The Sport Matrix: Monday 02 February 2015


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The Independent Online

Pearce out and Freedman in at ailing Forest

Stuart Pearce’s second spell in charge at Nottingham Forest came to an end last night when he was sacked by the Championship side after just seven months in charge. The Midlands club moved quickly to replace him, with Dougie Freedman announced as his successor.

Pearce enjoyed early success this season, leading the club to the top of the second tier, before a run of three wins in 23 games dropped them to 12th and just seven points off the bottom three. The side lost 1-0 at home to Millwall on Saturday. Freedman played for Forest between 1998 and 2000, scoring 23 goals, but has been out of work since leaving Bolton last October.

Table-toppers to take double dosh

Super League prize-money for the 2015 season is being doubled to £100,000 for the side who finish top of the table. “The clubs wanted to make sure it meant more than in the past,” the League’s general manager, Blake Solly, said. “They felt good form over a 30-week season deserves to be recognised.” The revamped competition kicks off on Thursday as last year’s finalists, Wigan, visit Widnes.

Scotland given Six Nations Grant

Loose-head prop Ryan Grant has been called into the Scotland squad for this month’s Six Nations ahead of the opener in France. An assault charge against him has been found not proven, leading to new national coach Vern Cotter reversing his decision to omit him.

Ghana and Ivorians make semi-finals

Ghana and the Ivory Coast completed the semi-final line-up at the African Cup of Nations as they enjoyed wins in Malabo. Ghana eased past Guinea 3-0, Chelsea’s Christian Atsu scoring twice along with Crystal Palace’s Kwesi Appiah to secure a semi-final with hosts Equatorial Guinea. Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony also scored two as the Ivory Coast beat Algeria 3-1 to earn a match with DR Congo.

Magic McIlroy equals record

Rory McIlroy eased to his first title of 2015, winning the Dubai Desert Classic for the second time as he finished on a record-equalling 22 under par. A final-round 70 gave the Ulsterman a 10th European Tour victory, as Alex Noren finished second. “It’s been a fantastic week,” McIlroy said. “It’s nice to get my name on the trophy again.” A missed birdie putt on the last cost him a 23-under-par tournament record.