first_imgWalshySAINTS GO MARCHING ONWhile the vast majority of seats in the stand at O’Donnell Park were occupied last Sunday afternoon, very few fans, if indeed any, would have been sitting on the edge of them.For this Ulster Club quarter-final was as straightforward as it possibly could get for a St. Eunan’s side who, right from the throw-in, were the dominant force, eliminating any element of excitement or thrills that might have been expected at this stage of the competition. Not that you can point the toe of blame at the Letterkenny outfit for this as Roslea started off like a team meaning business – that is, the business of somehow seeming almost oblivious to the occasion and the importance of it.As Maxi Curran’s men stuck to the task of attempting to find gaps behind the defensive cover of the Fermanagh champions, the visitors, though enjoying, if that’s the word, a reasonable amount of possession may as well have ventured next door to the Motor Show at the Aura complex for that opening half where they would at least have found a gear change.The half-time of score of 1-5 to zero points told its own story and while the green machine did outscore Eunan’s in the second they still didn’t look capable enough of catching their hosts who had already done enough – again thanks to the marksmanship of Conall Dunne – to book their place for next Sunday’s semi-final.And that’s where they will be really up against it – facing Omagh St. Enda’s who have disposed of ten times Ulster Champions and six times, All-Ireland club victors, Crossmaglen. We can be sure Eunan’s won’t be going in at half-time as comfortably as they did last Sunday and their opponents won’t be sitting with a big blank nought on the scoreboard either. This will be a much stiffer proposition to be sure and, yet, there’s a confidence about the Letterkenny men that suggests this could be their year after their previous disappointments in Ulster.I’m no betting man but….GOD SAVE THE INGRACIOUS McQUEENSomebody should take Gordon McQueen by the nose – forcibly if necessary – and lead him through Donegal’s past and particularly that part of it that forever links this county with his native Scotland.Take him on the Cairnryan to Larne ferry route and then on to Ireland’s North-West and down to The Rosses and through Gweedore – stopping in Letterkenny on route so some of us can provide him with a “horrible reception” – and all points besides. Indeed, he probably wouldn’t even have to leave the city of Glasgow to discover why it doesn’t necessarily follow that if you’re born in Scotland you cannot play for somebody else as he put it.The former Leeds and Manchester United defender can’t, of course, ask the late Paddy Coyle, born and reared in The Rosses – and grandfather of Ireland midfielder, James McCarthy – who was forced onto the emigration trail to Scotland like so many of his fellow country men and women.Or, indeed, the maternal grandparents of Aidan McGeady who themselves left Gweedore to take the boat and train to Glasgow in the hope of a better life.Or the father of former Republic ace, Ray Houghton – the latter recently revealing in a newspaper interview in ‘The Sunday Times’ that following the 1-0 win against the Scots at Hampden Park in February, 1987, that helped propelled Ireland to their first major Championships, a proud Seamus Houghton had many months later accompanied his son back to Donegal. “I took him back to Buncrana, the place he was born….He didn’t last much longer after that unfortunately. That was August, 1989 and he passed away in the December.”But this son of Donegal soil had lived to see his son’s heroics in the 1988 European Championships and while the younger Houghton might indeed have throw in his lot with Scotland had he been asked in time, he had thoroughly enjoyed his career in the green shirt.James McCarthy might not, as it happens, get the opportunity to lap up that “horrible reception” as urged by McQueen given that he is reportedly carrying a hamstring injury but McGeady will certainly be subjected to some Scottish bile raining down from the Celtic Park stands during Friday night’s qualifier.