Breen victorious in 'toughest' event
IRISH rally driver Craig Breen and Gareth Roberts have claimed a fantastic win in the Super 2000 category of Rallye Monte Carlo, the opening round of the 2012 World Rally Championship.
Breen claimed the victory after completing the final stage on the marathon five-day event. The Irish driver trailed PG Andersson throughout, but the event turned in Breen's favour when Andersson retired on stage 16.
"This is unbelievable, I'm just delighted and so happy with this victory. We came here with a plan and it's worked perfectly. This has been the toughest event of my career," he said.
A WONDERFUL strike from John Jackson for Ireland could not prevent a 2-1 Dutch win in yesterday's hockey international in Alicante, Spain.
Meanwhile, trophy holders Monkstown progressed to semi-finals of the Mills Cup as they had the better of YMCA 2-1 at Rathdown.
Elsewhere, Ross Murray inspired Corinthians to a golden-goal victory over Glenanne and Stephen West made three smart saves in the penalty shoot-out that put Three Rock Rovers into the last four at the expense of UCD.
In the Leinster women's hockey league, the top three put daylight between themselves and the chasing pack.
Leaders UCD were three goals better than Trinity, but Loreto had just one to spare over Hermes and Railway Union needed a last-minute winner from Sinead Dooley to see off Old Alexandra.
IRELAND'S Amy Bowtell failed to cap an outstanding week by coming up short yesterday in the final of the ITF Women's Circuit event in Sutton, England.
After putting four opponents -- all British -- to the sword earlier in the week, the unseeded 18-year-old from Greystones suffered a 6-3 6-2 defeat to top seed, Netherlands' Richel Hogenkamp.
Elsewhere, Conor Niland advanced to the second round of qualifying in the ATP Challenger Tour event in Heilbronn, Germany, thanks to a 6-1 6-3 victory over France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
A FOURTH-place finish with Tinka's Serenade in yesterday's Rolex World Cup qualifier at Leipzig, Germany, has promoted Ireland's Billy Twomey to the top of the Olympic qualifying list.
The British-based Corkman produced one of five-double clear performances in the tough class, and overtook team-mate Denis Lynch in second place.
If both Irishmen can maintain their positions until March 1, then Ireland will have two individual Olympic slots in show jumping.
Meanwhile, at the 4-Star show in Amsterdam, Jessica Kuerten recorded her first Grand Prix victory for more than a year when clinching the €24,750 winner's purse with Vincente.