All posts by Headline Sport Team

Golf: Rory McIlroy wins Race to Dubai after Koepka takes Turkish title

Rory McIlroy has won the European Tour’s Race to Dubai for the second time in three years after Brooks Koepka triumphed at the Turkish Airlines Open.

McIlroy, 25, did not play but took the title because Sergio Garcia, Marcel Siem and Jamie Donaldson failed to win.

German Siem started the final round in Antalya one shot off the lead but a one-under 71 dropped him to eighth.

England’s Ian Poulter missed a six-foot putt to force a play-off as Koepka shot a seven-under 65 to win on 17 under.

Poulter, who let slip a six-shot lead in the third round, matched American Koepka with four birdies in his opening nine holes.

However, the Englishman was only able to pick up one more shot on the back nine, at the par-five 13th, which Koepka eagled to add to his birdie on the 10th.

Koepka parred his final five holes to win his first European Tour title, although Poulter gave himself a chance of getting into a play-off with an excellent bunker shot on the last but he was unable to convert the putt.

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson had nine birdies and a bogey as he scored the joint lowest round of the day, an eight-under 64, to finish third on 14 under and move up to second on the European Tour’s money list, 2.7m euros (£2.1m) behind McIlroy, although he had no chance of catching the Northern Irishman.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Trophy: Weymouth 0-0 Burnham

Replay set as Weymouth draw a blank against Burnham

Weymouth drew their third blank this season in all competitions at the Bob Lucas Stadium, as they stuttered their way to a stalemate with Burnham in the FA Trophy.

The Terras were left frustrated as they failed to pierce through a stubborn Burnham rearguard, and even survived some hairy moments of their own as both sides had to settle for a replay that, in all honesty, was probably about right.

Swelling to Chris McPhee’s foot meant he could not take his place in the squad, meaning Adam Kelly was brought back into the Weymouth starting XI after making way for Tristan Plummer at Hitchin Town in the league last week.

The visiting Blues, 22nd in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division, made a solid start, forc-ing a couple of early corners, and the first real chance came when frontman Nicke Kebamba latched on to a loose ball from Chris Shephard’s interception, and drilled his effort which was blocked at the near post.

Kelly then sent a rasping strike towards goal on eight minutes which dipped just over the top, after the away side failed to close him down.

The Terras’ midfielder looked lively on his return and was involved once again just past the quarter of an hour mark. He made a swift run from deep and went down in the area, but referee Adam Penwell showed no interest in pointing to the spot.
A free-kick from Blues’ winger Tom O’Regan then deflected inches wide for a corner, and Weymouth skipper Yetton prod-uced a powerful low effort which crashed into the advertising hoardings after linking up with Kelly once again.

A second penalty shout then came for the home side after half an hour and it was that man Kelly who was once again heavily involved.

Getting inside the box after a brisk run from Ashley Wells down the right, the attacking midfielder tussled with Romaine Walker, and although a number of Terras’ fans behind the goal cried for a penalty, nothing could persuade man in the middle Penwell.

And from out of virtually nowhere, Burnham could have broken the deadlock moments before the interval.

The run of O’Regan was not tracked from the right by Wey-mouth and his strike from Kofi Lockhard-Adams’ centre was hit with venom, but failed to trouble player-manager Matthews.

Following the interval, O’Regan’s strike was emulated by Shephard, who blazed well over inside the area after Kelly set up a carbon-copy of the Burnham chance before the break.

Kelly continued to cause the Blues problems on his return to the side and his devilish delivery from the left on this occasion narrowly evaded Yetton and Jake Wannell, who were sliding in at the back post.

The Terras then had an effort from a corner disallowed for a foul in the area, and Burnham broke to force a smart save from Matthews, as both sides signalled their intentions against con-testing a replay.

Matthews’ men were then powerless to stop Jordan Ajanl-ekoko rising highest and heading on goal, only for the effort to be stabbed off the line as the home side hung on to their clean sheet.

Shephard then struck a post when the ball looked destined to find the Burnham net, and the Terras threw on veteran frontman Tim Sills into the mix in search of the winner.

Read more at Dorset ECHO

League 2: Southend 1-0 Harlepool

David Worrall’s third goal in five games helped Southend bounce back from their FA Cup exit to non-league Chester by beating bottom club Hartlepool.

Worrall, Barry Corr and Kevan Hurst all forced Hartlepool goalkeeper Scott Flinders into first-half action.

Flinders also denied Michael Timlin after the break but could do nothing to stop Worrall firing home left-footed from 12 yards following Corr’s pass.

Pools almost levelled, but Charlie Wyke was denied by keeper Daniel Bentley.

Bradley Walker also went close for Pools in the closing stages when he fired inches wide.

Southend stay in the League Two play-off places in seventh but Hartlepool remain rooted to the bottom with just one win in their last 11 games.

Read more at BBC Sport

Conference: Altrincham 1-1 Grimsby

Scott Leather scored a late equaliser for Altrincham to deny Grimsby three points in the race for promotion.

Lenell John-Lewis had a header ruled out for offside as the Mariners pressed for the opening goal.

Nathan Arnold forced home goalkeeper Stuart Coburn into a good save before breaking the deadlock with a stunning long-range strike.

The hosts earned a point with minutes remaining when Sean Williams’ cross was converted by Leather from 12 yards.

