Ash Barty is the WTA Number One!
To think that Ash Barty played her first match as a Top 10 player on May 4th, and now, just under two months later, she’s won her maiden Grand Slam, and on top off, she’s now Australia’s first women’s World Number One since Evonne OFFICIALLY held the ranking in April-May 1976, and the first Australian to hold a No.1 singles ranking since Little Lleyton’s reign was ended on June 15, 2003.
After knocking out Venus Williams and Barbora Strycova in straight sets, Ash progressed through to the Final against her doubles partner for the week, Julia ‘The German’ Goerges, noted for her power hitting.
With Ash’s work at the net and Julia’s baseline game, it was no wonder they were on course for the Doubles Final as well, before withdrawing prior to the Semis to focus on their singles matchup.
After winning the 1st Set 6-3, Barty recovered from 1-3 down and later a set point down at 4-5, and then breaking the Goerges serve on the first attempt for 6-5, and from there, the deed was done, and Ash Barty was No.1.
MAY THE BARTY PARTY, RECOMMENCE!
Hannah Green wins the Women’s PGA Championship
22-year-old Sandgroper Hannah Green was ranked 114th on the LPGA Rankings before the latest major of women’s golf, and she hadn’t even won an LPGA title, let alone a major.
But in the space of a weekend, she’s emerged from Minjee Lee’s shadow of relative dominance on Australian Women’s Golf, taking a surprise lead into the final round the PGA Championship at Hazeltine in Minnesota, and then survived the final nerve-wrecking day, carding an even 72 in the final round, finishing on nine under to win by one stroke to Korean World No.4 Park Sung-hyun.
Green is the third Aussie woman to win a major, after Jan Stephenson (3 majors) and Karrie Webb (7 majors), who was the last Australian winner, way back in the 2006 ANA Inspiration at Rancho Mirage.
June 24th, 2019- The day we found out who the hell Hannah Green is.
Sally Fitzgibbons Claims The World Number One Ranking
If one Australian woman reaching the World Number One for the first time in a weekend wasn’t enough, we had a second on Monday morning, when Sally Fitzgibbons won the Rio Pro in Brazil, beating American Carissa Moore to rack up her first tour win since Margaret River in 2017, and in the process, claim the WSL Women’s Number One Ranking!
In her mission to finally claim that maiden world title after three bridesmaid finishes, Fitzy leads this year’s title at the halfway point!
Cricket World Cup
Australia (5-381) defeated Bangladesh (8-333) by 48 runs @ Trent Bridge
MOTM: Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs (166)
Another pathetic performance by Davey Warner, racking up a mere 166 off 147 deliveries.
Eoin Morgan would’ve belted 250 if he faced 147 deliveries, and with the way Matty Wade was playing for Australia A on Sunday against Derbyshire (A 45-ball century ICYMI), he would’ve scored the first triple-century seen in an ODI match.
Regardless, another ‘solid’ but not ‘spectacular’ performance from the Aussies, and along with Warner & Finch setting yet another superb concrete foundation, it was that final 10 over burst from Warner, Maxwell & Khawaja of 131 runs that absolutely smoked the Tigers come their final 10 overs.
After his 2 centuries and 2 half-centuries, Shakib was the White Whale that the Australian bowlers had to hunt down, and then on 41, he hit a leading edge to Warner at mid-off, courtesy of Marcus ‘The Oil Rig’ Stoinis, a sure sign that Bangladesh were well and truly doomed… at 2-102.
Then at 2-144, Finchy once again cracked open the emergency glass and brought on Mitchell Starc, who immediately struck and removed Tamim for 62 with a fortunate deflection, and from there on, the Bangladeshis showed the sort of urgency that would chase down 280 instead of a World Cup record 380, meandering their way to a Bangladeshi ODI record score of 333, and losing the match by 48 runs.
