Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Newbury Weekly News

Read Luke Harvey’s racing column PAGE 62

Luke leaps up world rankings LUKE Humphries has set his sights on becoming the world youth champion after a memo- rable few weeks at the World Darts Championships. where a good run can be crucial. “It took me from 90th to 57th and now everything that I win is going to keep adding onto the Order of Merit.” potential by having some good battles with some of the top players because that can show people the capability I have.

“Winning a pro-tour event would be great and even possibly becom- ing world youth champion because winning that would be incredible. “I also plan to get back onto the world stage again and quite possi- bly qualify for a few of the majors,” he added. Humphries played on the big stage five times before losing to Smith and with Alexandra Palace being a sell-out of 2,500 in every one of his games, the Newbury player relished the atmosphere. He said: “I didn’t feel any nerves and I must admit, the louder the crowd was, the better it was for me because I started to play better. “Four out of the five perfor- mances I had on that stage showed what I can do on the biggest stages and if I can do it in the world cham- pionships, I can do it anywhere.”

Humphries believes that a strong year in the sport could increase his chances of rising further up the world rankings. “I could possibly reach the top 32 if I have a good year, which would be amazing because the run to the quarter final helped me,” he said. Attention has turned his way since the world championships and Humphries has made it his aim to become youth champion in his final year. He reached the last 32 stage of the championships – for players aged between 16 and 23 – last year, but lost 6-2 to Callum Rydz. The competition was eventually won by 24-year-old Dimitri Van den Burgh, who Humphries eliminated at Alexandra Palace. He said: “I want to show my

The 23-year-old from Newbury reached the quarter-finals of the showpiece event at Alexandra Palace, but fell short of the semi- finals after losing 5-1 to world number six, Michael Smith. However, Humphries took a lot of the headlines last month as he beat world number 17, Stephen Bunting and last year’s champion Rob Cross on the way to the last eight. As a result of doing so well in the competition, Humphries moved from 90th in the world to 57 – a personal best for the former Trin- ity School pupil. He said: “It’s huge because my goal before the tournament was to reach the last 64 within two years and now I am ranked 57th. “It is one of those competitions

Ollie gets England call FORMER St Bartholomew student Ollie Hassell-Collins is both nervous and excited for the upcoming under-20s Six Nations Championships. The 19-year-old, who plays for London Irish, was selected to represent England for both the Six Nations and the World Rugby under-20 Championship in Argentina. Hassell-Collins is one of 32 play- ers to have made the elite squad- for their Six Nations opener against Ireland on February 1. And, although the youngster is surprised with his inclusion, he is ready for the challenge. “I was a bit shocked at first,” he said. “But after a while, it hit me and it’s exciting and now I can ’t wait to join the camp. “I haven’t played for England since representing the under- 18s, so I do feel some nerves in that sense, but when I’m on the pitch I’ll relish every opportu- nity I get.” With this being Hassell-Collins’ first taste of a Six Nations tour- nament, he believes it’s a perfect step towards making the senior squad in the future. “I feel this will help me massively in my career,” said the 19-year-old. “It’s always good to get different views on the game and I think this does help us get on the senior radar. “There have been a few boys who have been involved with both the under-20s and the senior squad. “My aim for the Six Nations is to keep fit and keep being available for selection and we’ve just got to take one game at a time and keep improving as a team.” Hassell-Collins capped a memo- rable year in rugby by making his debut and scoring a try for Irish in their 38-29 win against Cornish Pirates in October. Now he has set his sights on a strong campaign for England, with family and friends expected to show support throughout. “Their support is massive to me – my parents come to all my games and my friends have been to a few home games as well. “They’re the people I play for and I want to try and make them proud.” OllieHassell-Collins Pic: Andy Taylor

LukeHumphrieshasmovedupintherankings Pic: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Foxley: It’s starting to click for Crusaders Winger’s goals take Town out of drop zone

HUNGERFORD Town ’s match- winner Darren Foxley believes the club are finally clicking after they beat promotionhope- fuls Concord Rangers on Satur- day. The Crusaders winger scored both goals – including an 86th minute winner – as they beat Concord 2-1 at Bulpit Lane. The three points, along with a win against Oxford City on New Year’s Day, have taken Hungerford out of the National League South relegation zone. Town recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since August, and now find themselves three points clear of the drop zone, just four points behind 18th-placed Truro City. “It feels amazing to score a brace and help the team to a victory,” said Foxley. “We have been working hard on the training field and we deserve the wins we have got.” It’s the second time that the winger has been the match hero for Hungerford as he scored an injury-time winner against Chip- penham Town last month. “I am buzzing that I have been scoring important goals for the team,” he said. “Saturday’s winner has to be up there as the most important along- “ Back-to-back wins are crucial for us. It shows

Report by LIAMHEADD email liam.headd@newburynews.co.uk twitter @liamh_nwn

side the Chippenham goal, because it secured all three points and keeps us pushing up the table.” Foxley believes things are start- ing to look up for Town. “Back-to-back wins are crucial for us. It shows the team are finally clicking and we are play- ing some really good stuff now,” he said. Hungerford face relegation rivals in Gloucester City on Satur- day and Foxley is aware of how significant the game will be in their bid for survival. “The Gloucester game is massive this Saturday,” he said. “We will be going into it full of confidence, trying to get the win. “The win – if we are to get it – would be incredibly important as it would keep us away from the relegation zone and we can start looking up in the table,” he added. The clash with Gloucester is one of two games in quick succes- sion. The Crusaders host Slough Town in the quarter-finals of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy on Tuesday. This game was due tobe played last month, but was called off because of a waterlogged pitch. After the cup game with Slough, Hungerford travel to Grosvenor Vale to face former manager Bobby Wilkinson and Wealdstone. n For a match report, match reaction and images, turn to page 59.

the team are finally clicking and we are playing some really good stuff now

Darren Foxley scored a brace during Hunger ford Town’s winagainstConcordRangers

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