The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 11 March 2015


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Mackie double sees off Brighton

Goals either side of half-time by Jamie Mackie (above, centre) helped Reading strengthen their Championship position as they beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 last night.

Mackie opened the scoring on 23 minutes, the first home goal in five hours for the FA Cup quarter-finalists.

Chris O’Grady levelled for the visitors with a penalty early in the second half after Jake Cooper pushed Emmanuel Ledesma, only for Mackie to reply within three minutes with a powerful effort from distance. Victory gave Steve Clarke’s side a first win in five and a first home victory since January. They now sit 16th in the table, 13 points clear of the bottom three.

McIlroy to play in Nagle Open tribute

Organisers will stage a special Champions Challenge featuring Rory McIlroy on the eve of this year’s Open as a tribute to the late Kel Nagle. The Australian, who won the Centenary Open in 1960, was the oldest surviving major champion until he died in January at 94. Tom Watson, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Darren Clarke, Tony Jacklin and Padraig Harrington will also take part.

Pocock, Thompson back for England

Lydia Thompson and Fiona Pocock return from injury for England for Friday’s Six Nations game against Scotland. Pocock has been out since 2013, while World Cup winner Thompson last played for England in August. They are two of five changes made by head coach Nicola Ponsford.

Holloway sacked by struggling Millwall

Ian Holloway has been sacked as manager of Millwall with the Championship club second from bottom after five defeats in their last six games. “This was a hard decision to take because we very much hoped ‘Ollie’ would prove to be the man to take us forward and on to the next level,” said chairman John Berylson. Neil Harris has been promoted from his coaching role and will be in charge for the rest of the season.

Carter and Fu miss out after visa snub

Ali Carter and Marco Fu will miss this week’s Indian Open in Mumbai after World Snooker failed to obtain visas following talks with the British High Commission. Carter, due take part in his third ranking event since undergoing cancer treatment, and Fu did not lodge requests in time. Judd Trump got off to a winning start at the event yesterday but could yet be forced out through a shoulder injury.