“I’ve got no time for these players,” McQueen insisted during the week.Just as Scotland had no time for them before the Republic came knocking on their doors and offered them a green shirt and a chance to represent the country of their grandparents.McQueen did refer to the likes of Bob Wilson and Bruce Rioch who, although birth natives of England, had represented Scotland and had always wanted to (in Wilson’s case it might have had something to do with the existence of Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence at the time).But he neglected to mention the handful of current members of the Scottish squad where were born outside the country including Shaun Maloney who arrived into this world in Malaysia.A bitter man our Gordon would appear to be – perhaps something to do with the fact that he lost his place in the Manchester United team to one Paul McGrath back in 1985.If he’s at Friday night’s match, no doubt he’ll be joining in the inevitable chorus that will specifically greet one or two members of the Irish team. Or maybe he’ll be watching it in his home in North Yorkshire in a different country from the one he was born in.DRINKING CLASSESSomething I keep noticing whenever I’m watching top level international or club rugby. Something you never, ever see at a Gaelic match or a soccer game. Something that would be frowned on if you did and, not just frowned on, but drawing the wrath of a large section of the population and the public pulpits groaning under the weight of condemnation of the authorities involved in these particular sports for allowing this to happen.How come, I keep asking myself, rugby supporters are allowed to swig down copious amounts of lager during matches while those following their Donegals or Finn Harps or Glasgow Celtics or Chelseas must wait until after – okay, often before – they indulge?It appears a completely different set of rules apply to the rugger fraternity  where the consumption of alcohol is concerned and where you can freely (although I imagine it wouldn’t be close to free if you were purchasing it at the Aviva Stadium) swivel your plastic glasses – I know, terrible isn’t it, they’re not allowed to use the actual glass ones – and hoist them into the air whenever a try is scored or the T.V. cameras catch sight of you on the big screen.SPRINGBOXEDYou’d still have to raise a glass or two to the Irish rugby team following their performance against South Africa, the second best team in the world. And had Ireland not conceded that late try they would have been elevated to the third slot in this elite table but let’s not quibble here.Nobody in the R.T.E. panel, least of all George Hook, and indeed nobody who knows anything about rugby would have given Joe Schmidt’s charges the remotest of hopes of springing a surprise in this one (not quite correct as, apparently, Alan Quinlan predicted a win for the Irish earlier in the week).One of the English publications even suggested that Ireland was now the best placed of the European teams to do the business at next year’s World Cup.Ah now, hold on there, isn’t it tradition that following such a performance we go and struggle against the likes of Georgia, this weekend’s opponents, and then Hook & Co. get back to what they know best, tearing shreds out of the green tops?DRUGS TESTLeague of Ireland and Leeds United fans of a certain vintage will undoubtedly remember former goalkeeper, Eddie van Boxtel – indeed he once saved an Eric Cantona penalty – but, sadly, he’ll now be remembered for all the wrong reasons.The 41 year old recently appeared before Kildare Circuit Court after being charged in connection with a 3.4 million euro cannabis seizure.The Dutch born custodian , who helped Dundalk to their last league title win in 1995 prior to this year’s success, had pleaded not guilty.Though when I say, sadly, I mean on behalf of all those families and individuals in this country who have been savaged and ravaged as a result of the drugs trade. Perhaps, even van Boxtel among them.PACKIE’S TEAMAnd here it is – our own Packie Bonner’s all-time World XI which I came across in a comprehensive listing of international footballers’ best ever teams:Pat Jennings; Danny McGrain; Bobby Moore; Paul McGrath; Paolo Maldini; Diego Maradona; Roy Keane; Johan Cruyff; Lionel Messi; Pele; and George Best.A handful of Irish in there as you’d expect and certainly a team whose attack would be as enticing as its defence.Though how Robbie Savage didn’t get in there is beyond me.MEDICAL OPINIONCommentating quote of the year from R.T.E.’s Ryle Nugent during Saturday’s live coverage of Ireland and South Africa at the Aviva Stadium after Peter O’Mahony went down with an injury:“If he didn’t have medical attention during a game, you’d think there was something wrong with him.”Huh?DUNNE IT IN ONE!Well, it has taken him precisely 78 years to do it but Michael Dunne has finally achieved the ambition of all golfers, amateur or professional – a hole-in-one.His historic achievement came on the tricky second at Dunfanaghy Golf Club last Saturday where he was partnered with fellow Letterkenny men, Don Sheridan and Pat Bonner.Of course, he might just have been keen to get the round over with as quickly as possible seeing as it was THEM he was paired with…!Either way, well Dunne Mick.WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY: SAINTS GO MARCHING ON – WHILE SOUTH AFRICA ARE SPRINGBOXED BY IRELAND was last modified: November 12th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:columnnewsPaddy WalshySportWednesdaylast_img read more

