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Goal-shy Atletico Madrid in danger of early exit

Atletico Madrid, within inches of Champions League glory twice in the last four years, are in danger of an embarrassing early exit from the competition unless they can rediscover their scoring touch. Ryan Kalil Youth Limited Black Super Bowl 50 Bound Jersey: Nike NFL Carolina Panthers Vapor Untouchable Home #67Diego Simeone's side have only netted five times A. J. Pollock Jersey in their last seven games in all competitions, of which they have only won one, and their profligacy continued in a 1-1 home draw with Villarreal on Saturday. The struggle to score has been most pronounced in the Champions League, with Antoine Griezmann's penalty in the 2-1 defeat by Chelsea the only time they have found the net in Europe's elite competition this season. Atletico have made their worst start in the tournament since 2009 after taking two points from their three games and must beat Azerbaijani champions Qarabag on Tuesday to have a realistic chance of reaching the last 16. Atletico's growth has been stunted by a ban on registering new players, barring recent signings Diego Costa and Vitolo from taking part until January, although the team's biggest problem has not been their ability to create chances, but their struggle to put them away.They were at their most wasteful in the goalless draw at AS Roma, and midfielder Saul Niguez said the game in the Olympic Stadium is still weighing on his mind. "I'm going to be thinking about Rome for the rest of the season because it could really penalise us. If we don't qualify, I'll feel more guilty than the rest of the players," he said in an interview with Marca on Monday.The shock goalless draw A. J. Pollock Jersey with Qarabag in Baku two weeks ago was the most disappointing display as they struggled to break down the hosts even with an extra man for the final 15 minutes. Antoine Griezmann squandered their clearest chance that evening and the France international has shouldered most of the blame for the team's problems."The chances these superstars keep missing are not normal, and the team should have seven or nine points rather than two," said former Atletico forward Paulo Futre, writing in newspaper Marca. "Simeone isn't the one who keeps missing these chances. It's not his fault a Ballon d'Or finalist wastes a clear opportunity."Simeone, however, has not been immune to criticism. Former forward Quique Estebaranz said the Argentine coach should promote a more attractive style of play."I would build a giant statue to Simeone for everything he has given us but I would try and play more attacking football because the club needs to show ambition," he told Radio Marca. "Atletico needs to give a little more to go even further than we have come."Atletico will have little choice but to go for broke against Qarabag at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, otherwise their new 68,000-seater arena will be hosting games in the far less glamorous Europa League.

Cavs' struggles continue with shock loss to Knicks

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis combined for 66 points Sunday as the New York Knicks stunned the struggling Cavaliers 114-95 in Cleveland.The Knicks notched their first win over the Cavs since October 30, 2014, ending a 10-game losing streak against the NBA Eastern Conference powerhouse.Women's Babe Ruth Replica Grey Majestic Jersey: MLB Boston Red Sox #3 Road Cool BaseHardaway scored 34 points and Porzingis added 32 with 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who handed LeBron James and the Cavaliers a fourth defeat in eight days.A day after falling to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Cavaliers looked lethargic as they fell behind by 18 points in the third quarter. Youth Elite Charles Mann Burgundy Red Jersey: Vapor Untouchable Home #71 NFL Washington Redskins NikeThey trimmed the deficit to 94-88 on a James layup with to play before the Knicks control.Kevin Love again led Cleveland with 22 points and 11 rebounds. James added 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.Derrick Rose returned after four games sidelined by a sprained left ankle and scored 15 points against his former team. In Indianapolis, Victor Oladipo drained the game-winning three-pointer with 10.3 seconds remaining as the Indiana Pacers downed the San Jorge Soler Youth jerseyAntonio Spurs 97-94.LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points to lead perennial Western Conference contenders San Antonio, who have lost two in a row. The Pacers led much of the game before the Spurs rallied to take a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter. "We just stayed poised," said Oladipo, who finished with 23 points. "It's a long game, there's a lot of ups and Jorge Soler Youth jersey downs. It's a game of runs. You've just got to lift each other up. We did a good job of that."Oladipo admitted that his shot from 30 feet away, which put the Pacers up 95-94, was "maybe too deep". "Honestly, I didn't really want to shoot it that far, but the move felt good and I just held my follow-through and it went in," he said."He was deep and he was off-balance, but give him credit, he knocked it down," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge missed a jump shot with 5.1 seconds left. Cory Joseph was fouled with 3.4 seconds remaining and hit both free throws to push the lead to 97-94 before San Antonio's Patty Mills missed a potential game-tying three-pointer just before the buzzer. Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points -- his fifth 30-point game of the young season -- to lead the Bucks to a 117-106 win over Jorge Soler Youth jersey the Hawks in Atlanta.With 12 rebounds and five assists, Greece's Antetokounmpo notched his fourth double-double of the season and the Bucks won their second straight. The Bucks also got a season-high 27 points from Khris Middleton, who also pulled down seven rebounds and handed out eight Jorge Soler Youth jerseyassists.

