first_imgThe Blues won the title by four points, with Eratostene’s performance vital to the victory. University of Toronto Varsity Blues figure skating standout Melissa Eratostene was named the OUA Peak Performer for the week ending March 11. Eratostene won one gold and earned two silver medals in leading the University of Toronto Varsity Blues figure skating team to their third straight OUA title this past week in Aylmer, Ont. The kinesiology major from Toronto struck gold on Day 2 of the championships, winning the women’s open solo dance to earn OUA all-star honours. Story Links Eratostene also paired up with Jessica Reid to claim the silver medal in the women’s open short dance and was a member of Toronto’s synchro team, which also placed second. For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Balotelli drops appeal over Man City fine

first_img“After amicable talks between the parties, as a sign of respect for (manager) Roberto Mancini, the supporters and the club, Mario Balotelli has chosen to accept a two week fine levied upon him by the club and withdraw his disciplinary appeal, which was due to be heard by a Premier League panel today (Wednesday),” City said in a statement.“Mario remains available for selection for all forthcoming fixtures.”Balotelli missed 11 domestic and European games through suspension last season and he has endured a difficult start to the current campaign, scoring just once in the Premier League.Mancini has twice dropped him from City’s match-day squad and he was substituted at half-time of the English champions’ 3-2 derby defeat by Manchester United earlier this month.Mancini has repeatedly voiced his frustration at Balotelli’s inability to harness his talent, prompting speculation that the player could leave the club during the January transfer window.Balotelli joined City from Inter Milan for £24 million ($39.1 million, 29.4 million euros) in 2010.He has been linked with a move to Inter’s city rivals AC Milan but his agent says he has no intention of leaving the Etihad Stadium.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000LONDON, England, December 19 – Manchester City’s wayward striker Mario Balotelli has accepted a two-week fine over his poor disciplinary record and dropped an appeal to a Premier League tribunal, the club announced on Wednesday.Lawyers representing the Italy international had been due to present an appeal on his behalf to a tribunal on Wednesday, after City reportedly fined him two weeks’ wages for his on-pitch misdemeanours last season.However, following talks between Balotelli and the club, the 22-year-old agreed to withdraw his case and accept his punishment.last_img read more

‘It’s now or never’ for Borini to agree Sunderland switch, warns Poyet

first_img1 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has warned Fabio Borini that it is “now or never” for the Liverpool striker to finally complete his proposed Black Cats switch.Poyet earmarked the 23-year-old Italian as his primary target this summer, having enjoyed a hugely successful season on loan at the Stadium of Light last term.The Wearside outfit were thought to have had agreed a £14million deal for the forward early in the transfer window, though reports later emerged that Borini was eager to stay and fight for his place at Anfield.Poyet previously told talkSPORT he is still determined to complete the capture of the young striker regardless of the rumours, though the Uruguayan has now admitted he he may have to give up his pursuit and switch attention elsewhere as the transfer window draws to a closeAsked if the club would set a deadline, he said: “I have asked myself many, many times. I don’t know, to be honest, I don’t know if we need to put a date on it or not. I don’t know.“It’s a daily thing. If something incredible comes in and we need to make a decision then, a player that we cannot say no to, then I am sure there will be a few phone calls saying ‘now or never’ both ways.“But at the moment, we haven’t found that player, but we will see.”Poyet revealed Sunderland did come close to having to make that decision recently, though he revealed the Black Cats eventually missed out on a deal for Chile forward Eduardo Vargas, who instead opted to join promoted QPR on loan.He added: “We were very close to getting Vargas. It was a matter of decisions between everybody – clubs and cities, living and possibilities and things, and in the end, everything didn’t come through for us to get the player.“That was close to us making a decision on whether Fabio was coming or not coming. It’s daily. We haven’t put a date on it, but it’s daily and we are looking for options.” Liverpool striker Fabio Borini last_img read more

Bald eagle born on island

first_imgFor the first time in more than 50 years, a pair of bald eagles hatched a chick on Santa Cruz Island, wildlife biologists said Thursday. The fluffy chick came out of its shell Wednesday afternoon about 35 days after the egg was discovered on the island off Southern California. Scientists say the successful breeding marked a significant milestone in their four-year effort to reintroduce the eagles to the island. “It’s such an incredible event,” said David Garcelon, president of the Institute for Wildlife Studies. “For the first time in 50 years they did it themselves. It’s a new age for the islands.” The last known successful nesting of a bald eagle on the four northern Channel Islands was in 1949 on Anacapa Island. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Mauricio Pochettino sends message to in-demand Tottenham stars

