Welcome to this week’s column. Don’t think I missed much last week – well I certainly didn’t read much anywhere else, so there couldn’t have been much going on.…
Anyway, stories this week come from golf, football, cricket, rugby, sports leadership, boxing and an “and finally” giving you the BT Action Woman Award shortlist (and wow, what a shortlist!).
Top billing this week goes to Britain’s Charley Hull who won her first LPGA tournament on Sunday. She won the CME Group Tour Championship in Florida.
She finished her four rounds on -19, two ahead of South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon, with Jennifer Song of the US third on -15.
Fellow Britons Jodie Ewart Shadoff finished on -3 in a share of 36th place and Catriona Matthew level in 46th.
Hull had a one shot lead going into the final round. She shot a fourth round 66 with six birdies and no bogeys to take the win with a tournament record score.
She took $500,000 in prize money and finishes the year as world number 29.
In the ring
Katie Taylor makes her professional debut on Saturday at Wembley Arena.
She fights Poland’s Karina Kopinska. Result and report next week.
Out of the ring
Nicola Adams appeared on Desert Island Discs on Sunday 20 November on Radio 4. If you missed it, it’s well worth a listen and is still available on the BBC I-player.
On the pitch
Manchester City continued their great form (actually last week, but I feel I should report on it for the sake of continuity), as they made it into the quarter-finals of the Women’s Champions League.
They took a 1-0 first leg lead to Danish side Brondby and managed to secure a 1-1 draw away from home to take a 2-1 aggregate win.
In the 64th minute City took the lead through a fabulous curling shot from Toni Duggan, but the lead didn’t last long as Nanna Christiansen poked the ball in to make it 1-1.
City’s defences were not breached again and they will now play in the last eight in March.
Off the pitch
Chelsea Ladies have signed Norway captain Maren Mjelde on a two year contract.
Mjelde, who plays in central midfield, has won 107 caps. She will join the Blues on 1 January.
Football Association Women’s Football Awards
Jordan Nobbs was named England player of the year the FA Women’s Football Awards this week, while Chelsea’s Millie Bright was voted England young player of the year.
Manchester City manager Nick Cushing was named WSL manager of the year and City also won club of the year.
Manchester City defender Lucy Bronze took the WSL 1 player of the year.
Former England manager, Hope Powell, was also honoured, receiving the award for Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Football.
On the pitch
England v Sri Lanka
England duly completed a 4-0 series whitewash over their much weaker opponents, sealing automatic qualification for next year’s World Cup in the process.
India v West Indies
After the home side took the three-match ODI series 3-0, it was West Indies turn in the three-match T20 series.
1st T20 18 November
India 150/4 (20 overs)
West Indies 154/4 (19.1 overs)
West Indies won by 6 wickets with 5 balls to spare.
2nd T20 20 November
West Indies 137/5 (20 overs)
India 106 all out (18.1 overs)
West Indies won by 31 runs
3rd T20 22 November
West Indies 139/4 (20 overs)
India 124/3 (20 overs)
West Indies won by 15 runs
New Zealand v Pakistan
New Zealand completed a clean sweep in their five-match ODI series against Pakistan.
They also played one T20 which they also won.
T20 ODI 21 November
New Zealand 118/9 (20 overs)
Pakistan 104 all out (20 overs)
New Zealand won by 14 runs
Australia v South Africa
With two more ODIs to play in a five-match series, Australia have already clinched it. They won the first three:
1st ODI 18 November
South Africa 226/5 (50 overs)
Australia 230/8 (49.5 overst)
Australia won by 2 wickets with 1 ball remaining.
2nd ODI 20 November
Australia 278/4 (50 overs)
South Africa 119/5 (31.2 overs)
Australia won by 66 runs by D/L method
Meg Lanning scored 134 for Australia.
3rd ODI 23 November
South Africa 173/8 (50 overs)
Australia 174/1 (27.1 overs)
Australia won by 9 wickets with 29 balls to spare. Lizelle Lee made her maiden century, scoring 102 off 89 balls.
Off the pitch
The ICC has awarded Pakistan six points towards the ICC Women’s Championship for the three-match series that should have been played against India before the end of October.
The series was never played and so considered forfeited by the ICC.
This now means that both India and Pakistan will have to qualify for the World Cup as both are in the bottom four of the championship table.
The PCB was due to host the series in the UAE, but the BCCI did not respond to the PCB’s queries regarding the series and a scheduling agreement could not be reached.
The ten-team qualification tournament will take place in Colombo in February 2017.
It also means that West Indies gain the last automatic qualification place.
There are four World Cup places up for grabs and the qualification tournament participants will be: Pakistan, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand and Zimbabwe.
On the pitch
England 20 – 25 New Zealand
England lost a tight match to World Cup favourites, New Zealand, at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.
Rochelle “Rocky” Clark set a new international caps record as she won her 116th to beat the record held by Scotland’s Donna Kennedy.
