The sports wrap 27 November 2017


Team-mate Bottas denies Hamilton in season’s last F1 race.

The flying Finn Valtteri Bottas held off team-mate Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes cruised to a dominant one-two in the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. Hamilton, who won his fourth world championship two races before the end of the season appeared quicker in the second part of the race. But he could not get quite close enough to challenge for the lead in a fairly drab and largely action-free finale. Germany’s Sebastian Vettel was outclassed in third place to underline the anticlimatic way in which Ferrari have ended a season that had for so long promised so much. Hamilton and Vettel had both wanted to end this season with a victory, for different reasons – Hamilton to prevent his former title rival from winning the last two races; Vettel to give Ferrari a boost going into the off-season But Bottas, who has struggled for form in the second half of the season, drove a composed and impressive weekend, beating Hamilton to pole and controlling the race from the front. He completed F1’s grand slam with the fastest lap. Unlike in Brazil last time out, where he lost the race at the first corner after being passed by Vettel, Bottas made a strong start and imposed himself on the race from the first lap. Bottas had a 2.5-second lead when he made his only pit stop on lap 20. Hamilton stayed out for three further laps in an attempt to try to establish enough of a lead to rejoin the track in front but did not have enough pace.

Australia wrap up first Ashes Test with 10-wicket victory

Openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft easily wrapped up Australia’s 173-run chase on the final morning of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane to go 1-0 up in the five match series. The crushing 10-wicket victory maintained Australia’s unbeaten record at the Gabba ground and was highlighted by a magnificent 141 not out innings from captain Steven Smith which laid the foundation for the Australian victory. Smith was not surprisingly very excited by the win after the match had seemed in the balance on the first two days with England posting 302 after winning the toss. Smith’s innings was vital in Australia’s 328-run reply. “It’s great we’ve been able to keep our Gabba record. We played some really good cricket after losing the toss on what was a really good wicket.” said Smith who was named player of the match. Warner was 87 not out while Bancroft ended on an unbeaten 82 as England’s strike bowlers failed to make an impression. The second Test – a day/night match – starts in Adelaide on Saturday.

France beat Belgium to win Davis Cup in Lille

France won their 10th Davis Cup title as Lucas Pouille beat Belgium’s Steve Darcis in a deciding final match in Lille on Sunday. The hosts began the final day 2-1 up in the best-of-five tie, but David Goffin levelled for Belgium by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-2. World No.8 Pouille claimed victory for his country with an emphatic 6-3 6-1 6-0 win over an opponent ranked 76th. France’s first title since 2001 was celebrated wildly by the 27,000 crowd at the Pierre Mauroy stadium. “When Jo lost I was crazy in my head and I was like ‘go on, play your game, try to beat him’. This is a feeling from another world,” Pouille said. France had reached three finals since their previous Davis Cup success – losing in 2002, 2010 and 2014. Team captain Yannick Noah said victory was the conclusion of “a beautiful

Scotland crush Wallabies after first-half sending off

Scotland ran in eight tries to soundly thrash Australia 54-24 in a record defeat at Murrayfield on Saturday while world champions New Zealand made it a 30th consecutive win over Wales to end their autumn tour of Europe unbeaten. England also produced a try feast, scoring seven to beat Samoa 48-14 at Twickenham. The Scots completed a rare double by beating Australia for the second time in 2017 but their victory owed much to a moment of madness from Wallaby No3 Sekope Kepu who was shown a red card shortly before half-time when he lowered a shoulder into the face of Hamish Watson in a ruck. It proved a decisive turning point in a match that had been evenly contested for much of the first half. However, Scotland pulled away in the second half. In Cardiff, a clinical New Zealand defied overwhelming Welsh possession and territory to lead at half-time thanks to two tries by wing Waisake Naholo. Then two in six minutes for Anton Lienert-Brown and Rieko Ioane opened a 15-point gap. Wales scored through Scott Williams and Gareth Davies, but Ioane’s second touchdown ended a late fight-back. At Twickenham, England made it three wins out of three this autumn with another late flurry of tries against Samoa. Full-back Mike Brown and centre Alex Lozowski went over early on with Piula Faasalele replying for the visitors at Twickenham. Charlie Ewels added England’s third try but attacks frequently stalled because of errors and breakdown infringements. But Elliot Daly (two), Henry Slade and Semesa Rokoduguni crossed in the second half with Chris Vui scoring for Samoa. In the other weekend internationals, Ireland beat Argentina 28-19, France’s miserable autumn campaign continued with a 23-23 draw against Japan and South Africa easily beat Italy 35-6.

Exeter beat Saracens to stay top of Premiership

Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs stayed top of the league, edging a thriller to give European Champions Cup holders Saracens a first home league loss since March 2016. It took Moray Low’s late score to drag the Chiefs in front with just minutes left on the clock, after Ian Whitten’s try had given the visitors a foothold. Saracens, who remained second five points behind, had dominated up to that point, with first-half tries from Alex Goode and Schalk Brits. However, Marcelo Bosch’s penalty provided their only second-half points. Gareth Steenson’s reliable boot had kept Exeter in the contest before their late flurry. In the French Top 14, Montpellier Herault were soundly beaten 26-0 at Racing 92, who move up to fourth place on the ladder. A loss by high-flying Lyon, 17-9 at home to Stade Toulouse, meant that La Rochelle edged up to second place, only two points behind Montpellier after a convincing 44-14 victory over Section Paloise.