'Mourinho is a little like Mayweather' - Gary Neville's

Gary Neville believes the style of football promoted by Jose Mourinho may eventually lead to his downfall as Manchester United manager, but he insists he is the right man to bring immediate success back to the Old Trafford club. Justin Faulk Women's Authentic Navy Blue Jersey: Nike Olympic Hockey Team USA 2014 Away #72 Criticism of Mourinho's pragmatic brand of football has been growing despite United's solid start to the season, with Neville suggesting the club's supporters may eventually lose patience with a manager who has a reputation for putting winning ahead of entertainment.Yet he suggests that dissent will be silenced so long as United are winning trophies, as he backed Mourinho to succeed at Old Trafford. "If you ask United fans, they're emotional about how to play the game," Neville told Sky Sports."They expect attack at all costs, they sing: 'Attack, attack, attack!' They want waves of attacks, sustained attacks. They don't expect you to drop off, retreat, they expect you, if you like, to almost die trying. "There are two reasons people are looking at this issue. One is history: Sir Matt Busby, Sir Alex Ferguson have in the past Stephen Vogt Jersey said publicly how the club should always play. It should always be attacking football, entertaining football. That's caused him a bit of problem perception-wise, and he doesn't feel like he's getting the respect he deserves."The other problem is the football Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are playing, which is fantastic to watch. "My personal view is he has come in to win the league. He's got to win the league. The club hasn't won the league for a few years."I have to say they've scored 15 goals in five games at Old Trafford, and the games I've been to have been exciting, they've played well. Saturday was a really good performance; I actually thought it was a good game, a bit of a struggle, as big games should be. "We tear strips out of defences constantly when they make mistakes - the Liverpool performance at Spurs recently we said was ridiculous - but actually this is really good defending to get this group of players, top players, to get back goal side, get into good defensive shape."It's a resilience, a toughness that United have now got. They're hard to beat, you very rarely see them exposed. That's a robustness, a spirit. "I think (Mourinho's tactics) are a problem in the long-term, but I think at the moment Manchester United need a cold, hard winner."Comparing Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to Mourinho, Neville argued Mourinho's record of success over the course of his decorated career is evidence that his method is a recipe for success as he argued his winning tactics was similar to those used by boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. "Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp have got wonderful reputations for being attacking coaches, but Mourinho is a little bit like Mayweather at times," he added. "Mayweather is called boring at times, where he uses defence as a weapon, let's people punch themselves out. "Jurgen Klopp in that game a few weeks ago didn't Stephen Vogt Jersey feel he could fully go for it, because he felt: 'He's going to do me, I don't want to get done by a Mourinho masterclass.' And I think Tottenham lacked the belief to go for it on Saturday.

