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Middlesbrough 1 Leeds 0: Curtis Main secures victory for Tony Mowbray"s side

Middlesbrough 1 Leeds 0: Main is Boro's hero as fans turn on Warnock

Colin Young


22:31 GMT, 12 February 2013



02:03 GMT, 13 February 2013

A boy signed on a free transfer from Darlington proved to be Middlesbrough's Main man.

Curtis Main's perfectly placed header eight minutes from time gave Middlesbrough their first win in six League games and their first victory on Teesside over Leeds in 21 years.

But the 20-year-old, who scored for the second game running since recovering from injury, was sent off by petty referee Keith Stroud in the dying minutes.

Helpless: Paddy Kenny's best efforts could not prevent defeat for Leeds

Helpless: Paddy Kenny's best efforts could not prevent defeat for Leeds

Main was booked twice, for encroaching and handball, and looked as astonished as his manager.

Mowbray said: 'The ref got it wrong.
It was not deliberate handball in a million years. Curtis has amazing
qualities and yet is such a young player who hasn't been educated.

But he is potentially a special
talent. Tonight he is disappointed, frustrated, annoyed and angry but he
got us a great winner.'

Leeds fans chanted 'Warnock, time to
go' at boss Neil Warnock, who reacted with sarcastic applause. He is
refusing to quit and blamed the defeat on his strikers following Luciano
Becchio's departure to Norwich.

Ross McCormack fluffed Leeds's best
chance and Warnock said: 'We have missed three open goals in three games
and all hell breaks loose. 'Unless I run on the pitch and put the
chances in I don't know what more I can do.'

Under fire: The pressure continues to grow on Leeds boss Neil Warnock

Under fire: The pressure continues to grow on Leeds boss Neil Warnock

Rhys Williams should have put
Middlesbrough in front with a fourth-minute back-post volley after a
Grant Leadbitter free-kick put him clear, but Leeds started to take
control after that.

David Norris hit wide and then warmed
the palms of Jason Steele after some neat interplay between McCormack and Steve Morison, while the in-form Luke Varney also drove
away from goal after cutting in from the left.

The home side managed to steady themselves somewhat after that, but were so nearly the architects of their own downfall 28 minutes in.

Paul Green played a hopeful long ball forward that was Steele's all day long but he got his feet wrong and slipped, leaving McCormack with an open goal six yards out. The Scotland international dallied, though, and when he got a shot away, Jonathan Woodgate had recovered sufficiently to deny his former club on the line.

That proved to be Leeds' last chance of the first half and they should have been behind by the time the interval came.

Although not as clear a chance as McCormack's, Faris Haroun got clean through in injury time off Josh McEachran's defence-splitting pass, but Paddy Kenny was quickly off his line to deny him on the edge of the area.

Matchwinner: But Curtis Main was sent off minutes after scoring

Matchwinner: But Curtis Main was sent off minutes after scoring

The first half had hardly been an end-to-end affair but it was in comparison to the start of the second, which was attritional at best.

Woodgate provided the best moment, showing impressive pace and awareness to block off McCormack's run to goal, but as has often been the case in the 33-year-old's career, injury forced him off midway through the half.

Leadbitter, the game's other class act, then curled an edge-of-the-box free-kick just wide of Kenny's right-hand post and that brought about a mini period of drama with Leeds forced to defend for their lives with 17 minutes left.

Relieved: Tony Mowbray watched his side win for the first time in 2013

Relieved: Tony Mowbray watched his side win for the first time in 2013

Kenny did well to deny Leadbitter down to his right and then combined with Sam Byram to deny Williams on the follow-up, with the keeper then darting across his line to pouch a McEachran header that should have been a forgone conclusion.

Boro seemed keen to take the initiative, though, and by bringing on Miller they took it. With nine minutes left his cross hung enough for Main to put a header back across Kenny's goal and into the top right-hand corner.

He was then dismissed by Keith Stroud for a combination of dissent and kicking the ball away but, even though Steele had to deny Habib Habibou, Boro were able to hold on without him.

England are Ashes favourites for good reason, admits Jason Gillespie

England deserve to be Ashes favourites, admits Aussie great Gillespie

Mike Dawes


10:30 GMT, 2 February 2013



11:45 GMT, 2 February 2013

Yorkshire coach and former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie believes England will deservedly start as favourites for their defence of the Ashes later this year.

