I can’t believe it’s that time again, but apparently it is, so welcome to this week’s Women’s Sports Column.
As usual, there has been plenty going on this week, including what I thought was a quite spectacular International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8th. So here we go with stories from athletics, tennis, football, sports governance, netball and rugby and cricket. Let’s crack on.
The Lionesses finished a creditable third in their second appearance at the SheBelieves Cup in the USA. France were the eventual winners after they convincingly beat the hosts 3-0.
England 0-1 Germany
England finished their campaign with one win from three as they lost narrowly to Germany on Wednesday. Again England got off to a storming start and they had several chances in the first 20 minutes. But Germany came back into it, having the better of the play and scoring what turned out to be the only goal of the game, through Anja MIttag, just before half-time.
Jordan Nobbs and Demi Stokes had chances in the second-half and Jill Scott had a clear opportunity in stoppage time, but shot over.
England coach Mark Sampson should be pleased with the three performances and it was certainly all good build-up to the Euros in the summer.
Scotland 0-0 Wales
Scotland won 6-5 on penalties
Scotland beat Wales in a penalty shoot-out to take fifth place in the Cyprus Cup.
After 90 minutes there was no score and the game went to penalties with Frankie Brown scoring the winner for the Scots.
The eventual winners of the tournament were South Korea who beat Switzerland 1-0. Third place went to North Korea who beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0.
Notts County have signed full-back Shelly Provan on a contract which takes her up to the end of the Spring Series.
The BBC has won the rights to broadcast the 2019 Women’s World Cup due to be held in France in 2019.
Every game will be covered across television, radio or online.
It’s round four this weekend and the fixtures are as follows:
Saturday 11 March, 11.30am
Wales v Ireland (Cardiff Arms Park)
Saturday 11 March, 1pm
England v Scotland (The Stoop)
Sunday 12 March, 2pm GMT
Italy v France (Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi)
France 4/Eurosport IT
Apologies that the European Indoor Athletics passed under my radar last week.
Scotland’s Laura Muir won gold in both the 1500m and 3,000m. In the latter she broke the championship record in a time of eight minutes 35.68 seconds with Eilish McColgan taking bronze.
Asha Philip won gold in the 60m in a time of 7.06 seconds, a new British record.
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke took silver in the 800m in a photo-finish with Swiss athlete Selina Buchel.
Lorraine Ugen won silver in the women’s long jump and the 4x400m relay team of Eilidh Doyle, Philippa Lowe, Mary Iheke and Laviai Nielsen also took silver behind Poland.
Great Britain finished second in the medal table behind Poland.
Yelena Isinbayeva has been reappointed as Chair of RUSADA, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. She was originally appointed in December but WADA took issue with the appointment and so the election was re-run. Isinbayeva was re-elected.
She was critical of Russia’s competition-wide ban declaring it “a blatant political order”, but today, Friday 10 March she said,
“We will watch and control everybody and everything.
“We have just one attempt to clear our sport of this dirt.”
WADA has already been critical of the speed of reform in Russian athletics and will now be sure to be watching carefully to see what happens next.
In a landmark ruling, Muslim women have won the right to wear full body suits in amateur swimming competitions. This will include all Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) meets and national competition.
Full body suits are already allowed in Olympic Games.
In a separate development, Nike has become the first major sports brand to produce a range of hijabs for sporting Muslim women. They are not the first in the field, but they are by far the biggest. It can only be a matter of time before others follow suit.
Women in Sport report
A new survey from Women in Sport has found that the number of women in the top posts of sports governing bodies is down 6% since 2014. Read the full report here: https://www.womeninsport.org/news/women-sport-launches-beyond-30-campaign/
Needless to say, and more than a little irritating were the comments at the bottom of the BBC report were all about netball’s governing body, which has 90% women on its board and isn’t this really sexist?
World Cup Schedule
Here’s the link to the full schedule, but this is when and where England will be playing:
Saturday 24 June v India (Derby CCC)
Tuesday 27 June v Pakistan (Leicester CCC)
Sunday 2 July v Sri Lanka (Taunton)
Wednesday 5 July v South Africa (Bristol)
Sunday 9 July v Australia (Bristol)
Wednesday 12 July v New Zealand (Derby CCC)
Saturday 15 July v West Indies (Bristol)
The semi-finals will be at Bristol (18 July) and Derby (20 July), with the final at Lord’s on Sunday 23 July.
The 2017 Ashes schedule has also been released and includes the first ever day-night Ashes Test. The series well again be multi-format.
22 October – 1st ODI, AB Field, Brisbane
26 October – 2nd ODI, Coffs Harbour International Stadium
29 October – 3rd ODI, Coffs Harbour International Stadium
9-12 November – Test match, North Sydney Oval
17 November – 1st T20, North Sydney Oval
19 November – 2nd T20, Manuka Oval, Canberra
21 November – 3rd T20, Manuka Oval, Canberra
Women’s Ashes points system
Test: Win – 4 points
ODI: Win – 2 points
T20: Win – 2 points
On the field
3rd ODI, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
New Zealand 270/9 (50 overs)
Australia 273/5 (49.2 overs)
Australia sealed a 2-1 series win over their greatest rivals in a thrilling contest at the Bay Oval. Meg Lanning won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat. She must have been ruing that decision when the White Ferns got off to a flyer. Susie Bates was out in the 11th over for 27, but Rachel Priest made 77 and Katie Perkins 34 as they posted an excellent total of 270. Pick of the bowlers for the Southern Stars were Jess Jonassen and Ashleigh Gardner who took three wickets each.
The Australian reply began inauspiciously when opener Nicole Bolton was bowled for a duck by Holly Huddleston in the second over. But in came captain Lanning and the tide turned. She and Beth Mooney put on a 93-run partnership before Mooney was run out for 69 in the 20th over. Ellyse Perry only managed a single, but good contributions from Elyse Villani, Alex Blackwell and Alyssa Healy plus 104 not out for Lanning sealed the game and the series.
BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells
Heather Watson plays Johanna Konta in the second round after beating American Nicole Gibbs 4-6 6-2 6-2 in round one.
Meanwhile, world number one Serena Williams has had to withdraw from the tournament with a knee injury.
Round three of the Vitality Superleague took place at the weekend. Round four is this weekend. You can see Surrey Storm v Hertfordshire Mavericks live on Sky Sports on Saturday 11 March at 6pm.
There are still three unbeaten teams at the top of the table; Surrey, Wasps and Loughborough. Northumbria and Dragons are at the bottom, yet to take a point.
The third round results were as follows:
Friday 3 March
Severn Stars 53-46 Celtic Dragons
Saturday 4 March
Manchester Thunder 53-49 Sirens
Team Northumbria 46-63 Surrey Storm
Sunday 5 March
Wasps 51-47 Hertfordshire Mavericks
Monday 6 March
Team Bath 41-47 Loughborough Lightning
And finally, in a moment of shameless self-promotion, I offer you the piece I wrote for International Women’s Day on 8 March 2017: https://pennyjhopkins.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/international-womens-day-and-the-world-of-womens-sport/