‘Audacious bid’ for Kalou

first_imgWest Ham have reportedly launched an audacious bid to sign Salomon Kalou on loan.The Daily Mail say the Hammers are hopeful of agreeing a deal with Chelsea, who are said to be closing on an £8m swoop for winger Kevin de Bruyne after lodging an improved bid with Genk.The Daily Mirror say Chelsea plan to sign de Bruyne and then loan him back to Genk for the rest of the season.Zamora is a target for QPR.The Mail also say that while remaining keen on Bobby Zamora, QPR boss Mark Hughes wants the striker’s Fulham team-mate Clint Dempsey and is weighing up a move for South Africa forward Katlego Mphela, 27, of Mamelodi Sundowns.It is also claimed that Hughes wants to take R’s youth product Raheem Stirling back to Loftus Road on loan but Liverpool are not keen.Sao Paulo striker Henrique could still join QPR despite being denied a work permit, according to the South American club’s vice-president Joao Lopes.“Both parties will meet again to try to come to an agreement,” the Brazilian media quoted Lopes as saying.Anton Ferdinand plans to ignore QPR’s order to shake John Terry’s hand before Saturday’s match against Chelsea and will not acknowledge the Blues captain, according to the Mirror.Finally, The Sun claim Paris St-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti is to sign Alex from Chelsea for £4m but will wait until the summer to raid his former club for Frank Lampard.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

What I Am Thinking About Now

first_imgSegmentation by Generation: Every generation looks at the next couple generations and decides that “these damn kids” are different, that they don’t share the same values, and that they’re making a mess of things. The Millennials all got awards at the end of soccer season, even when they lost. They don’t care about money, and they are never going to leave their parents’ houses. They’re way too open-minded. We’ll see. One thing is for certain, the generations before them won’t understand them. It’s a rite of passage. My bet is that they won’t be all that different, but they will feel the same way about their children and grandchildren.A Lot of Research Isn’t Useful. Yet.: I love it that we can do fMRI imaging of brains. I am certain there are great insights being discovered every day. But they are absolutely meaningless in practice. There is nothing neuroscience has taught us that is applicable when you are sitting in front of another human being that human evolution didn’t already provide. You want to know how to tell if someone is lying based on the latest brain research? You already know when someone is lying, don’t you? Your gut tells you. This will, however, change. We are going to figure out what we are figuring out, and it will be useful.It’s the Creative’s World (You’re Just Living In It): Everything that can be done by a robot or a computer eventually will be. That means the future is going to be owned–even more than it is now–by the creative class. The people who are going to be in greatest demand are people who can create, people with imaginations, people who can produce new works. Also, people who know how to work with their hands, craftsmen. Some of the first craftsmen are going to make individual works using new technologies, like 3D printing. You are going to pay for things that were not mass produced.Fragmentation: We used to have three television channels. Everyone had a common set of experiences because of that box. We had a few channels on FM Radio, and the powers-that-be (or powers-that-were, more accurately) used to determine what music we listened to. We had common experiences. Big stars were made. Now, everybody has access to the tools to create and distribute. This has resulted in serious fragmentation. We no longer share the cultural experiences that television, radio, movies and entertainment provided. There are no great acts.Polarization: More and more, people are being polarized by their political beliefs. The discourse is coarser. Things that should unite us divide us because the political parties and their staunchest supporters frame every issue with the sole intention of reaching some segment of the population they believe necessary by demonizing someone or something else. Politicians no longer stand for anything. Instead, they just oppose things. They don’t have a vision of their own. They just oppose the other side’s vision, which doesn’t really exist anyway.last_img read more

Ukraine effect works for Indian athletes

first_imgPeople were mocking at the slogan of ‘Incredible India’ for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. On Monday, at the Nehru Stadium, it was ‘Incredible Indians’ as the muscular women answering to the names of Krishna Poonia, Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil swept gold, silver and bronze in discus. When the Indian athletes registered below par timings and distances in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, there was a sense of outrage. Foreign exposure, foreign coaches and still nothing to show was what angered the athletics buffs at home.Two years later, when the Athletics Federation of India has its running battles with the sports ministry over annual affiliation because of certain formalities not being fulfilled, we have to celebrate the achievements of our track and field stars.Agreed, the much-hyped Tintu Luka, coached by P.T. Usha, ran a great 600 metres and then did badly in the last 200 metres and could not win a medal. But then, tonight every sports lover inside the Nehru Stadium was treated to incredible stuff from the incredible women.In the absence of world champion Dani Samuels of Australia, who pulled out of the CWG because of ‘health and safety reasons’, nobody would have thought the Indian troika were the favourites. In fact, expectations were that it would be possibly a fight between South Africa’s Elizna Naude and New Zealand’s Beatrice Faumuna.However, Krishna Poonia’s first effort of 61.51 metres was electrifying and what followed was a pure Indian assault. Coming back to what the Indians have been eating, it is no secret these athletes keep going to Ukraine – Kiev and Yalta – for periodic training.advertisementThey have said the atmosphere for training there is good and food is also quite nice. However, these reasons seem a bit strange as none can complain we can’t provide good food in India.Then again, unlike our Indian wrestlers, boxers and shooters who have been competing in the international arena in a big way, our track and field stars have been very selective in where they competed. In fact, the frequent trips to Ukraine had become a bit mysterious to those who follow athletics closely at home.The ‘Ukraine effect’ has worked wonders and perhaps people need to find out more about it so that other Indian athletes can also excel. Certainly, Indian boxing can do with some such help as the showing this time around has been lacklustre.last_img read more

