For the second week running, rugby has been knocked off the top spot in the Weekly Roundup, but we couldn’t ignore the retirement of possibly the greatest ever Edinburgh sportsman, Sir Chris Hoy MBE.
Elsewhere, Hibs announce their Cup Final Ticket Distribution plans, whilst Hearts did their talking on the pitch. Well done to the Edinburgh Monarchs for a fine performance against Berwick Bandits and boxer John Thain for recording his tenth straight win. As expected Tom Daley came out top at the Royal Commonwealth Pool.
Sir Chris Hoy MBE
The Edinburgh Reporter sends our best wishes to Sir Chris Hoy MBE who announced his retirement from top class cycling at a press conference on Thursday.
Sir Chris is an eleven-time world champion, six-time Olympic champion and a winner of a total of seven Olympic Games medals, six gold and one silver, and is the most successful Olympic cyclist of all time.
He had been expected to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but felt “to go on for another year would be one too far”.
He said: “I wanted to get a medal for Scotland. I didn’t think I could so wanted someone else to take my place. It is a hard time; it is one moment at the end of your career when you say ‘enough is enough’.
“It’s a decision that I didn’t take lightly and I thought about it very hard. In sport at the highest level you are dealing in the smallest margins and you can tell when you are good but not good enough. Nothing would give me more pleasure than going to Glasgow, but I don’t want to be there for the numbers. Now it’s time for younger riders to experience what it is like to compete in front of a home crowd. I will be there to open it and soak up the experience.”
Sir Chris grew up in Corstorphine and was educated at George Watson’s College, followed by the University of St Andrews in 1996. He subsequently transferred to the University of Edinburgh, from which he graduated B.Sc. (Hons.) in Applied Sports Science in 1999.
Rugby by John Preece
A bit of success on the Scotland front to start with. Scotland’s women are currently in Madrid – someone has to do it – playing in three 2014 WRWC Qualifying matches.
Their first match was against The Netherlands, whom they beat 33-0 last season, and they went on to score five tries to the opposition’s one to record a 29-7 victory. The ladies will now go on to play Italy on Tuesday and their final match against Sweden on Saturday.
A bit of bad news for Scotland in the shape of Duncan Weir’s serious looking ankle injury sustained in Glasgow’s Friday night win over the Ospreys. The stand-off had his ankle twisted back through more than ninety degrees in a tackle – it looked as if it smarted a bit even on the telly! – and the subsequent damage will put him out of the game until early next season. As a result he will miss Scotland’s summer tour to South Africa where the team will be up against South Africa, Italy and Samoa in a round-robin tournament.
Edinburgh, on the other hand, suffered a 30-10 defeat against Treviso in Italy on Friday. In spite of quickly establishing a 10 nil lead, the Edinburgh side had 30 unanswered points scored against them. Using a combination of a superior scrum and Edinburgh indiscipline, the Italian side were always on the front foot and, after weathering a ‘nearly’ try early in the second half, took their second league victory over the visitors this season.
The club rugby scene had a slight hiatus this weekend as Murrayfield hosted the RBS Cup, Shield and Bowl finals. Unfortunately, no Edinburgh teams were involved this season and the trophies went to Ayr, Grangemouth and Marr respectively.
There are now just a few matches left of the regular season to tidy up the final lower league positions, the upper two tiers having completed their seasons.
HEARTS have told Darren Barr and Gordon Smith their Tynecastle careers are over. However, the club will make an attempt to keep Andy Webster for next season on reduced terms.
Marius Zaliukas, Dylan McGowan, Arvydas Novikovas and Fraser Mullen are also out of contract this summer and are awaiting news on their futures.
On the field, Hearts started their bottom six fixtures with a 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park thanks to an early goal from striker John Sutton. Hearts could have doubled their lead in the second half, but Ryan Stevenson’s penalty was well saved by Cammy Bell.
Hibs’ players had a well-deserved few days off after their 4-3 win over Falkirk in the Scottish Cup semi-final, as they prepare for their home fixture against Aberdeen on Monday night.
Before the game, club legend Pat Stanton will officially unveil the new East Stand stones which contain personalised messages from the fans.
The club also announced details of the allocation of cup final tickets, with current season ticket holders being allowed to purchase one, and those who renew next year will get a second. All fans who purchase tickets for the remaining home games against Aberdeen, St Mirren and Dundee will be entered in a ballot, with 100 from each game being allowed to but two.
East of Scotland Football
In midweek, Edinburgh City moved into third position in the Central Taxis Premier Division with a 4-0 win against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale.
City took the lead after 15 minutes through Robbie Ross before McDiarmid was sent off for the visitors. Ross added a second then Dougie Gair scored a double to secure the points.
Tynecastle did their chances of avoiding relegation some good with a 3-1 victory over Vale of Leithen saw them climb off the bottom, ahead of Edinburgh University on goal difference.
