Van Gaal expects Di Maria arrival

Press Association Di Maria is currently on leave after his exertions with Argentina at the Copa America, but Van Gaal insists the midfielder will fly to the US on Saturday, as had been originally planned before the tour started. “He will come on July 25,” the United manager said. Van Gaal refused to dismiss reports United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward met with PSG officials to discuss Di Maria’s future on Tuesday. “I cannot answer that,” the Dutchman said. “It is a process. When we think we have to say something, we will.” Di Maria has also encountered problems off the field since his move to England. He and his family moved out of their Cheshire home in February following an attempted burglary. Senior sources at United recently downplayed suggestions Di Maria was unsettled in Manchester, but that has not stopped cash-rich PSG from being linked with a move for the player. Louis van Gaal still expects Angel di Maria to join Manchester United’s tour of the United States on Saturday despite reports the £59.7million midfielder is closing in on a transfer to Paris St Germain. As well as Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Javier Hernandez are also expected to join the squad on Saturday, when United play their third tour match – against Barcelona at the Levi’s Stadium in California. The trio are not expected to play in the match against Barcelona but will be available for United’s last match – against PSG – which could prove interesting if Van Gaal selects Di Maria. Barcelona’s Pedro is in the frame as a potential new recruit if Van Gaal decides to cut his losses on Di Maria. The Dutchman had hinted he was ready to sign a “surprise” striker at the weekend. But Van Gaal had changed his tune somewhat after United had beaten San Jose Earthquakes 3-1. “I don’t know if I want to buy a striker,” Van Gaal said. “I have read in the media that the striker is a surprise. No. That is not what I said. You are saying that. No. I mean something else.” Memphis Depay scored his first goal for United while Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira also found the net in San Jose, but Van Gaal was not a happy man after the final whistle. “The first half, I was satisfied,” said Van Gaal, who made 10 changes at half-time. “But the second half I think we played very badly. A lot of unnecessary ball losses. The only highlight was the goal from Pereira.” Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger was singled out for criticism. “He was also bad,” Van Gaal said of the £15million signing. “The one highlight was Pereira.” Goalkeeper David de Gea, who sat out the first game in Seattle against Club America, did not play against San Jose. The Real Madrid target warmed up prior to the match, but he did not come off the bench at half-time and Sam Johnstone remained in goal for the whole 90 minutes.. Van Gaal hopes the Spaniard will be fit to play against Barcelona in Santa Clara this weekend. “I have good hope that he can play against Barcelona,” Van Gaal said. “He was still injured. Anders Lindegaard was also injured. It was difficult, so I said, ‘Go stand in the goal so we had a point of direction for my attackers, but don’t do anything to risk your injury more’. “I hope that he can play on Saturday. I think he can play on Saturday.” Di Maria failed to impress at United last season following his record move to Old Trafford from Real Madrid. The 27-year-old spent a large chunk of the second half of the season on the bench at United and he has subsequently been linked with a big-money move to PSG. read more

Kurt Busch leaving Stewart-Haas: ‘I’m looking forward to the future’

first_imgTeam co-owner Tony Stewart responded directly to Busch about his announcement. “You brought passion and a never-ending drive to win,” Stewart wrote, in part. “You helped shape (Stewart-Haas Racing) into the team it is today.”Beyond these numbers, you brought passion and a never-ending desire to win. You helped shape @StewartHaasRcng into the team it is today. Thank you. https://t.co/W7xtFKZ6ag— Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) December 3, 2018SHR’s official Twitter feed echoed Stewart: “Your dedication and desire are hard to match. Know the next chapter of your career will be great.” Amazing how fast five years goes by… especially when @KurtBusch is at the wheel. Your dedication and desire are hard to match. Know the next chapter of your career will be great. From all of us, thank you. pic.twitter.com/zOh1FsLkGy— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) December 3, 2018While Busch has been linked to Ganassi Racing’s open ride, Stewart-Haas has given no indication who might take his place. Kurt Busch confirmed Sunday night that he will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing, ending a five-season run that included six NASCAR Cup Series victories, the 2017 Daytona 500 among them.Busch, who joined SHR in 2014, wrote, in part, on Twitter: “I would like to thank Stewart-Haas for 5 fantastic years driving the #41. … Unfortunately, it’s not in the cards for me to stay. I’m looking forward to the future (and) new opportunities ahead.” pic.twitter.com/iMIP8n9DSl— Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) December 3, 2018There has been speculation that Busch will move to Chip Ganassi Racing, but the 2004 NASCAR Cup champion didn’t indicate who he would be driving for in 2019, his 19th full-time Cup Series season.Busch, 40, is coming off a 2018 season in which he won at Bristol, qualified for the playoffs and finished seventh in the standings.last_img read more

