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Kilmarnock 1 – 1 St J’stone



Drey Wright’s stunning long-range strike earned a point for St Johnstone as they held Kilmarnock to a 1-1 draw at Rugby Park.

The home side were completely dominant in the first half and Joe Wright’s back-post tap-in gave them the lead after Kyle Vassell had seen a goal ruled out by VAR.

Killie will have been disappointed at only being one goal in front at the break but the Saints improved slightly in the second half and Drey Wright lashed into the bottom corner from 25 yards to secure a draw.

A point was at least enough for the Rugby Park side to move above Ross County into 10th place, while St Johnstone remain eighth in the cinch Premiership.

The Kilmarnock team sheet showed three changes from the side which lost to Inverness in the Scottish Cup last weekend. Ash Taylor, Liam Polworth and Luke Chambers dropped out and were replaced by Jeriel Dorsett, Jordan Jones and youngster David Watson who was making his first league start.

Saints boss Callum Davidson made just two changes as Andy Considine returned in place of Adam Montgomery and Theo Bair was given the nod ahead of Connor McLennan.

The home side started on the front foot and Danny Armstrong tested Remi Matthews with an early free-kick that he parried to safety.

The St Johnstone goalkeeper made an even better save in the 18th minute, acrobatically clawing the ball away after Armstrong met Jones’ deep cross at the far post.

The hosts’ dominance continued and they thought they had taken the lead moments later when Vassell slammed the ball in off the crossbar after another impressive Matthews save.

However, the Killie celebrations were short-lived as referee Chris Graham ruled the goal out for a handball against Vassell after being called over to the monitor by VAR.

The Rugby Park side continued to press and Armstrong had another golden chance in the 28th minute. The winger ghosted in at the far post to beat Matthews to a loose ball but the ball drifted tantalisingly wide of the left-hand post.

Kilmarnock’s Joe Wright celebrates scoring to make it 1-0

Kilmarnock’s pressure eventually told in the 38th minute as Matthews misjudged Jones’ deep inswinging cross, allowing Joe Wright to prod home at the back post to give the hosts a first-half lead.

St Johnstone were extremely poor in the first period but they were better after the break. Wright had their first shot on target in the 49th minute as he stung Sam Walker’s palms from range and Melker Hallberg saw a shot blocked moments

Kilmarnock then appealed for a penalty as Considine and Joe Wright challenged for a cross but VAR ruled that there had been no handball after a delay.

Both sides were struggling to create in a scrappy second half until Drey Wright produced a moment of magic in the 70th minute after Liam Donnelly had been caught in possession.

Zak Rudden’s initial shot was well blocked but the ball fell kindly to the St Johnstone wing-back who took a touch before arrowing a low shot across Walker into the bottom corner.

Kilmarnock were convinced that Donnelly had been fouled and the home fans were further frustrated in the 79th minute as the officials judged a Considine foul on Armstrong to have been marginally outside the area.

Substitute Fraser Murray almost won it at the death for the home side but Matthews got a finger to his inswinging low shot as the match finished all-square.

What’s next?

Kilmarnock return to Scottish Premiership action after the international break at home to Hearts on 1 April.

St Johnstone are at home to Aberdeen on the same day. Both matches kick-off at 3pm.

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England Women: Sarina Wiegman recalls goalkeeper Hannah Hampton and defender Esme Morgan | Football News



Sarina Wiegman has handed recalls to Hannah Hampton and Esme Morgan while uncapped Lucy Parker also returns to the fold as the Lionesses prepare for back-to-back fixtures against Brazil and World Cup co-hosts Australia in April.

Dropping out from February’s squad are the injured Emily Ramsey along with Lotte Wubben-Moy, Katie Zelem and Ebony Salmon.

Chelsea forward Fran Kirby continues to be absent as she recovers from a knee injury, while Bethany England also misses out despite scoring five goals in six appearances for new club Tottenham.

Katie Zelem has been omitted from Sarina Wiegman’s latest England squad

Wiegman said: “We are getting closer to the World Cup and I can’t think of two better games to assess our progress. After these games, there will be less than three months until we fly to the tournament and we must make every second on and off the pitch count.

“For us as a technical staff this will be the last chance to see the players within our England environment before we come together for the final preparation phase in June. And these two matches will be two real tests to see where we are at.”

The Lionesses have not faced Australia since October 2018 when Kirby scored in a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.

The last meeting with Brazil was in October 2019 at the Riverside Stadium when Debinha scored twice for the visitors, before England’s late consolation in a 2-1 defeat.

