an outside shot of a play-off spot. St Helens' frustrations showed before half-time as the Catalans ran wild with Morgan Knowles catching Kenny Edwards with a shot to the neck and getting 10 minutes in the sin-bin. Catalans took full advantage of their extra man as Garcia and Gigot both crossed over to open up a sizeable lead on their opponents by half-time. Saints' talisman, Australian full-back Ben Barba, had an uncharacteristically quiet match, and they left their comeback too late. Catalans’ coach McNamara was ecstatic: “It's incredible for the club. Last year we were in the Million Pound Game (for Super League survival) and this year we're at Wembley. It's been a fantastic turnaround and the players have worked extremely hard… Getting to the final will mean a lot for French rugby league.”

Aguero scores twice as Man City beat Chelsea to win Community Shield

Sergio Aguero scored both Manchester City's goals as the Premier League champions beat FA Cup winners Chelsea 2-0 to win the Community Shield on a sweltering day at Wembley on Sunday. Aguero's first - his 200th for the club - came after 13 minutes, when he collected the ball on the edge of the area after Phil Foden surged forward and fired into the bottom corner. His second came after the break, when he latched on to Bernardo Silva's pass and beat Willy Caballero with another precise low finish. Chelsea, who are less than a month into Maurizio Sarri's reign as manager, lacked a presence in attack and managed only one shot on target, a long-range strike by 17-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi which Claudio Bravo fumbled to safety. Some of their lethargy going forward could be put down to the heat, which made it difficult for both sides to sustain any sort of tempo. Players were allowed water breaks during the game and some City players sitting on the bench had wet towels over their heads to try to protect them from the intensity of the sunshine. Sarri was without his best forward player, with Eden Hazard due back for post-World Cup pre-season training on Monday amid speculation Real Madrid want to sign him. City, who won last year's title by 19 points, were also without some of their stars, with Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and David Silva all absent. But they produced a controlled and efficient performance to secure their third piece of silverware in the past six months. The worry for the rest of the Premier League is they have the appetite for more. In Shenzhen, China, Neymar came on as a late substitute for Ligue 1 champions Paris St-Germain as his side beat Monaco 4-0 in the French Super Cup. The match in China was the Brazilian's first game since the World Cup and first for PSG since February when he suffered a foot injury. Neymar came on after 75 minutes in a game between the French Ligue 1 winners and the country's Cup holders. Angel Di Maria scored twice while Christopher Nkunku and Timothy Weah got the other PSG goals. In front of a 41,237 crowd at the stadium in Shenzhen, Argentine Di Maria broke the deadlock with a free-kick after 32 minutes before Nkunku and Weah - the son of ex-PSG and AC Milan forward and Liberia president George - struck. PSG's new manager Thomas Tuchel then brought on Neymar before Di Maria scored in injury time to seal a dominant victory and give the league champions their eighth French Super Cup win.

England beat India in thrilling finale to 1st Test at Edgbaston

England held their nerve to complete a tense 31-run victory over India on an enthralling fourth morning of the first Test at Edgbaston on Saturday. India, resuming on 110 for five wickets in pursuit of 194, were bowled out for 162 as tension mounted among an increasingly raucous crowd. James Anderson removed Dinesh Karthik with the sixth ball of the day before Ben Stokes produced a brilliant over to dismiss captain Virat Kohli for 51 and Mohammed Shami for a duck. The all-rounder sealed victory by having Hardik Pandya caught at first slip to finish with four for 40. Joe Root's bowling changes paid off: Stokes struck twice in his first over, and recalled leg-spinner Adil Rashid trapped Ishant Sharma lbw in his first over. Stokes in particular bowled with aggression and intelligence but he is set to miss the second Test at Lord's as his court case for affray begins in Bristol on Monday. While India came up short, their performance was a far cry from their dismal tour four years ago and bodes well for the remainder of what promises to be a keenly contested five-Test series. The second Test start on Thursday at Lord’s.