Albert Pujols homers twice to tie Ken Griffey Jr., David Fletcher gets his first as Angels clobber Mariners

first_imgPreviousA fan wearing traditional Japanese kimono walks through the seats before a baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Angels’ David Fletcher rounds the bases after hitting his first career home run during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Mariners at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Angels’ David Fletcher, center, is congratulated by teammates after hitting his first career home run during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Mariners. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsAngels manager Mike Scioscia and teammates Ian Kinsler (3) and Albert Pujols (5) congratulate David Fletcher as he returns to the dugout after hitting his first career home run during the first nning of Thursday’s game against the Mariners at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs throws to a Seattle Mariners batter during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Seattle Mariners’ Kyle Seager connects with an RBI single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon, right, slides into home to score on a single by Kyle Seager as Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado waits for the throw during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon scores on a single by Kyle Seager during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton throws to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a two-run homerun during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a two-run home run during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches his two-run homerun during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols watches the flight of his two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: James Paxton #65 of the Seattle Mariners looks on after allowing a two-run homerun to Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the first inning of a game at Angel Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols celebrates his two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas, right, adjusts his mask as Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, center, celebrates his two-run home run with Mike Trout during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton, left, and a trainer walk off the field after he was removed during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Seattle Mariners’ Nelson Cruz heads back to the dugout after striking out during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)A single hit by Seattle Mariners’ Ryon Healy flies past Los Angeles Angels third baseman David Fletcher during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)A single hit by Seattle Mariners’ Ryon Healy flies past Los Angeles Angels third baseman David Fletcher during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Seattle Mariners’ Denard Span takes off his helmet after he grounded out during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, bottom, steals second base as Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon catches the throw during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton comes around after hitting a three-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, center, celebrates his three-run home run with Mike Trout as Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas stands near the plate during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols rounds the bases past Seattle Mariners’ Kyle Seager after hitting a home run, his second homer of the night, during the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts after hitting a single during the fifth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 12: Kole Calhoun #56 and Mike Trout #27 congratulate Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at the dugout after his solo homerun during the sixth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, celebrates his second home run of the night with Mike Trout during the sixth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, celebrates his second home run of the game with Mike Trout during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Seattle Mariners’ Kyle Seager reacts after striking out during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, left, of Japan, and Mike Trout celebrate the team’s 11-2 win against the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)A fan wearing traditional Japanese kimono walks through the seats before a baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Angels’ David Fletcher rounds the bases after hitting his first career home run during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Mariners at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)NextShow Caption1 of 33The Angels’ David Fletcher rounds the bases after hitting his first career home run during the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Mariners at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ExpandANAHEIM — The first home run ball of David Fletcher’s career was sealed in a clear plastic bag in his locker Thursday night. If he had any immediate plans for where the ball would go, Fletcher was not willing to share them with the media.Fletcher, a shy 24-year-old rookie from Cypress High, grinned sheepishly when it was suggested that he needed only 629 more homers to catch his most prolific teammate. Across the Angels’ clubhouse, Albert Pujols waxed about the friendship he