7 April 2014 South Africa suffered a heart-breaking 2-3 loss to Lithuania in their Euro Africa Group 2 second round Davis Cup tie at the Irene Country club outside of Centurion on Sunday, having led 2-1 heading into the final day’s play. The advantage was with the home team after Jean Andersen and Raven Klaasen won the doubles on Saturday to give them the lead, and an enthusiastic crowd was on hand to cheer them on, but it wasn’t enough as the Lithuanians staged a strong fightback. Friday’s reverse singles had been shared, with Ricardas Berankis beating Jean Andersen 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 and Rik de Voest running out a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 7-6 (7-4) winner over Laurynas Grigelis.Thriller In Sunday’s first match, Berankis defeated De Voest 6-2, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 in a three- and-a-half hour thriller. Berankis, who was ranked 67th in the world last year in May before suffering an injury, worked the South African number one hard on his way to a crucial victory. De Voest put up a big fight, in what was his 20th and last Davis Cup rubber for his country. He will be retiring from tennis later this year.‘Emotional’ “Berankis was the quality player out there today,” De Voest said afterwards. “Walking onto court, I really felt emotional, knowing that this was my last match for my country, but with the unbelievable support from the crowd, I was able to put my nerves behind me and focus on the task. Unfortunately the win wasn’t to be and Ricardas was just too good and solid today.” De Voest had a big chance to get ahead in the tenth game of the fourth set when he held three break points, but he failed to capitalise on them. “Things may have been different if I had broken in that tenth game,” he admitted.Tactical change After the Berankis victory, the tie was level at 2-2. South African captain, John- Laffnie de Jager then made a tactical change and named Ruan Roelofse for the final rubber instead of the originally nominated Jean Andersen. Although Roelofse has limited Davis Cup experience, De Jager felt his big game could upset the rhythm of the Lithuanians. Unfortunately it did not go well for the 24-year-old South African, and although the powerfully-built Roelofse put up a gallant effort, he went down to Laurynas Grigelis 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 4-6 in just over three hours.Chances Roelofse certainly had his chances. He was up a break in the third set at 4-2 and had he capitalised on that advantage, it could have been a different ball game. “Yes I had my chances and when I look back it upsets me I didn’t take them, but overall I felt I played a good game and did myself and South Africa proud,” he said afterwards.Credit to Lithuania A disappointed De Jager said that all credit should go to Lithuania for coming to South Africa and taming the altitude and putting up a really good performance. “The Lithuanians must be applauded for their effort. It is never easy playing away from home but they arrived early, worked hard, and adapted well by the time the tie started,” De Jager said. He also praised for his team, saying: “My team and squad overall gave their best and put in a real good week. I am proud of them. Now we need to regroup and work hard for 2015.” After the defeat, South Africa will remain in Euro/Africa Group 2 for 2015. SAinfo reporter
Brand South Africa in partnership with its agency, The Odd Number are proud to be recipients of four Loerie Awards at the Loeries awards ceremony held in Durban over the weekend.The Loeries are Africa and the Middle East’s premier initiative that recognises, rewards, inspires and fosters creative excellence in the brand communication industry.Brand South Africa’s creative work won on multi-media platforms – Radio Station Commercials, Newspaper Advertising as well as TV and Cinema Advertising for various campaigns namely; the Play Your Part, Constitutional Awareness and Days of national significance.The Awards are as follows:Bronze Radio Station Commercial for Play Your Part for the “Babakhe” commercial, the message is anchored on promoting road safetyBronze SA Non-English Radio Station Commercial for Play Your Part for the “BVD” commercial, the message is anchored on promoting road safetyBronze TV & Cinema Commercials – above 90s for Constitutional Awareness for the “Dala what you must” web film.Bronze Newspaper Advertising South Africa for Days of national significance campaign (Freedom Day) for the “Amandla” campaign.Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Marketing, Ms Sithembile Ntombela said “We are really proud of the work produced by our agency and these awards reaffirm that the work we do, does not go unnoticed. I am confident that a number of opportunities will arise from this achievement, which will help showcase how South Africa inspires in new and innovate ways domestically and internationally”.Another special moment for the organisation was the winners of the Brand South Africa’s young creatives category award, which proved to be a tough judging process for the team. The young winners were announced by General Manager for Communication Ms Thoko Modise.“Our young creatives are David Franciscus from Protagonist Films and Kirstin Uken from Sunshinegun, these young people will go far, we are really proud of the high quality of work produced. The Nation Brand is guided by innovative work especially from the young people, well done to both”, said Ms ModiseWatch the award winning “Dala what you must” web film here
