Tuesday 12 December 2017

Cricket: Warner faces axe after bar attack

Australia's dismal Ashes preparations took a humiliating turn after it emerged David Warner punched England player Joe Root in a late-night bar attack which was apparently sparked by a row over a fake beard.

Warner was dropped by Australia for yesterday's abandoned Champions Trophy match at Edgbaston and faces a disciplinary hearing today via a conference call with Cricket Australia officials in Melbourne, which could see him sent home from the tour in disgrace.

The incident happened at around 2.0 on Sunday morning in the Walkabout bar, an Australian-themed pub, in Birmingham where the players were drinking after England's win over Australia at Edgbaston.

Warner is said to have thrown a punch at Root after he put a green and gold coloured wig on his head and moved it on to his chin.

Sources indicate Warner lost his temper, believing Root was impersonating and ridiculing Hashim Amla, the South African Muslim batsman who has a large beard.

This has been vehemently denied by England officials, who insist Root was poking fun at himself over jibes from team-mates that he is too young to grow facial hair.

Damian Foxall and his team-mates on board the Oman Air trimaran in the Round Europe Route des Princes were celebrating a major win in Lisbon.

After a poor showing in the opening round of inshore races in Valencia last weekend, the six-man crew blasted out of the Spanish city and around to the Atlantic over a 950-mile course.

The leg to Portugal was the first of four stages in the inaugural event that visits Dun Laoghaire next week at the end of stage two.

At one point, Oman Air had a lead of almost 40 miles. This advantage was whittled down to nothing before they rebuilt it to a comfortable lead over Yann Guichard's Spindrift.

The Maguire twins – Leona and Lisa – coasted into the knock-out stages of the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship in wind and rain over the Jack Nicklaus-designed Machynys Peninsula course in Wales. Leona carded 75 for 147 and Lisa 78 for 149.

Leona was a little shaky at halfway, having gone out in 40, but she then steadied the ship and came home in one-under-par 35.

Stephanie Meadow, the defending champion, improved by three strokes on her first round, carding a highly creditable 73 for 149 total.

Paula Grant from Lisburn squeezed into the 64th and final spot after a total of 153 on the basis of a better second-nine score than others on that mark. Castletroy's Chloe Ryan missed out by a stroke despite finishing with a birdie four for a second round of 75 to add to her opening 79.

Dane Nanna Madson and Korea-born Australian SY-Hyun-Oh jointly led the qualifiers on three-under-par.

Irish Independent

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