formed with Ken Griffey Jr., whose 630 home runs are now tied for sixth place on baseball’s all-time list.Time and again, the Angels’ 2018 season has celebrated the old and the young, with surprisingly little assurance of team success in between. Their 11-2 thumping of the Seattle Mariners was the latest example.Pujols hit two home runs and collected three hits, tying him for 25th all-time with Rickey Henderson – another former opponent now in the Hall of Fame – with 3,055 for his career. Justin Upton hit a three-run home run, his 18th of the season. Tyler Skaggs continued the best streak of pitching in his career, allowing one run over six innings. Mike Trout, with bat and glove, helps Angels end losing streak Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Their reward: a small step closer to the Mariners (58-36), whose lead in the American League wild-card standings is now 10 games over the Angels (48-46).On the same day Garrett Richards was lost for the remainder of the season, two quick home runs by Pujols and Fletcher roughed up Mariners starter James Paxton before a bad back knocked Paxton out for good.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Listed at 5-foot-10, Fletcher had never hit more than three home runs in three professional seasons prior to 2018. But he had six homers at Triple-A Salt Lake before earning his first major league call-up in June.“I’m not a home run hitter but every now and then I’ll run into one,” Fletcher said. “I think I made a big jump this year with some swing adjustments.”Paxton (8-4) lost a start at Angel Stadium for the first time since April 2015. The Mariners left-hander owned a 2.07 earned-run average in 11 prior starts against the Angels. Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img Clippers, Mavericks brace for the unknown in Game 4 But he lasted just five batters before a trainer escorted him off the mound with what the Mariners described as “low back tightness.” Paxton was charged with three runs in two-thirds of an inning.Just like that, the remaining eight innings were bushwhacked into an unobstructed path to victory.Pujols finished 3 for 3 with a walk, the first time this season he’s reached base four times. The last of his three hits: a no-doubt, 419-foot home run to left field in the sixth inning against Nick Rumbelow.Ian Kinsler also had three hits for the Angels. Fletcher and Upton each had two of the Angels’ 15 hits against Paxton and six relievers. Former Angels infielder Andrew Romine mopped up the final inning, his fifth career pitching appearance, and allowed two runs.Skaggs (7-5) rebounded nicely from an early error. Dee Gordon began the game with a chopper toward first base, went to second base when Skaggs scooped an underhand throw to no one in particular and scored on an RBI single by Kyle Seager.Skaggs threw 26 pitches in the extended first inning but limited the damage to one run. Over the next five innings, the left-hander faced two batters above the minimum before turning the game over to the bullpen. He walked one batter while striking out five and scattering five hits, all singles.Skaggs was 3-4 with a 3.60 earned-run average on May 28. In six starts since, he hasn’t allowed a home run, going 4-1 with a 0.95 ERA.“This is the best I’ve ever thrown the ball in my whole career,” he said.Right-hander Noe Ramirez pitched a scoreless seventh inning. The last batter he faced, Gordon, hit a laser ground ball back to the mound that left a bulbous bruise on Ramirez’s right calf. Ramirez said Manager Mike Scioscia planned to remove him at that point anyway, but he was limping after the game. His next outing might have to wait at least a day.Right-hander Oliver Drake allowed one run over the final two innings for the Angels, who visit the Dodgers for a three-game interleague series beginning Friday night.With an announced crowd of 44,027 for a Shohei Ohtani bobblehead giveaway, Ohtani did not appear in the game. Scioscia preferred Jefry Marte at first base, and Pujols as his designated hitter, with the left-handed Paxton starting the game. Despite Paxton’s quick exit, Ohtani remained on the bench.Even without their rookie sensation, the Angels had plenty to celebrate. Pujols and Griffey were opponents for seven and a half seasons in the National League Central, when Pujols played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Griffey was with the Cincinnati Reds.Related Articles “Griffey was everybody’s hero growing up,” he said. “As a little boy, even though I was a right-hander, everybody wanted to have that sweet swing.”Pujols could only smile as he spoke about Fletcher’s home run, a 393-foot shot against a genuine ace. Pujols’ first victim was Armando Reynoso, whose greatest claim to fame might be his role as Pujols’ first victim.“Since we called him up, he’s been really our spark in our lineup. He’s really done a great job,” Pujols said of Fletcher. “Not just any pitcher. Paxton’s really tough against anybody in the league. That’s really special. I’m really happy for him.”When Ohtani hit his first career home run in April, the Angels gave him the “silent treatment” – an oft-repeated tradition of ignoring a player in the dugout after his first career home run. By contrast, Fletcher was greeted warmly.“We don’t know how many more Fletch is going to hit,” Scioscia said. “He’s a little guy. We knew Shohei’s going to hit a lot. We don’t know where Fletch’s next one is going to be, so we better celebrate it.“That’s Ian Kinsler, not me, talking.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

