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The Sunday Stroll: 19 June, 2011

June 19, 2011

F1 Montréal was quite some event! A rain-induced red flag two-hour break, and then a stunning win from Jenson Button, having tangled with Fernando Alonso and teammate Lewis Hamilton (himself having tangled with Mark Webber), enduring a drive-through penalty, two punctures, six trips through the pit-lane and tricky mixed conditions, not to mention that on lap 41 (of 70) Button was last, before pressuring Vettel into a mistake on the final lap. F1 at its absolute most entertaining. Brilliant. Bonkers. Bloody marvellous. Take a bow, Jenson…

Taking more than a literal bow was the steward who stacked it twice and nearly got himself run over whilst trying to clear debris off the track. Graeme Swann found it rather amusing though…

Meanwhile in Canada, How to Deal with Losing a Hockey Match, by the residents of Vancouver…

MotoGP Silverstone, well it was very, very wet. But Casey Stoner still cleared off and won by a mile. Kudos to the injured Colin Edwards on an impressive podium, but the real joy for British fans came in the Moto2 class were Bradley Smith bagged second place having started 28th. Fantastic effort Bradley. Here’s the official MotoGP podcast…

And here’s an absolute belter for you. Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards on stage at Silverstone last weekend. To give those not in the loop the background, the previous weekend he crashed and broke his collarbone into five pieces, but not made it back to race this weekend – a remarkable feat itself – but somehow qualified an incredible 8th (before, post this clip, finishing third in the race). With the help of a few pills obviously…

Post-race press conferences as they should be, courtesy of the Isle of Man TT event and runner up John McGuinness. Skip to 3:10 for the amusing comments…

Andy Murray won at Queen’s, seeing off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in an absorbing final. Tsonga outplayed Murray for the first two sets, but Murray snuck the second-set tie-break before overcoming a tiring Tsonga in the decisive third. The Scotsman also busted out this cheeky winner…

Next up is Wimbledon, where if the draw goes as planned Murray should face Roddick again in the Quarters. Nightmare draw for Murray actually, with Marin Čilić in round 3, Richard Gasquet in the fourth, Roddick in the quarters, Rafael Nadal in the semis and then the small matter of Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic in the final. No sweat. Amusingly, the first round draw also pitches John Isner and Nicolas Mahut together once more… last year their record-breaking encounter finished 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 in Isner’s favour. Same again chaps?

The third and final England-Sri Lanka Test of the summer got under way on Thursday – typically delayed by rain. It’s the first time Test cricket has been hosted at Hampshire’s Rose Bowl ground – a fine stadium, built like an amphitheatre on the side of a hill; great for spectators. Turns out, great for Ian Bell too. That lad is in fine form, notching his fifth consecutive score of 50 or more. He now averages over 100 (with over 1000 runs) from his last twelve Tests – not too shabby…

What was (a tad) shabby however is the on-going debate over the decision referral system. India – perhaps justifiably – refuse to play with the system as it is not 100% accurate, something proved at the Rose Bowl when (see below) the umpires and hot-spot failed to pick up an edge through to the slips, something later shown to have happened by Snicko. However, for the most part, the DRS has proved a great improvement to the game, helping to eliminate the ‘shockers’, whereby umpires get calls horribly wrong. It will be interesting to see whether India’s decision comes back to haunt them later this summer – a few ropey calls from Billy Doctrove and co. might make them think twice about its value next time around…

Golf – US Open at Congressional. Rory McIlroy is currently storming his way to one of the all-time great victories, having established a monster eight-shot lead after the end of the third round (for AP analysis of his first round 65 click here and of his record-breaking second round click here). Just as well he doesn’t know how to blow a lead eh. Going strong in the fourth, so it will be good for him to this first Major under his belt. Will be plenty more for sure you’d assume. Here he is nailing an eagle earlier this week…

And here he is being interviewed with an unfathomably bizarre individual in the background…

Now, if you want utterly ridiculous then here you go: pro golfers Ben Crane, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan have formed a band, Golf Boys, and here’s their single ‘Oh Oh Oh’. Yes, really… [ps, it’s for charity…]

The 2011-12 Premier League fixture list was released on Friday, with Spurs handed a tricky start (Everton, United, City, Liverpool & Arsenal in their first seven), whilst Fulham enjoy a easier time with just two top-six sides (Spurs and Citeh both at home) in their first twelve games. With both sides facing Europa League action, their fortunes could not have varied more. Could be worse for Spurs though – at least they now have Brad Friedel to prevent Heurelho Gomes producing moments like this…

Then again, for every goalkeeping blunder, there’s a moment of genius (although probably not for Mr Gomes)…

As ever folks, thanks for reading…

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