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Animal invaders, Mankad mania and Raducanu v Fernandez in 2018

The Guardian
The Guardian
 2021-09-16
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Emma Raducanu during the girls’ singles at Wimbledon in 2018.

1) The Premiership returns this weekend with Harlequins aiming to defend the title they won in some style a few months ago. An improbable comeback from 28-0 down against Bristol in last season’s semi-final makes for six minutes of some of the best rugby you’ll see … the 40-38 win against Exeter in the final was none too shabby, either.

2) Tottenham face another London derby this weekend after last Saturday’s defeat by Crystal Palace. Unfortunately for them it’s an even tougher game as they host Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League winners. Back in 2012, Chelsea were 5-1 victors in an FA Cup semi-final against Spurs, with a vintage Didier Drogba strike opening the scoring. To cheer up Spurs fans, though, here they are beating the Blues 2-1 in 2010 thanks to goals by Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe, and here’s another Tottenham win over Chelsea in the Premier League: 3-1 in 2018.

3) A dog got involved during a cricket match in Ireland last weekend.

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Spaniel Vettori: Dog retrieves ball during Women's All-Ireland T20 Cup semi-final – video

There is, of course, a rich archive of canines interfering with sporting fixtures – from “Stray Given” in Scotland last month, a pooch invader in Bolivia late last year and this excitable dog that held up play for seven minutes during a fixture between Halesowen Town and Skelmersdale United in 2017. For good measure here is our brief history of pitch-invading dogs from 2018.

Inevitably, when dogs start getting attention, cats run a claw or two down your favourite furniture to reclaim the spotlight. But few drew as many looks as this one, dangling precariously from the top of the stadium as the University of Miami hosted Appalachian State University. Thankfully some quick-thinking, flag-waving fans used the stars and stripes as a suitable safety net.

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Feline good: cat falls from stand into US flag at college football match – video

And this one did all the hard work, timing its overlapping run well from the right wing to get into the box during Real Salt Lake’s 2019 game against Tigres, but André-Pierre Gignac sadly fluffed his final ball. More animal interventions at the football here, including a chicken at Ewood Park. One of those showcased – dubbed Shankly, the Anfield Cat – ultimately opted against being rehomed by a shelter and did another runner.

4) This weekend, cycling’s Road World Championships return, this time in Flanders. Two years ago, Anna van Vleuten dusted the women’s road race field with an astonishing solo break and 100km of Yorkshire scenery still to ride. Back in 1989, a classic in the men’s event all the way to the rain-soaked sprint in Chambéry, with Greg LeMond, Sean Kelly and Dimitri Konyshev facing off.

5) Some sniff that one Mankad dismissal is too many Mankad dismissals. Cameroon’s Maeva Douma says: “Here, have four in one innings.” Surely noted Mankad fan Ravi Ashwin would applaud. Jos Buttler, not so much.

6) Happy 28th birthday Bryson DeChambeau! Here are some of his biggest recent swings … and here’s him currying favour with his driver manufacturer after some that displeased him. It’s now also 63 laps round the sun for Neville Southall. Here’s the former Everton and Wales stopper not appreciating Michael Owen’s showboating while training with a young keeper (watch to the end for the punchline). Enjoy also a showreel of some of his own ludicrously good saves.

1) Thirty years ago this month: pure relay magic from Black, Redmond, Regis and Akabusi v the USA. Bonus link! The quartet got back together to mark the anniversary in conversation with Athletics Weekly.

2) After last week’s roundup of Curtly Ambrose magic, here’s one from the other end of his speed scale.

3) Emma Raducanu v Leylah Fernandez – 2018 style.

Spotters’ badges: jezzan, dirkodirk, deanderwent.

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