Milaha Connects Qatar Iraq with Feeder Service

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Milaha Qatar-based maritime and logistics company Milaha has launched a direct container feeder service between Qatar and Iraq.The new service, which will be an expansion of the existing Qatar-Kuwait service that the company launched last year, will follow a Hamad Port-Umm Qasr (Iraq)-Shuwaikh (Kuwait)-Hamad Port rotation.It will initially be served by one vessel with a 1,015 TEU capacity and 110 reefer plugs.The service will have a transit time of 2 days, making it ideal for dry and refrigerated food stuff, consumer electronics, and construction materials, among other cargo, according to the company. The first vessel will depart from Hamad Port on May 7, 2018 and reach Umm Qasr Port on May 9, 2018.“This new service will contribute to the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, and will also help boost the growing trade and economic relations between Qatar and Iraq,” Milaha’s President and CEO Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai said.Since last year, the company has expanded into several new shipping routes and currently calls 2 ports in Oman, 3 ports in India, one port each in Kuwait, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, offering enhanced connectivity and transit times to Qatar and the region.Milaha earlier informed that it delivered a net profit of QAR 260 million in the first quarter of 2018, up from QAR 236 million posted in the same period a year earlier.The company’s operating revenues were up year-on-year as well standing at QAR 698 million in the first quarter of this year against last year’s equivalent of QAR 648 million.last_img read more

