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League One round-up: Sheffield United go top

League One round-up: Blades top as Crawley are cut down by McMahon

PUBLISHED:

18:17 GMT, 22 December 2012

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UPDATED:

18:17 GMT, 22 December 2012

Sheffield United moved top of npower League One with a 2-0 win at Crawley.

The fixture was one of just four played in the third tier due to the awful weather, and two sweetly-struck free-kicks from Tony McMahon ensured the Blades made the most of their rivals having their games postponed.

Blades of glory: McMahon bends a free kick round the Crawley wall

Blades of glory: McMahon bends a free kick round the Crawley wall

Walsall picked up their first win in
17 games as they saw off Colchester 1-0, Febian Brandy scoring the only
goal just after the hour mark.

Yeovil chalked up a big win as they eased past Oldham with a 4-1 victory at Huish Park. Jose
Baxter had given the visitors an early lead, but a Gavin Williams'
double, the first from the spot, and a James Hayter strike put the
Glovers 3-1 to the good.

Latics striker Robbie Simpson was then dismissed for his challenge on Marek Stech, and Paddy Madden completed the scoring.

The day's other game saw Preston draw
1-1 at Coventry. James Bailey put the Sky Blues ahead but Lee Holmes
earned North End a share of the spoils.

Simon Whitlock advances in the World Darts Championship after beating Haruki Muramatsu

Magic! The Wizard wins with an easy victory over Muramatsu

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UPDATED:

01:02 GMT, 20 December 2012

Former World Championship finalist Simon Whitlock barely broke sweat on day six at Alexandra Palace as he breezed past Japanese qualifier Haruki Muramatsu 3-0.

The Wizard averaged 95.5 as he brushed aside the spirited Muramatsu in straight sets and moved into the second round of the World Darts Championship, where he will play Colin Osborne.

There was some uncharacteristic double trouble for Whitlock in the first leg as a hat-trick of missed double 10s allowed the Japanese player to take an early lead.

No sweat: Simon The Wizard Whitlock barely broke sweat as he breezed past Haruki Muramatsu 3-0 in the World Darts Championship

No sweat: Simon The Wizard Whitlock barely broke sweat as he breezed past Haruki Muramatsu 3-0 in the World Darts Championship

But after hitting double 10 at the third attempt in leg two, The Wizard eased to a one-set lead as he hit a 13-dart finish in leg three before a double 16 in leg four to seal the set 3-1.

The pair held their own throw at the start of the second leg, before the Aussie moved ahead with a 48 checkout in leg three. Whitlock then secured the second set by the same 3-1 margin as the first with a 116 finish in leg four.

And Whitlock won the third set 3-1 as well as he secured the crucial break in leg three before finishing the match with a double 18 finish.

Home time: Dennis The Menace lost 3-1 to Ronnie The Rocket Baxter (below)

Home time: Dennis The Menace lost 3-1 to Ronnie The Rocket Baxter (below)

Ronnie Baxter

Ronnie Baxter also won on Wednesday night as he got the better of two-time world champion Dennis ‘The Menace’ Priestley 3-1.

The Rocket went two sets up and, after losing the third set in a deciding leg, closed out a four-set win against Priestley.

Baxter did the damage early on as he hit a 13-dart leg on the way to taking the opening set 3-1.

But The Menace had chances of his own as he missed two shots to win the second set, in the fourth leg, before losing it 3-2.

The third set also went to a deciding leg as this time it was Baxter’s turn to miss opportunities. The Rocket let five chances to take the match slip through his fingers and, as a result, was stretched to a fourth set.

But then it was Priestley’s turn to spurn opportunities and there was no coming back this time. After making a strong start to the set, Priestley missed four shots at a double to extend the match into a final set which left Baxter to seal the win by hitting double 10 in the deciding leg of set four.

Scare: Colin Lloyd had a massive scare against the American Darin Young but Jaws eventually won 3-2

Scare: Colin Lloyd had a massive scare against the American Darin Young but Jaws eventually won 3-2

2002 world finalist Colin Lloyd survived a massive scare as he beat American Darin Young 3-2 to set up a second round tie with former BDO world champion Mark Webster.

It was a match that swung one way and then another but Jaws eventually prevailed 6-4 in a dramatic fifth set.

Young took the opening set with a 144 checkout in leg four before Lloyd responded to take the second set in a deciding leg.