first_img1 Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino with star man Dele Alli Mauricio Pochettino has told Tottenham’s players to keep their focus and the fans to trust his judgement amid mounting interest in the club’s star players.Spurs have been Chelsea’s closest rivals in the Premier League title race and are the form team this year, having won seven games on the bounce before Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to the Blues.Their performances have not gone unnoticed by Europe’s elite teams, with Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Dele Alli all reported to be attracting interest.Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi has even suggested Alli is exactly the type of player his previous manager Pep Guardiola would like to sign for Manchester City this summer.Pochettino said he could make no guarantees on the future and referenced last week’s death of Tottenham under-23s coach Ugo Ehiogu as an example of the need to live in the present.“I cannot guarantee anything in life. The most important is to enjoy the present,” Pochettino said.“I am so sad, we have to enjoy the present and not think about the future.“In the future we take the best decision for the club. After three years you can see how the team is improving every year and all our decisions so far are good.“Trust in the club that we will take the best decision for the club to achieve, to improve next season again, that’s most important.“We care a lot about the club and now we must focus on the present to try to help the team and club to be there if Chelsea drop points.“In the next three to four weeks we must give our best, big efforts for all of us, for the players to try to focus, don’t think about holidays, rumours, what will happen next season.”Tottenham’s 4-2 defeat to Chelsea at Wembley means the club’s hopes of winning their first trophy under Pochettino rest entirely on catching the Blues in the Premier League.Their chances remain slim but Pochettino hit back at the suggestion his players lack a winning mentality.“It will be special if in the last season at White Hart Lane we win the Premier League,” added the Argentine.“It’s important to have memory. The first season we arrived we got 35 players and we started to rebuild the team during the season. Not to arrive, sign 10 players, put out another 12.“We start to compete in the last two seasons. Last season we finished third, the best place in the Premier League for Tottenham, now we are second and fighting with the big sides with a completely different project.“The mentality is fantastic – to win always. But when you compete with Chelsea, Man United, Man City, Liverpool – come on.“The players deserve full credit and (you should) remove that idea because it’s not true. They are winners. Another thing is to win titles, but they are winners.“I want the last three to four weeks the big effort from everyone to achieve. Then we can congratulate everyone and try next season.”last_img read more

Week 3: Sept. 14 to Sept. 20

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los Angeles160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Sept. 14 South Pasadena 34, Hoover 0 F Knight 38, Golden Valley 14 F Sept. 15 Eagle Rock 40, San Gabriel 8 F Birmingham 35, Valencia 21 F Hollywood 35, Blair 26 F Canoga Park 24, Monroe 0 F Grant 33, El Camino 14 F San Fernando 56, Poly 14 F Reseda 26, Cleveland 19 F Granada Hills 34, Sylmar 32 F Palmdale 14, Kennedy 9 F North Hollywood 26, Lincoln 0 F Banning at Fremont, 7 Fairfax at Gardena, 7 Carson 31, Taft 21 F Chaminade 46, Burbank 6 F Burroughs 35, Harvard-Westlake 31 F St. Francis 37, Crescenta Valley 6 F La Canada 27, Glendale F Desert at Vasquez, 7 Fillmore at Mojave, 7 Boron 13, Rosamond 7 F Viewpoint at Fairmont Prep, 7 Inglewood 35, Kilpatrick 14 F Paraclete 22, Littlerock 0 F Village Christian at Pioneer Valley, 7 Glendale at La Canada, 7 St. Bonaventure 21, Canyon 14 F Hart 39, Bishop Amat 16 F Westlake 21, Saugus 6 F Valencia at Birmingham, 7 Agoura 30, Camarillo 26 F Oak Park 42, Calabasas 7 F Moorpark 32, Ventura 7 F Rio Mesa 24, Newbury Park 13 F Royal 20 , Hueneme 0 HALF Simi Valley 20, Oxnard Pacifica 14 F Thousand Oaks 26, Atascadero 22 Corona Centennial 29, Crespi 27 F Venice 39, Loyola 14 F Notre Dame 38, Lynwood 6 F Barstow 13, Antelope Valley 6 F Canyon Springs at Highland, 7 Chatsworth 10, Lancaster 7 F Palmdale at Kennedy, 7 Siverado at Quartz Hill, 7 Alemany 34, Desert Hot Springs 8 F Hillcrest Chr. at Rolling Hills Prep, 7 Discovery Prep at St. Michael’s Prep, 3 Verdugo Hills 48, Campbell Hall 8 F West Ranch 43, Hamilton 6 F Sept. 16 Flintridge Prep at Bell-Jeff, 7 Mary Star vs L.A. Baptist, 7 Frazier Mountian vs Desert Christian at (TBA), 7 Santa Clara vs St. Genevieve at Poly, 7 Grace Brethen at Big Bear, 1:30 CALS Early College at Antelope Valley Christian, 1 North County Christian at Bethel Christian, 12 Faith Baptist at Calvary Chapel/LV, NV 11 am La Verne Lutheran at Los Angeles Lutheran, 1 Windward vs Santa Clarita Christian at Canyon, 7 Valley Christian Academy vs Hillcrest Christian/TO at Grace Brethren, 1 Owens Valley at Westmark, 1last_img read more

