Underdogs Scotland face ‘mighty’ England

first_imgLONDON, England (AP):The latest instalment of international football’s oldest rivalry is a jarring reminder for Scotland of just how far the team has fallen and keeps on plummeting.The balance of power has firmly been in England’s favour for decades.And yet thousands of Scotland fans will still travel south to London for today’s World Cup qualifier while fatalistic about their team’s chances.”I feel sorry for the younger fans because the future looks bleak,” said Hamish Husband, a 58-year-old member of a group of Scottish supporters. “The reasons are self-inflicted. Not unlike England, we have this belief that because we invented football, then somehow we had a right to success.”We have just been left behind. Modern football has changed, and Scottish football has not changed with it.”The rivalry that began in 1872 is being renewed at Wembley Stadium for the 113th time. It was forged on fading memories of fiercely competitive tussles on the field and fiery exchanges that often turned violent around the stadium. There were times when both England and Scotland contested major tournament finals and both teams could deploy gifted players.England constantly agonise over their limited international success, with the 1966 World Cup being their only title and no final appearance since then. But England are reaching tournaments with rare slip-ups unlike Scotland, who last qualified for the World Cup in 1998.QUALIFICATION PLACEWhen the newly expanded 24-team European Championship took place in France this year, all the British teams participated apart from Scotland.”We look at countries like Iceland, who are showing what can be achieved with limited population and limited resources,” SFA chief executive Stewart Regan told the Associated Press.Thousands of members of the Tartan Army heading to Wembley will do so knowing there is little point booking trips to Russia for the 2018 World Cup. The Scots are only in fourth place in their qualifying group.After three matches in Group F, England are already out in front in the only automatic qualification place.In the FIFA rankings, Scotland are 57th, sandwiched between Macedonia and Mali, while England are 12th.”We are horrific in Scotland at the moment,” Scotland coach Gordon Strachan said. “We are in the worst state we’ve ever been. I am not talking about the Scotland national team, but the standard of kids coming through.”Only six members of the 25-man squad for the England game play in the cash-rich English Premier League. Another nine from are lower-league clubs in England. Just four are from Scottish champions Celtic. The standout name is winger Oliver Burke, who joined Bundesliga club Leipzig in August to develop his game.last_img read more


first_imgJohn Gallagher leaving an earlier sitting at Letterkenny court. (North West Newspix)A double-killer has broken his silence on his killings of a mother and a daughter and described the deaths as an “unfortunate incident”.Co Donegal-born John Gallagher appeared in court today after accusing his brother of trying to harm him.Donal Gallagher was charged with criminal damage when he appeared at Falcarragh District Court accused of throwing a rock through through his estranged brother John’s windscreen in Lifford in October, 2012. Gallagher shot his ex-girlfriend, 18-year-old Anne Gillespie, and her mother Annie, 51, in the grounds of Sligo General Hospital in 1988.Donal Gallagher leaving an earlier sitting at Letterkenny court.He was tried for murder but was found to be insane.He escaped from Dundrum Central Mental Hospital twelve years later and moved to Strabane, Co Tyrone, but returned to hand himself in in May 2012.Donal Gallagher, 52, of 2 Hillhead Road, Urney in Strabane, was charged with criminal damage at Main Street in Lifford on October 27, 2012.John Gallagher told Judge Paul Kelly that he had been travelling to Lifford to do some shopping his mother when he observed his brother travelling in a silver Vauxhall Vectra car behind him.He told the court that had been subjected to a campaign of intimidation by his brother and was in fear of him so decided to change his route.CCTV taken from a camera in John Gallagher’s van was used in evidence in the case and showed Donal Gallagher getting out of his car and picking up a rock before throwing it towards the windscreen “with brutal force”.Under cross examination by defending solicitor Kieran Dillon in relation to the 1988 killings, John Gallagher said he believed that the matter was concluded and that he had done nothing wrong since that “unfortunate incident”.“It’s something I’ve to live with,” he said adding that the verdict of guilty but insane was “an acquittal under Irish law.”In his evidence, Donal Gallagher, told the court that on the date in question, he went across road to find stick to defend himself from John as he was in fear of him but could only find a stone.He said he lived in fear of his brother John and outlined an incident where his brother Frances called him to the house.On that occasion, Donal claimed that John had said to his siblings that he’d make “Sligo look like a drizzle compared to what he’d do to us.”The court heard that there had been rising tension in the family since the death of the father and their late brother Francis.The question of the administration of their late father’s will was also causing tension, the court heard.Judge Paul Kelly said that it was clear that the unfortunate history between both brothers had given rise to this situation. He said there was tension between parties to say the very least.He bound Donal Gallagher to the peace for twelve months on his own bond of €500.A compensation order for €521 for the repair of John Gallagher’s van window was also ordered.Leave was given to appeal.DOUBLE KILLER GALLAGHER BREAKS SILENCE DURING BROTHER’S COURT APPEARANCE was last modified: October 21st, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more