And, after a break each followed by a hold of throw apiece, Young hit double 16 to win the deciding leg of set three to take a 2-1 lead.

But the 2005 World Matchplay champion quickly wiped out the deficit as he took the fourth set 3-0 to send the match into a decider. Jaws held his own throw in the opening leg and then hit double 16 to break in leg two before a clinical 124 checkout sealed the set and brought him level.

And Lloyd appeared to be cruising towards victory as he broke in the opening leg of set five before a 64 checkout moved him 2-0 up.

But the drama had only just begun as Young won the next leg before capitalising on Lloyd’s missed 68 finish in leg four to level at 2-2 with a 77 checkout.

Jaws then went back ahead with a 51 checkout to break but the American followed up with a 115 checkout of his own and the players were locked at 3-3.

Dominant: Justin Pipe (pictured) won with an easy victory over Andy Jenkins

Dominant: Justin Pipe (pictured) won with an easy victory over Andy Jenkins

DAY SIX RESULTS

Justin Pipe 3-0 Andy Jenkins
Ronnie Baxter 3-1 Dennis Priestley
Colin Lloyd 3-2 Darin Young
Simon Whitlock 3-0 Haruki Muramatsu

But, after Young won the seventh leg to move 4-3 ahead, Lloyd reeled off three straight legs to seal a tense 6-4 final-set win.

In Wednesday’s other match, Justin Pipe started the night with a dominant 3-0 win over Andy Jenkins.

The 41-year-old from Taunton won the first two sets without dropping a leg before completing his easy victory with a 3-2 third-set win.

Thursday sees the remaining four first round matches take place with Dutch duo Vincent van der Voort and World Grand Prix champion Michael van Gerwen topping the bill. Kim Huybrechts is also in action before round two begins on Friday afternoon at Ally Pally.

Exeter 42 Harlequins 28: Chiefs deny champions chance to return to top of table

Exeter 42 Harlequins 28: Chiefs deny champions chance to return to top of table

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UPDATED:

17:20 GMT, 6 October 2012

Exeter Chiefs celebrated their 50th Aviva Premiership match with a try-scoring bonus point victory at Sandy Park as the reigning champions Harlequins missed the opportunity to go back to the top of the table.

The home side freshened-up their starting line-up after least week's disappointing 30-8 defeat away to Leicester Tigers, as Australian lock Dean Mumm made his debut at the expense of skipper Tom Hayes.

Hooker Simon Alcott made his first Premiership start while flanker Ben White, fly-half Gareth Steenson and centre Phil Dollman were the other changes while No 8 Richard Baxter led the side.

The visitors had made two changes from the side that lost to Saracens last week, with Karl Dickson starting at scrum half while loosehead prop Mark Lambert made his first start of the season.

Over the line: Exeter's Jason Shoemark scores

Over the line: Exeter's Jason Shoemark scores

Steenson was quick to make an impression on the game with a good break and then the former Ireland Under 21 landed a 25 metre penalty but his opposite number, Nick Evans, saw his attempt to quickly level the scores drift wide of the uprights.

Quins maintained the pressure with Matt Hopper linking-up with his centre partner Jordan Turner-Hall but the England international was stopped short. Chiefs knocked-on but at the scrum the home side were penalised for Evans to get his side back on level terms.

Chiefs crossed for the first try of the game after a break from full back Luke Arscott which, after several phases of play, saw Dollman give a long pass to prop Brett Sturgess out on the touchline who ran round behind the posts.

Streenson added the extras and a penalty but Evans kept Quins in touch with his second penalty, from 48 metres as the Chiefs led 13-6 midway through the half. Evans then charged down Steenson's clearance kick to touchdown.

No way through Exeter's Matt Jess is held up by Joe Gray and Seb Stegmann

No way through Exeter's Matt Jess is held up by Joe Gray and Seb Stegmann

Evans failed with the touchline conversion but following Exeter pressure Steenson landed a second penalty, however England wing Ugo Monye went over for his fourth try of the season with Evans adding the conversion to give the visitors an 18-16 lead at the break.

Exeter made the perfect start to the second half with blindside flanker Ben White going over from close range, as referee Martin Fox continued play after a questionable tackle by Mike Brown on Hopper, and Steenson's conversion took the Chiefs back in front.