Man City remain unbeaten but battle to beat Huddersfield

Manchester City stayed eight points clear of city rivals Manchester United on Sunday with a battling 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town who set up a brick wall defence to resist the City forward tide. City went down to an own goal just before the break but hit back through a Sergio Aguero penalty and a late winner from Raheem Sterling. United beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 at home with an own goal after the break to stay three points clear of Chelsea who draw 1-1 against Liverpool at Anfield. Arsenal moved up to fourth place after a narrow 1-0 win through a controversial injury-time penalty at Burnley and are now ahead of arch North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur who could only manage a 1-1 home draw against lowly West Bromwich Alblon. In Scotland at Hampden Park, Brendan Rodgers became the first Celtic manager since Jock Stein to win four domestic trophies in a row as his side retained the Scottish League Cup by bating Motherwell 2-0,. Motherwell held their own until James Forrest curled an excellent shot into the far corner shortly after the break. Celtic’s Craig Gordon saved superbly from a Louis Moult header. But Well’s hopes ended when Cedric Kipre was controversially sent off for a brush with Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele rolled in the penalty kick.

PSG extend lead to nine points after beating Monaco

Neymar scored a penalty to help unbeaten Paris Saint-Germain extend their lead at the top of French Ligue 1 to nine points by beating last season’s champions AS Monaco 2-1 at the Stade Louis II on Sunday.The Brazil international struck from the spot in the second half after winning the penalty against Almamy Toure, adding to Edinson Cavani’s early goal and giving PSG a 2-0 lead. PSG had to hang on late, though, after Monaco loanee Kylian Mbappe deflected Joao Moutinho’s free-kick into the net. Lyon are second on the same points as Monaco after thrashing Nice 5-0. In the Spanish La Liga,. Barcelona’s Jordi Alba scored a stunning equaliser against former club Valencia to preserve his team’s unbeaten record and keep them four points clear of their opponents, who also remain unbeaten. Barca had a controversial goal denied when Lionel Messi’s shot squirmed through the gloves of Neto and over the line before the keeper scooped the ball out. The referee, who was outside the penalty area, waved play on. Rodrigo then stabbed Valencia ahead before Alba’s volley. Third-placed Atletico Madrid also remain unbeaten after a 5-0 thrashing away to Levante. In the Italian Serie A, table-topping Napoli kept their unbeaten record after winning 1-0 away to Udinese two points clear of Inter Milan who beat Caglairi 3,1. In the German Bundesliga, Bayern Munich stayed there points clear at the top despite losing 2-1 at Borussia Monchengladbach to end manager Jupp Heynckes’ 30-game unbeaten league run. They are Heynckes’ first dropped points since taking over in October following nine straight wins in all competitions. RB Leipzig stay second with a 2-0 home win over Werder Bremen. FC Schalke are third after fighting back to draw away to local rivals Borussia Dortmund after going 4-0 down. Defending champions Real Madrid are fourth.

England meet favourites Australia in RL World Cup Final

England will meet defending champions Australia in this Saturday’s Rugby League World Cup final but only after surviving a late assault by Tonga to win a dramatic semi-final 20-18. Earlier on Friday, Australia demolished Fiji 54-6 with their winger Valentine Holmes scoring a record six tries. Fiji had shocked New Zealand 4-2 in the quarter-finals but there was to be no repeat against the favourites who reached their 14th final. England had to survive an incredible Tonga fightback to reached their first World Cup final since 1995. Wayne Bennett’s side were leading 20-0 with seven minutes remaining after tries from star winger Jermaine McGillvary, Gareth Widdop and John Bateman. But Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tuimoala Lolohea crashed over at a sold-out Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland to set up a breathtaking finish. The English breathed a huge sight of relief when Andrew Fifita had a try ruled out in the final seconds of the match. Referee Matt Cecchin ruled that the prop had earlier lost the ball – and to the ire of the Tongans did not refer it to the video referee. The Pacific Islanders had come back from 16-2 down to beat New Zealand in the group stage, and backed by a vocal Tongan support so nearly engineered a comeback of epic proportions.

Cameron Davis wins Australian Open after Jason Day collapse

Cameron Davis stunned even himself by shooting a seven-under-par 64 to win the 102nd Australian Open in Sydney by a stroke on Sunday after overnight leader Jason Day’s title charge ended in a mid-round collapse. The little-known Australian holed out for an eagle from the fairway at the 12th and sank an eight-foot putt for his sixth birdie at the 18th to upstage not only compatriot Day, whose year ended winless, but defending champion Jordan Spieth. With five leading groups still playing when he signed for his 11-under 273, Davis was shocked that he had ended up with the Stonehaven Cup in his hands, A$225,000 ($171,270.00) in the bank and a spot at next year’s British Open. “I‘m a little bit numb at the moment, I just didn’t expect to be in this situation,” the 22-year-old told reporters. Matt Jones, the 2015 champion and member of the host Australian Golf Club, shared second with Swede Jonas Blixt after both shot 68s in a dramatic final round.

