Women’s Sports Column

laura trott27 Feb – 4 Mar 2016

It’s been another busy week for women’s sport, but is there any other kind? Well yes if the mainstream media are anything to go by….

Off the soapbox and here we go. This week’s stories come from cycling, cricket, tennis, skiing, netball, rugby union and football.

The stunning Laura Trott claimed gold again this week at the Track Cycling World Championships in London. She won the scratch race beating Kirsten Wild from the Netherlands into second. In an interview with the BBC Trott said,

“When I was in the race I wasn’t feeling that good,” said Trott. “But it worked out perfectly for me. I’m so happy. I let everybody get on with it and raced my own race.”

It seemed she was out of it with five laps to go, but she came to take the sixth World Championship gold of her career.

Becky James claimed keirin bronze in an impressive display – just reward for a rider who has suffered so much injury over the last three years. The winner of the race was Germany’s Kristina Vogel with the Australian Anna Meares in second.

The T20 Cricket World Cup draws ever nearer and the warm-up matches and series are still in full flow. The tournament is wide-open and there have been more shocks this week as the New Zealand Silver Ferns beat the Aussies 2-1 in their T20 series. At the moment it appears anyone can beat anyone! I will be covering the World Cup for http://www.womenssportsuk.com/. This will include previews of the two groups next week and daily reports and match reports from matches involving England and Ireland. It’s going to be good – take it from me!

Better news for British tennis this week as both Johanna Konta and Heather Watson progressed to the quarter finals of the Monterrey Open in Mexico. Konta, who is seed fourth will face one of two Belgians, Kirsten Flipkens or Alison van Uytvanck and Watson will be up again second seed Caroline Wozniacki or Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

In skiing, after crashing in Andorra last week, Lindsey Vonn is out for the rest of the season. She was carried off on a stretcher on the day, and it appeared that she had sustained a knee injury, but a scan later revealed she has three fractures to her tibial plateau (around the shinbone).

Lots of netball news again this week. On the international front, it has been announced that England will take part in a new tournament in August. It will be held in New Zealand and Australia and is to be called the International Netball Super Series (everything’s “Super” these days isn’t it?).

The first event of the series will be in Auckland. The teams will be the Aussie Diamonds, NZ Ferns, SA Proteas and England Roses.

The Fixtures:

27 August, Auckland: New Zealand v England and Australia v South Africa
31 August, Hamilton: New Zealand v South Africa
31 August, Adelaide: Australia v England
4 September, Melbourne: Australia v New Zealand and England v South Africa

In the Superleague this week the results were as follows:

Saturday 27/2
Celtic Dragons 45 65 Team Bath
Loughborough Lightning 55 54 Surrey Storm
Hertfordshire Mavericks 48 57 Manchester Thunder

Monday 29th February

Team Bath 42 56 Hertfordshire Mavericks
Manchester Thunder 49 55 Surrey Storm
Yorkshire Jets 33 55 Celtic Dragons
Team Northumbria 47 46 Loughborough Lightning

This leaves Thunder and Mavericks on top with 15 points. Yorkshire Jets bring up the rear having not won a game yet this season.

The SheBelieves Cup began on March 3 with wins for Germany and USA. England were narrowly beaten 1-0 by the World Champions from a stunning 20-yard strike in the 72nd minute from Crystal Dunn. It was a tight game, though, and England possibly deserved a draw. England’s best chance fell to Toni Duggan, who, instead of crossing to a free player in the box, decided to shoot and her shot was easily saved by Hope Solo in the USA goal.

Germany beat France also 1-0 with an 83rd minute goal from Leonie Maier.

England play Germany next on 6 March. It will be live on the BBC from 10.45pm.

On a domestic note, the Media playback is not supported on this device

Women’s FA Cup fifth-round draw has been announced:

All ties are due to be played on 20 March

Birmingham City v Arsenal

Doncaster Belles v Chelsea

Brighton & Hove Albion v Sporting Club Albion

Reading v Millwall Lionesses

Yeovil Town v Sunderland

Liverpool v Manchester City

Notts County v Durham

Aston Villa v Everton

It was a close round of Six Nations Six Nations games last weekend. England beat Ireland in a tight match at Twickenham on Saturday 13-9. Read my match report at www.womenssportsuk.com. On Sunday, Italy beat Scotland 22-7. This represents a big improvement for Scotland, who have shown great heart during this year’s tournament. And in the third match, Wales claimed a notable scalp beating France 10-8.

And finally, while watching the live stream of the England v Ireland Six Nations game on Saturday, I began to have an interesting Twitter discussion with a couple of fellow women’s sports-lovers. We had all come to the same conclusion; if ITV had the cameras and personnel at Twickenham on Saturday to cover the men’s game, why couldn’t they have broadcast the women’s game as well? It needn’t have been on ITV1, but could have been on ITV4, where they show a lot of their sport. It would have sent a clear message to the rugby-watching public that the women’s game was worth investing in. But no, although it was on 5Live Sports Xtra it was only streamed on the RFU website. Come on, ITV get it sorted, or else we’re going to be stuck in the cycle of no promotion, no investment, no sponsorship, no interest for ever.