Meth crisis addressed by supervisors

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsBut the drug has made new inroads, attracting users from a variety of backgrounds.“What has happened throughout the country is that it’s moving from rural areas or suburban areas into inner cities,” said county Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, who represents South Los Angeles.The Board of Supervisors has asked county officials to work on new ways to prevent meth abuse and treat users. Despite limited data, supervisors are already saying the problem is serious, especially among gay and bisexual men.“While the meth epidemic is present across the population, specific segments of the population have acutely been affected by meth use,” according to the motion adopted last week by the Board of Supervisors.Officials are especially concerned about “crystal” meth, a more potent form of methamphetamine that looks like a glassy rock. Calling methamphetamine abuse a problem of “epidemic” proportions, the county Board of Supervisors is looking for solutions.The board’s action comes as authorities nationwide try to counter meth’s growing popularity, and as meth-related arrests soar in Los Angeles and the Antelope Valley.An addictive drug that can cause psychotic episodes and help spread sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV by impairing users’ judgment, meth is a psychostimulant used for both a euphoria rush and an energy boost.The Antelope Valley was a hotbed of meth production until new laws made it harder to get over-the-counter cold medicine used for the ingredients that can be extracted from it. Production has since shifted to giant illegal labs in Mexico. A 2004 county health survey found that 26 percent of the 181 gay and bisexual men who reported being HIV positive also said they had used crystal meth. And among the 17 Latino gay and bisexual men who were diagnosed with HIV as part of the survey, 10 of them had used crystal meth in the past 12 months.Part of the goal of the supervisors’ initiative is to find out more about meth abuse in the county.Meanwhile, Burke is concerned that meth is being sold at schoolyards.“I have to be very honest, that some of the people who are peddling meth are preying on young girls and putting them into prostitution, and they’re doing this through schools,” she said.The county already funds a number of treatment centers, including Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center in Castaic, High Desert Recovery Services and Acton Rehabilitation Center.Rico Cruz, associate administrator at Warm Springs, said about half the drug abusers who come to his 199-bed center have used crystal meth.“I’ve seen people go into substance abuse psychosis, psychotic episodes just from messing with that crystal meth for a few days,” Cruz said.Earlier this year, the nationwide rehab organization Phoenix House reported an increasing number of teens admitted to Southern California treatment centers were hooked on meth. More than 43 percent of those seeking treatment in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties came in for meth abuse, compared to 25 percent in 2002.In the Antelope Valley, sheriff’s officials report that the number of meth-related arrests rose from 727 in 2002 to 1,186 last year. Seizures of meth in the valley went from four kilos in 2002 to seven kilos in 2005.Much of the meth seized last year might have come from Mexico, since authorities have busted fewer labs in the Antelope Valley now that production has shifted to Mexico. Before authorities and retailers moved to make cold medicines containing pseudoephredrine harder to obtain, meth labs in the Antelope Valley would use the medicine to “cook” their product.Part of the appeal of meth for users had been that the drug can be “cooked” at home with easy-to-obtain ingredients, although the process turned former meth labs into toxic sites.Meth, which is also known as speed, and the related drug amphetamines have been around for decades. But in the 1950s and 1960s, it was common for speed users to pop pills illegally obtained from pharmacy counters, instead of home-brewing the stuff.Health officials say the high from the old speed pills would last several hours, compared to 36 hours with meth.“It’s well beyond anything that I’ve ever heard of previously,” said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who joined Burke in backing the anti-meth motion last week.Among gay men, meth is used to prolong the sex drive, and county officials believe meth use is high among those who frequent sex clubs. Gay community leaders have worried that past educational initiatives to reduce the spread of HIV infection are being ignored by younger generations.The supervisors voted to address the meth problem by a 3-0 vote at Tuesday’s board meeting, with supervisors Michael D. Antonovich and Gloria Molina absent. Health officials will report back in three months on prevention and intervention solutions.But Yaroslavsky and Burke already have some ideas about how to deal with the problem, and education is high on the list.“We know that education has an impact and you can’t let up,” Yaroslavsky said. “Chevrolet doesn’t stop advertising after a good year, and Coca-Cola keeps advertising. And if we want to do it, we’ve got to keep doing it every year, not just in odd years or even years.” 257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Thompson gearing up for ‘war’ as Naomh Conaill, Gaoth Dobhair go again

