Blues win after horror injury

first_imgOxford 1Royal Navy 0Blue was the colour as Oxford met the Navy at Iffley Road on Monday. Only the sky, a pale grey pall, failed to turn a matching shade, as swirling rain and a breezy wind joined force to inhibit Oxford’s passing game, though the home side eventually triumphed with a 1-0 win.Just five days earlier, the season opener against Loughborough III had fallen decidedly flat as the game was abandoned after five minutes. If expectation and hope were the predominant emotions for the Blues at the start of the Loughborough match then these were soon replaced with expectation and hope of a very different kind with players crossing their fingers for their injured team mate, James Perkins. As the ball broke outside the area, Perkins stretched for the first real tackle of the game. It seemed an innocuous tussle and play continued as a Loughborough attacker lashed a sumptuous drive which inched the wrong side of the post for a goal kick. But that goal kick was never taken as, immediately, both team benches jumped up and hollered for an ambulance. Perkins had broken his leg in what was a morose ending to a promising match. Rustiness turned to well-oiled, lamb to lion as the Oxford beast was woken from its slumber. Aided by the gale, Simon Jalie curled a well-worked free kick over the bar, and then bulleted a shot against the opposing keeper when put through one-on-one. Routine balls over the top were turned into lethal opportunities as the soddened turf favoured the mental and physical speed of the home attack. One might have thought that the Navy would be adept at watery situations. Yet they were more barnacle than good ship as they just about managed to hold out until the break. But on 47 minutes their defence was breached. A break down the left saw Luther Sullivan slide through a simple cross for the onrushing Vince Vitale, who evaded the all-at-sea defence and slotted into the empty net. A simple goal, almost matched seconds later when the omnipresent Vitale crossed for Joel Lazarus, who thrashed a fierce drive wide. Oxford were looking comfortable, the defence in particular excelling. The wiry James Doree ranged up and down the left flank, Owen Price was superb in the air, and the team was well marshalled at the back by the pairing of Captain Jack Hazzard and Paul Rainford. The five coaches of the mariners decided to make a change, bringing on the aptly named duo of Major and Salt. With the wind in their favour they pushed back the Oxford defensive line, and only a lack of polish on their final ball stopped them from getting back into the game. Referee Taylor turned down what seemed a legitimate penalty as the Navy’s Hirst was felled after a corner. A closer escape was to follow for Oxford as their opponents had a goal ruled out when Navy captain Thomas needlessly nodded in a goalbound shot from an offside position. Oxford clung on for a win that was, on balance, deserved. With their naval foe dispatched and Perkins’ injury partly exorcised, the Blues can look forward to the rest of the season with confidence and relish.After the match, Hazzard said he was “pleased with the result more than the performance.” But, he added, “conditions were tough and I know we can play better. We just needed to get our first win of the season. Hopefully the performances will come off that.” Of Perkins’ injury, Hazzard said it was too early to comment. Cherwell would like to wish him a speedy recovery.After an execrable opening period some observers might have wished that Referee Bruce Taylor would also swiftly end the match against the Royal Navy. The Oxford machine mirrored the rusty leaves falling from the trees. The only highlight, if one can call it that, was a facial injury to a Navy player who returned to the pitch with his face plastered with tape, looking like Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. But it was Oxford who played like silent lambs until, on 25 minutes, from out of the grey, Matt Rigby bolted a 40-yard drive which cannoned back off the bar.ARCHIVE: 3rd week MT 2005last_img read more

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Lakers’ Anthony Davis savors Chicago memories in All-Star homecoming

