Hockey: O'Donoghue is hat-trick hero
Published 25/02/2013 | 04:00
Ireland impressively grabbed their spot in the Hero World League later this year as a Shane O'Donoghue hat-trick helped them to a 4-0 win against China.
The Irish dominated their final match at India's National Stadium in Delhi and went ahead after 12 minutes when teenager Peter Brown tipped in a Stuart Loughrey cross.
O'Donoghue converted one penalty corner on the stroke of half-time, tucked away another shortly after the resumption and completed the hat-trick on 49 minutes.
The result qualifies Ireland for a mouthwatering final league eliminator during the summer in either Kuala Lumpur or Rotterdam.
Meanwhile, UCD clinched a best ever top four finish in the Leinster league, behind champions Pembroke Wanderers, Monkstown and Three Rock Rovers, despite losing their final match at the hands of Railway Union.
TEENAGER Sycerika McMahon continued her domination at the Dave McCullagh Memorial meet in Limerick when she finished off the championships with another three golds, having won four on the opening day and three on Saturday.
The 17-year-old added 50m breaststroke, 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle to her tally. Galway's Kevin McGlade was the first gold medallist of the final session in the 50m freestyle. Emmet Crowley (Mallow Swans) was first in the 50m breaststroke.
Templeogue swimmer Niamh Murphy won the women's 50m freestyle with Galway swimmer David O'Sullivan claiming gold in the 100m butterfly.
Shona Keaveney (Sligo SC) impressively won the 200m backstroke gold, while Aer Lingus swimmer Rory McMonagle was first in the men's event. Another Aer Lingus swimmer Sean O'Brien won gold in the 200m IM.
In the final race of the meet, UCD knocked 0.94 off the previous 4x100m medley relay record held by Kilkenny SC (4:24.91).
Aprilia pair Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli lead the way in the World Superbike Championship after the opening races in Australia.
Guintoli beat his team-mate to the chequered flag in the first race with his Irish counterpart securing second.
Guintoli's victory in race one at Phillip Island was the fourth of his career, and he secured it by overtaking Laverty on lap 15 and holding off the rest of the field, leaving Laverty and another Aprilia rider, Michel Fabrizio, to battle it out for second.
A career-high 206 not out from Mahendra Singh Dhoni put India firmly in control of the first Test against Australia at the close of play on day three in Chennai.
India finished 515-8, 135 ahead of Australia's first-innings effort of 380 all out.
Elsewhere, debutant Kyle Abbott took nine wickets for 68 runs as South Africa completed a 3-0 series sweep over Pakistan with a crushing innings and 18 run victory in the third and final Test at Centurion.
UL EAGLES missed a golden opportunity to wrap up the Superleague title, losing to UCD Marian after UCC Demons had slipped up at Moycullen.
Despite the prospect of securing the title with a win, the Limerick side were outfought by the Dubliners, who got ahead early and stayed there.
Galway's Moycullen are still in the race but slipped up yesterday against DCU Saints. Neptune also suffered defeat at home to Dublin Inter as the top three all lost.
In the Women's Superleague, Wildcats made up for Friday's loss to top of the table UL Huskies with a win over Liffey Celtics on Saturday, while DCU Mercy overcame Meteors.
Declan and Brian Boyle, cousins from Donegal, dominated the first round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship, the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel Stages Rally, winning by 35 seconds after eight stages near Borris-in-Ossory.
Welshman Melvyn Evans took second with Limerick co-driver Sean Mullally. Wexford pair James Stafford and Amy Ryan were third.
Already crowned as Hewison Autotest champion, Steven Ferguson scored his ninth win of the season in MEC's final round of the series at Mondello Park.