Mallorca draw with Rayo
RCD Mallorca were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Rayo Vallecano de Madrid on Friday, leaving the Balearic Island side in the Spanish league’s relegation zone. Francisco “Piti” Medina put Rayo ahead at the Iberostar Stadium when he used acrobatically volleyed Jose Casado’s cross just inside the upright after seven minutes. Alejandro Alfaro equalized for the hosts five minutes later by scrambling in his own rebound from a corner kick. Rayo went close several times to restoring their lead. Andrija Delibasic forced goalkeeper Juan Calatayud to deflect his shot onto the post before Alhassane Bangoura hit the woodwork twice.
Former England captain dies
Former England captain Mike Denness died aged 72 on Friday after a long battle with cancer. Denness was the only Scotsman ever to captain England, leading the team in 19 of his 28 Tests between 1969 and 1975. During the 1974-1975 tour of Australia, Denness dropped himself for the fourth Test after making just 65 runs in his first six innings. However, he returned to hit 188 in the Melbourne Test which, at the time, was the highest score by an England captain in Australia. Denness played county cricket for Kent and Essex, scoring more than 25,000 runs in his first-class career and captaining Kent to six domestic trophies between 1972 and 1976. Denness’ death prompted numerous tributes from within the sport. Michael Vaughan, who was England captain for the Ashes series win over Australia in 2005, wrote on Twitter that he was a “classy batsman and a lovely chap.”
Motherwell make Celtic wait
Motherwell ensured Celtic’s wait to be crowned Scottish Premier League champions would continue until at least today after they defeated Dundee United 3-1 at Tannadice on Friday. The Hoops, who need just one point from their final five fixtures, could have wrapped up the title without kicking a ball if Motherwell had slipped up against United. However, a clinical display from Motherwell helped them claim all three points to reduce the gap at the top of the table to 12 points. It means Celtic will now have the opportunity to clinch their second successive league title in front of their own fans in today’s match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Parkhead. At Tannadice, Stuart McCall’s side took the lead after just two minutes when Michael Higdon found the net with a strike from 25m. Henrik Ojamaa doubled their lead in the eighth minute before Higdon rifled home his second of the game 10 minutes after the break. Jon Daly sent a shot through the legs of Motherwell goalkeeper Darren Randolph to pull one back for United in the 69th minute.
Japan thrash Philippines
Five-time defending champions Japan got off to a flying start in the Asian Five Nations rugby tournament by scoring a humiliating 121-0 victory over the promoted Philippines yesterday. Fullback Ayumu Goromaru gave Japan a 3-0 lead with a penalty in the seventh minute before going on to score 14 conversions and one try for a total of 36 points. Two rookies, Male Sau and Kenki Fukuoka, as well as Harumichi Takekawa, Hitoshi Ono and Ryu Koliniasi Holani, scored two tries each, while eight other players were also on target. Flyhalf Gareth Holgate had a chance to score for the Philippines, but he mis-fired penalty shots in the eighth and 19th minutes of the first half.