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Burnley, whose home supporters were bidding farewell to Premier League football, made the early running but could not force a breakthrough, despite several Danny Ings attempts. Ings was desperate to get onto the scoresheet in what is expected to be his final appearance on home soil before a likely summer exit, but was denied on three separate occasions by Stoke keeper Jack Butland. It should be no surprise it ended goalless as Turf Moor has seen less goals than any other Premier League ground this season, with just 35, highlighting exactly where Burnley’s problems have been. Indeed a home campaign, which has seen a victory over Manchester City and draws with Manchester United and Tottenham, has been undermined with games Sean Dyche’s men have dominated but not been able to turn into wins. And a familiar tale was unfolding as the hosts, determined to go out with a bang in front of their home fans, started strongly and spurned several opportunities to take the lead. Ings, who had already gone close after a jinking run, forced Butland into a decent stop from Kieran Trippier’s cut back, with a superb block from Stoke skipper Ryan Shawcross denying Scott Arfield from the rebound. Butland was proving why boss Mark Hughes had kept faith with him in the Stoke goal as he produced his best save of the day as he brilliantly palmed David Jones’ volley away, with the hosts enjoying a rampant opening 25 minutes. But their failure to punish Stoke allowed the visitors into the game and they created two glaring chances which should have seen them go into the half-time break in front. Press Association Stoke posted a record Barclays Premier League points tally after a 0-0 draw with relegated Burnley at Turf Moor. The stalemate takes them to 51 points – the most they have ever registered in the seven years they have been in the Premier League – and also ensures successive top-half finishes in the top flight for the first time in 40 years. The record could have been brought up with a win, but Mame Diouf spurned two good opportunities to break the deadlock, while Jonathan Walters also missed a good chance for the Potters. First a quick counter attack saw Walters cross for Diouf who inexplicably put his header wide at the far post and then Walters also missed the target from the edge of the area soon after. The Clarets began the second half with bluster but it was Stoke that were creating the limited chances. Burnley keeper Tom Heaton made a fine save to deny Diouf from close range after Charlie Adam’s cross found its way through and then some heroic defending from Jason Shackell stopped the dangerous Diouf heading home at the near post. But neither side were able to find the quality to make a breakthrough as Turf Moor said goodbye to Premier League football with a stalemate. read more
AS part of the Guyana Government’s plan to complete a much-needed National Sports Policy, the first in a series of consultations with Sports federations and associations was conducted yesterday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.A draft document would be issued shortly but, the Ministry of Education (MoE) Department of Sport hosted the interface with the objective of engendering feedback into what would ultimately become the National Sports Policy.The consultations that are scheduled for the various administrative regions over time are primarily a Government initiative that has been high on Minister Nicolette Henry’s agenda since 2016.Amidst her preamble, the Minister noted that “at the end of the day, we want a policy that will work for Guyana.”Noting that her expectation was that more representatives of federations and associations would have been in attendance, Minister Henry related that more than 43 groups were invited to the consultations.However, there are other opportunities to be had as more consultations are planned to ensure wide participation in the process that will lead to an all-inclusive Sports Policy.Minister Henry said that “a paper on culture was laid in Cabinet and will become a full policy in Guyana by year-end and it is hoped that the same could be done for Sports”.Further, she encouraged participants to “connect the dots of the announcement that there is a focus on teachers’ intake at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) which is giving priority to those who are interested in Physical Education”.Melissa Dow-Richardson, Assistant Director of Sport, who is the lead coordinator on the project, said the aim of the consultations is to focus on the fundamental principles of sports in addition to examining critical policy issues in sports. Other areas of focus of the public consultation were: governance, accountability, ensuring a safe and secure environment, discrimination, harassment and athlete development.Also addressed were subjects such as sports administration, coaching and training, sports financing, tourism and intellectual property rights. With regard to the media, specific focus was on their roles and responsibilities in addition to their rights.The role of the Diaspora as well as the future of sports in Guyana with a focus on garnering suggestions towards a development pathway for ultimate implementation, compliance, monitoring and evaluation as part of the National Sports Policy.Dow-Richardson in her address said, “When we look at sports we are not operating in isolation. There are over 28 Olympic sport disciplines and in Guyana most have representation and our aim is to develop a policy that takes us to another level.”From the consultations she advised that her team will take shared values of sports that go beyond gender, age or ethnicity to encourage respect, competition, fair play and discipline as hallmarks of the National Sports Policy. read more