The AFC South May Get Good Again — But Not This Year

1996-97.2442011.125 8Rodney Peete1989DET7.58 Tennessee TitansThe Tennessee Titans had a big offseason, bolstering their offensive line by drafting tackle Jack Conklin (No. 8 overall) and signing center Ben Jones. They also added weapons in running back DeMarco Murray and wide receiver Rishard Matthews. They appear to be sort of going for it.All these moves hinge on Marcus Mariota. The rookie QB had one hell of a first game in 2015 and a solid season overall. His 7.6 yards per attempt is the seventh-best mark for a rookie QB since 1970. It wasn’t always so dire. Back in the late 2000s, Peyton Manning was still a Colt, the Tennessee Titans had a 13-win season, and even the Jacksonville Jaguars were pretty good. The AFC South was one of the best divisions in the NFL: 3Matt Ryan2008ATL7.93 How will your favorite NFL team do this year? See all of our predictions for the 2016 season » 9Jameis Winston2015TB7.56 SEASONSWIN %SEASONSWIN % At least those strength of schedule ranks look good — these bad teams get to play each other twice. RANKPLAYERSEASONTEAMYARDS PER ATTEMPT Best rookie QB seasons by yards per attempt, 1970-2015 1989-96 (D. Robinson era).6671998-2010 (P. Manning era).678 To go with our 2016 NFL predictions, FiveThirtyEight is previewing each division.The AFC South has been the punching bag of our NFL preseason previews. In 2015, we called it “perhaps the most imbalanced division in football,” and in 2014, we wrote that the division “can’t be any worse than it was last year.” (We were correct: The division won 25 games total, up from 24 the year before.)Going into 2016, the AFC South is still awful — awful enough that our Elo-based projections put the division’s best team — the Houston Texans — at just 8.3 wins for the season.1If you haven’t encountered them on our site before, Elo ratings are a measure of overall team strength that update after each game. 7Marcus Mariota2015TEN7.62 Source: Pro-football-reference.com, Basketball-reference.com 1Ben Roethlisberger2004PIT8.88 Since 2010, Manning’s final season playing for Indianapolis, the division has taken a nosedive. But the AFC South can still be saved. The NFC West was the worst division in football for five straight seasons, from 2006 through 2010, but in 2013, it was on top and one of the best of all time. Can the AFC South manage the same kind of revival?Houston TexansHouston’s defense — led by the extremely talented and extremely corny J.J. Watt — allowed just 19.6 points per game last season, tied for 7th in the NFL (and just a hair behind the Carolina Panthers at 19.3). Unfortunately, four quarterbacks made starts for Houston’s offense. That’s never a good sign, but it’s especially bad when those four quarterbacks are as dispensable as these guys:Brian Hoyer: Has played for New England, Arizona, Cleveland and Houston.Ryan Mallett: New England, Houston, Baltimore.T.J. Yates: Houston, Atlanta, Houston again.Brandon Weeden: Cleveland, Dallas, Houston.As a unit, these mediocre journeymen averaged just 6.6 yards per attempt, good for 29th in the NFL,2They did throw 28 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. Good work! while somehow still feeding DeAndre Hopkins enough (192 targets!) to have him finish third in NFL receiving yards. They were good enough for Houston to make the playoffs at 9-7, before being humiliated by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans will now put their offense in the hands of Brock Osweiler, a very tall man with seven career starts. He can’t be expected to dominate out of the gate, but some consistency would be nice. If he starts at least 13 games, he’ll be the first Houston QB to do so since 2012.Indianapolis ColtsThe mid-1990s San Antonio Spurs were masters of timing. After a solid stretch under David Robinson, San Antonio had a single terrible season at the perfect moment, capturing the consensus No. 1 draft pick. The Spurs then rode that pick — Tim Duncan — to a new era of even greater success.Through 2014, the Colts looked (to the untrained eye) like they’d pulled off the same trick. Peyton Manning’s absence in 2011 meant the Colts were terrible enough to draft his replacement, Andrew Luck: 10Jim Kelly1986BUF7.49 4Russell Wilson2012SEA7.93 2Robert Griffin2012WAS8.14 Minimum eight startsSource: pro-football-reference.com 1997-2016 (T. Duncan era).7102012-14 (A. Luck era).688 SPURSCOLTS 5Cam Newton2011CAR7.84 And then they hit a wall in 2015. The Colts went 8-8, but were lucky to have done so well. Over the course of the season, their -75 point differential was worse than that of the Baltimore Ravens and Jaguars, who both went 5-11. The Colts have been propped up by their division, going 20-4 against the AFC South over the last four seasons and 21-19 against everyone else. The Colts’ roster is weak once you look past the QB, and it’s suddenly not so clear that Luck is the next big thing.This offseason, the Colts added very little. It could still be enough to win the AFC South — we give them a 36 percent chance of doing that — but don’t expect much past that.Jacksonville JaguarsThe Jaguars have not had a lot of success recently. The last time they finished above .500 was in 2007, and the 2013 squad had a real shot at being the worst team in NFL history. At the Jaguars’ low point that season, Vegas set them as 28-point underdogs against the Denver Broncos.But in the past couple of years, the Jaguars, while still definitely bad, have become kind of exciting. In 2013, they listed draftee Denard Robinson’s position as “offensive weapon,” which was stupid, but in a fun way! In 2014, they had their biggest comeback ever, and in 2015, two Jaguars reached 1,000 yards receiving (after none did in the previous nine seasons). Jacksonville’s defense is still a disaster (31st in points allowed in 2015), but this has become a non-depressing team that lost close, watchable games.Add to all that one of the best draft classes in both 2015 and 2016, and the confidence of Jaguars fans may soon be rewarded: It once looked like the Colts were pulling a Spurs 6Dennis Shaw1970BUF7.81 There are a lot of great quarterbacks on that list, but a few flameouts as well. RGIII and Dennis Shaw never matched their rookie seasons, and Rodney Peete became a successful but unexceptional journeyman. The Titans are making a big bet that Mariota is the real deal. If he is, Tennessee could start contending sooner rather than later.VIDEO: How one spurned Rams fan found a new team read more

Milner – Liverpool need to learn from Arsenal draw

first_imgJames Milner says Liverpool’s draw at Arsenal should be “a learning curve” for the Reds after they conceded a late equalizer on Saturday.Milner opened the scoring just after the hour-mark, but Arsenal fought back and equalized thanks to a goal by Alexandre Lacazette just eight minutes before full time.Liverpool extends their unbeaten start to the Premier League season after drawing 2-2 at Stamford Bridge and goalless at home to Manchester City.“[We are] very disappointed really, which is a good thing I suppose, playing away at Arsenal,” Milner told Liverpoolfc.com.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“To be 1-0 up in the second half and not see it out, we are disappointed; with the chances we created, we should have scored a few more goals.“It’s pleasing we are creating those chances, but we could have been a bit more ruthless and maybe not put as much pressure on ourselves not to concede to win the game.“This draw is different to Chelsea, for example, so there are ups and downs and things that we can learn,” said Milner, who reached the milestone of 50 Premier League goals.“But you can see we are moving forward as a team and we are defending well together. Again, that’s another learning curve for us – to see those sorts of games out.”last_img read more