<strong>Ex-Bath duo plan appeals</strong><br />RUGBY UNION: Former Bath players Michael Lipman and Alex Crockett are to appeal their nine-month bans handed out by the RFU.<br />Co-captains Lipman and Crockett, along with team-mate Andrew Higgins, were suspended after they were found guilty of failing to submit to drugs tests as the club investigated allegations of misconduct on a night out.<br /><br />All three were cleared of drug taking during the hearing, prompting Lipman and Crockett to contest the length of their bans. Higgins, meanwhile, announced yesterday he is to quit the sport, citing his &ldquo;frustration&rdquo; by the decision.<br /><br /><strong>Hampshire snap up Mendis</strong><br />CRICKET: Hampshire have signed Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis as their overseas player for next season. The 24-year-old spinner will replace Imran Tahir, who is hoping to return to the Rose Bowl in 2011.<br /><br />Chairman Rod Bransgrove said: &ldquo;Ajantha Mendis is the most exciting new bowler to explode on to the world stage since Shane Warne.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>League reject Palace request</strong><br />FOOTBALL: The Football League last night rejected a request from Crystal Palace to replay their controversial Championship defeat to Bristol City.<br /><br />The Eagles were left fuming on Saturday when Freddie Sears had a perfectly good goal ruled out after his shot rebounded off the back of the goal frame.<br /><br />Boss Neil Warnock hit out at officials and ordered that Palace request the match be replayed but a Football League statement read: &ldquo;The referee's decision must be final, even in a case such as this where there&rsquo;s been an error of judgment.&rdquo;