England battle back to clinch tie with Wales

first_img England demonstrated their fighting qualities to secure a tie with hosts Wales on the opening day of the Home Internationals at Southerndown. After the morning foursomes were shared equally, Wales looked to have taken command in the singles and seemed to be heading for victory. But the England tail wagged to ensure a first day defeat was avoided. Double European Amateur champion Ashley Chesters boosted England with a 3 and 2 victory over David Boote which helped erase the setback of Ryan Evans losing to Mike Hearne by one hole. However, the Welsh took a grip with Evan Griffith and Ben Westgate recorded 2 and 1 wins over Ben Stow and Seb Crookall-Nixon respectively. New cap Dan Wasteney kept England in the hunt by beating Matthew Moseley by one hole while fellow debutant Tomasz Anderson recorded England’s biggest success with a 5 and 3 margin over Richard James. Still Wales looked to have the upper hand as Lee Jones overcame Paul Kinnear 2 and 1 while Zach Galliford beat Harry Casey 3 and 1. It was left to new English champion Nick Marsh to close the gap with a 2 and 1 win over Owen Edwards while Adam Chapman’s one hole victory over Jack Bush ensured the spoils were shared. More details and scores can be found on the Golf Union of Wales website. Image of Nick Marsh and Harry Casey copyright Leaderboard Photography. 14 Aug 2014 England battle back to clinch tie with Wales last_img read more

