Daily Shorts
The Herald's lighthearted look at the world of sport

Supershorts: Manager given Aston Martin by boss, spider puts bite on

By Cameron McMillan

Manager given Aston Martin by boss, spider puts bite on and league is for hard nuts.

Los Angeles Lakers' Steve Blake falls over empty courtside chairs as he tries to save a ball from going out of bounds against the Phoenix Suns. Photo / AP
Los Angeles Lakers' Steve Blake falls over empty courtside chairs as he tries to save a ball from going out of bounds against the Phoenix Suns. Photo / AP

Best owner in soccer?

Mansfield Town's Paul Cox will surely have the nicest car of all lower league soccer managers in England after his owner followed through on a promise to give him an Aston Martin if the side bettered a 7-0 scoreline.

Club chairman John Radford made a deal with Cox that he would present him with a £85,000 Vantage Coupe if his side could outdo their last season's 7-0 win over Barrow. They won 8-1.

"It's my old Aston Martin so it's not brand new. It's a couple of years old," Radford told the Daily Mail. "You have these things and you've got to give people targets and things like that, so he fancied the car and I thought, 'I'm about ready for a change,' and he did the job."

Cox added: "I'm not sure if it's a wind-up. Maybe I'll get to the car park and find a bike with some stabilisers on it."

Toughing it out

A Swedish golfer came across a serious hazard during her qualification round for the Australian Open this week after she was bitten by a redback spider.

Quick-thinking Daniela Holmqvist saw the redback on her leg on the fourth hole and quickly felt a sharp pain above her left ankle, AAP reported. Instead of asking for medical aid, she grabbed a golf tee, pierced her skin and squeezed out the venom.

"A clear fluid came out," she said. "It wasn't the prettiest thing I've ever done but I had to get as much of it out of me as possible."

The 24-year-old rookie went on to finish her round on the Royal Canberra Golf Club course with medics monitoring her progress. Unfortunately, despite the show of toughness, she finished with a round of 74, just two shots shy of qualification.

'Just a scratch'

Speaking of a tough attitude ... Hull KR league halfback Lincoln Withers suffered a gash to his head and was knocked unconscious in the opening minute of his side's 36-20 defeat at Wakefield.

The Australian needed 18 stitches but was quick to share photos of the injury on Twitter. "Got to love rugby league," he tweeted. "Thanks for all the thoughts. Out of hospital. Head a little sore." Withers blamed the incident on his head being "in the wrong spot".

He later tweeted a friend, saying, "Head is ok mate just a scratch. Could have been worse."

Winning streak

After mentioning two outstanding losing streaks in the past two weeks it would be remiss to ignore wheelchair tennis great Esther Vergeer, who retired this week.

The Dutchwoman ends her career with a 470 winning streak going back to January 2003 and has been ranked No1 in the world since 1999 - when current WTA No1 Victoria Azarenka was just 10.

Over the streak she picked up seven gold medals in singles and doubles with her only blemish coming at Beijing where she took away a silver. She also won 42 Grand Slam titles across both singles and doubles.

Blame the kidsPittsburgh Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano cost himself US$11 million ($13 million) in earnings after breaking his arm while playing a prank on his kids.

Liriano reportedly suffered the injury over Christmas when he slammed his arm against a door in an attempt to startle his children.

After he told the Pirates of the injury the MLB team tore up his two-year US$12.75 million contract and replaced it with a US$1 million deal. The good news is he can get the money back - but only if he hits certain playing time targets next season.

Excuse of the week

Mexico captain Francisco Rodriguez says footage of him raising his middle figure at a TV camera in his side's 0-0 draw with Jamaica was not what you think. "I had an injured finger. I respect the people."

they said it

"He'll do 12 rounds pretty easy."
- Sonny Bill talks up Frans Botha's endurance ahead of their "10-round" fight.

"The extraordinary attack and condemnation of all Australian sports and sportspersons by the Australian Crime Commission this week was totally unnecessary."
- Phil Gould, columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, takes aim at the Australian Crime Commission.

"Last night ARL commissioner David Smith called to inform me that the Panthers club has been 'implicated or referred to' in the Australian Crime Commission report ... As we have stated previously, Panthers welcomes the opportunity to assist in any inquiry or investigation."
- Phil Gould, in his other guise as Penrith Panthers general manager, takes a more conciliatory tone.

"It's the end of that period of innocence. We're leaving the Garden of Eden for the Garden of Chemical Cultures."
- Booker Prize-winning author Thomas Keneally laments the stain on Australia's sporting reputation.

"At 38 years of age ... or is he 39? Maybe 40, I don't know."
- Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on the age of veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs.

"Would I really love to be part of a winning test series? Absolutely. Do I want to go on another tour and not win the series? Not really."
- Brian O'Driscoll getting to grips with sport's great conundrum.

"It was like watching Edward Scissorhands coping with a cricket ball coming down at him from a great height."
- Monty Panesar describes himself fielding under a high catch.

"He's always trying to play mind games. He doesn't like to lose."
- Golfer Luke Donald talks about his new friend and golfing buddy Michael Jordan.

"Sport is full of legends who are in fact cheats."
- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on either legends or cheats.

"I swear I haven't taken any growth hormones ... I'm only 5 feet 9 inches."
- On Twitter, England's Eoin Morgan has a message for "drug testers" who disturbed his "afternoon kip".

- NZ Herald

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