Monday 27 March 2017

Camogie: Jacob fires way past Loughgiel

Wexford's All-Ireland-winning captain Ursula Jacob scored a remarkable 1-16 as Oulart-The Ballagh beat Loughgiel 3-22 to 1-2 in the All-Ireland senior club semi-final.

The Leinster representatives were outstanding in defence but Jacob's sensational contribution was the major talking point of the game.

Jacob found the net very early on and was unerring from play and placed balls from there on and Loughgiel simply could not cope with Oulart's all-round strength.

Meanwhile, in the intermediate championship, Ardrahan edged a wonderful contest at Fraher Field, finishing strongly to book their place in the final thanks to a 1-10 to 1-8 victory over Lismore.

Points from Aisling Brennan and Aoife Callanan had the winners ahead at the break, but Lismore were level with 10 minutes left. But Callanan struck a couple frees to snatch the victory for Ardrahan. That sets up a date with champions Eoghan Rua, who repeated their All-Ireland victory over The Harps with a 1-8 to 1-5 win.

CRICKET

ENGLAND face a huge task to avoid a series whitewash in Dubai after Azhar Ali's 157 kept Pakistan in full control of the third Test.

Having been set 324 to win on a turning pitch, England's openers survived a tricky 20 overs to close on 36-0. Earlier, Younus Khan was removed lbw for 127, before Azhar and Misbah-ul-Haq (31) drove Pakistan's total to 331-3. But Monty Panesar (5-124) and Graeme Swann breathed life into the contest as the hosts collapsed to 365 all out.

HOCKEY

Pembroke WANDERERS moved to the top of the table in Leinster after Monkstown's match with Three Rock Rovers was called off because of a bereavement.

Pembroke notched up a workmanlike away win against Corinthians, with Alan Sothern and Paddy Good on the mark at Whitechurch Park.

YMCA were 3-1 up at half-time against Railway Union but in the end they needed a late equaliser from Johnny Bruton to salvage a 5-5 draw. And third-placed Glenanne squeezed past Fingal in Tallaght.

The Irish national team resume their preparations for next month's Olympic qualifier with a game today at Valencia against Spain. And on the women's hockey front, UCD slumped to their second defeat in succession as they were beaten 4-2 by Loreto.

EQUESTRIAN

Denis Lynch finished fourth in the penultimate qualifier of the Rolex FEI World Cup series in Bordeaux, France on Saturday night with a superb double-clear performance from Contifex.

The Tipperary man was already well-qualified for the final in Holland next April, but showed the strength of his team of horses when the talented nine-year-old stallion demonstrated great maturity in the 10-horse jump-off against the clock.

The result had already been sealed by a do-or-die run from host nation hero Kevin Staut and the mare Silvana HDC. Lynch's tour of the track was less risky as he slotted in behind Rik Hemeryck and Edwina Tops-Alexanders.

At Treffen in Austria on Saturday, Shane Carey was runner-up in the 3-Star Grand Prix riding Cian O'Connor's Trebox Acorada, while 22-year-old Alex Duffy from Mayo won the Silver Tour 1.30m class partnering Romeo's Child.

O'Connor is competing in Florida where he claimed sixth with Blue Loyd in the 2-Star Grand Prix won by Britain's Nick Skelton and Big Star on Saturday.

MOTORSPORT

In a dramatic late change to the leaderboard, Armagh driver Darren Gass and his Monaghan co-driver Enda Sherry scored their first International win when they finished just 1.3 seconds ahead of former Tarmac champion Eugene Donnelly in the Safety Direct Galway International Rally.

At halfway, this pair held third, 49 seconds behind leaders and last year's winners Tim McNulty and Paul Kiely, with the Mini of Donnelly and Paddy Toner second on its Irish debut.

But McNulty damaged the front suspension of his Impreza when he hit a chicane, causing him to drop time. Gass was closing on the Meath driver and took the lead on the penultimate test. Donnelly lost more than 40 seconds after a puncture, dropping him to third, but he almost snatched a late win by taking 15 seconds from Gass on the last stage, leaving them just 1.3 seconds apart at the finish, with McNulty behind in a close third.

BASKETBALL

DCU Saints remain in pole position in the Men's Superleague after they were too strong for Belfast Star, but Killester are on their heels after beating UCD Marian.

After Friday's cup action, it was back to league matters and both north Dubliners were comfortable winners. Meanwhile, Neptune took advantage of their southern rivals' involvement in the cup final to defeat Moycullen 62-53 with Ron Thompson contributing 25 points.

In the Women's Superleague, DCU Mercy put their National Cup disappointment behind them with a 72-64 win away to Brunell while Glanmire eased past Dynamos and Killester beat Meteors.

ATHLETICS

HE'S no longer the 'Bullet with the Mullet' but Leevale's Ciaran O'Lionaird got his indoor season off to a great start by winning the New Balance mile in Boston.

The Cork star took advantage of a fall after 120m from his famous training partner Mo Farah to pull away in the final lap, winning in 3:56.01 ahead of Canada's Taylor Milne (3:56.40), Galen Rupp (USA, 3:17.10) and Farah (3:57.72).

Letterkenny's Mark English, still a junior and now in DCU, also had a big victory, winning the 800m in New York in 1:49.49 minutes, while Kildare's Paul Robinson (St Coca's) finished second in the 1,500m at the Briggs Track Classic in Hobart, Tasmania in 3:43.96.

Clonliffe Harriers athlete Jamye Rossiter (20) showed tactical awareness when winning the Woodie's DIY Men's Intermediate Cross-Country Championships at Lough Key Park in Boyle, Co Roscommon.

Rossiter came with a late challenge in the final kilometre and sprinted to victory in 37:36 ahead of Michael Shannon of Kilnaboy AC and Martin Quinn from Dunleer AC.

Laura Shaughnessy of Loughrea AC was a clear winner of the women's intermediate title in 18:33 just ahead of Martina Kiely (St Finbarr's) and Marie Carey (Ennis Track Club).

Irish Independent

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