independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Athletics: Historic silver for Coyle and Bailey

MEATH duo Natalya Coyle and Eanna Bailey won a historic first silver medal for Ireland at the inaugural 'mixed relay' event in modern pentathlon's first World Cup of the season in Palm Springs.

A third-place finish in fencing, fourth in the swimming and second in the horseriding left them well placed with two events left, and some brilliant shooting by Bailey and the second-fastest time in the final 'combined' run-and-shoot saw them finish second overall, behind the Hungarian favourites and ahead of a Russian pair.

Coyle put Irish modern pentathlon on the map last summer by finishing ninth at the Olympics, where Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe was 25th – the Kilkenny man, who won bronze at the 2012 World Junior Championship, was Ireland's only previous major medallist.

Coyle finished 25th in the individual competition in California, where Bailey and Lanigan-O'Keeffe were 15th and 16th respectively, before their breakthrough success in the mixed relay.

Golf

SHANE LOWRY missed out on a place in this week's Honda Classic by one tantalising stroke after shooting a four-under par 67 in the yesterday's qualifier at Mayacoo Country Club in West Palm Beach.

The four places on the Honda timesheet on Thursday were taken by reigning Irish Open champion Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Sweden's Alexander Noren and American duo Darron Stiles and Vaughn Taylor, all of whom shot sweet 66's.

Lowry hoped to play at PGA National this week and try and force his way into the elite top-50 before Monday's final deadline for next week's Cadillac at Doral. Instead, he'll now tee it up tomorrow week at the Puerto Rico Open

Hockey

Ireland came through an early scare on the opening day of the World Women's League tournament in Valencia.

They bounced back after conceding an early scrambled goal for the little fancied Czech Republic to win 4-1.

Victory was based on a formidable penalty corner routine, which yielded scores for Lisa Jacob, Audrey O'Flynn and Nicola Gray.

Also on the mark was Aine Connery as the women seek to match the achievements of the Irish men, who have already reached the last 16 of the male version of the league.

Next up for Ireland is a match against Belarus today (10am Irish time).

Cricket

Ravichandran Ashwin claimed a five-wicket haul for India before Australia ensured that the first Test would enter a fifth and final day with some late defiant batting in Chennai.

Having finally bowled their hosts out for 572 on the fourth morning, Michael Clarke's tourists set about chasing down a 192-run deficit but were left staring at an innings defeat as offspinner Ashwin steadily made his way through the line-up.

However, a half-century from Moises Henriques and an unbeaten last-wicket stand of 57 with Nathan Lyon left India needing to bat again to wrap up the win. At close of play on day four, the tourists were on 232-9, a lead of 40 runs, with Henriques not out on 75, however, they only seem to be delaying the inevitable.

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