Netherlands end Ireland fairytale to win Women’s Hockey World Cup

Netherlands have been crowned Women’s Hockey World Cup winners for a record eighth time after a crushing 6-0 win ended Ireland's fairytale tournament on Sunday at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Four goals in a seven-minute spell around the half-time break earned the Dutch an emphatic victory. Lowly ranked Ireland had won new fans on their unlikely road to the final but found no answer to their opponents' intensity. Despite the defeat, Ireland are expected to climb up to 10th in the world rankings for the first time. Lidewij Welten, Kelly Jonker, Kitty van Male, Malou Pheninckx, Marloes Keetels and Caia van Maasakker all scored for the Dutch, who have extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 32 matches.Ireland coach Graham Shaw's side found the relentless pressing of the European champions too difficult to withstand as they fell behind after just seven minutes.The impressive Welten picked up the ball inside a crowded circle and cleverly rolled her marker before unleashing a powerful reverse shot that flew past goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran. Netherlands doubled their advantage in the 19th minute after McFerran made a superb kick-save but Jonker pounced on the rebound to score. Roisin Upton made a brilliant goal-line clearance to keep Irish hopes alive but the Dutch found an extra gear as half time loomed with van Male and Pheninckx scoring within a two-minute spell to push their team four goals clear. The goals continued to flow at the start of the third period as Keetels prodded home from close range after a good run by player of the tournament, Weltens. The final goal came in the 34th minute when van Maasakker's superb flick from yet another penalty corner flew past McFerran and in off the post.

Justin Thomas win WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio

American Justin Thomas prepared for his defence of the US PGA Championship title with a four-shot victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio on Sunday. Thomas led Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter by three shots overnight, and the Northern Irishman and Englishman tailed off in the final round. Northern Irishman McIlroy ended in tied sixth place after a three-over-par 73, while England’s Poulter was tied 10th after a four-over 74. Thomas finished on 15 under after a one-under 69 on the final day. "It feels awesome," he said. "I did not hit the ball as well today but we had so much control and I had a very clean card at the end.” Fellow American Kyle Stanley finished second on 11 under, with Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and American Dustin Johnson a further shot behind in tied third. The US PGA Championship - the final major of the year - begins on Thursday.

England’s Hall wins first major title at the Women’s British Open

England's Georgia Hall won her first major title with a two-shot victory at the Women's British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes on Sunday. The 22-year-old is only the third British winner since the event became a major championship in 2001. Trailing Pornanong Phatlum by a shot overnight, Hall moved clear of the Thai with two holes remaining, and held her nerve on 17 and 18 to secure victory. Hall finished on 17 under, having picked up five shots on the final day. It was her third bogey-free round of the tournament, and she dropped just two shots during day three. Hall, from Bournemouth, joined Phatlum at the top of the leaderboard after the 13th, and holed a 20ft putt on the 16th to take the lead for the first time. Victory meant the 2013 British ladies' amateur champion emulated compatriot Karen Stupples (2004) and Scot Catriona Matthew (2009), the other two British winners since this event became a major. Of the other British participants, England's Bronte Law finished tied 39th on level par, Matthew was a shot worse off in tied 42nd, and Wales' Lydia Hall ended in tied 55th on six over.

Alexander Zverev beats Australian teenager to win Citi Open title

Germany’s Alexander Zverev beat Australian teenager Alex de Minaur 6-2 6-4 to defend his Citi Open title in Washington on Sunday. Zverev’s serve played a big role in the victory, his third of the year, as the world number three won all but two of his first-serve points in the final, which lasted 74 minutes. The 21-year-old German, now winner of nine career victories, became the tournament’s first repeat champion since Argentine Juan Martin del Potro prevailed in 2008-09. An obviously struggling De Minaur dropped the opening four games of the first set, but fought back in second. The Australian drew the crowd’s applause when he hit an inside-in winner to hold for 3-4, after saving three break points to avoid a double-break deficit. He saved two match points on his own serve at 3-5 but Zverev clinched the victory when De Minaur hit a backhand into the net in the next game. Although beaten, De Minaur, once ranked 208 in the world, will soar into the top 50 for the first time when the new rankings are produced on Monday, rising 27 spots to number 45.

