Monday 29 May 2017

In brief: Dalton stars in Cats comeback

GAELIC GAMES: Kilkenny's camogie stars pulled off an amazing comeback to defeat Galway 2-12 to 1-12 and qualify for the National League Division One final at Tullamore yesterday.

When Galway full-forward Brenda Hanney flicked an Emma Kilkelly delivery to the Kilkenny net in the 47th min-ute, it put them 1-12 to 0-7 ahead and the Cats, who had missed a penalty five minutes earlier, looked to be beaten.

Inspired by their captain Ann Dalton, however, Kilkenny began to chip away at the lead and when Dalton, who finished with 1-6, goaled from a 20m free with four minutes left, it made it 1-12 to 1-10.

Points from Michelle Quilty and Kate Power then had them level before sub Collette Dormer completed the turnaround, taking a fine pass from Quilty before firing home.

Scorers -- Kilkenny: A Dalton 1-6 (1-3f), A Neary 0-3 (3f), C Dormer 1-0, K Power 0-2, M Quilty 0-1. Galway: A Connolly 0-9 (7f, 1 '45), B Hanney 1-0, T Maher, E Kilkelly, L Mitchell 0-1 each.

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GOALS proved to be the difference as Wexford easily saw off Cork 4-5 to 0-9 in the second camogie National League Division One semi-final at O'Connor Park, Tullamore yesterday.

Despite the All-Ireland champions starting brightly and taking a 0-3 to 0-1 lead, once Una Leacy struck for Wexford's first goal the Model County never lost the lead.

They got a second goal soon after when a long-range Lenny Holohan shot deceived Cork goalkeeper Aoife Murray and at half-time it was 2-1 to 0-6. Wexford upped the ante at the start of the second half, adding three early points, and in the 42nd minute Leacy struck for her second goal, almost an exact replica of her first.

Two minutes later Fiona Kavanagh all but wrapped things up as she fired home following a Kate Kelly delivery, and though Cork sub Maria Walsh put some late respectability on the scoreboard for Cork, it was too little, too late for them.

Scorers -- Wexford: U Leacy 2-1, F Kavanagh 1-1, L Holohan 1-0, K Kelly 0-2 (2f), K Parrock 0-1. Cork: R Moloney (1f), M Walsh 0-2 each, E O'Riordan, E O'Sull-ivan, J White, D Cronin, J O'Leary 0-1 each.

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BOXING: Irish head-coach Billy Walsh will make a decision on Katie Taylor's fitness this morning after the World and European champion cruised into the 60Kg final at the 32-nation Men's and Women's Prime Ministry tournament with a semi-final victory in Turkey yesterday.

The Bray woman, boxing for the fourth time in four days, advanced to the lightweight final after her Turkish opponent, Irkan Melek, was retired by her corner in the second round in Ankara. Taylor was 6-0 up.

However, Taylor injured her right hand in the bout and it remains to be seen whether she will take part in today's decider with Australia's Claire Ghabrial.

"Katie injured her right biscep in her win and she'll have a fitness test (this morning) and we will make a decision then," said Walsh.

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TENNIS: Former Ireland Fed Cup ace Lesley O'Halloran has captured a remarkable fourth ITF Veterans' World Championship women's doubles title on the trot.

Yesterday, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, O'Halloran -- who played in 32 Fed Cup ties between 1986 and 1998 -- and Russia's Olga Shaposhnikiva, the No 1 seeds, defeated the No 2 seeds, American duo Fran Chandler and Mary Dailey, 6-4 6-3 in the final of the over-45 event.

It was Dubliner O'Halloran and Shaposhnikova's first title success at over-45 level, having come up trumps in the over-40 category pairs event in the three previous years.

O'Halloran and Shaposhnikova impressively won their doubles title without dropping a set.

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HOCKEY: Yesterday was a day of celebration for the Railway Union women's side after they retained the Premier League title for the second successive season, securing a 1-0 win over Hermes, their sole title challenger in yesterday's contest at St Andrew's.

It was a crunch game for both with outright victory for either team settling the title.

After a hard fought battle it was Railway who eventually came up smiling at the end, when their top goal-scorer Jean McDonnell notched the all-important goal 15 minutes from the end.

On the men's scene Munster Cork C of I, this season's league champions, scored a 3-1 win over Bandon. Meanwhile, Leinster Division 2 men's side Weston sealed promotion to Division 1 for the first time with a 5-1 win over Suttonians.

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HANDBALL: Cavan star handballer Paul Brady secured a coveted place in the sport's record books when he claimed an incredible sixth consecutive GAA/O'Neill's All-Ireland (40X20) Men's Open Senior Singles title and an amazing seventh overall.

Brady defeated Armagh ace Charly Shanks in a hard-fought final over two games at Kingscourt, Cavan, yesterday.

Brady, who is the current world men's Open Singles champion, has now equalled the records of famous Clare player, Pat Kirby, who bagged six successive titles and of legendary Kilkenny handballer, Michael 'Ducksy' Walsh, who has seven titles.

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GOLF: Overnight leader James Morrison pressed ahead in the third round of the Madeira Islands Open BPI- Portugal with a six-under-par round to retain the lead on 18- under. Morrison holed six birdies on the back nine to take a three-shot lead into the final round today.

Scotland's George Murray held the lead for a period but lost the advantage with a bogey at the par five sixth hole.

Ireland's Simon Thornton was one-under-par for the day with three birdies and two bogeys at the Port Santo Golfe to finish on 71 moving him into fourth place two shots ahead of England's Gary Clark.

Michael Hoey signed for a 69 after finishing with three birdies on the last five holes to move him 16 places up the leaderboard to eighth on seven-under-par.

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