Midway through the half, wing Matt Jess saw his pass intercepted by replacement fly-half Rory Clegg who raced up to the Chiefs line, chased by Jess, before passing inside to scrum half Karl Dickson with Clegg converting.

Exeter, sensing a possible upset, responded with two tries in three minutes through inside centre Jason Shoemark to secure a try-scoring bonus point, with Steenson converting the second for a 10-point lead.

The home side were forced to defend their line as the game went in to the final 10 minutes with some strong tackles.

Quick ball: Exeter's Gareth Steenson releases after pressure from Chris Robshaw

Quick ball: Exeter's Gareth Steenson releases after pressure from Chris Robshaw

But they then gave away a penalty and Clegg landed his second kick to give his side a possible losing bonus point.

But the Chiefs sealed the game with two minutes remaining as replacement Sireli Naqelevuki broke clear for Exeter's fifth try and Steenson converted. Munn was yellow carded in the final minute but his side held on for the win.

Kaizer Chiefs hire Stuart Baxter as manager

Brit abroad! Ex-England youth coach Baxter joins South African side Kaizer Chiefs

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UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 7 May 2012

Former England Under 19 coach Stuart Baxter has signed a two-year contract to manager South African giants Kaizer Chiefs.

The 58-year-old Baxter, who has also managed the Finland and South Africa national teams as well as in Sweden, Japan and Norway, said he is looking forward to 'a challenging but exciting project'.

Doing the rounds: Stuart Baxter's international adventure has taken him to South Africa

Doing the rounds: Stuart Baxter's international adventure has taken him to South Africa

The Soweto-based Chiefs, arguably South Africa's most famous team, fired Vladimir Vermezovic of Serbia this season. They have not won the league title since 2005 and are nine points behind leaders and Johannesburg rivals Orlando Pirates with three games to play.

Exeter 18 London Irish 11: Chiefs finally beat Exiles

Exeter 18 London Irish 11: Chiefs finally end Exiles hoodoo

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 31 March 2012

Exeter Chiefs continued to push hard for a semi-final spot as they secured their first victory in any competition over London Irish.

The Devon side outscored the Exiles two tries to one with all the visitors points coming from full-back Tom Homer as the visitors slipped to their sixth Aviva Premiership defeat in a row.

Exeter named an unchanged side from the one that beat Gloucester 28-27 last time out and were led onto the Sandy Park pitch by number eight Richard Baxter, who was making his 400th league and cup appearance for the club.

Try: Gonzalo Camacho scores for Exeter

Try: Gonzalo Camacho scores for Exeter

London Irish made two changes from the side that lost 41-32 at Leicester Tigers last Sunday with former England Saxon Adrian Jarvis starting at fly-half while Romanian international Paulica Ion was at tighthead prop.

The Chiefs applied the early pressure and fly-half Ignacio Mieres put the first points on the board with a 40-metre penalty.

London Irish levelled through a Homer penalty and after Mieres had missed one kick at goal, the fly-half succeeded with his next attempt to make it 6-3.

Baxter then made an excellent break down the left touchline before he was halted by flanker Matt Garvey, but the ball was worked across field and outside centre Bryan Rennie just failed to squeeze in at the left corner.

Victory: Exeter fans look on in delight

Victory: Exeter fans look on in delight

Referee Dave Pearson had already blown his whistle for a penalty on the opposite side of the pitch, but Mieres saw his attempt hit the far upright.

The Chiefs maintained the pressure with Rennie putting a neat grubber kick through forcing Homer to take the awkward bounce into touch five metres from his own line with half-time approaching.

Replacement hooker Neil Clark found Baxter to set up the the drive to the line and Hanks went over for his first try of the season from close range. Mieres added the conversion to give the Chiefs a 13-3 lead at the break.

Mieres, now kicking into the wind, missed an early opportunity to stretch the Chiefs lead with a 25-metre attempt, but it was the visitors who got the first points of the half.

First: The win was their first ever victory over London Irish

First: The win was their first ever victory over London Irish

A neat chip through from Jarvis and another awkward bounce caught two Chiefs defenders napping and allowed Homer to touchdown in the corner, although he was unable to add the touchline conversion.

Homer then reduced the arrears to two points with his second penalty but was just wide with his next attempt midway through the half.

That was just the jolt that Exeter needed and right wing Gonzalo Camacho crossed for his first try for the Chiefs having been initially tackled just short of the line.