England retained the famous urn with an emphatic 3-1 win in the five-match Test series on Australian soil in 2010/11, and have been tipped to dictate terms again when the famous rivalry resumes in July.

Gillespie, having been installed as Yorkshire's first-team coach in 2011, has been able to assess the hosts' preparations first hand, and believes English optimism is well-placed.

Jason Gillespie thinks England's Ashes victories give them the advantage

Odds on: Jason Gillespie thinks England's will be full of confidence

Gillespie took 65 wickets in 18 matches against England

Pedigree: Gillespie took 65 wickets in 18 matches against England

'They are incredibly confident over here but they deserve to start favourites, England, no doubt about it,' Gillespie told The Australian newspaper.

'I think potentially they could underestimate our bowling. I've been speaking about it quite regularly over here and saying, ''Don't underestimate the strength of Australia's pace bowling attack''.

'But England won't underestimate Australia. They're too clever for that and I know the England management has already been doing a lot of research.

'They've been planning and researching for a long time. I've got no doubt they'll be wary.'

Gillespie took 7/37 at Headingley on his first Ashes tour to England

Lethal: Gillespie took 7/37 at Headingley on his first Ashes tour

Gillespie, who claimed 259 wickets in 71 Tests for Australia between 1996 and 2006, expects England's well-established bowling attack to trouble a relatively inexperienced Australian batting line-up.

'England's bowling is very good at the moment,' he said.

'Coming up against the Australian batting order, they will rightly feel they're in the game. They feel they can put Australia under pressure and can have Michael Clarke coming in consistently very early, at two or three down for not very many.

James Anderson could prove to be the difference

Match-winner: James Anderson could prove to be the difference

'James Anderson is one of the best going around. He'll lead the attack, (Steven) Finn is a very good bowler, (Tim) Bresnan is a very good bowler, (Stuart) Broad has had a bit of an up-and-down time but he's also a very good bowler.

'Graeme Swann is one of the best spin bowlers in the world, if not the number one. Their batting is strong and they've got the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world (Matt Prior) so they're in a good place.'


England: James Anderson, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar, Graeme Onions

Australia: Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty, Jackson Bird, Steven Smith

Middlesbrough 1 Blackburn 0 match report

Middlesbrough 1 Blackburn 0: Boro bounce back and pile the pressure on Berg


17:37 GMT, 26 December 2012



17:44 GMT, 26 December 2012

Lukas Jutkiewicz struck the game's
solitary goal midway through the second half as Middlesbrough bounced
back from Saturday's npower Championship defeat at Leeds to keep their
automatic promotion hopes alive.

Polish striker Jutkiewicz struck for
the second successive game with a clinical low finish from the edge of
the penalty area to lift Tony Mowbray's side up to third, within a point
of second-placed Hull.

Christmas cracker: Lucas Jutkiewicz scores the winner

Christmas cracker: Lucas Jutkiewicz scores the winner

Match facts

Middlesbrough: Steele, Friend, Woodgate, Bikey (Rhys Williams 46), Hoyte, Ledesma, McEachran (Smallwood 56), Leadbitter, Emnes (Bailey 72), Jutkiewicz, McDonald. Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Halliday, Miller.

Booked: Ledesma

Goals: Jutkiewicz 67.

Blackburn: Kean, Henley, Grant Hanley, Dann, Martin Olsson, Rosado (Dunn 79), Murphy, Lowe, King, Rhodes, Kazim-Richards (Rochina 83). Subs Not Used: Usai, Givet, Pedersen, Etuhu, Vukcevic.

Booked: Henley.

Att: 22,882

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Blackburn, who have now won only once under manager Henning Berg in 10 matches, were made to pay for missed chances and continue to slide down the table after securing just one point from their last six fixtures.

Rovers' late substitute Ruben Rochina was denied a late equaliser when Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele kept out his free-kick, but the home side were also guilty of some wasteful finishing.

Defender Andre Bikey and Argentinian striker Emmanuel Ledesma returned for Boro, while Portugal Under-21s international Diogo Rosado made his first start for Blackburn with midfielder Danny Murphy and defender Grant Hanley also recalled by Berg.

