Wednesday 7 December 2016

In brief: Cullen to lead Irish challenge

Athletics

Published 03/03/2011 | 05:00

Mary Cullen will lead a strong Irish challenge at next month's Spar Great Ireland Run in the Phoenix Park.

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Cullen (North Sligo AC) will be competing at the European Indoor Championships in Paris this weekend, where she is hoping to match or better the 3000m bronze she won at that event, in Turin, two years ago.

She finished second in the Great Ireland Run in 2009, but will face stiff opposition on April 10 from Scotland's defending champion Freya Murray and fellow Irish star Fionnuala Britton.

Golf

Irish players struggled in the opening qualifying round of the Spanish Open Amateur Championship in Barcelona yesterday.

Rathmore's Alan Dunbar fared the best, but only managed a 74 -- two-over-par -- after frittering away strokes.

Irish Youths champion Paul Dunne and Chris Selfridge were both on 75 and need good performances today to make sure of progressing.

The big disappointment was Portstewart's Paul Cutler -- he posted a 76, while it was a particularly bad day for Richard O'Donovan, who slumped to an 81.

Leading the way are Germany's Marcel Schneider and Spaniard Adrian Otaegui who both shot 69.

Leona Maguire dropped strokes on each of the last three holes on the first qualifying round of the Spanish Ladies Open Amateur Championship in Jerez, Cadiz yesterday.

The 16-year-old Slieve Russell star finished with three successive fives for an opening 74. But the Curtis Cup player should comfortably grab a place among the 32 qualifiers for the knock-out phase.

Her twin sister Lisa had double bogeys on the 11th and 13th, but still finished on 77 and should also go through. Danielle McVeigh shot a disappointing 79.

Hockey

Monkstown skated to the three Leinster League points on offer at the expense of champions Pembroke Wanderers at Rathdown last night.

The result kept the winners in contention for the title, but, more likely, a spot in the top three.

Second-half goals from Richard Sykes and Frank Ryan helped Monkstown to a 2-0 success.

Meanwhile, Pembroke have given up all hope of bringing their South African contingent of Jethro Eustice, Brandon Panther and Gowan Jones back to Ireland. The trio have run into insur-mountable visa problems.

Irish Independent

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