Kids wear is not a small business anymore. Driven by huge demand from brand conscious children, the Indian kidswear retail market is expected to touch Rs 58,000 crore by 2014, according to retail consultancy firm Technopak Advisors.At present, the size of kidswear market in India is estimated at about Rs 38,000 crore – accounting for 25 per cent of the total Indian apparel category.”This segment, which is split into kidswear and school uniforms, is expected to reach Rs 58,000 crore by 2014,” Technopak’s recent report ‘Trends in India’s Domestic Fashion Market’ says.Growing at the rate of 17 per cent, this is one of the most attractive categories, according to the report. The report tracks children in the age group of three to 13 years.Technopak highlights increased media exposure, double-income parents and peer pressure as the reasons for children becoming more fashion and brand conscious.Kids are aware of branded goods and have started asking for exclusive products, the report says.Brands are also realising the potential of this market and are increasing their presence in this segment, it adds.In April 2009, the Mahindra Group launched Mom & Me stores to tap into this segment. Exclusive children’s brands, such as Gini & Jony, Lilliput and Catmoss, have also expanded their presence exponentially in the last two to three years.These brands are developing categories such as infant wear, kids’ formal wear, kids’ ethnic wear, swim wear and casual wear, along with a wide range of other merchandise for children.Even a brand like Reebok, which focused on adults till now, launched the ‘Reebok Juniors’ concept store last year to tap into this segment. It has started offering apparel, footwear, accessories and sports equipment for children in the age group of four to 14 years.Gini & Jony started their Freedom Fashions stores, which offer licensed products from brands like Reebok and Levi’s, along with their own products.Even premium brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Allen Solly and Puma, are not far behind and are now including more kids’ product and accessories.Childrens’ fashion shows, organised by these brands, is not a new concept. Lilliput started this trend and Catmoss roped in Darsheel Safary, of Taare Zameen Par-fame, to walk the ramp for its collection.Courtesy: Mail Today advertisement
Huddersfield join race for Liverpool striker Dominic Solankeby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town have joined the race for Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke.Sky Sports says Huddersfield will battle Crystal Palace to snap up Liverpool forward Solanke.The Terriers were keen on the 21-year-old earlier this season and want to sign him on loan.But Palace, who sit 14th in the Premier League table, will challenge Town for the signature of Solanke, who is yet to make an appearance for the Reds this term. Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is also watching developments. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsEnglish ChampionshipAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say Leeds look to increasing capacity at Elland Road to 50,000by Ian Ferris7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeeds United are planning to expand Elland Road stadium to 50,000 if they get promoted to the Premier League, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.The announcement was made by the club’s managing director, Angus Kinnear, during a civic reception to mark the team’s 100th anniversary.The planned extension will take place on the West Stand, matching the East Stand in terms of height, with Kinnear wanting the venue to “compete with other stadiums in the Premier League and in Europe.”But any move to take Elland Road’s capacity from just over 37,000 to 50,000 is dependent on a top-flight return for Leeds, according to the Yorkshire Post’s Graham Smyth.Last season, they had the second highest average attendance in the Championship with 34,033, second only to eventual playoff winners Aston Villa.
John Calipari Tom IzzoJohn Calipari and Tom Izzo were together at an event to fight cancer at the Oakland Hills Country Club on Monday. During the event, put together by Oakland coach Greg Kampe, the Kentucky and Michigan State coach spoke with reporters. Recruiting came up. Calipari, who’s notorious at this point for being the best recruiter in the country, said Izzo has beaten him for prospects “way more than I’ve beaten him.” Izzo reacted appropriately. Here’s the full conversation, courtesy of the Lansing State Journal. Perhaps Izzo was beating out Calipari for recruits when the Kentucky coach was at Memphis, but it seems pretty crazy for him to say Izzo’s beaten him “way more than I’ve beaten him.” [LSJ]
Ronnie Dawson (4) touches home plate following a home run during OSU’s 12-1 win over Hofstra on March 18 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Giustino Bovenzi | Lantern reporterThe Ohio State baseball team continued its push for the postseason this weekend with a road-series win over No. 24 Minnesota in Minneapolis at Siebert Field. Coach Greg Beals had his squad arguably playing its best baseball of the season coming into the weekend, and the Buckeyes needed to build upon their home sweep of Michigan from the previous weekend.Game 1Sitting tied at third in the Big Ten standings with Nebraska heading into Thursday’s action just 2.5 games back of Minnesota for the Big Ten championship, OSU had a grand opportunity for one of the largest season turnarounds in school history.Tanner Tully toed the rubber for OSU on Thursday versus the Golden Gophers sporting a 6-3 record as OSU’s No. 1 starter. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Tully struggled a bit in the second. Despite junior outfielder Troy Montgomery scoring on a wild pitch to give OSU a 1-0 lead, Minnesota hitters Austin Athman and Micah Coffey singled and doubled, respectively, off the Elkhart, Indiana, native. Athman then scored on a groundout by Minnesota junior Matt Stemper to tie the game at 1.At times this season, Tully has dealt with command issues which were evident in the 10 hits he allowed on Thursday night. However, the former freshman All-American climbed out of holes several times in his outing only allowing two runs in six innings pitched, striking out four.The Buckeyes’ offensive fortunes came in the form of wild pitches and passed balls. Scoring on a wild pitch in the second, OSU once again crossed home plate in the seventh on an errant pitch from Golden Gophers’ pitcher Matt Fielder. Sophomore Tre’ Gantt tied the game at two in the seventh for OSU, and senior infielder Troy Kuhn came through in the ninth with a two-out infield base hit to score senior Craig Nennig. Michael Horejsei pitched two hitless innings to cap off a comeback 3-2 victory.It was the type of hit that needed to happen for the Buckeyes to take a 1-0 lead in the series as they continue to claw and scrape back into the NCAA tournament picture. Kuhn’s game-winning single and Horejsei slamming the door out of the bullpen notched OSU’s seventh consecutive victory.Game 2Picking up from where he left off on Thursday night, Nennig launched a two-run shot over the fence at Siebert Field to put the Buckeyes up 2-0. The relatively quick start was something that Buckeyes had not been able to do in over a week, so the general feeling was that OSU had control of the game with senior John Havird on the mound.Havird threw five scoreless innings and was working with a 3-0 lead before the Minnesota bats woke up in the sixth.The Gophers tattooed the lefty for four runs on five hits to pull ahead 4-3. OSU was in command the entire game and was looking like the team would have a shot at at least a share of the Big Ten crown with a win on Saturday. Once Minnesota took the lead in the sixth, the team never looked back.OSU put a the leadoff man on base in the seventh and eighth innings, but the ball was simply rolling the way of the Maroon and Gold. Double plays ended any possible threat following leadoff hits, and OSU was sent down without a fight.Minnesota clinched the outright Big Ten championship after defeating the Buckeyes and an Indiana loss on Friday.Game 3In the rubber match of the pivotal Big Ten finale series, OSU sent redshirt sophomore Adam Niemeyer to the hill to do battle with Minnesota’s Toby Anderson. The Buckeyes could no longer win a share of the Big Ten, but another top-25 victory, likely, would impress the selection board for the NCAA tournament.Since his first season in Scarlet and Gray in 2011, Beals’ teams have been known to be great competitors that can be over-matched with skill but won’t back down from a challenge. On Sunday in the regular season finale, Beals’ most trusted players took center stage.Down 6-4, Kuhn led off the sixth with a double, and Montgomery soon followed with an RBI single to cut the deficit to one. Then, junior outfielder Ronnie Dawson put a charge into a fastball that he sent out of the confines of Siebert Field to knot the game 5-all. Dawson quickly rounded the bases hoping to get another at-bat.Relief pitchers Seth Kinker, Horejsei and freshman Ryan Feltner held off the potent Minnesota lineup in the 4.1 innings of work to force extra-innings with a chance to pull-off another comeback victory and steal the final Big Ten series from the conference champs.Dawson came to the plate in the tenth and delivered once again sending a towering blast over the right-center field fence to put the Buckeyes in front 6-5. Minnesota outfielders could only gaze at the white leather pierced through the win as OSU continued to gash some of college baseball’s best teams. His two home runs gives him 12 on the season and OSU leads the Big Ten with 53 home runs.On the final out of the game, Nennig charged from the shortstop position and made a remarkable play to nab the Gophers of sending the go-ahead run to the plate. Bosiokovic triumphantly fist pumped after the final putout, then Kuhn and Nennig soared for a victorious chest bump. It was the type of reaction a team expresses after vanquishing the No. 24 Gophers on their home turf and playing into consideration for a NCAA at-large bid.Dawson and the Buckeyes put on a textbook display of overcoming adversity. The Buckeyes proved to the conference and the nation that the team is ready for the big stage in Omaha, Nebraska, next week at the Big Ten Tournament.OSU earned the No. 4 seed in the tournament and will play No. 5 seed Michigan at approximately 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
As a senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School in 2005, Chris Malone earned all-district and second team all-Ohio Capital Conference as an offensive lineman. After receiving scholarship offers from some Football Championship Subdivision schools, Malone instead decided to join Ohio State as a walk-on. “I grew up loving the Buckeyes and I knew that if I didn’t give this a shot that I was always going to wonder ‘what if?’” Malone said. Malone redshirted in 2006 and then worked with the scout team as a freshman and sophomore. In his junior season, Malone’s perseverance paid off as he received scout team workhorse honors for the Navy and Iowa games and earned a little bit of playing time. “Even though we don’t make the highlights on ESPN, we know we do make a difference,” Malone said. “We get a chance to make our defense better every day by just playing our hardest during practice and challenging them.” As a senior, Malone continues working hard and earned playing time against Ohio University. Malone is majoring in biology at OSU and wants to pursue medical school after he graduates. “I would love to be a doctor, that’s always been my goal, that’s always been my dream,” Malone said.