Mieres missed the conversion and a 45-metre penalty before he was replaced by Gareth Steenson for the final 10 minutes.

With less than four minutes remaining the Exiles won a penalty 15 metres from the Chiefs line in front of the posts and they kicked to touch to set up a drive for a tense finish, but the Chiefs stood firm.

Gloucester 27 Exeter 28: Chiefs seal dramatic late win

Gloucester 27 Exeter 28: Chiefs clinch late win to keep play-off hopes alive

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UPDATED:

20:17 GMT, 24 March 2012

A purple patch of 21 points was not enough for Gloucester as Exeter Chiefs snatched victory at Kingsholm thanks to a last-minute Aly Muldowney try and a TMO trial.

In the first non-broadcast game with a television match official, Tony Spreadbury awarded Muldowney’s try to allow Gareth Steenson to slot the winning conversion.

Coach Rob Baxter said: ‘I’d have been very disappointed not to have got something out of that game. Our attitude was first class. We wanted to take the game to them; last year they scored three or four tries before

Late drama: Aly Muldowney's late score is awarded

Late drama: Aly Muldowney's late score is awarded by the TMO

The Chiefs unravelled in spectacular fashion as Gloucester scored three converted tries during a devastating seven-minute burst.

Wing James Simpson-Daniel, fly-half Freddie Burns – courtesy of a brilliant solo try when he caught his own kick ahead one-handed – and replacement scrum-half Nick Runciman all touched down, while goalkicker Burns finished with 17 points.

Exeter looked as though would head back down the M5 with only a losing bonus point, secured by Steenson's late penalty, and they would have been kicking themselves after prop Craig Mitchell and wing Matt Jess claimed first-half tries.

Fly-half Ignacio Mieres added two penalties and a conversion, but just when it looked as though Exeter were finished they dug deep to claim a first win in their history at Kingsholm.

It represented a memorable recovery act – and a considerable show of character – leaving Gloucester to reflect on playing their part in a 55-point thriller, but with nothing to show for it apart from a losing bonus.

Pandemonium: Exeter celebrate at the final whistle

Pandemonium: Exeter celebrate at the final whistle

Pandemonium: Exeter celebrate at the final whistle

Gloucester recalled some impressive back division firepower in Simpson-Daniel, Charlie Sharples and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, while Exeter were unchanged after crushing Sale 37-12 last time out.

A television match official was in place at Kingsholm as part of a four-fixture experiment that could be rolled out across every Premiership game next season.

Only games televised live currently have a TMO, but Premiership clubs might expand that for all league fixtures next term at a cost of around 350,000, with Gloucester's clash against Exeter launching the trial period.

Former international referee Spreadbury was handed the task on a glorious afternoon made for attacking, open rugby, and it burst into life after 20 minutes.

The two packs went at it hammer and tongs early on, and after Burns had kicked Gloucester ahead, Exeter bounced back by launching a thrilling attack through flanker James Scaysbrook.

Solo effort: Freddie Burns breaks clear to score

Solo effort: Freddie Burns breaks clear to score

Solo effort: Freddie Burns breaks clear to score

The ex-Bath forward delayed his pass perfectly, but scrum-half Haydn Thomas knocked on with the line beckoning and Gloucester stormed upfield through a Sharples-inspired break that was only snuffed out when Chiefs flanker Tom Johnson covered brilliantly.

Exeter, though, were not to be denied, and they went ahead after 23 minutes when Mitchell powered over between the posts following a delicious off-load by hooker Chris Whitehead, with Mieres' conversion making it 7-3.

The Chiefs then should have had a one-man advantage for the game's remainder, but Gloucester and Scotland lock Jim Hamilton enjoyed a major let-off.

Hamilton appeared to punch Thomas, who fell to the floor on the halfway line, yet referee Greg Garner opted for a yellow card after consulting with his assistant Don Helme.

Early lead: Craig Mitchell crosses for the Chiefs

Early lead: Craig Mitchell crosses for the Chiefs

Citing officials are sure to study the footage closely, and Hamilton might not have heard the last of it, but Exeter made him pay by collecting a second try just before half-time.

Crisp passing was again the Chiefs' trademark, with Jess crossing unmarked wide out. Although Mieres missed a difficult conversion attempt, Exeter were outstanding value for their lead.

And they almost extended it on the stroke of half-time when lock James Hanks looked to have touched down, only for Spreadbury to rule otherwise.