Tynecastle they fought back from a goal down to claim the points after Vale took the lead after six minutes through Jim Young, but Jamie Butler brought Tynecastle level with an overhead kick. With 20 minutes left Jamie Devlin’s free kick was headed in by John Williams, and Butler sealed the win from close range
In the first division, Leith Athletic beat Ormiston 2-1, thanks to a Craig Hume penalty and a Kenny Hall left foot shot, and Craigroyston came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Easthouses Lily thanks to a Jason Young equaliser in the 89th minute.
On Saturday, Edinburgh University beat Gretna 1-0, whilst fellow students Heriot Watt went down 1-0 to Stirling University. Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale drew 1-1 with Preston Athletic at Saughton Enclosure, Tynecastle lost 4-2 to Civil Service Strollers and Edinburgh City beat Vale of Leithen 3-0 in the Borders.
In the first division, Craigroyston beat Duns 7-1 away from home, but Leith Athletic lost 3-1 at home to Coldstream.
Spartans friendly with Newtongrange Star, scheduled for Saturday was postponed.
Tynecastle FC are celebrating their 85th year on Saturday, June 1, in the Gorgie Suite at Tynecastle Stadium with a 7.30pm start. Former players Graeme Souness, Ian Black and Craig Gordon are expected to attend. For more information on purchasing tickets, please call club chairman Douglas Dalgleish on 0793 114 0724.
Hibs’ Ladies progressed to the semi-final of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup thanks to a 3-2 win over Hamilton at Albyn Park Broxburn, thanks to two goals from Susan Fairlie and one from Caroline Weir
Jenna Fife made her debut in goals and marked a fine performance with a penalty save. Jenna replaced Shannon Lynn who has moved to Chelsea.
Spartans join Hibs in the semi-finals after a 2-1 win over Buchan. The Ainslie Park outfit went 2-0 up thanks to an own goal, and a goal from Katie Reilly, but Silcocks pulled one back for Buchan in the 38th minute. No further goals ensured that Spartans progressed.
Hutchison Vale Ladies failed to make it three Edinburgh team in the semis however, losing 3-0 to Forfar Farmington thanks to goals from Heron, Napier and Scott.
Birmingham’s Danny King came out top at the British Semi-Final at Armadale by the narrowest of margins over Monarchs’ star Cook, who tied with King on 14 points. The rule to split ties starts with numbers of wins and second places, then moves on to ‘who beat who’ and at that point, King took it due to his heat 11 victory over Craig.
Fellow Monarchs’ Derek Sneddon, Kyle Howarth and Ricky Ashworth narrowly sailed to qualify.
The British Final qualifiers are:
Danny King 14, Craig Cook 14, Eddie Kennett 12, Chris Harris 11, Richie Worrall 11, Stuart Robson 9, James Wright 8. Reserve will be James Grieves 7.
The other scorers: Derek Sneddon 6, Kyle Howarth 6, Charles Wright 6, Ricky Ashworth 6, Chris Mills 4, Richard Lawson 3, Ashley Morris 2, Steve Worrall 1.
On Saturday night, the Monarchs travelled south to Berwick where superb performances from Craig Cook and Claus Vissing who scored 5-1s in heats 13 and 15 and both were just one point short of a maximum saw the Armadale side start their League Cup campaign with a 48-42 win over the Bandits.
The Bandits will look for revenge at Armadale on Friday and are expected to use a guest.
Congratulations to Edinburgh light middleweight John Thain who beat Middlesex southpaw Ryan Toms at Frank Warren’s Rule Britannia undercard at Wembley Arena on Saturday night. The result means that John retains his unbeaten record with 10 straight victories.
The 51st edition of the Belgrade Winner Tournament opened on 18 April in Belgrade, with 72 boxers coming from four continents to compete in nine weight categories from 52kg to the 91+kg.
Clovenstone boxer Ryan McCutcheon and Lochend pair Lewis Benson and Aston Brown represented Scotland.
Great Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley made his first international appearance of the season on the final day of the FINA/Midea Diving World Series Edinburgh leg, winning the Men’s 10m platform preliminaries.
Tom enters this World Series season with a new order to his list, and after closing his prelim with a top score of 90.75 for his reverse 3 ½ somersault, the 18-year old finished with 518.80.
Afterwards Tom said: “It was a little nerve-wracking opening with an armstand but it was good to be in front of the crowd again and get my motivation back.”
Mexico’s Ivan Garcia finished second with 493.75, Russia’s Victor Minibaev scored 489.80 to finish third and Ukraine’s Anton Zakahorov finished fourth with a score of 428.15
The Royal Commonwealth Pool was recently refurbished at a cost of £37 million, and boasts the only Olympic-height 10 metre diving board in Scotland.
Earlier GB Team-mates Becky Gallantree and Alicia Blagg’s won silver in the women’s springboard synchro and Chris Mears and Nick Robinson-Baker won bronze in the men’s event.