The Sports Matrix: Monday 1 October 2012


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The Independent Online

Battle goes down to the wire as Europe fight back

USA went into the final day of the 39th Ryder Cup 10-6 ahead, but a spirited European comeback left fans on both sides of the pond unsure as to which cabinet the cup will fill for the next two years. An estimated 40,000 spectators flooded through the gates for the final day, with USA players and fans looking for revenge for the 2010 loss at Celtic Manor.

Luke Donald, above, was relieved to win the first match 2 & 1 against Bubba Watson in Medinah, despite a late fightback from the American. "The nerves were starting to build and Bubba was putting some serious pressure on me. What a relief," said Donald afterwards.

Momentum followed as Paul Lawrie claimed a 5 & 3 win over Brandt Snedeker. Ian Poulter continued his scorching form, beating Webb Simpson by two holes, while Keegan Bradley was defeated 2 & 1 by Rory McIlroy. Justin Rose levelled the scores at 11-11 when he defeated Phil Mickelson by one following some nerveless putts on the final two holes. MORE

James romps to fourth gold

Becky James yesterday won her fourth gold at the National Track Championships in Manchester, claiming the keirin title to add to her 500m, sprint and team sprint wins. MORE

Derby clinch local bragging rights

Derby County claimed a third consecutive East Midlands derby success with a 1-0 victory at Nottingham Forest. Craig Bryson tapped home the 55th-minute winner for Nigel Clough's men after Forest's Dexter Blackstock was sent off. MORE

Bent shows class despite demotion

Darren Bent – who had been dropped by Paul Lambert – came off the bench to score a late equaliser as Villa drew 1-1 with West Bromwich at Villa Park. Villa fell behind to a Shane Long goal. "It was a world-class finish. That is what he does," said Lambert of Bent. MORE

Morgan holds the key to success

England's Eoin Morgan believes success with spin will be the key to England's chances against Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup today. "It is going to be crucial," said the 26-year-old. "You play in a different way than normal. To have guys who have had success here is crucial." MORE

Gloucester hold on for narrow win

Gloucester fought off a spirited London Welsh comeback to win 31-25 at the Kassam Stadium, helped by six Gordon Ross penalties. "We're building this team," Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies said, whose side moved up to fifth place in the Premiership. MORE

Eagles claim narrow final win

Sheffield Eagles were victorius in the the Co-operative Championship final yesterday with a 20-16 win over favourites Featherstone Rovers at the Haliwell Jones Stadium, their biggest trophy since 1998. MORE

Only an apology can save Pietersen

It is anticipated that the dispute between Kevin Pietersen and his employers, the England and Wales Cricket Board, will be settled this week. Pietersen is a free agent after his central contract ended yesterday, opening worldwide options for him. MORE

Sherwood denies Blackburn rumour

Tottenham Hotspur coach Tim Sherwood has played down rumours linking him with the vacant Blackburn Rovers managerial job, after Steve Kean's resignation on Friday. "I've got a great job where I am. There isn't anything to consider," Sherwood said. MORE

Rested Murray returns to action

Andy Murray is back on the court this week in the Japan Open after his US Open victory, but admits this time of the year brings fatigue. "A lot of players at this stage of the year are a bit mentally and physically tired," he said yesterday. MORE

Saracens kick their way past Quins

Six Owen Farrell penalties saw Saracans come out 18-16 winners against Harlequins at the Stoop. Having gone 260 minutes since scoring a try, Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: "If we're not scoring, it's not for the want of trying." MORE