Mouscron kicked out
Belgian club Excelsior Mouscron were kicked out of the first division on Monday after declaring they would fail to play for a third time this season, the Belgian soccer association said. Mouscron, who are under administration because of debt, have not put out a team for their last two scheduled matches and told the league and association that they would be unable to field a side tomorrow. The club’s expulsion from the league means that all their results are void. The clubs in the top four spots, eligible for European competition, remained in place, although Anderlecht’s lead over Club Bruges at the top of the table was cut to three from five points. Champions Standard Liege gained a place to sixth. The big losers were Lokeren, who lost six points and so replaced Roeselare at the bottom of the remaining 15 sides. However, no club will face automatic relegation now with the 15th-placed side taking part in a playoff with division two teams. Mouscron, who will drop to Belgium’s third division if they continue, said in a short statement that its 120 staff would be receiving their notices and the players would now be free agents.
‘Barney’ nails nine-darter
Raymond van Barneveld produced a nine-dart finish for the second year in a row at the Professional Darts Corporation world championship on Monday. The aim of darts is to get from 501 to zero, finishing on a double, with the fewest number of throws and nine darts is the minimum number needed to achieve this feat. Dutch former champion “Barney” produced darts’ answer to snooker’s 147 break and cricket’s six sixes in an over on his way to a 4-0 second round win over Brendan Dolan at London’s Alexandra Palace. He reeled off a perfect opening leg at the start of the third set, hitting two 180s followed by a treble 20, treble 19 and double 12 to earn himself a £25,000 (US$40,000) bonus prize.
Vonn injury not serious
Olympic favorite Lindsey Vonn had her left lower arm put in a splint following a crash on the opening run of a World Cup giant slalom in Austria on Monday but was able to compete in a slalom race yesterday. Vonn suffered no broken bones in the fall, said Doctor Eduard Sporer from Lienz district hospital. “It’s not a classic broken wrist,” said Sporer, who added that the skier had a bruised bone with swelling in the nearby area. The overall World Cup leader barely used her left pole yesterday but still managed to charge several gates with her hand and wrist protected by the usual guard slalom racers use.
Test set for tight finish
Pakistan were 170 for 3 needing another 252 runs to beat Australia at the end of the fourth day of the first Test in Melbourne yesterday. Earlier the hosts had declared their second innings on 225 for 8 after 17-year-old Pakistani paceman Mohammad Aamer had picked up his first five wicket haul in a Test match, finishing with 5 for 79. Shane Watson top-scored for the Aussies by posting his first Test century, 120 not out. Pakistan suffered an early setback in their run chase when Doug Bollinger trapped Imran Farhat lbw for 12 but Salman Butt and Faisal Iqbal put on 62 for the second wicket before Butt was lbw to Mitchell Johnson for 33. Iqbal was next out, bowled by offspinner Nathan Hauritz for 48. At stumps Mohammad Yousuf was unbeaten on 45 while Umar Akmal was on 27 not out.