Tuesday 28 February 2017

Cricket: O'Brien brushes Bangladesh aside

NIALL O'BRIEN was the star turn for Ireland on the opening day of the Hong Kong Sixes, smashing five maximums in a crushing opening victory over Bangladesh and leading an ultimately futile charge against Australia.

Ireland performed superbly on their debut at the Kowloon Cricket Club, restricting Bangladesh to only 65-4 from their five overs -- the lowest score of the day -- and knocking off the runs with a remarkable 11 balls and five wickets to spare.

Paul Stirling nearly made up for leaking 22 from his one over by blasting 14 from his first three balls before O'Brien launched an assault on the small boundaries that took him to 35 from only nine balls.

Holders Australia proved a much tougher proposition in their second group game, racking up 105-2.

The Irish fell 27 runs short, though they should reach the quarter-finals tomorrow no matter what the result of their final group match against England.

BOXING

LOS ANGELES MATADORS are chasing Irish 2012 Olympian Michael Conlan and Dublin super-heavyweight Sean Turner in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

Conlan (19), who qualified for the London Olympics at the World Championships in Azerbaijan earlier this month, is considering an offer from the American side.

Turner, who met Ken Okungbowa in last night's U-21 final at the National Stadium in Dublin, is understood to be close to agreeing terms with LA and could sign up today.

Donegal welterweight Willie McLaughlin is on his way to Italian side Milano Thunder for one season. Patrick Gallagher is close to signing for India's Mumbai Fighters, who have also expressed an interest in Mayo's Ray Moylette.

However, the youngest of the Irish contingent, Joe Ward, the current European light-heavyweight champion, has snubbed the WSB to concentrate on qualifying for the Olympics.

Ward, who turns 18 tomorrow, was being chased by the Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan.

HANDBALL

GAA president Christy Cooney has extended his congratulations to Robbie McCarthy on claiming the US Open title last weekend.

McCarthy became the third Irish player in history to win the US Open at Fountain Valley Sports club in California. It capped an outstanding season for the Westmeath man, who defeated fellow Irishman Charly Shanks 11-9 in an absorbing tie-break contest.

Cooney said: "Robbie has won many honours already this year and adding the US Open title, defeating some leading handballers from around the world en route, is a wonderful achievement.

"Similarly, I would like to offer my congratulations to both Paul Brady and his county colleague Michael Finnegan, who added the US Open doubles crown to their already illustrious list of achievements."

Irish Independent

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