Laura Kenny wins second gold at European Championships

Britain's Laura Kenny won her second gold medal of the European Championships in Glasgow with victory in the women's elimination race. Germany's Anna Knauer and Russia's Evgenia Augustinas won silver and bronze respectively as Kenny secured her 12th European title. The four-time Olympic champion, 26, won gold as part of Britain’s team pursuit quartet on Friday. "To be honest, I didn't feel good out there," she told BBC Sport. "It was much faster at the beginning than I expected it to be. Before I came into it I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it because it's been a year since I raced one of these and I was so nervous before it. Kenny returned to racing earlier this year having taken time out after Rio 2016 to start a family with husband and fellow multiple Olympic champion Jason Kenny. She gave birth to their son, Albie, in August 2017. Kenny will go for a third gold medal on Tuesday when she teams up with Katie Archibald in the madison. Archibald won team pursuit gold with Kenny on Friday, and took silver in the individual pursuit on Saturday.

Dovizioso wins Czech MotoGP but Marquez stretches championship lead

Italian Andrea Dovizioso won a Czech Grand Prix thriller in a Ducati one-two on Sunday while Honda’s Marc Marquez finished third in his 100th MotoGP race to stretch his championship lead to 49 points. Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo was second, holding off compatriot and future team mate Marquez to the line. Four-times MotoGP champion Marquez now has 181 points after 10 races while Italian great Valentino Rossi, who finished fourth for Yamaha after passing Britain’s Cal Crutchlow at the final corner, has 132. Dovizioso moves up to third on 113. Dovizioso led from pole position in a slow-burning race that turned into a wheel-to-wheel thriller, with riders looking to save tyres early on and wary of the threat of rain before setting caution aside.The top three were split by just 0.368 of a second at the chequered flag. “What a weekend. I expected to be fast but not like this,” said Dovizioso after his second victory of the season. Rossi led at the start from second on the grid but Dovizioso was soon back in front and the field ran close together through the early laps with the two Italians trading places without either breaking away. Six riders settled into a tight leading group after 10 laps but it was still anyone’s guess who might end up as race winner, with Lorenzo out of the podium places.

Peaty and Kolesnikov break world records at inaugural Glasgow Euros

Britain’s Adam Peaty and Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov made it a landmark night at the inaugural multi-sport European Championships when the two swimming prodigies broke world records to strike gold in the space of just over an hour on Saturday. Peaty added more lustre to his reputation as perhaps the world’s most dominant swimmer when he smashed his own 100m breaststroke mark in 57.00 seconds en route to his 17th major gold medal. The 23-year-old knocked 0.13 seconds off his own record set at the 2016 Rio Olympics - the fourth time he has set a new mark in the discipline in which he has been unbeaten for four years. Russian teenager Kolesnikov then followed up the home favourite’s heroics by setting a new 50m backstroke mark while winning his first major individual title at senior level just a month after his 18th birthday. He clocked 24.00 seconds to take 0.04 seconds off the record set by Britain’s Liam Tancock at the world championships in Rome in 2009. “It’s incredible. I wasn’t targeting the record at all,” said Olympic champion Peaty after winning his ninth European long course title.

Gmelin and Borch win gold at European rowing championships

Switzerland’s Jeannine Gmelin and Norway’s Kjetil Borch landed the blue riband single sculls titles at the European Championships in Glasgow on Sunday as their respective countries enjoyed a superb final day of the regatta. World champion Gmelin proved again why she is the fastest woman on the water, powering to another emphatic victory just 75 minutes after compatriot Michael Schmid had won the lightweight men’s single sculls. The Norwegian teams had already celebrated a victory for Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli in the lightweight men’s double sculls when Borch rowed to his major singles title after enjoying previous world championship glory in a double. Gmelin, who has become the dominant force in the gladitorial world of single sculling, lifted the world title last year and has continued her magnificent form in an unbeaten 2018 season. The 28-year-old was again in a different class to her rivals, winning by 1.47 seconds from Austrian Magdalena Lobnig. In the regatta’s final race, always a highlight of the programme, world champions Germany took the men’s eights title to become the 11th country to strike gold over the two days of rowing finals at Stathclyde Country Park just outside Glasgow. Romania topped the rowing medal table with seven, including three golds while Switzerland, Norway, Italy and France ended with two golds apiece.

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

http://www.bbc.com/sport, http://www.espn.com, http://www.lequipe.fr, http://www.reuters.com/news/sports, www.skysports.com, www.eurosport.fr.

Calendar Keynotes: 6-12 August

Monday, 6 August

Tennis: ATP & WTA Rogers Cup, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (till 12 August).