Ireland's bid to land 2023 Rugby World Cup

Ireland will learn whether they have convinced World Rugby to endorse their bid to host the Rugby World Cup in six years time in a matter of hours.The world governing body announces its recommendation for the 2023 host tomorrow morning.Ireland, France and South Africa will be casting anxious glances at computer screens tomorrow morning as World Rugby releases the name of the preferred candidate following an exhaustive technical appraisal of the three bids. Youth Larry Fitzgerald Limited Blue Nike Jersey: NFL Arizona Cardinals #11 2017 Pro BowlCouncil members are not bound by the recommendation and they will ultimately decide who hosts the showpiece.Their recommendation will be supported by a 220-page document of data in support of the verdict and it would Aaron Burbridge Jersey take a lot of persuasion to convince a council member to go against it. There are 39 votes available among the various unions and regional bodies and everyone has the right to vote as they see fit, even in the face of World Rugby’s recommendation.The rationale for the decision of the 20-strong team of World Rugby and external experts will be made public. Ireland remain favourites with the bookmakers to host the event but the odds have lengthened to 4/6. The Royal Garden Hotel in the swish London borough of Kensington has hosted World Cup winners before.In 1966, Bobby Moore's England paraded the Jules Rimet trophy from the balcony before an adoring audience.Yesterday, three countries completed another stage in their bid to become World Cup winners, as the race to become the host nation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup heralded what will be a defining few weeks before the winners are announced on November 15. Ireland, still the strong bookies' favourites - albeit one firm hardened them to evens yesterday afternoon - South Africa, and outsiders France delivered their final bid presentations to World Rugby council members.The bid teams from France, Ireland and South Africa were each given 30 minutes to present their hosting proposition before fielding questions. None of the questions would have surprised the trio and, likewise, none of the answers will have alerted the council This show has been on the road for more than a year now; yesterday was about peaking in terms of delivery and message. This group will submit its report to the Rugby World Cup Limited Board, which in turn will make its recommendation to Council on October 31 prior to the vote on November. There are 39 of them up for grabs and every one of them will count."There are always going to be swing votes," says Philip Browne, the CEO of the IRFU. "To be fair, all the people we visited said we'd really Aaron Burbridge Jerseylike to see what the outcome of the assessments are before they start promising their votes. I understand that and it Aaron Burbridge Jersey would make a mockery of the process if they started offering their votes without seeing the assessments."So a lot of them are playing their cards close to their chests. But we have a good sense of who we think has an affinity with what we are trying to do and say. We are in a reasonable state" There has been horse-trading before; Ireland were roundly condemned by Asia and South Africa for allegedly switching their allegiance to New Zealand at the last minute in 2005, prompting legal letters all round.

Why Mesut Ozil is as good as Kevin de Bruyne

They can come from anywhere - long range or short, 40 yards or two yards, sometimes the 12 yards of the penalty spot. Or not, if you happen to be Liverpool.For a goal to be scored, someone has usually done the hard yards beforehand. The creator. The common consensus is that Kevin de Bruyne is the Premier League's king of creating chances, but there is a pretender to the throne.To hit the back of the net, you're probably going to make an attempt on goal. Someone needs to tell Swansea City. Men's Nike Los Angeles Chargers #22 Jason Verrett Elite Green Salute to Service NFL JerseyAll this and more is revealed in the best of the statistics from the weekend's Premier League action.By contrast, the other has been roundly criticised by his club's old boys in the media.But how much difference is there between Manchester City's De Bruyne and Arsenal's Ozil?The pair have both created a league-leading 30 chances for their teams, despite Ozil having spent considerably less time on the pitch. Women's Anibal Sanchez Replica White Jersey: Majestic MLB #19 Detroit Tigers Fashion Cool Base Fewer of the chances that Ozil has created have been converted by his Arsenal team-mates, but otherwise the Germany playmaker stacks up well against De Bruyne in the pair's attacking stats.In fact, his opening goal in West Ham's 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace was his 41st in the Premier League, all of which have been scored inside the 18-yard box.In maintaining that close-range record, Hernandez remains alongside two other players who scored all of their goals inside the penalty area - Tim Cahill (56) and John Terry (41).In the cases of Cahill and Terry, the slim chance of them playing in the Premier League again suggests that their records will C.J. Mosley Authentic Jersey remain intact. Of Ruud van Nistelrooy's 95 Premier League goals, 99% came inside the 18-yard box, while 98% of Dwight Yorke's 123 strikes came from similar range.In fact, a 34th failure from 12 yards put Liverpool joint top with Arsenal as the most wasteful penalty takers.Unsurprisingly the top of that list is dominated by the clubs that have spent most time in the Premier League - Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Everton and Aston Villa. With that in mind, Chelsea's record of only 18 failed penalties from 125 attempts is pretty impressive.Less so are the numbers of Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion, Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City, Ipswich Town and Wimbledon.Of clubs to have been awarded at least 10 penalties, these six have the highest percentage of spot-kicks missed or saved. Ten games into the season, it is too soon to say that about Manchester City. But it is also too early to say they aren't.Their 3-2 victory over West Brom on Saturday means they have C.J. Mosley Authentic Jersey made the best start to a Premier League season after 10 games. The only other two teams to match their record of nine wins and a draw from the opening 10 games were Roberto Mancini's City side of 2011-12 and Chelsea in 2005-06, the second season of Jose Mourinho's first stint in charge.

