Matthews’ six-try haul earns place in stu­dent Lions squad

The Herald - Herald Sport - - Update -

RUGBY LEAGUE

A tour­na­ment-best six-try haul at the Stu­dent Four Na­tions Cham­pi­onships at Scot­stoun last week­end has cat­a­pulted Scot­land’s Craw­ford Matthews into the English-dom­i­nated Great Bri­tain Aca­demic Lions squad for this sum­mer’s tour of Aus­tralia, writes Kevin Fer­rie.

The 19-year-old Hull player, who qual­i­fies for Scot­land through his Cur­rie-born fa­ther and Greenock-born mother, is the first Scot since Barry Earl, of Edinburgh’s Napier Univer­sity in 2006, to be se­lected for the GB Aca­demic Lions. He scored four tries in Scot­land’s open­ing day win against the Ir­ish Stu­dents then one each against Wales and Eng­land.

“I feel im­mensely proud to be in­cluded in the Great Bri­tain squad. This is not only an ac­co­lade for me, but for my Scot­land team mates and my coaches at Hull FC,” said Matthews who has rep­re­sented Scot­land at U16, U18 and A in­ter­na­tional level. Play­ing in Aus­tralia has al­ways been an as­pi­ra­tion of mine and the chance to do it as part of an in­ter­na­tional tour­ing side is truly ex­cit­ing.”

BAs­kEt­BALL

The Bri­tish Bas­ket­ball League cham­pi­ons Mersey Tigers are likely to lose their lead­ing play­ers this sum­mer, re­gard­less of the out­come of to­day’s BBL Play-off fi­nal against Sh­effield Sharks, writes Mark Woods. The fi­nan­cially-trou­bled Liver­pool side, who can com­plete a do­mes­tic tre­ble with vic­tory at Birm­ing­ham’s Na­tional In­door Arena, have united in ad­ver­sity with their en­tire squad forced to de­fer wage pay­ments on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

De­spite a heavy loss to Sh­effield in Jan­uary’s cup fi­nal, Tony Gar­be­lotto’s men ral­lied to se­cure both the league and BBL Tro­phy. The Tigers for­ward Andrew Thom­son ad­mits the end of sea­son show­piece will in­evitably serve as one last hur­rah. “It’s a shame this team will be bro­ken up this sum­mer,” he said. “Be­ing an all-Bri­tish team is some­thing spe­cial. We’ve been through a lot since the be­gin­ning of the sea­son. It’s brought us to­gether. And I think we’ll go out on a high in the fi­nal.”

CY­CLING

Scot­land’s David Mil­lar, of Garmin, will go to the line for to­day’s penul­ti­mate stage of the Tour de Ro­mandie in Switzer­land, in­tent on chal­leng­ing for a win and forc­ing his way up the gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion, writes Colin Ren­ton. He fin­ished in the main group on yes­ter­day’s 166km third stage from Thier­rens to Neucha­tel, shar­ing the same time as Alexan­dre Vi­nok­ourov (As­tana), who out­sprinted Mikael Cherel (AG2R) and Tony Martin (HTCColumbia) to take the win.

Mil­lar played down his chances in to­day’s 20.1km time trial: “My form is com­ing back and the time trial should suit me but I’ll have to beat the big favourite Tony Martin.” The overnight leader Pavel Brutt, of Ka­tusha, also crossed the line in the bunch to re­tain the yel­low jer­sey from Vi­nok­ourov by 32sec. Mil­lar is in 22nd place, 1min 20sec down on Brutt.

GoLf

Michael Smyth up­staged a host of Scot­land caps to lead the home chal­lenge af­ter the open­ing round of the Lytham Tro­phy over the Royal Lytham links, writes Nick Rodger.