Middlesbrough made the brighter start as Jutkiewicz and Ledesma both fired over the crossbar from inside the penalty area before 16-goal Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes fired a shot just off target at the other end.

Rosado then tested Steele with a swirling, angled drive from 35 yards that was well held by the Boro goalkeeper and in a see-saw opening Jutkiewicz's header from Ledesma's cross was gathered by Blackburn goalkeeper Jake Kean.

Close call: Jordan Rhodes is kept out by Boro defence

Close call: Jordan Rhodes is kept out by Boro defence

Middlesbrough defender George Friend and midfield team-mate Grant Leadbitter both fired in shots from outside the area, but the home side were given a let-off in the 24th minute when Rhodes spurned a gilt-edged chance from close range.

Boro continued to rain in shots from long range. Rosado, again from more than 30 yards, striker Scott McDonald and Ledesma all tried their luck from distance before the break, the latter's well held by Kean in the 35th minute.

Both sides went in search of the game's opening goal in an even contest, but the score remained goalless at the interval.

Mowbray replaced Bikey with Rhys Williams during the interval and the latter was straight into the action, blocking Rovers striker Josh King's goalbound effort before Murphy's 20-yard shot was well held by Steele.

Jutkiewicz was next to waste a golden opportunity when he headed wide from six yards from McDonald's telling cross in the 50th minute, while Rovers striker Colin Kazim-Richards saw his header saved by Steele before blazing the rebound over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

Jutkiewicz dragged an angled shot wide and forward team-mate Marvin Emnes arrowed a 25-yard effort off target, but in the 67th minute Boro broke the deadlock.

McDonald pulled the ball back towards the edge of the penalty area from the left and Jutkiewicz buried a low, right-footed shot into the bottom corner for his seventh goal of the season.

Blackburn boss Berg replaced Rosado with David Dunn in the 78th minute before fellow midfielder Jason Lowe fired a low angled shot just wide and moments later visiting goalkeeper Kean denied Boro a second when tipping McDonald's close-range effort over the crossbar at full stretch.

Rovers almost snatched a point in the final minute, but Rochina's goalbound free-kick was brilliantly saved by Boro keeper Steele.

Middlesbrough 2 Wolves 0 – match report:

Middlesbrough 2 Wolves 0: Late Boro double sinks visitors in tight affair at Riverside


17:28 GMT, 15 December 2012



17:40 GMT, 15 December 2012

Middlesbrough grabbed two late goals to move back into third in the npower Championship as Wolves' unbeaten December was ended at the Riverside.

Stale Solbakken's side, who had started the month with back-to-back wins, had not won on Teesside since 1951 although they seemed on course for a point until Marvin Emnes' penalty and Scott McDonald's strike sealed three points for Boro.

Wolves substitute David Davis went close late on with an effort which looked to be heading in until a deflection diverted it into goalkeeper Jason Steele's arms.

Close call: Middlesbrough scored two goals late on to steal the win

Close call: Middlesbrough scored two goals late on to steal the win


Middlesbrough: Steele, Friend (Parnaby 80), Woodgate, Hines, Hoyte, Luke Williams (Emnes 62), McEachran, Leadbitter, Smallwood, Miller (Ledesma 62), McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Bailey, Jutkiewicz.

Booked: Leadbitter.

Goals: Emnes 89 pen,McDonald 90.

Wolves: Ikeme, Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Doumbia (Davis 74), Henry, Sigurdarson, Sako, Ebanks-Blake (Pennant 74), Doyle.

Subs Not Used: De Vries, Stearman, Nouble, Batth, Forde.

Attendance: 15,662

Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire).

The latest Championship table, fixtures and results

The turning point came moments later
as referee Robert Madley awarded a spot-kick to the hosts when a cross
struck Karl Henry's arm.

The visitors were adamant the contact
was purely accidental with Henry keeping his arms by his side, but the
penalty was awarded and Emnes sent Carl Ikeme the wrong way in the 89th

To rub salt into the wounds, McDonald smashed in a second in the fourth minute of stoppage time as Wolves pushed for a leveller.

The hosts were the first to go close as Luke Williams forced Ikeme into a stop.

Ishmael Miller, who was given a
chance to shine with both Emnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz on the substitutes'
bench, tried to repay Tony Mowbray's faith in him as a blistering
counter-attack ended with the former West Brom forward curling a
left-footed effort over the top.

