Cycling – Froome in control of the tour
German sprinters dominated the 15th stage of the Tour De France today. The stage was won by Andre Griepel who won his third stage of the tour in the French town of Valance.Compatriot John Degenklob came second. Chris Froom who took a big lead in the mountain stages of the Pyrenees earlier in the week has maintained a 3 minute lead over his nearest contenders and is now red hot favourite to win his second tour in three years, which would be a third British victory in four years if he is successful.
Froome’s control has not been without controversy however. Some of the French media have cast aspersions of doping against Team Sky, which includes Froome, Sir Dave Brailsford the team boss has even complained of equipment being stolen by those desperate to try and find something on the team. It should be said there is not a shred of serious evidence to back up the accusations and jealousy may be part of this as Brailsford as head of Team Sky and Previously the British Olympic Team has led many to unprecedented success. This blog believes in innocent until proven guilty, and does not believe the allegations.
Tennis – Britain makes first Semi since 1981
Great Britain defeated 2014 finalists France in their Davis Cup Quarter Final at Queen’s Club in London. The first singles went to plan as Gilles Simon defeated James Ward and Andy Murray beat Joe-Wilfred Tsonga in straight sets on the opening Friday. Captain Leon Smith decided to play Andy Murray alongside his brother Jamie in the doubles on the Saturday and this was where the crowd really got involved in the battle. Nicholas Mahut and Joe-Wilfred Tsonga won the first set but the Murray’s battled back to take the second and then win an epic third set tie-break to take control. They went on to win the third to take a 2-1 lead into the Sunday.
A very tired Andy Murray struggled early on against Gilles Simon with Simon winning the first set and going up a break in the second. However Murray fought back to win the second on the tie-break and going on to defeat his French opponent in four sets including a 6-0 victory in the fourth As Simon wilted towards the end. Britain will play Australia after they came back from 2-0 down in Darwin against Kazakhstan, Veteran Leyton Hewitt won the final rubber to secure a 3-2 win. elsewhere Belgium will face Argentina, Belgium beat Canada and Argentina got the better of Serbia who were without World Number 1 Novak Djokovic.
Cricket – Australia hit back thrashing England at Lords
Australia won a crucial toss on a very good batting wicket at Lords and made England pay by racking up a huge score. Steven Smith scored 215 and opener Rogers got 173. Broad was the only bowler who put up any fight taking four wickets as Austtralia declared on a score of 588. The England response under big scoreboard pressure began badly losing four wickets quickly before Captain Alaistair Cook and Ben Stokes recovered the position. Cook fell just short of a century with 96 and that failure for anyone to get a big score left England well over 200 behind from the first innings.
Australia decided not to enforce the follow on and smith got another half century as did David Warner who top scored with 83. Scoring at speed Australia added another 254 before declaring leaving England with an unlikely target of over 500. However the English batting line up collapsed, summed up by a ridiculous run out of Stokes. Broad top scored with a mere 25 as Johnson took three wickets and Australia bowled England out for 103 to level the Ashes series at 1-1 and take all the momentum into the third game in Birmingham in two weeks time.
Snooker – John Higgins wins the Australian Open
John Higgins has won his 27th ranking title in Bendigo, Australia beating Martin Gould in a final frame decider. The match was close throughout with the game locked at 4-4 at the mid interval and then 7-7 after Gould had come back from 7-4 down. Higgins took a scrappy frame to take an 8-7 lead but Gould hit back to level again and take the final into a final frame. Higgins took his first chance in that final frame with a break of 89 to take the title. With Higgins 13th on the ranking list, the win should help him retain a top 16 place with his first win since the Welsh Open in February.
Boxing – Two new champions crowned
In a big night of Boxing all around the world Puerto Rican Mcjoe Arroyo became the new IBF Super Flyweight champion in Texas defeating Arthur Villanueva of Mexico after the fight went to the scorecards after the referee called a halt to proceedings after a cut to the Mexican. Arroyo was comfortably ahead on all three cards. On the same card Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton recovered from two knock downs early to defeat Alenjandro Gonzalez Jr by a comfortable unanimous decision to defend his Super Bantamweight title.
Two Manchester fighters had differing fortunes as they got home town World Title fight opportunities at the MEN Arena in Manchester. Scott Quigg defended his version of the Super Bantamweight title knocking out Kiko Martinez of Spain in two rounds and a unification fight with Carl Frampton remains a possibility. Meanwhile Anthony Crolla took on Colombian Lightweight champion Darleys Perez. Many thought the challenger had done enough to win the fight, especially given Perez had two points deducted for low blows.However the judges delivered a verdict of a split decision draw meaning Perez retains his title. A rematch is certainly a possibility.