Mushfiqur Rahim scored an unbeaten 102 off 97 balls, but seriously, it made absolutely no difference with them chasing 12 an over for pretty much all of the final 20 overs.
After all the horrors Australian cricket has experienced at Trent Bridge this decade, I’d be happy if the ground was burned to the earth in a mysterious fire.
England. Tomorrow. Here We Go.
FIFA Women’s World Cup
Norway defeat Australia 1-1, 4-1 on Penalties @ Stade de Nice
“Where ya from?”
You know, after seeing the Glory piss away the A-League title in a penalty shootout, I thought I’d had enough of seeing Australian football teams I enjoy having their spirits crushed in penalty shootouts.
And then Sam Kerr honoured the 25th anniversary of the ’94 World Cup, by impersonating Roberto Baggio in the shootout.
Funnily enough, her World Cup was almost like Baggio’s from ’94- The best player for their team for the entire tournament, and then it was ended with a badly missed penalty.
Sadly, it was a night where pretty much nothing went right for the Matildas- The VAR overturning a penalty in the 1st Half, Alannah Kennedy getting sent off thanks to a really pissy last defender foul, and then the shootout.
Sadly, it was the full stop on the sentence that said, this World Cup was never going to work out for us.
Super Rugby: Playoffs Week One
Brumbies 38 defeated Sharks 13 @ GIO Stadium
The only Australian rugby team that can actually play decent footy strutted their stuff on Saturday night, and in the below zero temperatures of our nations capital, the Brumbies were red hot, yet again.
Not even a minute in and Peter Samu had cleaved the Sharks defence to bolt 40m and cross for the opening try, and that was a lead the Brumbies never let go of against the Saffers, who only managed to sneak into the playoffs thanks to a try after the siren last week.
For the opening half-hour of the 2nd Half, the Sharks were pretty much the only team to touch the ball, having 83% of possession, which they pretty much wasted by only scoring one try to cut the score to 24-13, which could also be a testament to the Brumbies’ defensive effort.
Ultimately, the Sharks’ momentum was destroyed when Locky McCaffery managed to force a turnover in a breakdown in the 71st minute, earning the Brumbies a penalty, and leading to Joe Powell’s sealing try a minute later, and Matt Lucas rounded off the Brumbies’ last home appearance of the year by coming onto the ground and making the result 38-14.
It was also Christian Lealiifano’s final game in front of the Canberra faithful after 12 seasons, and he did in style, kicking 6/6 in front of goal.
That’s the first time the Brumbies have won 7 games in a row during a season, and they can fire up that rolling maul all the way to Buenos Aries against the Jaguares, for a rematch of that close loss they had a few weeks ago, and to hopefully stop Phil Kearns pissing and moaning about them being the Argentine test team.
Women’s State of Origin
New South Wales 14 defeated Queensland 4 @ North Sydney Oval
Neillie Doherty POTM: Maddie Studdon (NSW)
The Cockroach-ettes have achieve something their male counterparts will try and achieve in three weeks- Back to Back Origin victories.
The Maroons struck first through Tazmin Gray in the 25th minute, a lead the Queenslanders held through to the half, the Blues finally stopped squandering easy chances- Like Shakiah Tungai bobbled the ball as she was about to put down a grubber in the in-goal- And scored three tries in the final 20 minutes to overrun the Maroons.
Standing the game out on a Friday night was a successful move by the NRL- A crowd of 10,515 at North Sydney, well up on the 6,824 from last year, and it pulled a 785,000 national ratings performance, managing to out rate the Swans comfortably in Sydney (211k vs 81k).
Super Netball: Round 9 – Last round before the World Cup break!
Lightning 65 defeated Fever 57 @ USC Stadium
It wasn’t quite an 80-55 thumping this time around, but regardless, the Lightning are still far too good for the Fever.
After an incredibly tight 1st Half, highlighted by the battle between GS Peace Proscovia and Fever captain and GK Courtney Bruce, the Lightning led 33-31 at the half, managing to take both bonus points by winning each quarter by a goal.