Both sides looked more comfortable on the break and Henry's good work almost culminated in a golden chance for the visitors.

Henry darted forward down the left
and pulled the ball across goal as Jonathan Woodgate had to step with a
last-ditch challenge to stop Sylvan Ebanks-Blake sweeping home.

Wolves midfielder Bakary Sako was
never shy of trying his luck from distance and a free-kick which just
went wide was as close as either team came to a first-half opener.

Chances were at a premium and Sakho again drilled an effort in from range with Steele right behind it.

Mowbray tried to inject some life
into his side with the double introduction of tricky winger Emmanuel
Ledesma and Emnes, and the former jinked inside before firing straight
at Ikeme.

At the other end, Kevin Doyle's
vicious effort almost caught Steele out with its movement, though the
stopper pushed it wide and away from danger.

The visitors looked the more likely
to grab a late goal and substitute Davis thought he had clinched three
points, but his effort was deflected into Steele's path.

Moments later Boro were awarded a
penalty when McDonald's cross struck Henry on the arm, despite Wolves'
protestations that the contact was purely accidental.

Emnes stroked home the spot-kick and
he then turned provider, teeing up McDonald as Middlesbrough made a
three-on-two break count.

League Two round-up: Gillingham remain top after 2-1 win at Rotherham

League Two round-up: Burton answers Millers boo-boys


19:09 GMT, 8 December 2012



19:09 GMT, 8 December 2012

Deon Burton silenced the boos that greeted him at Rotherham as the former Millers striker fired npower League Two leaders Gillingham to a 2-1 win at the New York Stadium.

Burton left Rotherham under a cloud seven years ago after handing in a transfer request and it was no surprise therefore that he was booed when he took to the pitch.

On the mark: Deon Burton scored against his old club

On the mark: Deon Burton scored against his old club

The former Derby striker had the last laugh, though, as his eighth and ninth goals of the season gave the visitors the win, with Jason Taylor on the mark for the hosts.

Second-placed Port Vale are now six points behind the Gills after their five-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-0 home defeat to Chesterfield.

Jay O'Shea and Tendayi Darikwa were on target for the Spireites, who moved up to ninth.

Cheltenham now trail Vale by just one point after Darryl Duffy's winner gave them a 3-2 victory over Northampton at Sixfields Stadium.

Adebayo Akinfenwa continued his fine form by giving Northampton the lead after two minutes and a Billy Jones own goal doubled the hosts' advantage.

Darren Carter and Chris Zebroski scored twice within the space of three minutes to make it 2-2, however, and Duffy sealed the win 10 minutes from time with a close-range finish.

Bradford warmed up for their Capital One Cup quarter-final against Arsenal with an Alan Connell-inspired victory over Torquay which lifts the Bantams above Rotherham into fourth.

Connell grabbed the only goal five minutes from time against his former club.

Fleetwood began life under Graham Alexander with a 0-0 home draw against Southend while bottom side Barnet drew 1-1 with AFC Wimbledon at Underhill.

Adam Mekki's late equaliser at Oxford was enough to move Aldershot out of the drop zone while Wycombe drew 2-2 with Morecambe at Adams Park.

Bristol Rovers dropped in to the bottom two with a 1-0 home defeat to Dagenham and Redbridge, who won the match courtesy of Sam Williams' seventh of season.

Rochdale's Terry Gornell scored a second-half double, but it was not enough to stop Exeter from moving into the play-off positions as they ran out 3-2 winners at Spotland.

A Jamal Fyfield own goal and Nick Chadwick's 90th-minute strike gave Plymouth a 2-0 win over York at Home Park in today's other fixture.

Marco Fu beats Mark Allen at UK Championship

Fu denies grudge over 'cheat' claim after win against Allen at UK Championship



23:51 GMT, 2 December 2012

Mark Allen suffered a sore first-round defeat as Hong Kong's Marco Fu knocked the Northern Irishman out of the williamhill.com UK Championship.

Allen predicted he would win if Fu decided it was a 'grudge match', following comments made by the man from Antrim during the World Championship in April when he claimed tonight's opponent had cheated in the past.

There appeared little animosity between the pair as they shook hands following Fu's 6-3 victory at York's Barbican Centre.

