Sunday 22 October 2017

Handball: Keegan, McCann aiming for upset

James Horan's troops aren't the only Mayo GAA team aiming to set the record straight this weekend.

Top handballers Dessie Keegan and Joe McCann head into today's M Donnelly 60x30 senior doubles final in Broadford, Co Limerick as underdogs, despite having reached the last two deciders.

Mayo face a huge test against reigning champions Tom Sheridan and Brian Carroll of Meath, who impressed in their semi-final win over Westmeath.

Meath's Evan Sheridan and Robert Fox will start as slight favourites in the minor doubles final against Cork, with the intermediate singles pitting Fergal Collins of Tipperary against Mayo's Stephen Cooney.

IRELAND'S latest women's football export, Denise O'Sullivan, insists that victory tomorrow against Slovakia at the Carlisle Grounds (1.0) is essential for their World Cup ambitions.

With top seeds Germany in their group, Ireland will realistically be challenging Russia for a play-off spot in the hope of reaching the 2015 finals.

"Our first three qualifiers over the next six weeks – against Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia – are must-wins," asserted the 19-year-old striker, a recent capture at Glasgow City.

Ireland manager Sue Ronan has been forced into a reshuffle following the withdrawal through injury of defender Louise Quinn.

Former Raheny United player Megan Campbell, now playing in America for Florida State University, is expected to switch from left-back into the centre.

IRELAND (probable): Byrne; Perry, Tracy, Campbell, De Burca; O'Gorman, Caldwell, Gorman, Russell; D O'Sullivan; F O'Sullivan.

It was one-two for Ireland in the European Tour qualifying school first stage in Cheshire yesterday with Ulstermen Ruaidhri McGee and Alan Dunbar leading the 27 hopefuls into the next phase.

Belfast's McGee slipped to a two-over par 74 in his final round at Wychwood Park but that was still good enough for a two-stroke victory over Rathmore's 2012 Amateur champion Dunbar, who closed with a 70.

Athlone's Colm Moriarty bounced back from Thursday's 80 to return a healthy 70 for a 72-hole aggregate of 289 and a share of fourth spot.

Ballymena's Dermot McElroy kept his nerve to finish with a 73 for 293 and 13th place which put him through to the second stage.

Meanwhile, at Fleesensee in Germany, Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney made it through with a 71 for 11-under overall.

Irish Independent

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