Setting up in the West Midlands

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Motoring forward

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Duo confident of Euro qualification

first_img “It’s going to be tough but with the extra teams going through this time it’s got to be the best chance we’ve had for a long time. “It’s important we get off to a good start in the group. The other teams will be thinking of that as well, especially Greece, given that they were in the World Cup but they aren’t, with respect, a Spain or a Germany. “But you don’t get to the World Cup knockout stages without being a good side, so everyone expects them to qualify from the group. There is second and a play-off place up for grabs though. “This campaign is going to be big for everyone. I want to contribute and have a successful campaign but it’s down to improving results on the pitch.” Two of Northern Ireland’s biggest frustrations in recent years have been their poor form on the road and Brunt’s disappointing goals record – just one goal in 46 caps. A result against Hungary would quickly turn around the first of those issues, but Brunt warned his own search for a second goal may be one of the sacrifices along the way. “Of course you want to score more goals, but if you take away David Healy then you could probably say it’s a problem for most of us in the camp. “It’s a different responsibility at international level away from home. A lot of times away from home with Northern Ireland we’re under a lot of pressure, but we often defend really well and that can impact on us in an attacking sense. “If getting a result means more defending I’ll take it. It really doesn’t matter who scores though, even if (goalkeeper) Roy Carroll smacks one in.” For Hughes, this is the second qualifying campaign since he reversed his retirement. It is widely assumed it will also be his last but having called it a day once and changed his mind he is no longer willing to predict his future. “That question is always going to be around when you’re at the age I’m at, especially after making the U-turn a couple of years ago, but regardless of whether this was my second campaign or my last this is as good a chance as we’ve had in a long time. “I’m taking each game as it comes now and not looking past Sunday. “Look at the guy in the World Cup (43-year-old Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon), it’s always possible.” Northern Ireland stalwarts Aaron Hughes and Chris Brunt are cautiously optimistic of emerging from a “wide open” Euro 2016 group. The pair are among their country’s most experienced campaigners, sharing 136 caps and a combined 26 years of international football, but both are still searching for a first major tournament appearance. There are unlikely to be too many more chances, with Hughes 34 and Brunt approaching his 30th birthday, and the one in front of them is as enticing as they have experienced. There are no heavy-hitters in Group F – they start against Hungary on Sunday and also face Romania, Finland and the Faroe Islands – and the play-off on offer for the third-placed side seems an achievable aim. Hughes and Brunt have been around long enough to temper any undue enthusiasm with a shot of realism, but spirits remained high as they touched down in Budapest. “I think we can do it, but all the other teams will be saying the exact same thing,” said Hughes. “In our World Cup group a lot of people would have said Russia and Portugal will be the top two and the rest are fighting for order but it’s very hard to predict this one. “Greece are consistent and know what it takes to get through but everyone else on any given night can beat each other. “That throws the group wide open and we have to be confident we can do it.” West Brom captain Brunt echoed those sentiments, sensing a real chance to take Northern Ireland back to the big stage for the first time since the 1986 World Cup. “You’ve got to be confident going in,” said the midfielder. Press Associationlast_img read more

PBC Students Experience Connectivity Issues on First Day of Virtual School

first_imgPALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Monday is the first day back to school online from home for Palm Beach County students, and it has been plagued with connectivity issues.The county is starting school virtually this year due to the coronavirus, but some students are complaining they can’t log onto the digital portal.PBCSD officials say there was a connectivity issues that lasted six minutes Monday morning and should all be resolved now. It’s unknown how many students the outage affected.If students are still experiencing issues, officials suggest going to as a work around.Officials released a list of resources for Palm Beach County students and parents including IT help. You can find them here.last_img