England squad in full

England's Chloe Kelly celebrates after scoring her second goal against Belgium
Chloe Kelly has been in excellent club form for Man City this season

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Sandy MacIver, Ellie Roebuck, Hannah Hampton

Defenders: Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Alex Greenwood, Maya Le Tissier, Esme Morgan, Lucy Parker, Leah Williamson

Midfielders: Laura Coombs, Jordan Nobbs, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Keira Walsh

Forwards: Rachel Daly, Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Jess Park, Alessia Russo, Katie Robinson

Upcoming fixtures

April 6: England vs Brazil – kick-off 7.45pm, Women’s Finalissima (Wembley Stadium)

April 11: England vs Australia – kick-off 7.45pm, friendly (Gtech Stadium)

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Anthony Barry: Chelsea and Bayern far apart in agreeing compensation for assistant to join Thomas Tuchel’s staff | Football News



Chelsea and Bayern Munich remain far apart over agreeing compensation for Anthony Barry to join Thomas Tuchel’s coaching staff.

Bayern have approached Chelsea about taking their assistant coach after Tuchel expressed an interest in bringing him into his new set-up.

Chelsea have made their position and expectations clear to Bayern for Barry to be released from his contract, and nothing has yet been agreed between the clubs.

But amid the uncertainty, Barry and Chelsea have agreed that he will not attend Cobham until the situation is resolved either way.

Chelsea have a list of potential replacements should he ultimately leave for the Bundesliga champions.

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Speaking at his first press conference since becoming Bayern Munich boss, Tuchel said he wasn’t expecting to be in his position, but believes his squad is one of the most talented groups in Europe

The Chelsea players return to training on Tuesday following international duty ahead of their clash with Aston Villa on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

Barry is a highly thought-of coach who has also worked with Robert Martinez and the Belgium national team, the Republic of Ireland team under Stephen Kenny, and Paul Cook at Wigan Athletic before joining Chelsea in 2020.

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WPL has changed landscape of women’s cricket forever, says Phoebe Graham | Cricket News



The WPL has changed the landscape of women’s cricket forever says Thunder player and Sky Sports blogger Phoebe Graham, as she reflects on bumper contracts, big crowds, high-pressure games and Mumbai Indians winning the title…

​​​What a tournament the Women’s Premier League has been.

High scoring, exceptional overseas talent and great crowds. India put on a spectacular competition which not only captured their nation but the globe.

After the inaugural auction weeks before the tournament, we knew the WPL was going to be a showcase event. Overnight, it became the highest-paid franchise tournament in women’s sport with the best players in the world up for selection.

Smriti Mandhana was bought for £340,000 by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural WPL auction

India’s Smriti Mandhana (£340,000) and Australia’s Ashleigh Gardener (£320,000) were the highest earners. That life-changing money is more than their national contracts and showed the direction of travel women’s cricket is going in.

Having just come back from a pre-season tour to Dubai and Mumbai with North West Thunder, I was lucky enough to attend two WPL games. The sheer number of fans in the stadium and the noise that they were making took my breath away.

At the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy Mumbai, we watched a group game with 35-40,000 fans. The atmosphere was electric – you could feel the energy before even walking into the stadium. It added an extra level of pressure and intensity, one that only India can provide.

That pressure and intensity is exactly what the women’s game needs.

This tournament helps grow India’s domestic game and adds to the heritage of Indian cricket but also provide overseas cricketers a heightened stage to perform on and be a catalyst for growth for women’s cricket globally.

Mumbai Indians win Women's Premier League (Getty Images)
Mumbai beat Delhi by seven wickets in Sunday’s final at Brabourne Stadium

‘WPL will stimulate growth for other leagues’

The level of energy and excitement added to Sunday’s final.

Delhi Capitals posted a low-scoring total of 131-9. Their strong top order crumbled under pressure with soft dismissals for Shafali Verma, Alice Capsey and Jemimah Rodrigues.

It could have been a roll over without a last-wicket stand of 52 between Shikha Pandey and Radha Jadav but with runs on the board in a final, low-scoring totals can often cause headaches.

Mumbai Indians looked in trouble at times and it ended up being a nail-biting game going down to the last over. Nat Sciver-Brunt was the star of the show, playing a beautiful and timely innings of 60 off 55 balls to get her team over the line.

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Check out Issy Wong’s incredible hat-trick for Mumbai against UP Warriorz in the WPL Eliminator

What an achievement for Mumbai! English stars Sciver-Brunt and Issy Wong have become rockstars overnight, while Charlotte Edwards adds to her silverware collection as one of the most successful women’s coaches of all time.

This experience for players to play under such intense pressure and in front of big crowds and big expectations is second to none. It will dramatically improve India’s national team and overseas talent such as Wong and Sciver-Brunt will shine.

The WPL will stimulate growth for other leagues as well, like the PSL and in the Caribbean, and we will also see the impact on player choice. For example, the Australians can enjoy the break in their schedule in August or play in The Hundred.

The WPL is the most lucrative women’s tournament in the world and the sheer investment has changed the landscape of women’s cricket forever. It’s such an exciting time for the game and I can’t wait to see how it evolves over the next few years.

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