first_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe 26-year-old has a Hollywood life many people dream of, as a star on the NBA’s biggest franchise and a home in one of L.A.’s ritziest neighborhoods. But he’s never conquered certain deep Midwestern pangs: the familiar chill blowing in from Lake Michigan; Giordano’s deep dish pizza; the stone-stacked architecture in the neighborhoods where he went to school.That school – Perspectives Charter – was small enough that its gym was inside the Second Presbyterian Church near campus. Davis drove past it on Saturday morning, on the way to his seventh All-Star media availability.It made him reflect on a time when he was an up-and-coming prospect in Chicago, a strangely dominant basketball player from a school with no discernable athletic tradition. A growth spurt catapulted him from virtual unknown to eventually the top overall high school prospect in the nation entering his senior year.He hurtled so fast to the top, he was nearly scared out of the game when he joined the Meanstreets AAU team and realized that he was not the best player on his own squad. He thought he was one of the worst.“It kind of surprised me, kind of shocked me, and it scared me so much that I kinda didn’t want to play basketball anymore,” Davis said. “Then my father told me to stick with it. I went to play a tournament with those guys, I said, ‘This is going to be the test.’” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Davis played six minutes in one game before rolling his ankle to end his debut. But that quick look at one of the country’s biggest prep events was enough to send scholarship offers rolling in. It confirmed his father’s message: He was on the right path.Considering that in the last year Davis requested a trade because he was frustrated with not winning in New Orleans, it seems surprising that he stayed at Perspectives, where he was the only one of his teammates with serious college prospects. He said he considered Simeon, a Chicago prep powerhouse where Derrick Rose (one of Davis’ idols) came to prominence. But he said the decision to stay at Perspectives came down to “loyalty.”“My dad always gave me the same, ‘No matter where you are, they’ll find you.’ And I kinda just took it to heart,” he said. “I just kept doing what I was doing and working hard, and eventually someone, Coach (John Calipari) came to one of my games. And the rest is history.”Davis is the best thing that ever happened to Perspectives athletics: He donated an outdoor court after he first became a professional, and he donates basketballs, jerseys and shoes regularly to show his support. On Thursday, Perspectives announced that Davis was donating to form a tech lab on the Joslin campus of the school.He attended several local events, including an NBA Cares drive at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and a Boys & Girls club event where he introduced surprise guest and teammate LeBron James. The sweetest part of it, he said, was being able to play in Chicago in front of friends and family he sees only once a year.Related Articles Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers center_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error It’s worth remembering how fraught Davis’ situation was a year ago: He had gone public with his trade request, and he and New Orleans were at odds as to whether he should play in games at all the rest of the season. The Pelicans fired Dell Demps, the team’s general manager, during All-Star weekend in Charlotte. Davis barely played in the game despite being selected, and Commissioner Adam Silver struggled to settle questions about whether smaller markets could hang on to their star players.Much of that turbulence, at least for Davis, has been ridden out a year later.“Last year was kinda rocky, it was a lot of stuff going on with the trade and everything,” he said. “But this is a fun opportunity this year.”Indeed, Davis took center stage in Chicago, which he again called “the Mecca” of basketball. He scored 20 points, the last of which was the game-winning free throw.But he also said he was pleased as a spectator to see his hometown host a weekend that many felt was a strong All-Star event – giving the world a flavor of the city for which he still has a deep affinity.“Chicago held it down,” he said. Previous“I don’t get to see the snow as much now,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said while reminiscing about growing up in Chicago. “Me and my cousin would go outside and have snowball fights when we got out of school. I kind of missed that.” (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)The Lakers’ Anthony Davis shoots the game-winning free throw during the fourth quarter of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks) SoundThe gallery will resume inseconds“Last year was kinda rocky, it was a lot of stuff going on with the trade (request) and everything,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said of the distractions he was dealing with at the 2019 All-Star weekend in Charlotte, N.C. “But this is a fun opportunity this year.” (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)The Lakers’ Anthony Davis looks to pass around Miami’s Bam Adebayo during the second half of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday in Chicago. The entire weekend spent in his hometown stirred a lot of good memories for Davis. (AP Photo/Nam Huh)“I don’t get to see the snow as much now,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said while reminiscing about growing up in Chicago. “Me and my cousin would go outside and have snowball fights when we got out of school. I kind of missed that.” (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)NextShow Caption1 of 4“I don’t get to see the snow as much now,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said while reminiscing about growing up in Chicago. “Me and my cousin would go outside and have snowball fights when we got out of school. I kind of missed that.” (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)ExpandCHICAGO — During a weekend when the Windy City dropped to single-digit temperatures and sidewalks were slicked with ice, there was plenty of grousing around the NBA’s annual assembly as attendees dreamed of warmer weather.Not from Anthony Davis.His basketball career has taken shape in Lexington, Ken., New Orleans and now Los Angeles – a steady progression toward a more stable and temperate climate. But the Chicago-born All-Star said his favorite memory of his hometown was of snow.“I don’t get to see the snow as much now,” he said. “Me and my cousin would go outside and have snowball fights when we got out of school. I kind of missed that.”last_img read more

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