Hot-shot Rooney, lightning Bolt and gold(en) boys Dai and Mo

FOOTBALL – Group G leaders England, who beat Bulgaria 3-0 last Friday (Wayne Rooney two goals and Gary Cahill one) and Wales, I hope on Tuesday, should by now have qualified for the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

However, Northern Ireland (Group C) have it all to do, the Republic of Ireland are still hopeful in Group B but Scotland, after a controversial late penalty saw them draw 2-2 with the Czech Republic, need something special in Group I.

Elsewhere, Germany, the first country to qualify (with eight wins) thumped Austria 6-2 in Group A; Holland are almost there after a record-breaking 11-0 Group E win over San Marino (Arsenal’s Robin van Persie scored 4); Italy are close to qualification from Group C after pipping the Faroe Islands 1-0 and France likewise from Group D. Those still contesting qualification are Russia, Slovakia and Armenia (Group B); Greece, Croatia and Israel (Group F); Portugal, Norway and Denmark (Group H) and Spain and Czech Republic (Group I).

No Premiership or Championship matches last weekend but in Leagues 1 and 2 there were important wins for Sheffield United, MK Dons, Crawley, Torquay and Notts County while hard-up Plymouth are now the 92nd club in the ‘country’.

The Europa League has welcomed back Celtic after UEFA disqualified FC Sion for fielding two eligible players in their play-off victory over the Bhoys last month.

Last Friday, Spain, 2-0 down, hit back to beat Chile 3-2 in a friendly, but there was a major on-the-field dust-up involving 14 players, subs and coaches when Spain were awarded an injury-time and subsequent match-winning penalty.

Southampton defender Dan Seaborne, attacked outside a night club last week, is recovering in hospital. Two men have been charged with assault.

Chelsea’s 1955 Championship-winning full-back Stan Willemse has died, aged 86.

ATHLETICS – GB won seven medals in the World Championships in Daegu. Mo Farah claimed gold in the 5,000m and silver in the 10,000m; Dai Greene won gold in the 400m hurdles, Jess Ennis silver in the heptathlon, Hannah England silver in the 1,500m, Andy Turner bronze in the 110m hurdles and Philips Odowu silver in the triple jump.

My high spots: Usain Bolt retaining his 200m title and setting a new world record with his Jamaican colleagues in the 4x100m relay; Australian Sally Pearson’s brilliant women’s hurdles win and GB’s golden boys, Mo and Dai. 

SPORTS EXTRA – The first ODI between England and India cricketers at Durham was abandoned through rain but hopefully Tuesday’s clash at the Rose Bowl should have taken place…

Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo won Sunday’s San Marino MotoGP…

In the US Open Andy Murray came back from two sets down to beat Robin Haase and ousted Spain’s Feliciano Lopez before playing wild card entry Donald Young in round three…

After Exeter Chiefs superb opening-day win at Leicester Tigers in the Aviva League, Rugby’s World Cup starts tomorrow in New Zealand… Challenge Cup winners Wigan Warriors were gobbled up 39-12 by Warrington Wolves whose victory included their 1,000th point of the season; a win at Hull this weekend will seal the Super League title…

Bradley Wiggins (GB) was leading in the Tour of Spain cycle race at Tuesday… and GB won a record 14 medals (seven gold, three silver and four bronze) in the World rowing championships in Slovenia – ten coming in Olympic class races.

These football ‘clubs’ are technically mentioned in the Bible: Bury, Mansfield (written as man’s field), Queen of the South and Reading (as reading)… And on this day in 1888, the first Football League games were played: Accrington 1 Everton 2, Bolton 3 Derby 6, Preston 5 Burnley 2, Stoke 0 WBA 2 and Wolves 1 Aston Villa 1.

CHARITY QUIZ: The Spectrum Radio sponsored Charity Quiz, postponed from July, will now take place at The New Kimrick, Mojacar, on Thursday 29 September.

EWN SPORT By Tony Matthews

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