Sports Digest

Wed, Oct 10, 2012, 01:00

A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Texans maintain perfect start as they bring down Jets

The Houston Texans maintained their perfect start to the NFL season with a 23-17 win over the struggling New York Jets late on Monday.

The Texans joined the Atlanta Falcons as the only teams to win their first five games of the campaign.

The visitors scored two touchdowns, the first by tight end Owen Daniels on the opening drive of the game after a 34 yard pass from quarterback Matt Schaub, who completed 14-of-28 for 209 yards.

Their other touchdown came early in the second quarter when running back Arian Foster strolled 13 yards to score. Foster rushed for 152 yards in the game.

Trailing 20-7, the home side burst into life when Joe McKnight scored off a 100-yard kick-off return in the third, cutting the margin to six points and giving them a glimmer of hope, but they could get no closer.

Vonn wants to race men in World Cup

Lindsey Vonn has asked to compete against men in a World Cup race. The Olympic downhill champion has written to the International Ski Federation (FIS) to ask if she can race in Canada next month.

“I’d like to have one chance in my life to race against them,” she told the New York Times. “Annika Sorenstam did it in golf and paved the way for women. I’m not asking for World Cup points. I just want the chance to compete.”

The 27-year-old, who has won the overall World Cup title four times and is a five-time downhill champion, needs the United States Ski Association to make a formal request to FIS but they have yet to do so.

“We clearly have great respect for Lindsey, her accomplishments in the sport and her desire to seek this new challenge, said Tom Kelly, vice-president of communications for the USSA.

“But we have not had any formal discussion yet between Lindsey and the FIS.”

A decision will need to be made by November 4th, while the race itself in Lake Louise, will take place on November 24th.

SA players want England apology

South Africa Test captain Graeme Smith has strongly denied recent suggestions that he or his team deliberately provoked England batsman Kevin Pietersen into sending “provocative” text messages to the Proteas players during the recent Test series between the sides. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier said in a radio interview on Sunday that there had been a “deliberate policy” to entrap Pietersen.

“In the Proteas we pride ourselves on being a sporting and ethical team,” Smith said in a statement released by the SA Cricketers’ Association yesterday.

“We talk a lot about values and our approach to the game. We play hard but we play fair and any suggestions that we did this as a tactic is totally unwarranted and unnecessary.” SACA chief executive Tony Irish confirmed that both he and the national players are expecting an apology from Collier for his comments. “Our players are angered by David Collier’s claims that they employed unfair and unsporting tactics against Kevin,” said Irish.

Irish team head for Argentina after success of fundraising

The Irish men’s hockey team will take up their place in the Champions Challenge I in Argentina next month after a frantic fundraising drive over the past four days yielded in excess of €60,000.

The confirmation came seven days after the Irish Hockey Association board announced their intention to withdraw the side from the competition, initially due to the lack of a coach but subsequently announced as a result of a budget shortfall.

It was a move that would have seen a hefty fine imposed by the International Hockey Federation and a large world ranking points deduction.

The manner of the communication saw a backlash from senior players and the hockey public and forced an about-face last Friday from the IHA.

They set a target of €45,000 to be raised by yesterday’s deadline, a figure which was surpassed via over 380 online donations as well as contributions from a number of businesses.

Speaking about the situation, midfielder Geoff McCabe said: “It is fantastic to know that our hard work has been recognised by so many.

“The hockey community in Ireland is very small and close-knit. This is very powerful, but as players we want to raise the awareness of our sport through what we achieve on the pitch.”

The Champions Challenge gets underway on November 24th in Quilmes with Ireland grouped along with the hosts Argentina, Japan and South Africa in the initial phase of the competition. – STEPHEN FINDLATER

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