The Royal Troon mem­ber, pipped to the Ayr­shire Stroke­play ti­tle in a play-off last week­end, posted a bat­tling three-over 73 in tough con­di­tions to share fifth, two shots be­hind Lan­cashire’s Jack Se­nior, who eased to the front with a one-over 71. Smyth, a quar­ter-fi­nal­ist in last year’s Scot­tish cham­pi­onship, had been four-over at the turn but ral­lied with three birdies at 11, 13 and 14. De­spite two more bo­geys over the test­ing clos­ing stretch, Smyth’s ef­fort tucked him in among the lead­ers.

Royal Aberdeen’s Scott Larkin, run­ner-up in last year’s North­ern Open on the Tar­tan Tour, opened with a 74 with Peter La­timer and Al­lyn Dick a shot fur­ther back on 75. Fraserburgh’s Kris Ni­col, sec­ond at Lytham a year ago, had a 77 but Dun­bar’s Alexan­der Cul­ver­well, who won his first do­mes­tic or­der of merit ti­tle in the Battle Tro­phy at Crail a fort­night ago, came crash­ing to earth with an 86. Scot­tish cham­pion Michael Ste­wart, one of the favourites this week­end, was a late with­drawal from the event with a wrist in­jury.

RAL­LY­ING

David Bo­gie hopes to ex­tend his Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship lead to­day, with the leg­endary Jimmy McRae also con­test­ing the Pirelli In­ter­na­tional rally, writes Ken­neth Stephen. Bo­gie, from Dum­fries, leads the se­ries by two points from El­fyn Evans and the stage is set for a ti­tanic battle be­tween the front run­ners. At the other end of the age range, McRae makes his come­back in the Tuthill Porsche Chal­lenge class on the same event. The five-time Bri­tish cham­pion and win­ner of the event in 1992 will be one of the favourites in the cat­e­gory. “The Pirelli Rally has fan­tas­tic stages; there’s a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing,” said McRae Sr, fa­ther of Alis­ter and the late world cham­pion, Colin.

shINtY

Ed­die Tembo, Glenurquhart’s Scot­land in­ter­na­tional for­ward, is de­ter­mined to help Glen halt Kyles’ charge to the top of the ta­ble to­day and atone for a black day at Tignabru­aich last year, writes Ken­neth Stephen. The Scot­land man has been a key man as Glens have en­joyed a fine start to the cam­paign but they face their stiffest test so far against Kyles. When the sides met last year, the Drum­nadro­chit out­fit were so short of play­ers, they had to field their man­ager Jim Barr. “Kyles have al­ways been a good side,” said Tembo, “but, to­wards the end of last sea­son, we went there and lost 6-0. We only had 11 play­ers and two guys who were sec­ond team but not reg­u­lars.”

voL­LEY­BALL

The Scot­land coach Si­mon Lof­tus has suf­fered a se­ries of call-offs ahead of next week’s Euro­pean C Cham­pi­onship fi­nals in An­dorra, writes Roddy Macken­zie. Chris La­mont, who played a big part in Scot­land reach­ing the fi­nals, has been re­called by the Great Bri­tain squad af­ter an im­pres­sive sea­son for Bel­gian club side Me­nen. Paul Glissov, who has been play­ing in Ger­many, is also out be­cause of a knee prob­lem and Robin Mei­dz­i­brodzki is in China for his first world beach event of the year. “It is not ideal,” said Lof­tus. “Real­is­ti­cally, it will be nice to win a game or two as the prepa­ra­tion phase has been four weeks shorter than we had last year and get­ting all the play­ers to prac­tice has been near im­pos­si­ble.”

squad. Scot­land (Euro­pean C Ch’ships, An­dorra) M Penny, S Hammond, J McHardy, B McGuigan (City of Edinburgh), S Edgar, C Giles (Kil­marnock Blaze), A Gal­loway, B O’Neill (City of Glas­gow Ragazzi), C Green (Leeds Carnegie), R Isted (Malory Ea­gles), A Krawczyk (Glas­gow Mets); N Collins (Dundee)

Craw­ford Matthews is the first Scot to earn se­lec­tion for the Great Bri­tain Aca­demic Lions since 2006. The squad will tour Aus­tralia

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