Conference leaders Barnet’s 3-1 win over AFC Telford means second-placed Grimsby are now eight points behind at the top of the table.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket: Unhappy Compton leaves Somerset

Nick Compton, the former England opener, is to leave Somerset despite having signed a three-year deal with the club in 2013.

He is understood to have become disillusioned with life in the county game and unhappy about living so far from his home in Richmond, London.

While he has yet to sign for another county – he is understood to be taking some time away from the game to reflect on his options – there seems a decent chance he will, in time, re-join Middlesex. He represented the club from 2004 to 2009 and has a strong affinity for their home ground of Lord’s, where a stand is named after his grandfather, Denis Compton.

The move is a considerable blow to Somerset. Compton topped their Championship batting averages in 2013 and has scored 5,140 first-class runs an average of 55.87 since joining the club. He is the third top-order batsman to leave the club – excluding overseas players – in little more than 18 months. Chris Jones and Arul Suppiah both retired in recent times and Marcus Trescothick is, aged 38, in the autumn of his career.

The club have accepted, though, that Compton’s unhappiness is genuine and will neither hold him to his contract or pursue compensation payments. They hope that a move back to London – where Compton’s partner lives – may prove beneficial and understand that he is keen to explore opportunities in the media with a view to his career after his playing days.

After nine Tests in which he registered two centuries, Compton was devastated to be dropped on the verge of the 2013 Ashes and has since seen several younger men – the likes of Sam Robson, Adam Lyth and Alex Lees – overtake him in the race for a Test place. While he has continued to score consistently, the experience has weighed heavily on Compton. Being overlooked for the recent Lions squad seems to be confirmation that England do not see him as part of their future plans.

“I have loved playing for Somerset, but I have decided to re-locate more permanently to my base in south-west London,” Compton said. “I have always set myself the highest of professional standards, and I don’t want to compromise myself or the club, going forward.”‎

“I appreciate Somerset’s understanding of my wish to balance both my personal and professional life. The club will always have a special place in my heart and I owe Brian Rose a huge debt of gratitude for the privileged opportunity he gave me to become a Somerset cricketer, which in turn has enabled me to fulfil a number of cricketing goals.”

“I am sorry to see Nick depart as he is a quality cricketer,” director of cricket, Matt Maynard, said. “But it is fundamentally important that he, or any player for that matter, wants to be here and is able to perform to the best of their ability; sadly this is not something Nick feels able to achieve at this time”.

Read more at ESPN

Championship: Bournemouth 1-0 Brentford

Substitute Junior Stanislas maintained Bournemouth’s early position as Championship leaders with the only goal as they beat Brentford.

Stanislas, who joined from Burnley in the summer, nudged in Ryan Fraser’s cross on his home debut to maintain the Cherries’ 100% record this term.

Callum Wilson had earlier gone close as his shot was cleared off the line.

Striker Andre Gray had Brentford’s best chance, striking the crossbar in the first half with a fierce shot.

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth won 4-0 at Huddersfield in their opener last weekend, but were made to work for their victory in blustery conditions by a Brentford side seeking their first success since promotion to the second tier.

Matt Ritchie sent in a 25-yard-shot early on that Bees keeper David Button watched over the top, and at the other end last season’s Conference Premier top scorer Gray showed his threat with a drive that smacked off the woodwork.

Lee Camp was made to work in the Bournemouth goal, denying Moses Odubajo, while Yann Kermorgant’s curler from the edge of the box was saved by Button before the break.

Wilson passed up his opportunity when he failed to get a clean connection and Jake Bidwell guided the ball clear, while an Alex Pritchard free-kick was dealt with by Camp.

The introduction of Stanislas for Marc Pugh gave Howe’s outfit the spark they needed when he put them ahead, and he might have had a second but for Tony Craig’s crucial block.

Read More on BBC Sport

Championship: Brentford 1-1 Charlton

Substitute Tommy Smith salvaged a point for Brentford as the Bees marked their first appearance in the second tier since 1993 with a hard-earned draw against Charlton.

Igor Vetokele, who joined the Addicks from FC Copenhagen in the summer, headed his side ahead at Griffin Park.

George Èšucudean and substitute Callum Harriott wasted chances for Charlton.

And they were made to pay as Smith’s late deflected shot ensured Brentford a share of the spoils.

England manager Roy Hodgson was in the crowd at Griffin Park as was Football Association chairman Greg Dyke, the former Brentford chairman. And they witnessed a hard-fought London derby.

Brentford, who secured automatic promotion from League One in April, did not look overawed as they started brightly against opponents who struggled in the Championship last season.

Midfielder Alex Pritchard, on loan from Tottenham, went close from 20 yards in the opening stages before Judge forced Addicks keeper Henderson into a fine 40th-minute save.

But Charlton created the better chances and will likely rue those missed opportunities.

With the game goalless, Èšucudean was clean through but Bees keeper David Button stood his ground to make a fine save.

Charlton, in their first competitive match under manager Bob Peeters, took the lead when Vetokele struck from a corner shortly after the 22-year-old had been denied by Button.

But Brentford responded well and former Cardiff man Smith equalised with a shot that hit Charlton’s former Chelsea and Manchester City defender Tal Ben Haim before finding the net.

Read More on BBC Sport