On the field things didn’t go so well for the Red Roses. England started confidently with Fiona Pocock scoring a try in the first minute. It went unconverted.
The Black Ferns came back and scored a try through Renee Wickliffe just before half-time which was converted by Kendra Cocksedge to make it 7-5 to the visitors at the break.
England came out for the second-half with renewed vigour. First Harriet Millar-Mills and then Lydia Thompson went over for two more tries and with one conversion by Katy McLean the score was 17-7 to the home side.
Enter Cocksedge again. The scrum-half scored two tries in five minutes, converting one to take them ahead again 17-19.
Emily Scarratt then kicked a penalty for England and they were in front again on 20-19.
But New Zealand and Cocksedge were not to be outdone. She kicked two late penalties to secure the win – the Black Ferns’ ninth in a row and their fifth unbeaten against England.
Ireland 7-48 Canada
Canada are currently second in the world rankings, and from this performance it’s easy to see why.
It was all over as a contest by half-time as Canada ran in tries from DaLeaka Menin, Julianne Zussman and Karen Paquin, all of which were converted by Andrea Burk. Burk also popped over a penalty to make it 0-24 to the visitors at the break.
Seven minutes into the second half Ireland had their first score, a try from Nikki Caughey which she then converted.
But then normal service was resumed as Canada scored another four tries; Emily Belchos, Laura Russell, Magali Harvey and a second for Sussman. Burk converted two from four to make the final score a chastening one for Ireland.
Canada 10-20 New Zealand
In a shoot-out between the top two the Black Ferns came out winners at Donnybrook on Tuesday.
It was 8-0 to New Zealand at half-time with an unconverted try from Selica Winiata and a penalty from Kendra Cocksedge.
In the second-half Canada scored a try of their own through Magali Harvey after an interception by Latoya Blackwood. This went unconverted and the score was 5-8.
Almost immediately New Zealand were over again, this time through Aotearoa Mata’u.
Both sides were reduced to 14 after first Canada’s Brittany Waters and then New Zealand’s Eloise Blackwell were sin-binned.
Canada’s Laura Russell came off a driving maul to go over the line to bring the score back to 10-15 with 15 minutes left.
But New Zealand struck straight back once more. Cocksedge missed a penalty, but Winiata scored her second try of the match to seal the win for the Black Ferns.
26 Nov: England v Canada (Twickenham Stadium)
27 Nov: Ireland v New Zealand (The Bowl, Dublin)
Sports politics and leadership
Christine Ohuruogu has commented on the barriers faced for BAME people wanting to get into sports administration – male or female. We already know how hard it is for women to get onto sports boards or into senior administrative roles. You can multiply this several times when you add ethnicity to the mix.
Sporting Equals, an organisation that promotes ethnic diversity in sport has completed an audit and found that of 601 board members, just 26 (just over 4%) are from BAME backgrounds. Only two chairs or chief executives are from BAME backgrounds.
When interviewed, Ohuruogu said,
“Talking to other athletes and sportspeople, they are expressing concern that it is a world not open for them.
“They won’t be welcomed, won’t be valued and it is very negative. They have gone as far as they can as athletes but they don’t feel there is any more room for them to go.”
The scary thing (if these figures were not scary enough) is that the 26 board members figure is UP BY 17 from last year!
It is in everyone’s interest that wider society is reflected in the boards and organisations that run our sports. While my main is to campaign for greater inclusion for women, it is good to be reminded that there are other groups who also need a voice.
The BT Action Woman 2016 shortlist is out. And what a list it is! It has been a stellar year for women’s sport and this shortlist reflects some of the best performances, breakthroughs and results of the year.
The shortlist is:
Defended her Olympic boxing title in Rio, the first British boxer to do so since 1924.
Won all seven rounds of the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup and the world title for the fouth time.
Three more sprint gold medals from Rio to add to her Paralympic tally.
The first British Paralympian to win golds in multiple sports in the same Games for 32 years. She won gold on the track in the T-38 400m and then in the cycling C4-5 time trial.
Defended her individual dressage gold in Rio, taking her total to three Olympic golds.
GB’s hockey goalkeeping superstar helped her team to win gold in Rio. She save four penalties in the final shootout against Netherlands.
Another woman who successfully defended her Olympic title in Rio. She took -57kg gold, to be the first British athlete to win more than one taekwondo Olympic medal.
The first British female tennis player to reach the world top 10 since 1984. Won her first title on the WTA tour in Stanford, beating Venus Williams in the final. Truly a breakthrough year.
Dame Sarah Storey
Overtook Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian after winning the C5 3000m individual pursuit gold medal to take her total to 14 golds.
Laura Kenny ( formerly Trott)
Britain’s most successful female Olympian. She repeated her London golds in the omnium and team pursuit to have a total of four.
To vote for your favourite, go to http://sport.bt.com/vote-action-woman-2016-01364108169407. The closing date is 5 December, with the awards ceremony, shown live on BT Sport 1 on Monday 12 December.