Maharaj, Rabada bowl Proteas to big win

first_imgSOUTH AFRICA 1st innings 496 for 3 decl. (D. Elgar 199, H. Amla 137, A. Markram 97)BANGLADESH 1st innings 320 (M. Haque 77, Mahmudullah 66)SOUTH AFRICA 2nd innings 247 for 6 decl. (F. du Plessis 81, T. Bavuma 71)BANGLADESH 2nd innings (overnight 49-3; Target: 424 runs)Tamim Iqbal b M. Morkel 0Imrul Kayes c de Kock b Maharaj 32Mominul Haque lbw b M. Morkel 0Mushfiqur Rahim c Amla b Rabada 16Mahmudullah b Rabada 9Liton Das lbw b Rabada 4Sabbir Rahman lbw b Maharaj 4Mehidy Hasan not out 15Taskin Ahmed lbw b Maharaj 4Shafiul Islam run-out 2Mustafizur Rahman c & b Maharaj 1Extras: (b-1, nb-2) 3Total: (all out, 32.4 overs) 90Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-0, 3-49, 4-55, 5-62, 6-67, 7-67, 8-71, 9-75.Bowling:M. Morkel 5.2-2-19-2 (nb-1), K. Rabada 10-3-33-3 (nb-1), D. Olivier 5.4-1-12-0, K. Maharaj 10.4-1-25-4, A. Phehlukwayo 1-1-0-0. POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa (Reuters) – Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj ran through the Bangladesh batting order to lead South Africa to an emphatic 333-run victory in the first Test as the visitors capitulated meekly on the final morning yesterday.Resuming at Senwes Park on 49 for three and hoping to provide some stubborn resistance, Bangladesh were dismissed for just 90 with Rabada returning figures of 3-33 and Maharaj 4-25 as South Africa took the last seven wickets for 41 runs.Rabada claimed three quick wickets, starting with captain Mushfiqur Rahim, to more than fill the void left by the injury to fellow strike bowler Morne Morkel, who has been ruled out for six weeks with a side strain he suffered on Sunday.Hashim Amla took a sharp catch off Rabada in the third over of the morning to see Mushfiqur depart for 16, setting off a quick procession of batsmen. Mahmudullah was then bowled for nine and Liton Das next adjudged leg-before as he padded up to an inswinger from Rabada.Maharaj chipped in with two more lbws to leave Bangladesh on 73-8 at the first drinks break after just an hour’s play. Rabada then ran out Shafiul Islam, attempting an unnecessary third run, and Mustafizur Rahman was the last wicket to fall as Maharaj bagged a caught-and-bowled.Mehidy Hasan was the not-out batsman on 15. South Africa had scored 493-3 and 247-6, both declared, in their two innings, while Bangladesh responded with 320 in their first innings.The second Test starts in Bloemfontein on Friday, where a livelier pitch is expected after the track in Potchefstroom proved flat throughout the five days.last_img read more

Highly touted freshmen fill spotlight at Syracuse media day

first_img Published on January 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm Contact Jesse: | @dougherty_jesse John Desko rattled off three names like a 10-year-old kid opening a new pack of baseball cards.“Jordan Evans. Scott Firman. Parker Ferrigan.”The Syracuse head coach — entering his 16th season with the Orange — gave each name its own unique inflection. He was equal parts direct and enthusiastic, and underscored the short list with raised eyebrows.Then Desko explained his excitement moments later.“I think this is the best freshman class we’ve had in a while.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring Desko’s press conference at the start of lacrosse media day on Monday, Syracuse’s freshman class was continually woven into the conversation. Headlined by Evans — the No. 1 recruit in the nation — and rounded out by Firman, Ferrigan and 12 other freshmen, the Orange’s newest batch of players has impressed leading up to the season.Wading into the college landscape, the freshmen have worked hard and built on pre-existing relationships to catch the attention of their new coaches and teammates.“To hear Coach say that, it’s an honor with a program with a history like this,” Firman said. “The classes ahead of us, the sophomores, juniors and seniors, have a lot of talented players so I think it says a lot about the freshmen we have and how hard we work.”After discussing Syracuse’s move to the Atlantic Coast Conference and how the team will address its problems at the faceoff X, Evans was the first freshman that Desko discussed.A heralded recruit from Jamesville-Dewitt High School in nearby DeWitt, N.Y., Evans will wear the coveted No. 22, most recently worn by JoJo Marasco last season. In four high school seasons, he led the Rams to an 80-6 record and back-to-back New York Class B state championships in 2010 and 2011.But putting No. 22 and his high school accolades aside, he said Monday that all the freshmen are starting in the same position.“We have a really talented group coming in,” Evans said. “Just because I am going to wear a certain number doesn’t mean I’m ahead. We’re all working together to get on the field every day.”Firman, Evans’ high school teammate, was the next to come up. Evans and Firman played together even before high school, and both said that having the other has eased the transition into college.Desko praised Firman, who is listed as a long-stick midfielder, on the progress he has made defensively and likened Firman to his childhood friend Evans.“For all the success that Jordan Evans has had in the attack and in the midfield so far, Scott Firman has been equally successful defensively,” Desko said. “He’s really impressed me.”Then when Desko assessed SU’s goalkeeper situation regarding senior Dominic Lamolinara and junior Bobby Wardwell, he threw Ferrigan’s name into the mix.Ferrigan is a 5-foot-10 goalie, from C.W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville, N.Y., and Inside Lacrosse lists him as the No. 3 goalie in the freshman class, and the No. 39 overall prospect.Desko didn’t name a starting goalie at the press conference and hinted that Lamolinara and Wardwell are in competition. Ferrigan may not be the Orange’s netminder of the near future, but is preparing as if he is.“I’m just trying to do anything to help the team,” Ferrigan said. “I’m trying to learn all I can as quickly as I can, the guys around me are really talented.”As is typically the case, the exciting freshman class is surrounded by a lot of “ifs” and “buts”. Desko said that Evans is learning two positions — attack and midfield — and that takes time. Firman shamelessly admitted that arriving at Syracuse showed him how much he has to learn about the game. So did Ferrigan.They all said college is faster. That’s been tiring at times. That they have a lot of studying to.But senior captain Billy Ward, who was in the same position three years ago, has the utmost confidence that they’ll all live up to Desko’s lofty proclamation.“I remember when I first came and you’re playing on this turf with All-Americans and you wonder if you belong,” Ward said. “All of us older guys have been there.“But this group came in right away and have been asking questions and really working their butts off. They’re going to be special.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