Multi-sports: Inaugural European Championships, Glasgow and Berlin – athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, triathlon, golf and gymnastics (till 12 August).

Tuesday, 7 August

Tennis: ATP & WTA Rogers Cup, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (till 12 August).

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Pologne, Poland (till 10 August), UCI Europe Tour – Vuelta a Burgos (till 11 August)

Multi-sports: Inaugural European Championships, Glasgow and Berlin – athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, triathlon, golf and gymnastics (till 12 August). 

Wednesday, 8 August

Football: Champions League, third qualifying round – Celtic v AEK Athens.

Tennis: ATP & WTA Rogers Cup, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (till 12 August).

PGA Championship, Bellerive CC, St Louis, Missouri, US (till 12 August).

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Pologne, Poland (till 10 August), UCI Europe Tour – Vuelta a Burgos (till 11 August)

Multi-sports: Inaugural European Championships, Glasgow and Berlin – athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, triathlon, golf and gymnastics (till 12 August). 

Thursday, 9 August

Cricket: England v India 2nd Test, Lord’s, London (till 13 August) – England lead 1-0.

Tennis: ATP & WTA Rogers Cup, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (till 12 August).

Golf: PGA Championship, Bellerive CC, St Louis, Missouri, US (till 12 August).

Rugby League: The Super 8s qualifiers – Widnes Vikings v London Broncos.

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Pologne, Poland (till 10 August), UCI Europe Tour – Vuelta a Burgos (till 11 August)

Multi-sports: Inaugural European Championships, Glasgow and Berlin – athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, triathlon, golf and gymnastics (till 12 August).

Friday, 10 August

Football: English Premier League – Manchester United v Leicester City.

Cricket: England v India 2nd Test, Lord’s, London (till 13 August) – England lead 1-0.

Tennis: ATP & WTA Rogers Cup, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (till 12 August).

Golf: PGA Championship, Bellerive CC, St Louis, Missouri, US (till 12 August).

Rugby League: The Super 8s – Hull FC v Wakefield Trinity, St Helens v Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves v Catalans Dragons, Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers, Super 8s qualifiers – Hull KR v Salford Red Devils.

Cycling: UCI World Tour – Tour de Pologne, Poland (final day), UCI Europe Tour – Vuelta a Burgos (till 11 August)

Motorcycling: MotoGP, Round 11, Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (till 12 August).

Multi-sports: Inaugural European Championships, Glasgow and Berlin – athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, triathlon, golf and gymnastics (till 12 August).

Saturday, 11 August

Football: English Premier League – Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur, Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, Scottish Premiership – Hearts v Celtic, French Ligue 1 – Nantes v Monaco, Montpellier v Dijon, Nice v Reims,

Cricket: England v India 2nd Test, Lord’s, London (till 13 August) – England lead 1-0.

Tennis: ATP & WTA Rogers Cup, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (till 12 August).

Golf: PGA Championship, Bellerive CC, St Louis, Missouri, US (till 12 August).

Rugby League: Super 8s qualifiers – Leeds Rhinos v Toulouse.

Cycling: UCI World Tour – UCI Europe Tour – Vuelta a Burgos (final day)

Motorcycling: MotoGP, Round 11, Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (till 12 August).

Multi-sports: Inaugural European Championships, Glasgow and Berlin – athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, triathlon, golf and gymnastics (till 12 August). 

Sunday, 12 August

Football: English Premier League – Liverpool v West Ham United, Arsenal v Manchester City, Scottish Premiership – Rangers v St Mirren, French Ligue 1 – Lyon v Amiens, Bordeaux v Strasbourg, Paris St Germain v Caen.

Rugby League: Super 8s qualifiers – Halifax v Toronto Wolfpack.

Cricket: England v India 2nd Test, Lord’s, London (till 13 August) – England lead 1-0.

Tennis: ATP & WTA Rogers Cup, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (till 12 August).

Golf: PGA Championship, Bellerive CC, St Louis, Missouri, US (final day).

Motorcycling: MotoGP, Round 11, Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (race day).

Multi-sports: Inaugural European Championships, Glasgow and Berlin – athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, triathlon, golf and gymnastics (final day).

 

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