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NW Sports Roundup: City Women Reach First Cup Final

Week 4: No Premiership this week (boo) but the region has other sports, y'know

Written by . Published on September 8th 2014.

NW Sports Roundup: City Women Reach First Cup Final

City Women Reach Final

City booked their place in the final of the Continental Cup with a tight 1-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday. They'll face Arsenal in the final.

City beat the league leaders Chelsea thanks to a second half goal by Striker Toni Duggan, which saw them unlucky to not win by more as Duggan hit the inside of the post late on.

In the league, City Ladies were held to a draw against Notts County in the Women’s Super League last week. A second half mistake by City keeper Karen Bardsley gifted the home side the lead but City hit back through England international Toni Duggan three minutes later.

The point keeps Manchester City fourth bottom as they look to establish themselves in their first year in the Women’s Super League, the top division of Women’s football.

Toni DugganToni Duggan

Tour of Britain

Move aside amateur cyclists it is time for the elite to take over the roads of Britain. Starting in Liverpool on Sunday 7 September is the annual Tour of Britain. Strangely for a race around a country, the first stage starts and ends in the same place as the route unfolds on eight laps of Liverpool city centre before it races off round Wales to Bristol, Bath and Brighton before heading into London over the next seven days.

Opportunities to see Sir Bradley Wiggo on the open roads may be getting increasingly rare if, as believed, he will return to a track focused programme ahead of the Rio Olympics, and the reigning champion will be amongst the favourites to succeed again. The last time Mark Cavendish raced on British soil he introduced his shoulder to the Yorkshire tarmac and will be keen to show he has returned to his best form that has seen ten previous stage wins on the Tour of Britain. Though a lack of thorough preparation as a result of injury will see him hard pressed to out gun Marcell Kittel.

Update (08/09/14): Sure enough, combined with an early crash with a team car Cavendish was outsprinted by Kittel in the first stage, coming home in third place. The second stage heads off into north Wales today.

Football Writing Festival

The first Manchester Football Writing Festival has started in Manchester in the past week, kicking off with a live edition of the UK’s biggest podcast at the Royal Northern College of Music. With a selection of prominent football writers on hand to provide talks on topics ranging from football memoirs, match analysis to Championship Manager obsessions.

Tickets are still available for talks up to September 12 in unique venues from the National Football Museum to St Ann’s Church. Well worth checking out.

Emirates, Old TraffordEmirates, Old Trafford

NW Football Awards

Voting is open for the MBNA North West Football Awards, which takes place on Tuesday November 18 at Emirates Old Trafford. To reward the finest North West talent both on and off the pitch the awards and the shortlist sees Yaya battle Raheem, Ings shoot off against Rhodes and Potts come up against Koumas. Voting opens on Friday 24th October hereAfter watching Brad Potts dominate proceedings at Accrington Stanley midweek he would be my pick for the rising star award but with promising players appearing at a range of clubs it will be a tightly run thing.

St Helens

It was meant to be a night of celebration. However, Warrington Wolves spoiled the party with a 12-39 victory against the league leaders. St Helens, who last won the League Leaders Shield in 2008, are still in pole position to secure the title. Though the way that Warrington pulled them apart must be a worry going into the business end of the season with the playoffs on the horizon. Bookmakers seem to agree and have placed Wigan Warriors and Warrington ahead of St Helens in the odds to win the end of season playoffs.

Despite leading 6-0 early on, ex-Salford Red Devils player Stephen Ratchford scored before tries for Monaghan and O’Brian saw Warrington pull away with a lead they never gave up, secured by shutting St Helens out in the second half. With the title and the champagne on ice, St Helens will face Huddersfield to see if they can cast aside this disappointment and pick up the silverware.

NW Hockey

If football has sold its soul, if cricket is more rain-watching than smashing sixes, and if the gym brigade have ruined Rugby for the majority, then it may be time to sign up for Hockey. With the season only a week away many teams around Greater Manchester and the North West are actively recruiting. At the elite end Brooklands MU lead the regions hopes as they return to the National Premier League under the leadership of Peter Flanagan, but with leagues and teams for all levels and abilities there are plenty of teams out there.

Didsbury Northern HC are offering a free taster day on Sunday 14 September at the Armitage Centre in Fallowfield. Never picked a stick up? Still head down. Last played at school? Still head down. Coming to Manchester Uni and want to meet new people? Head on down. Even if just to get involved in the largest club and social hockey scene in the city they will make you welcome. For more info look here.

Danny CiprianiDanny Cipriani

Rugby Union

Sale Sharks started off their Aviva Premiership campaign against Bath on Saturday. Building on the back of a promising 2013/14 season where the club were back challenging at the right end of the table after the previous seasons relegation threatened campaign. The summer recruitment of Chris Cusiter to play alongside the mercurial talent of fly half Danny Cipriani sees the Sharks add international experience to a squad that has seen a couple of England internationals leave.

After a long preseason Sale got their campaign off to the worst possible start against Bath, conceding the quickest try of the opening weekend inside the first minute. Bath built on this thanks to a faultless kicking performance from England fly half George Ford, though Sale came back into the game in the second half. A converted Easter try and the resulting Cipriani conversion (on his hundredth premiership appearance), gave Sale the lead for the first time. Though the tipping point arrived when Sale had a try chalked off for a forward pass before a Ford-inspired break led to the decisive try, and a late penalty by that man Ford again meant Sale missed out on a losing bonus point.

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