Muslin three weeks after reaching 2018 World Cup

Serbia axed their coach Slavoljub Muslin on Monday in a shock move which came three weeks after the 64-year old journeyman steered the Balkan nation to the 2018 World Cup, Bradley Pinion Jersey their first major tournament in eight Adidas Paul George Authentic Men's Jersey - NBA Indiana Pacers #13 Gold 2016-2017 Christmas Day The Serbian FA (FSS) and its chief Slavisa Kokeza had the final say in a protracted row with Muslin over his squad selection and what they deemed were below-par performances in the qualifying campaign. "The FSS, headed by president Slavisa Kokeza, convened and decided to part company with Muslin by mutual consent," the body said on its website."Muslin's assistant Mladen Krstajic will take over as the caretaker and will be in charge for friendlies against China and South Korea (in November), until a new head coach is appointed. We thank Muslin for good cooperation and his accomplishment." Muslin's achievement was no small feat for a nation that last played on the big stage at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, although Serbia's results flattered their performances for much of the 2018 qualifying campaign. A revamped and unfamiliar 3-4-3 formation rode their luck in many games to finish top of their group with 20 points from 10 matches, one more than Ireland who reached the playoffs and three ahead of Wales. But it was Muslin's decision to axe versatile central midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from the squad and the refusal to even consider his inclusion in the World Cup roster that infuriated his bosses as well as many fans and pundits. Milinkovic-Savic has impressed at Lazio since he joined the Serie A side from Belgium's Genk in 2015, having been a key player in Serbia's Under-20 Bradley Pinion Jerseyside which won the 2015 World Cup and the Under-19 European championship in 2013. Muslin was adamant the creative playmaker could not fit into his rigid formation with two wing-backs and a pair of enforcers in midfield, turning swathes of public opinion against him. He was also reportedly opposed to the idea of injecting fresh blood into the World Cup squad at the expense of several stalwarts, who have experience but lack the energy levels required in a month-long tournament. Montenegro's Serb coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic tops the list of potential candidates to take over after a solid World Cup qualifying campaign in which the Montenegrins finished third in their group behind Poland and Denmark.

Ateneo president keeps Tai Bundit as coach

Following a tumultuous weekend capped by a long meeting on Monday, Ateneo President Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, has announced that Tai Bundit remains the head coach of their women’s volleyball team.This, even as he acknowledged that there are issues within the team that will take time to resolve. Elite John Jerry Youth Alternate Red Nike Jersey - #77 NFL New York Giants Vapor Untouchable"There has been talk about the Ateneo Women's Volleyball team and the status of Coach Tai. I would like to inform everyone Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Jersey that Coach Tai is still with the team. In fact, I just had a meeting with Coach Tai and our athletics people this morning. And I will soon be meeting with our players. I must acknowledge though that there are issues within the team, as in all teams, and that these will require some time to resolve," Villarin said on Facebook.Nike Logan Thomas Women's Royal Blue Elite Jersey: #82 NFL Home Buffalo Bills Vapor Untouchable"On behalf of the Ateneo de Manila, I appeal to your patience and understanding as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Jersey we try to resolve these internal issues. I also appeal to your better sense to refrain from any speculation or spreading of falsehood that may besmirch the reputation of our fine players, our good coach, and our school," he added. This is not the first time that Villarin has stepped in amid problems with the squad. He also opted to keep noted booster Tony Boy Liao throughout Season 79 despite rumors of his exit last year. Villarin is expected to meet with the Lady Eagles themselves to further sort out issues. We were roommates out of town. And right away, me and my guy just clicked. We were just basically talking about our life and the road that took us to get to the PBA. We realized how much everything was similar and we realized that we liked a lot of the same things, things that we liked off the court. We were like, “Man, are we brothers from some other life or something?” We were inseparable from that time on. We’ve been close. You know what, first time I saw him, I was like, “Who was this guy?” He was like a surfer. He had the blond hair, Hawaiian shirt and seashell necklace. I was like, “Man, there’s no way this guy can play ball.” And then Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Jersey the next thing I know, we drafted him. I was expecting (Shell forward) Mike Hrabak. He was the one who tried out with us. He didn’t even try out for us. I never even knew him until I saw him in the draft. It’ll have to be championship coaches. Coach Jong (Uichico), coach Siot (Tanquingcen) and coach Tim (Cone). As far as motivation, I’m going to have to go with coach Alfrancis (Chua). Great motivator. He knows how to get his players to play and the other coaches did as well. What do you think of your moniker, “Fast and the Furious?” You cool with it? I think it fits. When I first got in the league, Mark used to tell me, “Slow down, man. You’re out of control.” I had to learn how to control my speed. Before, I just tried to beat everybody with just speed and I realized you had to change up your pace, not go 100 miles an hour every time. And Mark, you know how he plays, the Furious, he’s all just reckless abandon, man. So I think it’s like the Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Jersey movie, it’s excitement all the time.

