In brief: Awesome Higgins snatches UK title
Published 13/12/2010 | 05:00
John Higgins claimed the UK Championship title 10-9 last night in dramatic fashion after a spectacular comeback against Mark Williams in Telford.
The Welshman dominated early on with impressive breaks against world No 2 Higgins, who had been looking to win his first major tournament since a six-month ban for bringing the game into disrepute.
Williams went in at the interval 6-2 ahead, although Higgins fought back bravely to 8-5 to keep his chances alive.
Williams then made it 9-5 -- needing only one frame to clinch it -- but Higgins won four on the bounce, which included a break of 110, to level matters, before claiming the title with an audacious up-and-down on the brown in the final frame.
Ireland's two representatives have been handed ties against classy opposition from Spain and the Netherlands in the draw for the knockout phase of the EuroHockey League.
National champions Pembroke Wanderers will look forward to playing at least one very familiar opponent when they meet Club de Campo. The Spanish side features former Pembroke stalwart and Irish captain Ronan Gormley who moved to Madrid during the summer.
Campo have plenty of home-grown talent along with a scattering of ex-pats, with Gormley taking his place in a squad that also includes Argentinian, Dutch and German signings.
Meanwhile, Pembroke's fellow Dubliners Glenanne have lined up a crack at Dutch representatives HGC from The Hague.
Irish interest in the competition does not stop there as Irish striker Eugene Magee and his former international team-mate Stephen Butler are both on the books of the Antwerp Dragons. The Belgian side now face another German side, Cologne. The matches will be played in April at the Bloemendaal complex in Holland.
A Pat Cunningham try in the final seconds of extra-time, which was converted by Mick O'Flynn, secured the Connacht Senior Cup title for Corinthians in the most dramatic fashion at Crowley Park.
First-half tries from John Cleary and Eoin McKeon gave Galwegians a 15-10 lead by half-time, but Corinthians took control after the break to hit the front with a Cian Begley try.
But 'Wegians recovered and Tadhg Leader managed to kick a huge penalty from halfway to send the match into extra-time.
Leader kicked two more penalties in extra-time to give his side a six-point lead but Cunningham powered over late on to retain the cup for Corinthians on a final scoreline of 25-24.
CORINTHIANS -- R Kennedy; D Classens, C Begley, W Williams, F Gormley; S Mullally, M Roche; D Buckley, J Merrigan, T Tolan; G Ward, P Cunningham;S Conneely, A Conneely, L Carpenter. Reps (rolling subs): B Fa'amausili, D Phelan, S Geraghty, M Dolan, M O'Flynn,
GALWEGIANS -- R O'Beirn; B Murphy, P Conroy, D Clarke, J Cleary; T Leader, B Lee; J Naughton, C Muldoon, J Stephens, B McClearn, D O'Hara, I Cullinane, I Muldoon, E McKeon. Reps (rolling subs): J Mackey, R Dillon, R Shaughnessy, L Casserley.
Ref -- Paul Jennings (CBIRFU).
KILLESTER stretched their unbeaten run to nine league games after a comfortable win over UCD Marian on Saturday.
The northsiders now lead the northern conference by seven points with a game in hand. The students could not stop the rampant hosts in the first half, after which they led by 20 points en route to a 77-54 win.
UL Eagles continue to lead the way in the southern conference as they hammered UCC Demons 94-61 in Limerick, with US star Cameron Mitchell scoring 27 points and making 20 rebounds.
DCU failed to capitalise on UCD's slip as they lost 99-98 to Neptune as the Cork side went second in the southern conference, while Belfast Star gained some revenge on Ulster Elks with a 86-65 win, a week after they were knocked out of the Cup by their local rivals.
Matt Prior thrived in the specialist batsman's role and warmed up for the third Ashes Test with an unbeaten century in England's rain-hit drawn tour match against Victoria yesterday.
Relieved of his wicket-keeping duties, Prior hit a 145-ball 102 before fading light halted play with the tourists 100 runs behind their winning target of 311 with four wickets in hand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Eoin Morgan managed just six before he was caught by Matthew Wade. Perth hosts the third Ashes Test from Thursday.