The Stagcom 8th May Round Up
If high drama is your thing, what a weekend that was! With ups and downs being decided across a number of sports, it was a weekend that had a bit of everything!
Add to that the start of the international cricket season, then it really does feel like summer is about to get under way - even if the grey weather suggests otherwise.
Anyway, here's our take on all the weekend's action, in case you were unable to keep on top of it all!
ALL BUT OVER
Chelsea took one step closer to claiming the Premier League title this weekend - without even kicking a ball! That was after Tottenham Hotspur blew the chance to move within a point of the leaders after losing to West Ham on Friday evening. Manuel Lanzini scored from close range just after the hour mark to bring an end to Spurs' nine-match winning streak and all-but end their title challenge. Chelsea now just need two wins from their final four matches, beginning with a home match against Middlesbrough tonight.
It was a pivotal weekend at the bottom of the Premier League as Swansea moved out of the relegation zone. They were presented the opportunity after already-relegated Sunderland shocked Hull with a 2-0 win at the KCOM Stadium thanks to goals from Billy Jones and Jermain Defoe. The surprise defeat meant that Fernando Llorente's solitary goal in Swansea's 1-0 win over Everton moved them above the Tigers with just two games remaining. It's going to be a tense final two weeks to the season!
Yesterday saw the Championship season draw to a close with the final round of fixtures and it was a crucial day at both ends of the table.
Brighton began the day on top, but after conceding a late equaliser to Aston Villa, Newcastle United pipped them to the title with a 3-0 win over Barnsley. It capped off a remarkable end to the season, as the Magpies were seven points behind Brighton with just three games to go.
It was a tense day at the bottom of the Championship as former Premier League winners Blackburn Rovers were relegated to League One despite a 3-1 win over Brentford. That's because Nottingham Forest also won, beating Ipswich 3-0 at the City Ground; that meant Forest stayed up by virtue of a better goal difference!
Switching to rugby union, it was the final day in the Aviva Premiership with a whole host of issues to be sorted out ahead of the end of season play-offs.
Wasps sealed top spot with a bonus-point win over Saracens, which means they will now have a home semi-final against fourth placed Leicester Tigers who overcame Worcester 28-23 at Sixways.
Exeter secured a home semi-final of their own with a final day win over Gloucester; the Chiefs will now face reigning champions Saracens.
With sixth place gaining qualification to next season's European Champions Cup, there was a thrilling battle between Northampton and Harlequins for that spot. Northampton beat Harlequins 22-20 at Franklin's Gardens, but Quins held on to sixth place thanks to a losing bonus point!
Finally, in cricket, England started their summer with a convincing 2-0 ODI series win over Ireland. The first match took place in Bristol on Friday. Ireland batted first but could only put on 126; England rattled off the modest 127 target in just 20 overs.
On Sunday, England were first to bat at Lords, and put on a handsome scored of 328, helped by 70+ scores from Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow. Ireland put on a brave fight, but were all-out for 243. Next up for England is a three-match ODI series with South Africa at the end of May before the ICC Champions Trophy in June.
Image credits: West Ham News, BBC Sport, Sky Sports