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Somerset lose at home to Gloucestershire in the T20

Newboy Luke Ronchi hit 49 for Somerset, including five sixes.

Somerset have been beaten by Gloucestershire in the T20.

Hamish Marshall and Michael Klinger produced an opening stand of 156 as the visitors won by eight wickets in Taunton.

Somerset newboy Luke Ronchi hit 49, including five sixes.

Gloucestershire cruised to victory with four balls to spare.

Plymouth Argyle reach out to Torquay's young players

Torquay United have closed their youth academy. Credit: ITV News

Plymouth Argyle have offered trials to members of Torquay United's youth academy.

The Gulls have closed their academy to save money. Argyle's is run by former Torquay player and manager Kevin Hodges, who said he was delighted to offer the opportunity.

Devon's other club, Exeter City, also offered trials to Torquay's youngsters recently.

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Scientists overturn idea racehorses can't get any faster

Racehorses are reaching faster and faster speeds, scientists have found, overturning research which suggested they had reached their galloping limit.

A team from the University of Exeter studied a total of 616,084 races run by more than 70,000 horses, with a broader focus on sprint races.

Racehorses are reaching ever-faster speeds, the study found Credit: PA

Previous research, which suggested speeds had reached a plateau, had largely concentrated on a small number of middle- to long-distance races.

It is not yet known whether the faster pace is down to breeding, better training, better jockeys, or a combination of these.

Researcher Dr Patrick Sharman said:

There has been a general consensus over the last 30 years that horse speeds appeared to be stagnating.

Our study shows that this is not the case and, by using a much larger dataset than previously analysed, we have revealed that horses have been getting faster. Interestingly, both the historical and current rate of improvement is greatest over sprint distances.

The challenge now is to find out whether this pattern of improvement has a genetic basis.

– Dr Patrick Sharman, University of Exeter

Somerset beat Gloucestershire by five wickets

Johann Myburgh (pictured right) scored 63 Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

It was the visitor's night as Somerset beat Gloucestershire by five wickets in the T20 Blast.

Johann Myburgh led the impressive display with a top score of 63. The cidermen went on to win by five wickets in front of a sell out crowd of 8,000 at the county ground in Bristol.

But it was only in the final over that Somerset reached Gloucestershire's total - and their bowler sent down two wides in the first three balls, meaning only a couple of singles were needed to seal victory.

Somerset ended the night with 166 for 5 in reply to Gloucestershire's 165 for 8.

Anyone for ping pong?

Ping pong tables have taken over parts of Exeter for the summer Credit: ITV News

Ping Pong tables are popping up all over Exeter. There are tables in places like Princeshay and the Cathedral Green for through the summer. They're free for people to use.

Today there are master classes from experienced players.

It's the sixth year of the event. Tables are also being placed around Plymouth.

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Yacht racers flood into Devon's Riviera

Thousands of people will have the chance to see some of the world's fastest and most expensive yachts on Devon's Riviera over the next couple of days.

Boats competing in the prestigious Solitaire du Figaro race have spent the day arriving in Torquay at the end of the third leg. They will be there until Sunday, when one of the world's most gruelling yacht races restarts. Richard Lawrence has more.

Torquay hire former Mansfield Town boss as new manager

Paul Cox managed Mansfield Town for three-and-a-half years. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Former Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox has just been announced as the new manager of Torquay United.

Cox's three-and-a-half years at Mansfield saw the club promoted back to the Football League after five years.

Torquay parted ways with former boss Chris Hargreaves in a dispute over pay.

Torquay United closes youth academy

Torquay United has a new board of directors. Credit: ITV News

Torquay United has announced it is closing its youth academy as part of cost-cutting measures.

The club said the "painful and stark reality" was that it could no longer afford to run it while still ensuring a future for the club.

In a statement on its website the club apologised to the "outstanding" and "talented" young footballers who will now be released.

A new board of directors took over the troubled club yesterday. The club's new Director of Football Dean Edwards will explain the decision to close the youth department at a meeting at the Launa Windows Stadium tomorrow night.

"We would like to put on record that we did not create this situation. For months now, the precarious nature of the football club has been obvious and, in truth, this should have been resolved a long time ago.

"The comments made by former vice-chairman Bill Phillips in suggesting the youth department would be retained were both premature and misleading to the young footballers in our structure.

"We are extremely sorry for all the young boys who have been in the system and the dedication shown by these talented youngsters, and their families, has been outstanding at all times."

"Now this decision has been reached, we can confirm that all the Academy and youth-team players are free agents.

"Despite our disappointment at being placed in this position, we are in no way abandoning the culture of trying to develop young players and the future plan involves working closely with local clubs to help nurture talent.

"We are already in discussion with Paul Devlin and his team of coaches in Football in the Community to see how we can play a role in expanding their operation to develop elite pathways for the best young players in our region.

"We will also seek to enhance the scouting network available to Torquay United, with the aim of identifying talented teenagers who we believe can make the step up to training with our first-team squad.

"Finally, Torquay United would like to thank all the coaching staff in the youth department for their tremendous commitment. Geoff Harrop, Robbie Herrera, Kevin Nancekivell, Craig Easton, Matt Scholes, Matt Williams and all the part-time coaches did a superb job and we are very grateful."

– Torquay United Football Club
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