Latest – Everton struck three times in seven minutes in the second half as they came from a goal down to beat Burnley 3-1 and move level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester United at Goodison Park.

Everton Manager Rafa Benitez Photo: PHOTOSPORT


Ben Mee’s header on his 200th Premier League appearance handed Burnley the lead in the 53rd minute but Everton’s response was emphatic as the hosts came alive to claim their third league victory of the season.

Michael Keane headed Everton’s equaliser in the 59th minute before Andros Townsend curled in a sensational left-footed finish to give Everton the lead — his first league goal since joining on a free transfer from Crystal Palace.

Seconds later Demarai Gray went through all alone to slot home Everton’s third goal to the delight of the home fans who had not liked what they had seen earlier.

New Zealander Chris Wood had one good chance to score for Burnley in the first half.

Everton moved into fourth spot with 10 points from four games — level on points with Liverpool, Chelsea and United.


Tito heading to Perth

The Western Force have added another New Zealander to their coaching staff with Paul Tito the Super Rugby side’s new forwards coach.

Taranaki assistant coach Paul Tito Photo: PHOTOSPORT


Last week Hawke’s Bay coach Mark Ozich joined as attack specialist.

Tito returned to New Zealand last year after three yewars in France and is a part of the Wellington NPC team coaching setup.

He has previously coached Taranaki to National Provincial Championship success in 2014, 15 and 16 winning both the Ranfurly Shield and the National Championship during his time with the club.

Tito played for the Chiefs and Hurricanes and also the Cardiff Blues.

Western Force chief executive officer Tony Lewis is thrilled to have Tito on board.

“Paul (Tito) is another fantastic addition to the coaching team. He is a coach with a winning mentality, but importantly has a wealth of international experience both as a player and coach,” Lewis explained.

“I am confident that he will add the leadership, knowledge and exceptional communication to take the Western Force to the next level.”

Another podium for Walsh

New Zealand shot-putter Tom Walsh has finished second at a Continental Cup meet in Zagreb, Croatia.

Walsh recorded his second best throw of the year with a distance of 22.39 metres.

However he was still 45cm behind Olympic champion Ryan Crouser who threw a meeting record 22.84 metres.

Another American Joe Kovacs was third.

Two more ATP Finalists confirmed

Newly crowned U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas have joined top-ranked Novak Djokovic in qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals.

Daniil Medvedev of Russia Daniil Medvedev Photo: PHOTOSPORT


Medvedev became the latest major winner yesterday when he ended Djokovic’s quest for a record 21st major title that would have helped the Serbian become the first man to complete a calendar year Grand Slam in 52 years.

The ATP Finals is played between the top eight men’s singles players and doubles teams, and the Russian won the season finale in 2020, when the tournament was last held in London before moving to Turin in Italy.

Djokovic has won the Finals five times in the past and became the first player to qualify for this year’s event when he tied Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal for a men’s record 20 major titles with his Wimbledon triumph.

World number two Tsitsipas is also a former ATP Finals champion and won the title in 2019.

Fourth-ranked German Alexander Zverev, Russian Andrey Rublev and Italian Matteo Berrettini are next in line to qualify for the Nov. 14-21 event.

Meanwhile the season-ending WTA Finals will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico instead of Shenzhen, China this year and will begin on Nov. 8.

In July, the WTA removed the Asian swing of tournaments from its calendar for a second successive year due to the pandemic, with only the WTA Finals’ fate uncertain.

The WTA Finals is set to return to Shenzhen from 2022 and the Chinese city will host every edition until 2030.


F1 crash to be investigated

Formula One’s governing body will investigate the Italian Grand Prix crash between title contenders Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton because it was ‘unusual’, according to race director Michael Masi.

Crash of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix 2021.Photo: PHOTOSPORT


The Australian said that although the collision was relatively low-speed, the FIA’s safety experts would still take a look.

The crash had Verstappen’s Red Bull lift up off a kerb and land on Hamilton’s Mercedes with the inside of a rear wheel hitting the seven-times world champion’s helmet through the protective halo.

“Incidents that are different, so it’s not necessarily high impacts or anything like that, but are unusual, we do look at,” said Masi.

The Monza stewards blamed championship leader Verstappen and handed the Dutch 23-year-old a three place grid drop for the next race in Russia.

FIA president Jean Todt posted on Twitter a photograph of the Red Bull on top of the Mercedes with the comment “Glad the halo was there”.

Several F1 drivers have credited the device for saving their lives, including Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and former Haas racer Romain Grosjean.


BCCI boss says cancelled test had nothing to do with IPL

India’s cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly said their players refused to play the fifth and final test against England due to COVID-19 concerns and denied that the upcoming Indian Premier League had played any part in the decision.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly Photo: PHOTOSPORT


The Old Trafford test was cancelled last Friday barely two hours before its scheduled start as the tourists, who were leading the series 2-1, failed to field a side after their physiotherapist tested positive for COVID-19.

“The players refused to play but you can’t blame them,” Ganguly told Indian newspaper The Telegraph.

“Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players … he mixed freely with the players and even performed their COVID-19 tests.

“He also used to give them a massage, he was part of their everyday lives.

“The players were devastated when they came to know that he had tested positive for COVID-19. They feared they must have contracted the disease and were dead scared.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has suggested that India’s players were “petrified” of testing positive ahead of the IPL, which resumes on Sept. 19 in the United Arab Emirates.

But England and Wales Cricket Board CEO Tom Harrison has said the cancellation had nothing to do with the IPL and Ganguly echoed those comments.


Paine to have surgery on neck

Australia test captain Tim Paine will undergo surgery on a pinched nerve in his neck on Tuesday but is confident he will be fit to lead his country into the Ashes series later this year.

Australian cricket captain Tim Paine.Photo: PHOTOSPORT


Cricket Australia said Paine had been suffering from pain in his neck and left arm because of “a bulging disc which reduced his ability to train at full intensity and has not responded to treatment”.

“The consensus of the spinal surgeon and the CA medical team was to have the surgery now which will allow plenty of time to fully prepare for the summer,” Paine said in a statement.

“I expect to be able to restart physical activity by the end of this month and be back in full training in October. I will be ready to go by the first test and am very much looking forward to what will be a huge summer.”

The first test against England at the Gabba in Brisbane is scheduled to start on Dec. 8 and will be followed by four further matches in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

Paine was handed the test captaincy after Steve Smith was sacked in the wake of the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal and he led Australia to the retention of the Ashes after a drawn series in England in 2019.

The 36-year-old’s captaincy came under fire in some quarters after Australia lost a home test series to India at the start of the year but he survived calls for his sacking.


Taylor retires

Zimbabwe batsman Brendan Taylor has announced his retirement from international cricket, posting on social media that today’s 50-overs match against Ireland in Belfast will be his last.

The former captain engineered a number of stunning wins for his embattled team, scoring 60 not out in a Twenty20 international upset against Australia in 2007 and an unbeaten 105 in a test against Bangladesh, which ended a six-year hiatus in the longest format.

The 35-year-old has scored 2,320 runs in 34 tests and 6,677 runs in 204 ODIs, notching 17 international centuries, the most of any Zimbabwean, ahead of Andy Flower (16) and Grant Flower (12).

Zimbabwe were beaten in today’s game.