What he thought seeing blond Caguioa for the first time

One part of Barangay Ginebra’s championship victory party at the San Miguel Corp. headquarters Monday night called for all the players to stand on stage as a queue of fans met them there to have autographs signed and pictures taken. Women's Majestic Kansas City Royals #2 Alcides Escobar Replica Blue Alternate 2 Cool Base MLB JerseyMuch of the attention fell on Jayjay Helterbrand and, even though that portion of program took an hour or so to finish, no one smiled and looked genuinely delighted through every second of it than he did.The night was a celebration of Ginebra’s Governors’ Cup title, but this one had a bittersweet taste to it as this was Helterbrand’s last moment attending a team event as a player after officially announcing earlier in the day that he is done playing in the PBA. “I’m just gonna be able to relax for now,” he said.That must have been how he felt the entire night. A stellar career that he can look back on and a future spending more Chris Wormley Authentic Jersey time with his family that he can look forward to, Helterbrand couldn’t have envisioned his life turning out the way it did. In a candid interview with ABS-CBN News, a carefree Helterbrand gamely talked about his first game in the PBA (which he recalled vividly), the first time he met Mark Caguioa (he thought little of him) and the biggest regret he ever had playing in the league. At one point the new PBA season will start again. You’ve been a part of season-openers the past 17 years or so. While your teammates walk out in the traditional parade, any idea what you’ll be doing on that night? I don’t know. (Mulls.) I plan on spending Christmas with my family so I’ll probably be in the States.What do you think is the biggest adjustment for you not playing anymore?I think just the daily grind. The getting up and going to practice. I have a lot of time on my hands now to do whatever I want, but I’m definitely gonna stay active. I’m not gonna get out of shape. I’ll keep working out and other than that, I don’t know. I really don’t know what I’m gonna do with myself. I think that’s the best part, anything goes right now.Exactly. There’s no pressure to do anything. I’m just gonna be able to relax for now.This was definitely my last season for sure. I actually knew after the championship last year and I told myself I’m gonna try one more time. It’s just a blessing we won one more championship. So very happy for that. Game 4, Ginebra was down big to Meralco in the third quarter. You get called by coach Tim Cone to sub in to inject life into the team basically like last year, same scenario, same game in the Chris Wormley Authentic Jersey finals. What was running through your head?I just wanted to contribute. There wasn’t really anything supercrazy that was going through my mind. Every time I’m called, I’m gonna go out there and do what I do and play the best that I can. But I did tell myself I’m just gonna focus on the defensive side and try to get as many stops as I could and I’ll let my team score so we could have a chance to get back. And we almost did it. But I think it was better that it went to Game 7 because it was sweeter. It was harder but it was definitely better.

Real Madrid suffer shock defeat to minnows Girona in Catalonia

La Liga champions Real Madrid suffered a shock 2-1 defeat in their first ever league visit to Catalan side Girona on Sunday, conceding two goals in quick succession and falling eight points behind leaders Barcelona. Youth Nike New York Jets #92 Leonard Williams White Vapor Untouchable Limited Player NFL JerseySpain midfielder Isco tapped in a rebounded shot from Cristiano Ronaldo to open the scoring in the 12th minute in Real Madrid's first visit to Catalonia this season amid the worst political crisis in Spain's 39 years of democracy. Women's Willie Mays Replica Cream Home Jersey: Majestic MLB #24 San Francisco Giants Cool BaseThe home side struck the woodwork twice before the break but rallied in the second half and Uruguay international Christian Jack Johnson Youth jersey Stuani fired them level in the 54th minute.Forward Portu then turned in the winning goal four minutes later to the delight of the 13,500 fans crammed into the Montilivi stadium. Stuani came within inches of scoring again midway through the second Jack Johnson Youth jersey half but a one-goal advantage was Jack Johnson Youth jersey enough to give Girona their third win in their first campaign in the top flight inflict a second league defeat on Zinedine Zidane's side. Real are third in the standings on 20 points, four behind second-placed Valencia while unbeaten leaders Barca have 28.Although Real Madrid have many supporters in Catalonia, they are viewed as the club that most representative of Spain and the arrival of the team bus at Montilivi was greeted with a smattering of boos and pro-Catalan independence flags. The political heat intensified two days before their visit when the region's ruling party declared independence from Spain and the central government responded by dissolving the Catalan parliament.Deposed president Carles Puigdemont is from Girona province but did not make an appearance, despite reports Jack Johnson Youth jersey he would be in the presidential box as he was for the game with Barcelona in September. Despite the political undertones, the atmosphere was no more intimidating for Madrid than any other Liga ground and they were cheered on by hundreds of supporters who mixed with the home fans without any trouble. Pablo Maffeo, the City loanee who gained fame for his man-marking job on Lionel Messi, provided the first flash point of the game when his searching cross from the right wing pinged off the far post.The ball remained in play and Madrid surged up the other end where Ronaldo fired at Girona goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and Isco was ideally placed to tap in the rebound.Girona's fighting spirit could not be crushed, however, and they staged an incredible turnaround to record arguably the most significant win in their 87-year history.

