World Cup Qualifications
Job done! England confirmed their automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia with a very unconvincing 1-0 victory over Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday evening. Harry Kane once again came to the rescue with the winning goal in stoppage time.
Well done to Spain as well, defeating Albania 3-0 in Alicante to qualify in exhilarating style and a from a tougher group which included Italy.
There is a massive game in Cardiff tonight (Monday) where Wales play the Republic of Ireland; the winner will at least be in the play-offs and the draw will favour the Welsh.
In the play-offs already are Northern Ireland, despite a couple of defeats over the weekend to Germany and Norway.
Just missing out were Scotland who required a win in Slovenia, but could only manage a 2-2 draw, leaving 2nd place in the group to Slovakia. Manager Gordon Strachan is now contemplating whether to carry on and try another qualifying campaign.
Old Trafford hosted the Rugby League Grand Final where Leeds Rhinos won their 8th title beating Castleford Tigers 24-6.
In Rugby Union, a hat-trick of tries from hooker Jamie George helped Saracens back to the top of the Aviva Premiership with a 38-19 victory over Wasps. Current champions Exeter are second just one point behind after a 34-24 win over Newcastle.
The big PDC darts tournament, The World Grand Prix, took place in Dublin last week. It’s the only tournament that involves a double to start each leg and certainly caused some upset results. World no 1, Michael Van Gerwin, was knocked out in the first round by the Scot, John Henderson. With Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson not participating, it was left to local hero Daryl Gurney and Simon Whitlock of Australia to contest the Final. It was a thrilling match with Gurney prevailing 5-4 to move up to world no 6 in the rankings and claim his first major title.
In F1, Lewis Hamilton moved another step closer to the World Drivers’ Championship by winning the Japanese Grand Prix, and now leads the overall standings by 59 points. Nearest challenger Sebastian Vettell had to retire early in the race with engine trouble. Hamilton can clinch the title in 2 weeks’ time by winning the US Grand Prix in Austin.
Englishman Tyrell Hatton became the first man to retain the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. Hatton carded a final round 66 to finish on 24 under par, three shots clear of Ross Fisher, who shot an amazing final round of 61. Fisher had an eagle putt on the 18th for the first ever round of 59 on the European tour, but ended up three putting understandably.
Judd Trump won the European Masters snooker in Belgium beating Stuart Bingham 9-7 in an all-English final.
After the international break, the Premier League is back with a massive game on Saturday; it’s Liverpool v Man Utd!
Don’t forget to join me, Tim Bridge, on TKO breakfast every Saturday and Sunday mornings between 9 am and 12 pm for great tunes, competitions and a round-up of the weekend sporting fixtures.