Winner: Marco Fu came through against Mark Allen

Winner: Marco Fu came through against Mark Allen

But on a day when it emerged the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) had written to Allen to ask him to explain his comments of last Wednesday, when he reiterated that he believed Fu had cheated in the past, it was a tough loss for the world No 8.

Allen's timing in repeating his view about Fu was unfortunate, as it came a day before the six-month probationary period on a suspended three-month ban was due to expire.

Fu has denied ever cheating and has never been found guilty of any related offence.

Fu tonight insisted he did not want Allen to be banned and Allen does not expect to face punishment.

Asked whether he anticipated a fresh charge, Allen said: 'No, I don't.'

Allen said he had sought out WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson to discuss the comments he made in an interview last week, believing he had been misrepresented.

Claim: Allen accused Fu of cheating earlier this year

Claim: Allen accused Fu of cheating earlier this year

He added: 'I'm pretty happy where I stand with Jason and Jason's pretty happy with where I stand in the game so I don't think I have any problems.'

Allen said of his loss: 'I'm obviously disappointed to go out of such a tournament so early but I just got completely outplayed.

'Marco started really well and I never really recovered. If he plays like that he's got a chance of winning the tournament.'

Asked about the situation with Fu, and whether there was any 'grudge' aspect, Allen added: 'It was just another match. We've both moved on. People make mistakes and I make mistakes like anyone else. It's just one of those things.'

When asked last Wednesday about his 'cheating' claims, Allen said: “It was a comment that I still stand by.

'I'd never said anything about Marco as a person. Marco as a person is one of the nicest people you'd ever meet.

'Obviously people make mistakes on the table. But aside from that, Marco is a great snooker player.'

A World Snooker spokesman said: ‘His comments have been looked at and he has been asked to explain what he said.’

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2 – match report

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2: King doubles up to seal comeback and end winless run



22:11 GMT, 30 November 2012

Birmingham twice fought back against high-flying Middlesbrough before Marlon King's well-taken finish claimed only a second home win in seven attempts at St Andrew's.

Boro captain Grant Leadbitter headed his first npower Championship goal of the season to put the visitors ahead before King, who had earlier hit the outside of a post, picked himself up to draw level from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, an equaliser City scarcely deserved.

Scott McDonald capitalised on some shambolic defending from Pablo Ibanez to nudge Boro back in front just after the hour mark but, again, the home side drew level courtesy of substitute Wade Elliott's lob, which really should have been kept out by Jason Steele.

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

Match facts

Birmingham: Butland, Caddis, Ibanez, Davies, Robinson, Morrison (Elliott 46), Mullins, Spector, Hall (Burke 69), King, Zigic (Lovenkrands 75).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Caldwell, Redmond, Diop.

Booked: Robinson.

Goals: King 45 pen, Elliott 66, King 81.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, Bikey, Halliday, Ledesma (Smallwood 67), McEachran (Zemmama 83), Bailey, Leadbitter, Jutkiewicz (Miller 67), McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Emnes, Parnaby.

Booked: Halliday.

Goals: Leadbitter 14, McDonald 62.

Att: 15,322

Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).

But there was nothing fortunate about King's matchwinning second, a sublime low finish across Steele in the 81st minute to claim three much-needed points for Lee Clark's side, ending a four-match winless run.

Lowly Birmingham's joy came on a night in which frustrated home fans had earlier unfurled a banner which read 'Clark out, Carson out', referring to Hong Kong-based owner Carson Yeung and the club's ongoing takeover talk.

Middlesbrough went into the clash knowing victory would take them joint top of the Championship and they will have felt hard done by as they slipped to a third defeat in four games.

Boro certainly went into the clash as the more impressive side this season but history was not on their side having won just one of their previous 15 visits to St Andrew's.

Blues were first to threaten courtesy of towering Serbian striker Nikola Zigic but his header from the free-kick of loanee Rob Hall, making his full debut, went narrowly wide.

The visitors' attractive passing style was certainly easy on the eye and it was they who broke the deadlock after 14 minutes.

The ball was recycled to Andy Halliday out on the left and, with unorthodox Blues right midfielder Jonathan Spector out of position, Leadbitter, back from suspension, nodded home from six yards.

Lukas Jutkiewicz should have made it 2-0 after 21 minutes but his header from Justin Hoyte's cross flew off target.