Low scoring spree prompts upsets at the English amateur

first_imgImages copyright Leaderboard Photography Eagles and birdies were flying on an afternoon of upsets in the English men’s amateur championship at Formby which saw top seed Sam Rook and international Jake Burnage knocked out.Burnage (Saunton) chipped in for eagle on the 17th to go all square in his match. But his opponent, Oliver Farrell (Evesham) birdied the 18th to win the close-fought game 1up and take his place in the quarter finals.“Jake’s chip-in helped me a little bit,” said Farrell. “I told myself to respond in a good way and hit a great drive down the middle on 18. I had 99 yards left, which was perfect, I hit a 90-yard shot and let it release down to the pin to about 4ft away.”Burnage’s approach was almost as good, finishing 6ft away, but his birdie attempt lipped out.Farrell, 21, is a student at Marquette University in Wisconsin and is playing in the match play stages of this championship for the first time. “My game has been close all year,” he said. “Sometimes the results don’t reflect the way you are playing.”Tomorrow he will play Callum Farr (Northamptonshire County) who knocked out the top seed Sam Rook (Lindrick) 3/2.Farr was slow starting but once he got going, he was on fire. He lost the first to a birdie then, by his own account, made a mess of the second. After that he played the next 14 holes in six-under par, with birdies on 3, 4, 6, 8, 11 and 13.Farr, who celebrates his 20th birthday next week, is also playing in the match play stages for the first time and remarked: “It’s nice to beat the top seed, it shows you can beat anyone.”Brabazon Trophy winner Nick Poppleton joins them in the quarter finals, after defeating Jack Ainscough (Hartlepool) 3/2.Poppleton had a marathon match this morning, going to the 23rd hole to beat Matthew Nuttall (Royal Birkdale.) But the long game brought the added bonus of a fresh swing thought: “I found something in the play-off holes and started to hit some better shots.“I played lovely in the stroke play but I haven’t been swinging it as great in the match play or putting as great. But this afternoon I played nicely and played some lovely wedge shots”He took an early lead, winning the first three holes when Ainscough found sand off each of the tees, and he had his chances to get to four under. But, instead it was Ainscough who made a move, getting back to 2 down after 15, only for Poppleton to convert a lovely nine-iron approach on 16 into a winning birdie.Tomorrow Poppleton takes on Joe Long (Lansdown), who came through another marathon game. He finally beat Alex Dixon (City of Newcastle) on the 20th.Tom Thurloway (Chartham Park) moved confidently into the quarters with a 4/3 win over Hexham’s Matty Lamb. His opponent will be Angus Flanagan (St George’s Hill) who knocked out boy international Robin Williams (Peterborough Milton). Flanagan finished with a run of birdies: on the 15th to get to one up; on the 17th to halve the hole; and on the 18th to win 2up.The final quarter final will be between Jamie Li (Bath) and Alex Ireland (Brickhampton Court). Li was a 19th hole winner over England squad player Tom Sloman (Taunton & Pickeridge). Ireland meanwhile, won the 14th, 15th and 16th with a par, birdie, par sequence to defeat Rhys Lawrence (Coventry) 3/2.Burnage (Saunton) chipped in for eagle on the 17th to go all square in his match. But his opponent, Oliver Farrell (Evesham) birdied the 18th to win the close-fought game 1up and take his place in the quarter finals.“Jake’s chip-in helped me a little bit,” said Farrell. “I told myself to respond in a good way and hit a great drive down the middle on 18. I had 99 yards left, which was perfect, I hit a 90-yard shot and let it release down to the pin to about 4ft away.”Burnage’s approach was almost as good, finishing 6ft away, but his birdie attempt lipped out.Farrell, 21, is a student at Marquette University in Wisconsin and is playing in the match play stages of this championship for the first time. “Tomorrow he will play Callum Farr (Northamptonshire County) who knocked out the top seed Sam Rook (Lindrick) 3/2.Farr was slow starting but once he got going, he was on fire. He lost the first to a birdie then, by his own account, made a mess of the second. After that he played the next 14 holes in six-under par, with birdies on 3, 4, 6, 8, 11 and 13.Farr, who celebrates his 20th birthday next week, is also playing in the match play stages for the first time and remarked: “It’s nice to beat the top seed, it shows you can beat anyone.”Brabazon Trophy winner Nick Poppleton joins them in the quarter finals, after defeating Jack Ainscough (Hartlepool) 3/2.Poppleton had a marathon match this morning, going to the 23rd hole to beat Matthew Nuttall (Royal Birkdale.) But the long game brought the added bonus of a fresh swing thought: “I found something in the play-off holes and started to hit some better shots.“I played lovely in the stroke play but I haven’t been swinging it as great in the match play or putting as great. But this afternoon I played nicely and played some lovely wedge shots”He took an early lead, winning the first three holes when Ainscough found sand off each of the tees, and he had his chances to get to four under. But, instead it was Ainscough who made a move, getting back to 2 down after 15, only for Poppleton to convert a lovely nine-iron approach on 16 into a winning birdie.Tomorrow Poppleton takes on Joe Long (Lansdown), who came through another marathon game. He finally beat Alex Dixon (City of Newcastle) on the 20th.Tom Thurloway (Chartham Park) moved confidently into the quarters with a 4/3 win over Hexham’s Matty Lamb. His opponent will be Angus Flanagan (St George’s Hill) who knocked out boy international Robin Williams (Peterborough Milton). Flanagan finished with a run of birdies: on the 15th to get to one up; on the 17th to halve the hole; and on the 18th to win 2up.The final quarter final will be between Jamie Li (Bath) and Alex Ireland (Brickhampton Court). Li was a 19th hole winner over England squad player Tom Sloman (Taunton & Pickeridge). Ireland meanwhile, won the 14th, 15th and 16th with a par, birdie, par sequence to defeat Rhys Lawrence (Coventry) 3/2. 3 Aug 2018 Low scoring spree prompts upsets at the English amateur center_img Tags: Mens Amateurlast_img read more