SU’s platoon of Austin Fusco and Andrew Helmer rising in importance for postseason

first_imgSU head coach John Desko’s faith paid off on March 18 at Johns Hopkins. With 1:34 left in the game and JHU leading 7-6, Blue Jays star midfielder Joel Tinney dodged by SU long-stick midfielder Andrew Helmer and toward the net to seal his team’s victory. Helmer knew he was beat and used Tinney’s momentum against him, shoving him in the back. As Tinney stumbled, the ball rolled from his stick and into the back of the net. The referees waved off the goal because Tinney’s trip landed him inside the crease for a violation. The play likely saved Syracuse.That play from two months ago illustrates one of the best-case scenarios for SU’s defensive midfield. The ACC tournament loss to North Carolina where the defense allowed top-side dodges, one of the worst-case. And now, the Orange depends on LSM team Austin Fusco and Helmer to return to form and prevent an early exit.“They have both played very well,” Desko said. “… You pretty much have to play two poles in (Division I) lacrosse today, especially if we are sharing time with the other team. It’s an awful lot to have somebody play the whole game.”Therefore, the Helmer and Fusco tandem becomes a key cog for No. 2 seed Syracuse (12-2, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) in attempting to slow down Yale (10-5, 5-1 Ivy) in its first-round NCAA tournament matchup on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldogs are the seventh-best offensive team in the country, scoring more than 13 goals per game. That compounds problems for SU, because neither Helmer nor Fusco have been able to stop the defensive midfield’s recent struggles of allowing penetration off top-side dodges. The Orange must eliminate those mistakes, with Helmer and Fusco at the forefront, if the Orange hope to make a push to Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 2013.“Pretty good guys coming at you (on defense),” said Ric Beardsley, a four-time SU All-American defender and ESPN lacrosse analyst, of Fusco and Helmer. “But they have to stop giving up the top side dodges. … Usually the team with best defensive midfield goes the farthest in this modern game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEach bring a similar skillset to the position, evidenced by their caused turnover numbers — Helmer has seven and Fusco, six, both top-five on the team — but each go about their work in different ways. Fusco brings finesse while Helmer plays physical.Helmer, a redshirt freshman, plays with frenetic energy and is one of the team’s most athletic players, teammates said, and constantly remains lodged in offensive player’s hands. Fusco, a redshirt sophomore, is the quiet counterpart, who sometimes, goalie Evan Molloy said, needs a reminder to be more physical. Though, to Fusco’s testament, he has 31 ground balls this season, third on the team.“With Austin, it’s making sure he’s not too reserved,” Molloy said. “He might not want to make a mistake. He’s a great cover guy. I try to bring that out to him. Honestly with Helmer, it’s the complete opposite. I got to make sure Helmer’s ready for everything not just beating up his man. It really is like a fire-and-ice kind of thing.”The pair has appeared on the field together simultaneously a few times. Desko doesn’t like doing it, but will when SU needs to take the ball away and generate an opportunity late in games, or when both are on the wing and he’s moved a short stick down to close defense. The platoon works for Desko, and he’s deployed it regularly over at least the past decade. The one exception, to Molloy, was 2013 when Pete Macartney took most of the pole reps and the Orange moved former LSM Matt Harris down to close defense. Macartney was more athletic, like Helmer, Molloy said, and Harris more of a leader and all-around sound defender.Desko knew entering the season what he’d get from Fusco. Leadership, teammates said, is undoubtedly his best quality and Molloy said there’s “no doubt” he’s a future captain. Tyson Bomberry can’t remember which game, or what he said, but the feeling remains from a halftime speech Fusco delivered last year that fired up the team. Still, Fusco wasn’t happy with his production.“I can talk and communicate a little bit more with the defense and constantly not taking any plays off,” Fusco said on March 6 after SU’s only regular-season loss, to Army. “My effort needs to be 100 percent at all times.”Contrastingly, Helmer was more of an unknown. When asked on March 9 who the most improved player on his roster was, Desko immediately cited Helmer. He praised his athleticism and ability to not repeat the same mistakes he made as a freshman. He also shouted out teammates Jamie Trimboli, Peter Dearth and Nate Solomon. “But if I had to pick one,” he said, “I’d say Helmer.”“They bring different things,” Bomberry said, “and we need both of them for the playoffs.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 12, 2017 at 1:13 pm Contact Sam: | @Sam4TRlast_img read more