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Birmingham came within inches of a leveller soon after when Steele's fingertips nudged King's low effort on to the outside of a post following a flowing counter.

Boro were playing the ball around well, with Leadbitter and Nicky Bailey pulling the strings, but Birmingham were certainly struggling to find any kind of rhythm.

Jack Butland twice saved from Emmanuel Ledesma before, out of nowhere and with half-time approaching, the hosts drew level.

King turned Andre Bikey, who tripped the striker in the penalty area, and King himself stepped up to convert.

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

Scott McDonald celebrates

England prodigy Butland twice came to Birmingham's rescue at the start of the second half, saving close range from Josh McEachran's cross and then clawing away McDonald's attempted lob.

But McDonald was to beat Butland just after the hour mark, capitalising on defensive hesitancy from Ibanez before firing home in a goalmouth scramble.

Boro keeper Steele saved well from Spector but was soon at fault for Birmingham's equaliser as he failed to keep out Elliott's 25-yard lob.

And it was left for King to have the final say, finishing superbly after Boro had given the ball away to sub Peter Lovenkrands in the middle of the park.

Bradley Wiggins deserves Sports Personality award, says Laura Trott

Forget my Olympic golds, Wiggo deserves Sports Personality award, says Trott



13:02 GMT, 10 November 2012

Laura Trott does not need long to think when asked to name a trio of contenders for Sports Personality of the Year.

Despite the raising of a rather uncouth finger outside a hospital this week, the 20-year-old’s choice is simple – and solitary.

'I haven't got a top three but I’ve got a top one,' she laughs. 'Bradley Wiggins.

On your bike: Laura Trott with young cyclist Georgie Savory at the Manchester Velodrome. Trott gave a group of aspiring athletes a masterclass in the sport

On your bike: Laura Trott with young cyclist Georgie Savory at the Manchester Velodrome. Trott gave a group of aspiring athletes a masterclass in the sport

'It’s just amazing what he’s done. Obviously winning the Tour de France and the Olympics within how many days – 10 days of each other

'No British rider has ever won the Tour de France so for him to do that was amazing. For him to win the Olympics straight after is just the best.'

Trott has her own claim to a mention on the annual list – having won two gold medals on her Olympic debut. She held a key role in the victorious team pursuit side which smashed the world record, and then pulled off a stunning solo win in the omnium.

'I don’t think I will be nominated – but I would like to,' she confesses. Given the remarkable success of female athletes this summer it seems impossible there will be a repeat of last year's male-only shortlist, though.

And Trott feels two names should definitely feature.

'I think Jess Ennis is another woman who should be nominated, and Ellie Simmonds as well.’

After a trip to Dubai with her boyfriend Jason Kenny in September, Trott took part in her first track session since the Games a couple of weeks ago.

'A bit of a shock to the system,’ she says, speaking at the Manchester Velodrome as part of a London 2012 legacy day.

Twenty-four hours earlier she had experienced a different kind of jolt – meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace. It was an encounter Trott labels her strangest amid a whirlwind of post-Olympics appearances.

'It was a bit random and a bit surreal almost,' she says. 'It was really nice. You never actually think that you're going to be able to meet her.

Golden girls: Dani King, Trott, and Joanna Rowsell after winning the team pursuit event in London

Golden girls: Dani King, Trott, and Joanna Rowsell after winning the team pursuit event in London

Golden girls: Dani King, Trott, and Joanna Rowsell after winning the team pursuit event in London

'She grabbed my medals and everything! All she said was, “What event did you compete in” So I said, “Track cycling”.

'She said she had found it really interesting at the Olympics because she hadn’t seen it before. She said she couldn't imagine how much the medals weighed and that’s when she took them.'

Trott makes her competitive return to the velodrome next weekend for the World Cup in Glasgow. She will be reunited with Dani King and Joanna Rowsell for the team pursuit, as well as riding the omnium.

She admits it will be peculiar to race in the venue named after her friend Sir Chris Hoy and is curiously reluctant to make any statements which could be interpreted as confident.

'What comes comes. We can’t guarantee that we’re going to win or anything.'

Of more certainty is Trott's move to the road for part of the 2013 season. She, King and Rowsell have all signed up to the DTPC Honda Pro Cycling team, which is being backed by Wiggins.

