Friday 28 November 2014

Hockey: Padros sinks Irish World Cup hopes

Published 22/06/2013 | 05:00

Spanish striker Alex Padros has torpedoed Ireland's hopes of playing in next year's Men's World Cup in Rotterdam.

The 26-year-old scored the only goal of the World League game, mopping up on 54 minutes, after Irish 'keeper Davy Harte saved from Xavi Lleonart.

The result means that Ireland are left playing today to avoid last place in the tournament, having waved goodbye to participation in World Cup 2014 in Holland.

Goalkeeper Harte put in an electrifying performance against the Spaniards, repeatedly denying Alex Casayas in the first half.

It was only after he was finally beaten that his attacking colleagues began to produce much at the other end of the pitch.

But the opportunities which fell late in the day to Shane O'Donoghue and Kyle Good were not converted.

David Morris fell at the quarter-final stage of the Wuxi Classic after losing 5-2 to Wales' Matthew Stevens in China.

The Kilkenny man defeated Ali Carter in the last-16 and led 2-1 against Stevens, but the Welshman hit back with breaks of 50, 48, 40 and 61 to claim the semi-final place.

Morris pockets a cheque for £11,500, and the result means his reputation has been seriously enhanced. Stevens will now face four-time world champion John Higgins.

Bradley Wiggins has said he may never ride in another Tour de France and admitted that Chris Froome had now usurped him as the No 1 on what felt like a watershed day for British cycling.

Wiggins, out of this year's race because of injury, conceded that his love affair with the world's greatest race could be over.

It also places huge question marks over the end-game of the 33-year-old champion's career. For while Wiggins is adamant he is not about to retire, the mental rigours, commitment and pressures on his family time sound as if they have become too much for him to pursue further success in the Grand Tours.

After considering a challenge for the Vuelta a Espana crown in September, he said he has decided instead to compete in front of his home fans in the Tour of Britain.

Irish Independent

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