But dominant Exeter still had the final word through a Mieres penalty that made it 15-3 at the break.

Anxious wait: The TMO studies Muldowney's try as the crowd wait

Anxious wait: The TMO studies Muldowney's try as the crowd wait

Burns cut the deficit to nine points with a penalty two minutes after the restart as Hamilton reappeared, only for Mieres to cancel out that strike from short range after Gloucester put themselves under pressure by fumbling possession in defence.

The home side desperately needed to increase their tempo, having looked ponderous for too long, and they finally breached Exeter's defence after 58 minutes through a trademark overlap try poached by Simpson-Daniel and converted by Burns.

It meant Exeter were being asked serious questions for the first time in a contest they had otherwise dominated, and they did not have the answers as Burns and then Runciman glided through their defence.

Steenson's strike sparked hopes of a late Exeter recovery, and it was duly completed when Muldowney and Steenson combined to produce the final scoring act of a pulsating contest.

Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath said: ‘There are no sour grapes.’

Exeter 37 Sale 12: Chiefs go fifth as Sharks fail to show bite

Exeter 37 Sale 12: Chiefs go fifth as Sharks fail to show bite

Exeter kept pressing for a place in
next season's Heineken Cup as they completed a league double over Sale
Sharks to move up to fifth place.

The Chiefs made two changes from the
side that lost 12-9 at home to Bath, with James Hanks back in the second
row in place of Peter Short while Bryan Rennie replaced Nic Sestaret in
the centre.

Scotland flanker Richie Vernon
returned to Sale's pack with James Gaskell switched to the second row in
place of the injured Andrei Ostrikov.

Chiefs challenge: Exeter's Ignacio Mieres (left) tackles Rob Miller

Chiefs challenge: Exeter's Ignacio Mieres (left) tackles Rob Miller

The home side got the first points on the board after seven minutes as centre Jason Shoemark gave the final pass for full-back Phil Dollman to squeeze in at the corner.

Fly-half Ignacio Mieres was unable to add the touchline conversion but did add a penalty shortly after from close range.

Mieres kicked another penalty 12 minutes before half-time before the Chiefs then claimed their second try of the game.

After being held up over the line, number eight Richard Baxter picked up at the base of the scrum at the second attempt and found a gap to get over the line with Mieres adding the extras.

Shark bait: Matt Jess (centre) cuts between Sale's Tom Brady (right) and Sam Tuitupou

Shark bait: Matt Jess (centre) cuts between Sale's Tom Brady (right) and Sam Tuitupou

The Chiefs started the second half the stronger but were unable to turn the possession into points, but after a quick tap penalty they worked the ball wide through hooker Chris Whitehead before wing Matt Jess exchanged passes with Dollman.

Jess then found Sestaret, on as a replacement for Shoemark just before the interval, who went over for the third try, but the conversion from Mieres hit the far upright.

The Sharks pressed the Chiefs line where Baxter was shown a yellow card for a professional foul, but the seven-man pack forced Sale to concede a penalty and allow the home side to clear their lines.

On the move: Chiefs' Aly Muldowney (right) runs at Nick McLeod (centre)

On the move: Chiefs' Aly Muldowney (right) runs at Nick McLeod (centre)

Exeter claimed their second try-scoring bonus point of the season when Jess broke down the right before finding Dollman, but with wing Gonzalo Camacho outside the ball went back inside for Jess to touchdown.

The conversion attempt from Mieres hit the inside of the far upright before going over to give the Chiefs a 30-0 lead with 24 minutes left.

Exeter, now back to full strength, were then penalised close to their own line and after the kick to the corner replacement hooker Joe Ward was held up over the line.

But the visitors maintained the pressure which resulted in replacement centre Luther Burrell getting the touchdown.

Pass master: Sale's Dwayne Peel feeds the ball

Pass master: Sale's Dwayne Peel feeds the ball

Exeter were forced to play the final 10 minutes a man down when replacement prop Ben White was sent to the sin-bin, and the visitors took advantage of the extra man.

The Chiefs held the ball at the back of a ruck over their own line and referee Dean Richards deemed the ball was out, allowing replacement prop Tony Buckley to claim the touchdown which Nick Macleod converted.

However, there was still time for the Chiefs to push for a fifth try with a series of scrums under the posts leading to a penalty try which replacement Gareth Steenson converted.