Flying the flag: Trott will not focus on road racing until after Rio 2016

Flying the flag: Trott will not focus on road racing until after Rio 2016

She has fond memories of past road experience and says she will 'pick and choose' which races to compete in – mindful of a desire to enter the Under 23 European Championships.

'It will be different because it's on the road but it will be with people that I know,' she says. 'I'd like to go back to the Czech Republic as that was my first major race when I was a junior.

'I really enjoyed it. It’s quite hilly and there’s a mix. There’s a time trial, there's a prologue. It’s like a tour but only a little one.

'I'll probably do Under 23 Euros during the year to get a few more qualification points. I’m not going to focus on the road until maybe after Rio.’

The Lance Armstrong case arrived not long after Britain's beautiful summer of cycling to display the ugly side of the sport’s recent history. The Glasgow World Cup will be the first time the country has hosted a major gathering since the revelations.

But Trott feels the saga, which shows no signs of ending soon, has failed to take away from all that was achieved cleanly in the Tour de France and London this year.

'That story’s completely different to the success and everything that’s happened over the summer,’ Trott says passionately. ‘I don’t think it is detracting from it.'

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Ronnie O"Sullivan pulls out of International Championship in China

Blow for China snooker tournament as world champion O'Sullivan pulls out



15:43 GMT, 26 October 2012

Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of the upcoming International Championship on Friday to deal a major blow to the richest tournament China will have ever staged.

The reigning world champion, who this week questioned his own decision to return to the tour after a short hiatus, has cited medical reasons for his decision to withdraw from a tournament which begins in Chengdu on Sunday.

Withdrawal: World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has pulled out of the International Championship in China through illness

Withdrawal: World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has pulled out of the International Championship in China through illness

Jason Ferguson, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, said: 'We have been made aware that Ronnie has been unwell. The usual process for players pulling out of tournaments will now be applied.

'This is a huge disappointment for all of the fans in China who were hoping to see him play. However there is still an outstanding line-up of the world's best players at the International Championship and it will be a top-class event.'

The International Championship offers prize money similar to the UK Championship, with a total fund of 600,000, of which 125,000 goes to the winner.

Bo van Pelt wins Perth International

Van Pelt holds nerve to edge out Dufner and clinch maiden European Tour title in Perth



10:35 GMT, 21 October 2012

Bo van Pelt clinched his first victory on the European Tour with a two-shot triumph in the ISPS HANDA Perth International.

American Van Pelt came into the final day with a one-stroke lead after holing a 60-foot birdie putt on the 18th on Saturday and picked up a shot on the first on Sunday to set the tone for his round.

He finished on 16 under overall after carding a 68 to beat compatriot Jason Dufner by two shots, with first-round leader Alejandro Canizares three strokes further back in third.

Pretty in pink: Bo van Pelt celebrates winning the Perth International

Pretty in pink: Bo van Pelt celebrates winning the Perth International

'Jason and I had a great battle and played well. It definitely got tight there at the end but luckily for me I came out on top,' Van Pelt told the European Tour website.

'Lake Karrinyup was a great test of golf all week. It's been a battle; the wind blew, the greens were firm and fast, and it was just a joy to play all week.

'Whenever you get a lead you want to take advantage of it so it was nice to finish one off this week.'

Holding his nerve: Van Pelt beat his countryman Jason Dufner to the title

Holding his nerve: Van Pelt beat his countryman Jason Dufner to the title

Van Pelt demonstrated nerves of steel around the green and rolled in from 15 feet at the seventh to turn in 32, before picking up his fourth and fifth birdies of the day immediately afterwards.

He two-putted at the 15th to give Dufner hopes of catching up but Van Pelt birdied the next and another dropped shot at the 17th proved inconsequential after Dufner had bogeyed the 16th.

Paul Casey finished in a tie for fifth – alongside fellow Englishman David Howell, Scotland's Scott Jamieson and Rhys Davies of Wales – after a marvellous final round of 67.

Frustrated: Dufner finished two shots behind Van Pelt after their respective final rounds

Frustrated: Dufner finished two shots behind Van Pelt after their respective final rounds

The 35-year-old Casey has struggled for form this season after suffering a dislocated shoulder in a snowboarding accident last Christmas but is showing signs of getting back to his best and finished on eight under overall – one stroke behind fourth-placed Michael Hendry.