Wednesday 23 August 2017

In brief: Harrington fails to hit top gear

GOLF: Three straight bogeys to end of his round spoilt Padraig Harrington's victory efforts on day three of the Shell Houston Open.

The still unshaven Harrington had earlier grabbed six birdies to move to within one shot of the leading pair of Phil Mickelson (63) and Scott Verplank (65) on 13-under par and with three holes to play.

But the Dubliner missed the green well right of the par-three 16th for bogey and was then well left of the cart path at the next for a second successive dropped shot.

Harrington then put his tee shot at 18 into the water down the left side and after taking a drop found the green and two-putted for a double bogey six and a round of 70 for a nine-under-par total.

Mickelson equalled the Redstone course record as he carded his lowest score in two years, while five years ago Mickelson went to Augusta -- where he won a first Masters -- after having won the BellSouth lassic the week before.

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HURLING: Thomas O'Hanrahan's injury-time goal broke Ardscoil Rís hearts and secured an 18th All-Ireland Colleges Senior 'A' Hurling Championship success for Kilkenny kingpins St Kieran's at Semple Stadium yesterday.

O'Hanrahan struck a minute and a half into stoppage time to make it 2-10 to 1-11 as Ardscoil Rís lost a second successive Croke Cup final at the hands of St Kieran's. The sides were level on six occasions prior to a breathless finish and as the clock ticked into injury time, Ardscoil Rís led by 1-11 to 1-9. But with 61 minutes and 30 seconds on the watch two-goal hero O'Hanrahan pounced from close range.

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St Brigid's Loughrea regained the All-Ireland Vocational Schools Senior 'A' hurling title with a thrilling 4-14 to 4-12 victory over Roscrea CC in yesterday's final at Semple Stadium. Corner-forward Brian Molloy scored 2-5 for the Galway team as they landed a sixth All-Ireland crown in 12 years -- and a first since 2009.

Roscrea led by 0-5 to 0-0 in the early stages but by half time St Brigid's had fought back to lead by 2-7 to 2-5 as Stephen Cahalan and Molloy struck first-half goals for the winners. An early second-half goal from Michael Hannon and Molloy's second green flag had Loughrea in a comfortable position before an Eoin Ryan penalty and a late John Wall goal hauled Roscrea back into contention.

But Loughrea held out for a two-point success as Molloy fittingly hit the insurance score in stoppage time to secure an eighth All-Ireland success.

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GAELIC FOOTBALL: The Dublin footballers' latest trip looks set to take them to the headquarters of the Formula 1 Vodafone McClaren Mercedes team in Surrey, England. Although no dates have been finalised, the excursion is expected to take place before Dublin's championship campaign kicks off in June.

"Vodafone is looking at a range of exciting initiatives to support our sponsorship of Dublin GAA. This includes an invitation to visit the HQ of the Formula 1 Vodafone McClaren Mercedes team. No plans have been finalised for this at this stage," said a Vodafone spokesperson.

Pat Gilroy's team, who visited Celtic Park in March, will not be joined by the Dublin hurlers on the proposed trip.

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Gallen CS claimed a hard-earned 2-13 to 1-14 victory over a Peter Canavan-assisted Holy Trinity Cookstown in yesterday's All-Ireland 'A' Senior Vocational Schools semi-final at Ballyconnell.

Goals in either half from Aaron McDonagh and Daragh Keenaghan were vital for the West Offaly side, who will now face Clonakilty CC in the decider at Croke Park next Saturday.

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Galway laid the foundation for victory with an excellent opening half against the wind, which saw them defeat Roscommon 1-10 to 0-4 and lift the Connacht under 21 football title for the 17th time.

The Tribesmen led by 0-6 to 0-2 at the interval and never looked back in the second half at Pearse Stadium yesterday.

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TENNIS: Ireland's James Cluskey yesterday chalked up his second doubles title in the space of a week, in the ITF Men's Futures event in Taverne, Switzerland. The 24-year-old Dubliner teamed up with Italy's Claudio Grassi and the No 1 seeds were always in control as they romped to a 6-2 6-1 win over the No 4 seeds, Poland's Piotr Gadomski and Italy's Erik Crepaldi, in the third-tier indoor carpet event.

Elsewhere, Ireland's Conor Niland qualified for the second round of the top-tier ATP World Tour clay court event in Casablanca, Morocco thanks to a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over Spain's Ivan Navarro.

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Victoria Azarenka lifted the Sony Ericsson Open title in Miami last night for the second time thanks to a polished win over Maria Sharapova.

Azarenka, who stunned Serena Williams to lift the trophy in 2009, was in devastating form against the Russian as she swept to a 6-1 6-4 win.

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HOCKEY: YMCA are making a gallant bid to upset the odds in the battle for this season's Division 1 men's Leinster league title after yesterday's gripping 4-3 win over leaders Glenanne at Claremont Road.

YMCA are now just two points behind Glenanne, but with only one match left to Glenanne's three fixtures, this latest burst seems a tad too late for them to pull it off.

Marcus Richardson nicked YMCA's dramatic winner four seconds from the end, but the Glens will be anxious to put themselves into the comfort zone when they take on Corinthians in midweek.

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SNOOKER: Today's China Open final will be an all-England affair, with Mark Selby taking on Judd Trump.

Selby defeated home favourite Ding Junhui 6-3 at Beijing's Students University Stadium, while Trump make light work of his semi-final, seeing off Shaun Murphy 6-1.

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