McClean: I was ‘hung out to dry’

first_img The 25-year-old Republic of Ireland and Wigan winger hit the headlines in 2012 when he opted not to wear the specially embroidered shirt. That caused a furore for which some Black Cats fans and others from further afield never forgave him during a period of his life in which he repeatedly courted controversy on social media and even received death threats. James McClean believes he was “hung out to dry” by Sunderland over his decision not to wear a Remembrance Day poppy on his shirt. McClean, a native of Derry, finally explained his reasons in an open letter to then Wigan chairman Dave Whelan in November last year, but claims he was not allowed to do so when the storm first broke. He told the Irish Independent: “Speaking honestly, I think I was hung out to dry by the press people at Sunderland. “That day, we were playing Everton, the manager [Martin O’Neill] was brilliant about it. He understood. He said: ‘If that’s your decision, I fully support you’. None of the players had an issue with it. “But pre-game, the press officer went out and issued a statement saying that I wouldn’t be wearing a poppy, that it was my own decision and that, as a club, they fully supported the poppy appeal. “That just drew attention onto it straight away. I don’t think it would have been anywhere near as bad as it got if that hadn’t happened. “Then, when I asked to be allowed to speak about it, I was told that that was a bad idea, not to say anything and let it blow over, so it was kind of brushed under the table, and I felt that was more for the club’s benefit than mine. “I think it could have saved so much hassle. When you think, two years later, I finally get to speak about it – for me, that’s two years too late. It could have been nipped in the bud from day one. Was there any need to make that statement prior to the game? No, there wasn’t. “To this day, I still have a kind of annoyance that that was the case. It irritates me because with people not knowing my reasons, even my own fans turned on me. They didn’t understand. To them, I was disrespecting their country, disrespecting their fallen heroes, disrespecting their culture, this and that. “Because I was pushed into a corner and not allowed to say anything, people didn’t know, and they turned on me.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

England boosted by final warm-up victory over Ireland

first_img When Ireland scored with half an hour remaining, however, what should have been an emphatic seventh successive triumph at Twickenham became far closer until Ireland fell away in the final 10 minutes. Sam Burgess arrived from the bench for the final quarter and gave a glimpse of what he might be able to achieve with more time, almost succeeding with one offload amid two handling errors. Tom Wood was named man of the match but Robshaw could have also finished with that accolade, and it was two late penalties from replacement fly-half Owen Farrell that swept the Red Rose home. England, whose line-out and set piece were improved but still fell short of the usual standard, enter their World Cup opener against Fiji on September 18 with some momentum while accepting higher standards will be needed for the Pool A clashes with Wales and Australia. Ireland will take comfort in knowing they do not need to peak until October 11 when they play their pivotal Pool D clash with France and on this evidence their conditioning levels are below that of the hosts. They will monitor the fitness of Conor Murray carefully over the coming days after the Lion departed with concussion early in the match, his good health critical given he is one of only two scrum-halves in the 31-man squad named for England 2015. England’s start could not have been more emphatic as waves of attacks ended with Ben Youngs floating a clever pass to May who bumped off Tommy Bowe and evaded Simon Zebo to score in the left corner. The one-way traffic was temporarily interrupted when Jonathan Sexton landed a penalty on the crossbar with the ball bouncing over, but in the 14th minute England struck again when George Ford sent a cross-field kick to the right wing where there was acres of space. Press Association Watson and Zebo leapt to compete for the ball and it was the Ireland full-back who miscalculated, allowing Watson to collect and touch down. A bad start deteriorated further for the Six Nations champions when Murray’s match was ended by concussion and a forward pass from Youngs saw May denied a third try. Geoff Parling, restored to the team to stabilise the line-out after two shaky meetings with France, stole Irish possession at the set piece and England renewed their assault with the slippery Watson almost wriggling free. The pendulum swung just before half-time, however, as Ireland finally attacked with accuracy, but a gap for wing Dave Kearney was quickly filled with white shirts before Sean O’Brien knocked-on. Ireland began the second half with a flourish and it was a more finely balanced game now as Ford and Sexton exchanged penalties. May was forced into a rushed clearance from behind his own whitewash and Joe Schmidt’s men pounced from the short-range line-out, forwards peeling off around the fringes until O’Connell arrived to burrow over. England led just 15-13 but they almost responded instantly when Ford and Watson escaped the green shirts only to fall to despairing late tackles. The World Cup hosts were back in control as they searched for the match-sealing try and it appeared to have been scored with 10 minutes left only to be disallowed because of a mix-up between Tom Wood and Robshaw. Substitute Owen Farrell, who had earlier butchered an overlap, landed two penalties to put the result beyond doubt and ensure England will enter the World Cup unbeaten at Twickenham this year. England will enter the World Cup armed with a confidence-enhancing 21-13 victory over Ireland but will know they should have emerged more convincing winners over the RBS 6 Nations champions in their final warm-up game. Jonny May and Anthony Watson ran in tries inside the opening 15 minutes as the tournament hosts honoured their promise to address the shortcomings exposed during two poor performances against France. They attacked the breakdown with far greater energy and relentlessly hunted down green shirts, with captain Chris Robshaw at the heart of his pack’s pursuit in an afternoon that restored the forwards’ reputation after their humbling in Paris a fortnight ago. last_img read more

Syracuse falls to No. 10 in Tuesday’s NFHCA poll

first_imgSyracuse (11-4, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) slipped three places to No. 10 in Tuesday’s National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.The dip comes after weekend split at home when the Orange fell, 2-1, to then-No. 4 Virginia on Oct. 14. The next day, SU put away Drexel, 4-0, behind a goal and two assists from Lies Lagerweij.All seven ACC teams are ranked, five placing ahead of Syracuse: No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Virginia, No. 5 North Carolina, No. 7 Louisville and No. 9 Boston College. Wake Forest is the lowest ranked ACC team at No. 13.The lone unbeaten, Connecticut, continues to hold the No. 1 spot.Syracuse travels to Philadelphia for a Sunday meeting with Penn at 1 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 17, 2017 at 11:39 am Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Grahamlast_img read more

Body of a murdered teen was found on I-95 exit ramp in West Palm

first_imgWest Palm Beach police initially called his death “suspicious,”but later reported it as a “murder.”Police continue their investigation on the incident. It is unknown if police have a suspect or motive in his killing. West Palm Beach police have found the body of a Boynton Beach teen who shot to death.Officials found 19-year-old Endrice Lajeune’s body on Tuesday morning at the I-95 exit ramp to Belvedere Road.last_img