Wade Ormsby wins first European Tour title in Hong Kong

Australian Wade Ormsby won the Hong Kong Open to claim his first European Tour title at the 264th attempt, as Tommy Fleetwood finished two shots behind. Ormsby, 34, began a shot behind overnight leader SSP Chawrasia, but the Indian triple-bogeyed the ninth hole during a two-over-par 72. Americans Paul Peterson and Julian Suri, Swede Alexander Bjork and Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello ended 10 over par. English Race to Dubai winner Fleetwood carded a 69 to finish at nine under. Fleetwood made 16 pars and one birdie but was unable to close the gap at the top, while compatriot Justin Rose finished four shots off Ormsby’s 11-under total after a final round of 68. In a tense finish at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling, Cabrera-Bello birdied the 17th to go level with Ormsby, who had closed with a three-putt bogey on the final hole, and needed a par on the 18th to take the tournament to a play-off.

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

Calendar Keynotes: 27 November – 3 December

Monday, 27 November
Cricket: Australia v England, 1st Ashes Test, fifth day, Brisbane, India v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test , (Jamtha, Nagpur till 28 November)

Tuesday, 28 November
Football: English Premier League – Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Watford v Manchester United. Spanish Copa del Rey – Real Madrid v Fueniabrada (agg 2-0).
Cricket: India v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test , (Jamtha, Nagpur till 28 November)

Wednesday, 29 November
Football: English Premier League – Arsenal v Huddersfield Town, AFC Bournemouth v Burney, Chelsea v Swansea City, Manchsster City v Southampton, Stoke City v Liverpool. Scottish Premiership – Motherwell v Celtic, Rangers v Aberdeen. French Ligue 1 – Guingamp v Montpellier, Nantes v Monaco, Toulouse v Nice, Paris Saint Germain v Troyes. Spanish Copa del Rey – Barcelona v Murcia (agg 3-0), Savilla v Cartagena (agg 3-0), Atletico Madrid v Elche (agg 1-1).

Thursday, 30 November
Football; Spanish Copa del Rey – Valencia v Real Zaragoza (agg 2-0), Villareal v Ponferradina (agg 0-1).
Cricket: New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Wellington (till 4 December)
Golf: PGA European tour, Australian PGA Championship, RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland (till 3 December). USPGA Tour, Hero World Challenge, Albany GC, Bahamas (till 3 December)

Friday, 1 December
Football: Italian Serie A – Roma v SPAL, Napoli v Juventus.
Rugby Union: Aviva Premiership – Northampton v Newcastle
Golf: PGA European tour, Australian PGA Championship, RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland (till 3 December). USPGA Tour, Hero World Challenge, Albany GC, Bahamas (till 3 December)
Cricket: New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Wellington (till 4 December)

Saturday, 2 December
Football: English Premier League -.Chelsea v Newcastle, Brighton & Hove Albion v Liverpool, Watford v Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal v Manchester United. Scottish Premiership – Celtic v Mothewell. French Ligue 1 -. Strasbourg v Paris Saint Germain, Lille v Toulouse, Monaco v Angers, Spanish La Liga – Barcelona v Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad, Sevilla v Deportivo La Coruna, Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid. Italian Serie A – German Bundesliga – Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich v Hannover 96, 1899 Hoffenheim v RB Leipzig, FC Schalke 04 v FC Koln.
Rugby Union: international – Wales v South Africa. Aviva Premiership – Exeter v Bath, Gloucester v London Irish. Wasps v Leicester. French Top 14 – La Rochelle v Montpellier Herault, Toulon v Lyon.
Rugby League: World Cup final – Australia v England, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
Golf: PGA European tour, Australian PGA Championship, RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland (till 3 December). USPGA Tour, Hero World Challenge, Albany GC, Bahamas (till 3 December).
Cricket: Australia v England, 2nd Ashes Test, Adelaide (till 6 December), New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Wellington (till 4 December), India v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Delhi (till 6 December).

Sunday, 3 December
Football: English Premier League – Manchester City v west Ham United. Scottish Premiership – Aberdeen v Rangers. French Ligue 1 – Saint-Etienne v Nantes, Caen v Lyon, Montpellier v Marseille. Spanish La Liga -. Leganes v Villareal, Getafe v Valencia. Italian Serie A – Benevento v AC Milan, Inter Milan v Chievo, Sampdoria v Lazio.
Rugby Union: Aviva Premiership -. Harlequins v Saracens. French Top 14 – Clermont Auvergne v SU Agen Lot-et-Garonne, Stade Francais v Racing 92.
Cricket: Australia v England, 2nd Ashes Test, Adelaide (till 6 December), New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Wellington (till 4 December), India v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Delhi (till 6 December).
Golf: PGA European tour, Australian PGA Championship, RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland (till 3 December). USPGA Tour, Hero World Challenge, Albany GC, Bahamas (till 3 December)