first_imgAnthony Thompson says Naomh Conaill will be ready for a ‘war’ again as they face Gaoth Dobhair for the third time tonight in the 2019 Donegal SFC final.Twice, the teams have been inseparable now and they go again tonight in Ballybofey for the third instalment (throw-in 8pm).Picture: Naomh Conaill’s Anthony Thompson in a action against Gaoth Dobhair’s Naoise Ó Baoill on Sunday. Photo by Evan Logan Ciaran Thompson had kicked the late score to earn the replay from the first game and Sunday’s replay might’ve swung either way. In the end, it swung neither way.In a captivating period of extra time, Naomh Conaill went from three down to one up and, ultimately, were pegged back by Seaghan Ferry’s late equaliser.“It was war alright,” Thompson observed afterwards.“We just, again, going into the last minute of normal time, were chasing the game and we pulled it level.” Naomh Conaill lost the 2017 final to Kilcar and the 2018 final to Gaoth Dobhair, but have hit back again and just refuse to wilt.Their powers of perseverance are impressive.Thompson said: “We went three down in extra time and when you do that, it’s so hard to get back. We’re able to dig deep every time and keep going.“The boys just dig deep. We were a point up, but we’d have taken the draw.”It will be their third game in ten days when they line up beneath the glow of Sean MacCumhaill Park’s lamps tonight. While Thompson isn’t complaining about the punishing schedule, he admits that it’s far from ideal. He said: “That’s what you play for. You’d be out training on Tuesday regardless. It’s just about getting the bodies right,.“It was a war out there. It mightn’t have looked it, but I can tell you it was. “Both teams will feel it and the bodies will be sore. It’s a matter of getting back as fresh as you can.”Thompson gearing up for ‘war’ as Naomh Conaill, Gaoth Dobhair go again was last modified: October 29th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare 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:2019 Donegal SFCAnthony ThompsonGaoth DobhairGlentiesMartin ReganNaomh Conailllast_img read more

‘Steve Dale’s only objective was to liquidate Bury Football Club’, talkSPORT told

