In brief: Hoey holds nerve to seal 'ugly win'
MICHAEL HOEY ground out a second European Tour victory at the Madeira Island's Open yesterday. A dogged final round of one-under 71 lifted him two clear of England's Chris Gane and Jamie Elson.
Hoey (32), whose previous win was at the Open de Estoril two years ago, finished on 10-under. The €116,660 he won lifted him 60 places to 54th in the Race to Dubai.
Hoey entered the final round tied with Elson and parred the first seven holes before registering a birdie at eight. He dropped a shot at 13 but bounced straight back with a birdie and played the final four holes in par.
"It was just very, very tough," he said. "I had to dig really deep, especially after I hit one in the rocks on 13. I thought 'that's it now, I've thrown this thing away completely'.
"Yet somehow I managed to make a good swing on the third shot, and holed the putt for bogey, which was huge. It was kind of an ugly win."
A closing 70 earned Colm Moriarty €18,060 in a tie for seventh on five-under. Simon Thornton (73) collected €6,545 after a 73 left him with a share of 27th on one-under.
Eoin Morgan will play for England in Thursday's first Test against Sri Lanka, having forced the selectors to change their minds with his majestic 193 for England 'A' against the tourists.
Until that innings, Ravi Bopara had been pencilled in for the No 6 slot. However, Dubliner Morgan showed his immense mental strength to earn a place at Bopara's expense in the squad announced yesterday.
KEITH HARTNETT fired home a stunning late winner as Limerick's Pike Rovers claimed the FAI Umbro Junior Cup for the first time with a dramatic 2-1 win over St Michael's at Turners Cross yesterday.
Alan Barry opened the scoring for Pike but Pat Quinn levelled. Then Hartnett drilled in a 30-yard 89th-minute free-kick to win it.
Waterford driver Brian O'Keeffe won yesterday's Cork MC Darren Swanton Memorial Rallysprint, holding off a late challenge from Jeremy Drislane to prevail by six-tenths of a second.
Dubliner Derek Tohill, the reigning European Division 2 rallycross champion, qualified second for the final in yesterday's French round of the series at Essay. However, engine problems and a spin dropped him to sixth.
Cian O'Connor's gelding Larkhill Cruiser has been sold to Saudi Arabia's Abdullah Al Sharbatly, but the Meath rider has already found a useful replacement.
Yesterday, on their first outing together, O'Connor steered Temple Road, which he jointly owns with McNamee Bakeries but which has previously been campaigned by Shane Carey, into second place in the Grand Prix at Pforzheim.