Then the game blew open in the 3rd Quarter, as the Lightning shut down the Fever’s attack, winning the quarter 18-11, but the Fever did hang in there, making wholesale changes which turned the game, getting within 5 goals halfway through the 4th Quarter, but that was as close as they got.
The Ugandan ‘Warid Tower’ (That is her name) won the battle against Bruce, shooting 44/45, thanks to the First Class delivery from Laura Scherian, who took home the Player of the Match award to boot.
As if it were some small consolation prize, the Fever did claim the final bonus point with a 15-14 final quarter.
Vixens 66 defeated Giants 57 @ Quaycentre
Huh, I only just noticed that both games on Saturday were just one goal away from being the EXACT SAME SCORE.
Anyway, the Vixens did all the work in the first three quarters, shutting down the Giants’ attack to lead 52-38 at the final break, with Emily ‘Brian’ Mannix racking up a monster game in defence, with an impressive 9 intercepts.
In a battle of the Goal Shooting Caitlins- Thwaites for the Vixens, and Diamonds captain Bassett for the Giants, the honours went to Caitlin Thwaites, who shot 40/42 and earned POTM honours, as Bassett got sent to the bench as various times, such was the defensive dominance of Mannix.
Thunderbirds 51 drew with Swifts 51 @ The Adelaide Entertainment Centre
To say the least, there was never a dull moment for Maria Folau this week.
Getting drawn into her husband’s unabashed narcissism by sharing her support for the aborted GoFundMe drive was the first kick in the pants, and then on Sunday, she missed a pair of goals at the end of regulation to deny Adelaide what would’ve been the win of the season.
Missed goals weren’t the other of the day- It was the defensive performances of both teams that kept the game close.
The Thunderbirds stunned the ladder leaders by leading 14-9 thanks to Folau and Glasgow’s long-range shooting, and led 29-24 at the half, before the Swifts methodically fought back to lead by 4 goals in the final quarter, mainly thanks to a fairly bonheaded move from Thunderbirds coach Tania Obst, dragging Glasgow for Charlee Hodges to play her first minutes in 2019.
The Swifts scored 8 of the next 9 goals.
Then with the scores tied at 51 with only seconds to go, the T’Birds worked the ball down to Folau, who missed what should’ve been the final shot of the game, only to earn an after the siren penalty.
Astonishingly, she missed again, and the chance of a mega upset only resulted in a draw.
Magpies 63 defeated Firebirds 50 @ Melbourne Arena
If you ask me, the Magpies should keep their Indigenous jumpers for the rest of the season.
Unlike their AFL counterpart, the Magpies haven’t lost in their two appearances in the Indigenous strip, and they’re now into the Top Four on the back of the Giants’ loss to the Vixens, turning a three point ladder deficit into a three point margin.
Nothing major really happened aside from that- The Firebirds are still winless, and the Magpies were way too good, as captain Geva Mentor warmed up nicely for a home World Cup in a few weeks, racking up three intercepts for the Magpies, and moving past 100 interceptions in her time playing in Super Netball.
With 18/18 shooting and her work supporting Shimona Nelson, Nat Medhurst was awared POTM honours for the first time in a Magpies uniform.
The Season Resumes on July 27th
The Winter Carnival winds down
The final group one of the 2018/19 season was the Tattersalls Tiara at Eagle Farm, and there was a few pieces of history secured all in one.
Invincibella flew through the middle of the pack to end Kiwi expat Jason Collett’s Group One jinx, and gave trainer Chris Waller the outright record for Group One wins in a season from Tommy Smith, finishing the season on 18 G1s, most them courtesy of Winx.
With the mighty mare now back in the Hunter Valley, that record could stand the test of time, like TJ Smith’s former haul did for some 40 years.
Collett did cop a 9-day suspension for careless riding past the finishing post, but it was well worth it.