independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Fahamore on mark for Harty

THE JP McManus colours were carried to victory at Fairyhouse when Fahamore followed up last month's success at Limerick by landing the conditions hurdle.

Stepped up in class after a successful return in handicap company, Eddie Harty's 9/4 shot and market leader Abbey Lane fought it out after the final flight, but Fahamore prevailed by a short head.

The Colm Murphy-trained Mister Hotelier put a poor Punchestown return behind him as Robbie Power's mount relegated Sarabad to the runner-up spot once more in the opening maiden hurdle.

Willie Mullins' Raise Hell could manage only third behind Aaron Stronge's Carsonstown Bridge under Andrew McNamara in the two-and-a-half mile maiden hurdle.

Beluckyagain was also fancied for the champion trainer, but was never a factor in the mares' bumper which went to the Liz Lalor-ridden Carrigeen Lonicera.

Hockey

NI Civil Service will be attempting to break the southern stranglehold on the men's indoor championships at the weekend, with the finals due to be played in Tallaght at the National Basketball Arena on Sunday.

Masterminded by veteran Scot Alan Hay, the NICS gave Three Rock Rovers a thorough test of their credentials last year before Rovers retained their crown.

Three Rock, with the assistance of guests Ross Canning (UCD) and South African playmaker Jethro Eustice, are favourites to record a hat-trick of titles.

Meanwhile, the women's event is a very open affair, though Hermes have the benefit of being able to use a wealth of international talent, including Irish stars Chloe Watkins and Anna O'Flanagan, who both play their club hockey with UCD.

As with the men, the action is dominated by Dublin sides, but holders Ards showed last year showed that Leinster is not invincible. They are back for more, while Greenfields of Galway represent Connacht.

New Irish women's coach Darren Smith has sprung no surprises with his first selection, naming no uncapped players among the 22 chosen for a training camp in Spain next month.

The expedition will give the Irish an advance look at the venue in Valencia where they will take part in the World League from February 25 to March 3.

The squad includes midfielder Shirley McCay after she took a lengthy break to travel around the world. Also back are Emma Clarke, Nicci Daly and Cliodhna Sargent.

They will have the chance to impress Smith during three games against Spain included in the training camp schedule.

SQUAD IN FACTFILE

boxing

BERNARD DUNNE'S conqueror Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym is retiring from boxing for medical reasons, it has been announced.

The 32-year-old Thai is reportedly suffering from the blood disorder thalassemia and has been advised by doctors to quit the ring.

Dunne hung up his gloves after surrendering his WBA World super-bantamweight title to Kratingdaenggym at The O2 in Dublin in 2009.

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