Higgins speaks out in defence
SNOOKER: World No1 John Higgins has defended himself against fresh newspaper claims of match-fixing.
The three-time world champion has been suspended from snooker amid allegations he agreed to lose frames in exchange for £261,000.
“I have been accused in the media of cheating. I have been accused of planning to fix matches,” Higgins said. “To both of those charges, I am 100 per cent innocent. I will clear my name.”
Italian job for Andersson Hed
GOLF: Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed held off the challenge of England’s David Horsey to claim his maiden European Tour title, the Italian Open, in Turin.
Horsey fought back from seven shots down to level with Andersson Hed, only for bogeys on 14 and 18 to end his challenge. England’s Chris Wood was third, four shots adrift of the winner.
Leeds paired with Wigan
RUGBY LEAGUE: Super League champions Leeds will take on current league leaders Wigan in the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup.
Holders Warrington travel to Bradford Bulls, while St Helens were rewarded for their 30-10 victory over Harlequins with a home tie with minnows Barrow.
Catalan Dragons will have to wait to see who they play as the Halifax/Batley tie was postponed amid claims Halifax played an illegal player in round four.
O’Brien’s got the Midas Touch
RACING: Aidan O’Brien’s Midas Touch is down to 14-1 to win next month’s Epsom Derby after edging out fellow 2-1 joint favourite Address Unknown to win the Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
Ridden by Johnny Murtagh, it came from the back of a four-horse build to win by two lengths and seal an eighth success in this race for trainer O’Brien.
WESTWOOD MISSES OUT
ENGLAND’S Lee Westwood suffered late heartache as he missed out on claiming golf’s richest prize, the Players’ Championship, at Sawgrass. Overnight leader Westwood could only finish in a tie for fourth after a double bogey on 17 led to a closing 74. In the end, he finished four shots behind winner Tim Clark, of South Africa, who shot a final round 67. World No1 Tiger Woods retired after seven holes with a neck injury.