Ohio State senior attack Eric Fannell scored five goals in the Buckeyes dramatic comeback 11-10 overtime victory over Maryland on April 22 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsWHAT: NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship – No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Maryland at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.HOW TO WATCH: ESPN2 at 1 p.m. Streaming on WatchESPN app and ESPN3.comIt all comes down to this. A matchup of Big Ten rivals who have battled neck-and-neck all season will determine the next NCAA men’s lacrosse champion.The No. 3 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team (16-4) has battled No. 1 Maryland (15-3) twice this season, edging out the Terrapins at home in an 11-10 overtime thriller on April 22, and losing 10-9 in the finals of the Big Ten tournament in Columbus.After the team lost to Maryland in the tournament finals, coach Nick Myers and the rest of his unit believed that if they played to the level they were capable of, this season would end in a matchup between them and their East Coast rivals.“We have a ton of respect for Maryland,” Myers said. “We felt that night, we looked at each other and without knowing how this was going to turn out, ‘Hey, we’re going to see these guys again if we take care of business.’”Though the teams have built up a rivalry through their close, competitive games this season, Myers said that contempt for the opposition will not be the driving factor behind their play on Monday. Instead, respect for the opposition and the desire to play their best possible lacrosse would be what pushes the Buckeyes to play well.“You have to play your best lacrosse if you want to try to go out there and beat Maryland,” Myers said. “I think that that, more than contempt, is what it brings out.”The players echoed Myers’ sentiment.“The whole team is excited to play Maryland again,” senior attackman Eric Fannell said. “They’re a very, very good team, as coach Myers said. We have a lot of respect for them. And every time we play them, we play to our best ability and so do they. Big Ten matchup again. Grudge match.”The two teams will enter the game coming off a pair of narrow victories in the semifinals. OSU edged out Towson 11-10, and Maryland hung on late against fifth-seeded Denver to win 9-8.Though both games were close, and relatively low-scoring, the Buckeyes are prepared for a game that could be more of an offensive show, taking on a team that averaged the 10th-most goals per game in the NCAA this past season (12.67 goals per game).“They play a good team offense,” Myers said. “They’ve got a good front six — as good a front six as there is in lacrosse. We feel strongly in ours, and I think you’re going to see a collision tomorrow as you did in the first couple games.”The matchup in the Big Ten tournament championship game did not prove to be quite the offensive show many expected, until late in the game when a total of nine goals were scored in the fourth quarter in an eventual 10-9 Maryland victory.Myers believes that for the Buckeyes to find success against the Terrapins on Monday, the Buckeyes will need to put together an offensive effort capable of keeping up with their opponents.“That was a heavyweight slugfest that you saw in the Big Ten championship,” Myers said. “We’re chasing our best offense, and for us to accomplish the ultimate goal, we’ll have to do that. I think Maryland’s going to bring that out in us.”But this time, the stakes are a bit higher than they were the last time these two teams met. It is no longer a Big Ten title on the line. Now it’s for the NCAA championship.In the history of OSU lacrosse, the team has never made it to this point. It had never even made it to the semifinals before this season. And now, on the doorstep of history for the program, seniors like midfielder Jake Withers believe that while the program has vastly surpassed expectation in their tenure, the end goal has still not yet been reached.“We came a long way since my freshman year four years ago, and we’ve stumbled and we’ve made some steps. I feel like this year, you know, the progression that we’ve made to championship weekend is a culmination of all those things together,” Withers said. “With that said, we’re not done. Although we made a championship weekend and championship game, we want to make history and be the first Buckeye lacrosse team to bring the trophy back to Columbus.”