A grudge match was settled in Halle, Germany where veteran German based Armenian Arthur Abraham knocked out Richard Steiglitz in six rounds to defend his Super Middleweight title. There has been a long war of words going into the fight but Abraham gave a vintage performance kncoking his Russian opponent down in the fourth before finishing the job in the sixth. Finally In Macao, China Argentinian Cesar Cuenta was crowned the new IBF Light-Welterweight title. The belt was vacant and hometown favourite the unbeaten Ik Yang was out of his depth at world level. Cuenta knocked Ik Yang down in the first round and dominated the fight, winning an easy unanimous decision to take the title.
MOON OF LIBERTY SCOREBOARD
Tour De France (Reigning Champion Vincenzo Niebly)
Stage 15 – Mende to Valance
1st Andre Greipel (Germany)
2nd John Degenklob (Germany)
3rd Alexander Kristoff (Norway)
1st Chris Froome (GB)
2nd Nairo Quintana (Colombia) +3 Mins 10 Secs
3rd Teejay Van Garderen (USA) +3 Mins 32 Secs
At Queen’s Tennis Club, West Kensington, London
Davis Cup Quarter Final (Current David Cup Holders Switzerland)
Great Britain V France
Game 1 – G Simon Beat J Ward 3-0 (6-4, 6-4, 6-1)
Game 2 – A Murray Beat J-W Tsonga 3-0 (7-5, 7-6, 6-2)
Game 3 (Doubles) – A Murray & J Murray Beat N Mahut & J-W Tsonga 3-1 (4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-1)
Game 4 – A Murray Beat G Simon 3-1 (4-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-0)
Game 5 – Not Played by agreement
FINAL SCORE – Great Britain 3 France 1
At Lords Cricket Ground, ST John’s Wood, London
2nd Ashes Test (Current Ashes Holders Australia)
England V Australia
Australia 1st Inns – 588-8 Declared (Smith 215, Rogers 173, Broad 4-83)
England 1st Inns – 312 ALL OUT (Cook 96, Stokes 87 Johnson 3-53)
Australia 2nd Inns – 254-2 Declared (Warner 83, Smith 58)
England 2nd Inns – 103 ALL OUT (Broad 25, Johnson 3-27)
Australia win by 405 runs
MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MAN – Steven Smith (Australia)
Series Level at 1-1
At The Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester
WBA Super Bantamweight Title (Champion Scott Quigg)
Scott Quigg (England) Beat Kiko Martinez (Spain) by KO in Round 2
STILL WBA Super bantamweight Champion … Scot Quigg
WBA Lightweight Title (Champion Darleys Perez)
Darleys Perez (Colombia) drew with Anthony Crolla (England) after split decision (114-113, 111-116, 113-113)
STILL WBA Lightweight Champion … Darleys Perez
At The Don Haskins Convention Center, El Paso, Texas
IBF Super Bantamweight Title (Champion Carl Frampton)
Carl Frampton (N Ireland) Beat Alejandro Gonzalez Jr (Mexico) by Unanimous decision (116-108, 116-108, 115-109)
STILL IBF Super Bantamweight Champion … Carl Frampton
IBF Super Flyweight Title (Vacant)
McJoe Arroyo (Puerto Rico) Beat Arthur Villanueva (Philippines) by Unanimous decision (On Scorecards after fight stopped due to a cut after 10 rounds) (97-92, 98-91, 98-91)
NEW IBF Super Flyweight Champion … McJoe Arroyo
At The Gerry Webber Stadium, Halle, Germany
WBO Super Middleweight Title (Champion Arthur Abraham)
Arthur Abraham (Armenia) Beat Robert Stieglitz (Russia) by KO in Round 6
STILL WBO Super Middleweight champion … Arthur Abraham
At The Venetian Casino, Macao, China
IBF Light Welterweight Title (Vacant)
Cesar Cuenca (Argentina) Beat Ik Yang (China) By Unanimous Decision (117-108, 115-110, 116-109)
NEW IBF Light Welterweight Champion … Cesar Cuenca
At the Bendigo Stadium, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Austrlian Open Snooker Final (Best of 17) (Reigning Champion Judd Trump)
John Higgins (Scotland) 9 Martin Gould (England) 8
John Higgins Wins the Australian Open Snooker Title