first_imgA former director of Bury has told talkSPORT he will fund a forensic accounting investigation to discover who is to blame for the club’s financial woes and ‘put them behind bars’In an emotional interview, Ian Harrop broke down in tears and then levelled a series of serious allegations at club owner Steve Dale as he reacted to the news of the Shakers’ demise.The Lancashire club’s expulsion from the English Football League was confirmed on Tuesday night after a proposed takeover bid collapsed. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:19Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream Type LIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:19Loaded: 12.42%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:19 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Steve Dale took control of Bury in December 2018 Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Former Bury director Ian Harrop’s emotional reaction to EFL expulsion“But the EFL are absolutely culpable because they have not done what their rules state, that is why we are in this mess.“He has missed meeting after meeting after meeting with them. He’s just played them for idiots.“I hope the EFL are ready for what’s going to happen because this is not going to finish tonight, it’s going to go on and on and on. We’re not going to take this lying down.“We’re a proud Lancashire club and 134 years of history has been destroyed. I use that word strongly.“We’ve been destroyed by certain individuals and there should be a lot of individuals out there who should be worried, because their time will come.“Mr Dale’s business model from day one was to liquidate football clubs and sadly today he has succeeded. I hope he sleeps well tonight.”Listen back to the incredible interview with former Bury director Ian Harrop IN FULL above Harrop also believes Dale has ‘played the EFL for fools’ and used the club’s bid for League Two promotion last season to mask the fact he never had the funds to run the club.And he warned both the EFL and Dale to ‘be ready for what’s going to happen’ as he insists this is far from over.“He has basically played the EFL for fools,” the former director continued.“When you buy a football club, the EFL insist a new owner provides proof and source of funds within ten days. Mr Dale took over in December of last year, we’re now in August and he has still not done it!“I understand their stance – how could the EFL have done this last season when Bury were going for promotion? How could they have come in and docked the club points because he hadn’t provided proof of funds? Bury fans were angered by Tuesday’s news, with one telling talkSPORT Steve Dale has ‘devastated the community’ on target Liverpool transfer news live: Star man wanted by Real Madrid, Mbappe latest and more Redknapp calls Son ‘petulant’, but Holloway says red card for Rudiger kick was ‘soft’ getty rookie error Bury are no longer a professional football club after they were kicked out of the EFL 3 Getty Images – Getty London-based C&N Sporting Risk were close to doing a deal, but they pulled out 90 minutes before Tuesday’s 5pm deadline due to concerns over the confusing structure of the club’s debt.The events of a dramatic day for the Shakers, during which fans gathered outside their Gigg Lane stadium throughout the day and before leaving in tears after the news was confirmed, will almost certainly result in the 134-year-old club being liquidated.And Harrop, whose association with Bury goes back over 50 years and who helped save the club from administration in 2002, has laid the blame at Dale and the EFL.Speaking on Extra Time on Wednesday morning, he accused Dale of intending to liquidate Bury when he purchased the club from former chairman Stewart Day for £1 in December, and says he has ‘spoilt the lives of thousands of people’. What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas After recovering his composure, Harrop then revealed his intention to fund an investigation into the club’s financial crisis and ensure those found guilty are punished.He added: “Steve Dale has set out to do it, whether that’s in conjunction with Mr Day and Mr Thomas, who knows.“All the financial mismanagement will come out hopefully. It was a disaster waiting to happen. What’s happened is a result of their complete financial mismanagement and the supporters and town now have to suffer the consequences of their actions.“And I will make this statement on talkSPORT now: I’m willing put up money to pay for forensic annuitants to come into Bury Football Club to find this information to put the people who are responsible for this tonight behind bars.“It is that serious and I will do that, mark my words.” targets stalemate statement Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta latest deals Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January LATEST “It’s a horrible morning and I can quite honestly say it’s one of the worst days of my life. I’ve been involved with the club for over 50 years and it’s just tragic.“A lot of people have spent a lot of time to try and save the club, but we’ve just being hitting a brick wall time and time again by the chairman Steve Dale and his predecessors Stewart Day and Glenn Thomas. It’s just been an absolutely dreadful part of our club’s history.“It was obvious Steve Dale had one objective which was to liquidate the football club, so congratulations Mr Dale, you’ve done that.“You’ve spoilt the lives of 3,000 people… sorry… it’s emotional for me.“It’s just a shame. It’s a shame…” Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship 3 Getty Images – Getty 3 Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman OFF BIG PRESENTS UP TOP LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ last_img read more

St Johnstone 3-0 Aberdeen: Dons’ title hopes all but ended in Perth

first_imgAberdeen’s ailing Ladbrokes Premiership title hopes were surely put out of their misery by St Johnstone who demolished the Dons 3-0 at McDiarmid Park. Goals from midfielder David Wotherspoon and striker Steven MacLean gave Saints a well-deserved interval lead with midfielder Liam Craig adding a third in the 55th minute. The Dons remain eight points behind leaders Celtic and their hapless performance was a perfect leaving present for Hoops boss Ronny Deila, who declared on Wednesday he is departing Parkhead at the end of the season. Celtic can go 11 points clear when they host Ross County on Sunday, after which both the Hoops and the Granite City men will have four games remaining with a football miracle required to see the title wrested from Glasgow. Dons boss Derek McInnes gave a debut to 20-year-old defender Michael Rose, in for the injured Ash Taylor, with Andrew Considine replacing Craig Storie but the visitors struggled badly in the first half. Wotherspoon made his presence felt early in the game with Saints defender Joe Shaughnessy heading his corner from the left off the crossbar in the sixth minute. And in the 14th minute, after debutant Rose was penalised for a challenge on Graham Cummins 25 yards from goal, the former Hibs midfielder curled his free-kick over the defensive wall and in at keeper Scott Brown’s right-hand post. Aberdeen looked nervy at the back but escaped further punishment. St Johnstone skipper Chris Millar missed the target with a drive after being sent clear by midfielder Murray Davidson. And in the 35th minute defender Steven Anderson bundled in a Wotherspoon corner but referee Craig Thomson ruled, generously it appeared, that keeper Brown had been impeded in the packed six-yard box. However, three minutes later MacLean grabbed the Perth side’s second with the slightest of touches after Tam Scobbie’s deep free-kick was headed into the six-yard box by Anderson. Barry Robson replaced Rose for the start of the second-half but the visitors found themselves three down when, after defender Mark Reynolds was dispossessed by Millar, Cummins laid the ball on for the unmarked Craig to fire past Brown. A dejected and dispirited Aberdeen side could not find a way back as Saints keeper Zander Clark saved a fine Robson free-kick.last_img read more