New Addition! Schweinsteiger And Wife Expecting Their First Child

first_imgGerman World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger and his wife, retired Tennis star Ana Ivanovic, are expecting their first child together.The former Bayern Munich and Manchester United midfielder revealed this via his official Twitter handle as follows: Schweinsteiger and Ivanovic had earlier tied the knot in Venice, Italy on July 12, 2016 having dated for 22 months.Bastian Schweinsteiger was part of the Germany team that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil while his wife is a former world number one. Relatedlast_img

WC Qualifier: England 1 – 1 Ukraine

first_imgFrank Lampard’s late penalty rescued a point for England in the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at Wembley.Yevgeni Konoplianka’s spectacular first-half strike gave a highly accomplished Ukraine side an advantage they protected until three minutes from time, when a prolonged spell of England pressure was finally rewarded.Substitute Danny Welbeck – who made an impressive impact after coming on – saw his effort blocked in the area by Yevgeni Khacheridi and Lampard scored with trademark composure from the spot. England then suffered the blow of seeing captain Steven Gerrard sent off for a second yellow card, ensuring he will miss the qualifier against San Marino at Wembley in October.The relief in the reaction of England manager Roy Hodgson was obvious as he accepted a point was the best his injury-and-illness hit team were going to get from a tough night’s work that was a far cry from the ease of the 5-0 win against Moldova in Chisinau on Friday.Ukraine dominated possession for long spells in the first half, although Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley wasted two clear chances to score and challenge the supremacy of Oleg Blokhin’s side. On this evidence Ukraine, beaten narrowly by England in Donetsk in Euro 2012, will be formidable opponents in this group but Hodgson and his players will ultimately be grateful to claim a draw from a game that looked to be slipping away from them until the closing stages.Ukraine’s robust approach was emphasised in the opening moments when a thunderous collision between Gerrard and Roman Zozulya left England’s captain limping heavily.The visitors were in no mood to take a backward step and they almost went ahead when Oleg Gusev’s deflected cross looped beyond the reach of England keeper Joe Hart but glanced to safety off an upright.England were struggling to exert any sort of influence in midfield but they thought they had made a breakthrough after 11 minutes when Defoe turned on the edge of the area and sent a crisp 20-yard strike past keeper Andrii Pyatov. There was only frustration to follow for the Tottenham striker, however, when Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir ruled he had delivered an illegal hand-off to Andriy Yarmolenko before letting fly. As Ukraine continued to threaten, it required a goal-line clearance from the well-positioned Gerrard, covering for Hart, to block Ruslan Rotan’s shot. Despite struggling to cope with the superior technique of Ukraine, England had openings as the half progressed – the best of which fell to Cleverley.He was guilty of wasting a perfect opportunity after Defoe knocked Gerrard’s cross into his path, shooting straight at Pyatov from point-blank range.It was to prove an expensive miss as Ukraine took the lead six minutes before the interval. Joleon Lescott conceded possession cheaply but there was no arguing with a magnificent finish from Konoplianka, bending a superb effort high past Hart from 25 yards despite Gerrard’s challenge.England needed a swift reply and once more the opportunities fell to Manchester United’s Cleverley. He was unable to take them, first miscuing a shot badly wide from a good position inside the box, before then striking the outside of the post from an angle.It was to be his last significant contribution as he was replaced by Old Trafford team-mate Welbeck just after the hour. Daniel Sturridge was then introduced for the subdued Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seconds after Glen Johnson was just off target. Welbeck came closest to giving England a route back into the game when he controlled the ball eight yards out but could only strike the woodwork, leaving Hodgson holding his head in sheer frustration on the touchline.The Manchester United striker had lifted England’s performance and he was the central figure again as their pressure finally bore fruit with that late equaliser. Yevgen Khacherdi handled as Welbeck once again threatened, leaving Lampard to score his 26th international goal – which equals Bryan Robson’s tally – with his usual expertise.There was still time for a setback for England as captain Gerrard, who had been shown a yellow card earlier for catching Rotan with an elbow, was sent off after a clumsy challenge on Denys Garmash.last_img read more