Spurned, bombed and maimed by his own kind

Neil Blevins, a midfielder with the PSNI Gaelic football team, has just done his best to decapitate a big Garda, who crumples to the ground. I laugh at my companion as he roars. He turns to me, suddenly sees the funny side, and bursts into laughter. "It was off the ball, too late, and Authentic Ondrej Palat Jerseytoo high Joe," he says, "but it needed to be done." Peadar Heffron is a big, strong, robust man in his early 40s. Authentic Ondrej Palat Jersey He is in a wheelchair. Nike NFL Kayvon Webster White Jersey Men's Limited: #21 Los Angeles Rams Road Vapor Untouchable "It was Friday the eighth of January 2010. There was 10 inches of snow on the ground when I backed out of the driveway to go to work at Grosvenor Road Station in Belfast. A half-mile from the house, I felt Authentic Ondrej Palat Jersey a bang and the car spun off the road. I looked down and my legs were on fire. I thought, 'fuck, I have to get out of the car'. I tried to climb out but for some reason my legs wouldn't work. I pulled myself out by my arms and rolled onto the ground on my back. I felt no pain. I just couldn't feel my legs. I kept thinking, 'why can't I feel my legs?'. When the ambulance men arrived, they turned me over, and it was then that they had the 'Oh fuck' moment." Women's Premier Adidas Ian Cole Black Home Jersey - #28 NHL Pittsburgh PenguinsHis wife Fiona, also a police officer, was first on the scene. They had been married just four months earlier, on September 9, 2009. "999," says Peadar, "we thought that was funny."After Peadar had been lifted into the ambulance, she went to look at the car with another officer. When they saw the hole in the driver's seat the size of a football, going through to the ground, they knew immediately what had happened. In the ambulance, Peadar was strapped down. Fiona said: "It was a bomb, Peadar. An under-car booby trap." Her husband went into a terrible rage, shouting: "The bastards got me, they got me." He fought violently to break free of the straps, causing mayhem in the crowded ambulance. They got to Antrim Area Hospital within a few minutes; he was injected by the trauma team and went into a coma. His arse had been blown off. Literally blown off. At that point, it seemed certain he would die. The snow ice had staunched the haemorrhaging as he lay on the road, keeping him alive until the ambulance appeared. But now the blood was pumping out; 140 units (a unit is roughly a pint) were transfused into him. It went in one end and out the other. His ruined right leg was amputated. The surgeons at the Royal Victoria filleted the bone from the flesh, discarded the bone, and used the flesh and tissue to make a new arse for him to sit on. Like stitching a rubber ring to his waist. For three weeks, he hovered between life and death. Then, the doctors brought him out of the coma. "I joined the PSNI as soon as it was formed because deep down, naively, I thought this was the little bit I could do . . . you're not allowed to laugh when I say this Joe . . . to help this island become one again. I thought if policing here was normalised, we could in due course join with the Gardai and then further down the line, who knows . . ." Peadar had hurled and played Gaelic football for Creggan Kickhams near Randalstown since he was a child. He was fanatical about the games. He also loved the Irish language. As a 15-year-old, he snogged one of my sisters at the Gaeltacht, maybe both of them. By 21, he was the established full-back for the Creggan senior footballers and that year, helped them to win the Antrim intermediate championship. He repeated the triumph two years later. When he Authentic Ondrej Palat Jersey was 25, he applied to join the new police force, established as a result of the Good Friday Agreement. The hated RUC, an overwhelmingly Protestant force, had been disbanded and the PSNI promised a new beginning. He was worried about having to tell his team-mates, but not overly.,74682

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