In brief: Palace put into administration
CRYSTAL PALACE's season went from a promotion campaign to a fight against relegation yesterday after the Championship club were put into administration, triggering a 10-point deduction.
Palace were ninth, two points off the play-offs, when the move was announced yesterday. The deduction, which the Football League have confirmed will be imposed today, left them 20th, just above the relegation zone.
Ironically, the news broke as Palace were readying for tonight's league match against Newcastle United.
Former champion Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Stuart Bingham 5-1 to reach the second round of the Welsh Open. The world No1 cruised into a 3-0 lead with breaks of 56, 66 and 89 before Bingham broke his duck. He also had chances in the fifth before O'Sullivan clinched it, then sealed victory with an 82.
Mark King beat Marcus Campbell by the same score, while Mark Allen beat Tom Ford 5-2. King won a 63-minute second frame on the brown and also knocked in a 54 break as he joined O'Sullivan and Allen in progressing from the first session.
Antrim native Allen claimed half-century breaks in five successive frames -- 58, 56, 52, 64 and 61 -- to sink Leicester's Ford.
Britain's world heavyweight champion David Haye will make the first defence of his WBA title against American John Ruiz in Manchester on April 3.
Ruiz is the WBA's mandatory challenger for Haye, who defeated Nikolay Valuev in November to claim the title.
"It's been 10 years since the heavyweight championship has been fought in Britain," said Haye. "Now it's time to showcase my skills again in front of the great British public."
Haye (29) had hoped to make the first defence of his title at London's O2 Arena or Millwall Football Club's New Den stadium.
But with both venues already booked, Haye has been forced to switch to the Manchester Evening News Arena.
IRELAND can attain their highest ever finish in an U-19 World Cup by beating Bangladesh tomorrow in the final of the Plate Championship in Napier, New Zealand, WRITES DAVID TOWNSEND.
"The team have played some really good cricket at different times out here," said coach Matt Dwyer said. "Now we need to put it all together and go and claim that ninth place."