Hockey: Australian test for England

BARRY DANCER, the England coach and Terry Walsh, Australia's chief coach, former team-mates in their national squad, will be in opposite camps as their teams meet in their first match in the Sultan Azlan Shah Six Nations Cup in Ipoh today.

Music: Classical: But seria, folks

How seriously should we take opera seria, that 18th-century celebration of excess in excelsis? The party line is that you take it very seriously indeed. Respect the idiom, don't guy it with feathers and flummery, make those sumptuously decorated arias and tortuous plots work for you. Well, that's the theory. At London's Shaftesbury Theatre at the moment, there is an unprecedented opportunity to see not one, but two specimens of the seria idiom, both in wilfully intemperate stagings: Lindsay Posner's Royal Opera production of Handel's Giulio Cesare; and Mozart's Lucio Silla in Brigitte Fassbaender's Opera For Europe production.

Dead man a police informer

A man shot dead in a "professional hit" on Tuesday night was a police informer who gave evidence against a London drugs gang. James Lawson - not thought to be his real name - who was shot several times at his home in Hook, Hampshire, had been moved to Hampshire from the capital by the Metropolitan police after turning "grass" at a drugs trial, it is believed.

Ice Hockey: Eagles close to landing title

Ayr Scottish Eagles took a big step towards winning the Superleague title on Sunday by beating Cardiff Devils 1-0 in South Wales.

Murder inquiry after woman's body found in field

Police were yesterday trying to identify a young woman whose body was found dumped in a field just yards from a busy road. The partly- clothed body was spotted lying in the undergrowth by a lorry driver who pulled into a lay-by on the A30 in Hampshire.

Theatre: Aladdin and the going-on 40 theatres

It happens10 minutes in at the Hackney Empire, 40 minutes in at the Anvil, Basingstoke, and a full two hours in at the Theatre Royal, Windsor. Someone walks on in a silly costume and someone else says, look, it's Laa-Laa, look, it's Dipsy, look, it's Tinky Winky or look, it's Po. It never gets a big laugh. But along with the singalong at the end, every panto needs its topical joke. This year's was the Teletubbies.

Supermarkets: Battle for the family market intensifies

Safeway was a great British buyout, which soared in sales after freeing itself from its huge American parent a decade ago. But it is now under pressure from rivals as it tries to define itself as the supermarket chain for families.

Football: FA Cup - Northampton cobble together shoot-out victory

Basingstoke Town 0

Ice-Hockey: Double-headed Panthers

Nottingham Panthers face the biggest weekend of their season when they tackle Manchester Storm and Sheffield Steelers in a double-header.

Football: FA Cup - Giants wounded, if not yet killed

Ilkeston Town of the Dr Martens Midlands Division, Basingstoke Town from the Ryman Premier Division, the GM Vauxhall Conference champions, Stevenage Borough, and Hereford United were the toast of the FA Cup second round by, if not exactly killing Nationwide giants, then severely wounding them and forcing replays back at non-league grounds after they all drew 1-1 away.

Ice Hockey: Panthers hit by Bishop injury scare

Nottingham Panthers are awaiting a specialist's report on the back injury sustained by Mike Bishop during Saturday's Super-league victory at home to Basingstoke Bison.

Football: Pearls from Dean, a model goalkeeper

Stephen Brenkley explains how a Cup hero was spot-on with his judgement

Football: Basingstoke and Hendon hit the giant-killing trail

Hendon and Basingstoke were the toast of non-League football last night after recording memorable victories over League opposition in FA Cup first-round replays.

Ice Hockey: Storm return to form and top of league

Manchester Storm put their recent slump behind them with an 8- 3 win over Basingstoke Bison which lifted them back to the top of the Superleague table on Sunday. Storm had surrendered the top spot to Ayr Scottish Eagles after losing twice in the space of five days to Sheffield Steelers.

Football: Hendon book Orient trip

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