Friday 22 September 2017

Byrne's Welsh trip pays big dividends

Wicklow teenager David Byrne found a weekend trip across the Irish sea very fruitful as he pocketed second prize in the North Wales Boys Open Championship.

A 36-hole total of 144 at Rhuddlan on Saturday followed by a two-round aggregate of 146 at Abergele yesterday gave the Greystones youngster a 72-hole score of 290.

He and Mold's Adam Wilson finished six strokes adrift of winner Evan Griffith from the North Wales club at Llandudno, but he clinched second spot on a card play-off.

Dubliner Jack Walsh from the Castle Club had an excellent second day, recording a total of 143 at Abergele for a 72-hole total of 292 -- to finish joint-fifth. Further down the field was Sligo's Sean Flanagan who faltered yesterday to end on 303 after a good first day which saw him in joint-fourth spot overnight.

Hockey

Havelock Park in Banbridge was not required yesterday as the Irish Hockey League 'wild card' play-offs proved not so wild after all.

With Instonians (6-1) and YMCA (4-1) both beating UCC on Saturday, the planned face-off between the two sides was not needed. Both clubs will take their places in the IHL next season as expected.

The women's event also played out on predicted lines with no necessity for Hermes and Ards to fulfil their Sunday fixture after both saw off Galway's challenge.

Tennis

Maria Sharapova mounted a stirring recovery to beat Li Na and retain her Italian Open crown in Rome. The Russian recovered from a set and 4-0 down 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) win to secure her 26th career title.

At 6-6 in the third and final set, the match was interrupted for more than two hours by rain, but Sharapova returned to win the decisive tie-break.

Sharapova now heads to Roland Garros looking for the title that would complete a career Grand Slam.

The weather also disrupted the men's final with Novak Djokovic taking on Rafael Nadal today.

Motor Sport

Valvoline National Forestry Rally champions Owen Murphy and James O'Brien scored their second win of the year in the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally at Mallow, in a close finish which saw the top three covered by just seven seconds.

Runners-up Colin Britton and Arthur Kierans were the early leaders thanks to setting best time on the opening stage, but Murphy then went ahead and was six seconds in front at the finish, with former title holders Pat O'Connell/Mark Wiley another second behind in third place.

Six-time Hewison Autotest champion Eddie Peterson scored an eight-second win over Frank Lenehan in the Birr Autotest at Borris-in-Ossory, while National Autocross champion Dermot Whyte was just two-hundredths of a second quicker than his cousin Brendan to take top place in the NEMC Autocross at Dunleer.

Irish Independent

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