Monday 25 September 2017

In brief: Injury blow ruins Fitzgerald dream

Tennis

GREYSTONES ace Niall Fitzgerald yesterday saw his title hopes shattered by a cruel injury blow in the National Indoors Championships, writes Paddy Hickey.

Fitzgerald (20) was forced to retire after just four games, trailing 3-1 to Dublin-based No 2 seed Lazare Kukhalashvili.

"It's a combination of tendonitis in my right shoulder and elbow, and it's been bothering me on and off for the last 12 months or so," said Fitzgerald.

In the women's singles final, top seed Rachael Dillon followed up her win over Amy Bowtell in last year's decider with a successful outing against No 2 seed Sinead Lohan (15), prevailing 6-2 2-6 7-5.

Handball

It's been a clean sweep for the Irish team at the USHA Junior Nationals in San Diego, California, as all six official team players collected titles yesterday.

Tyrone's Caolan Daly and Mayo's Stephen Cooney served up a cracker in the Boys 19 and Under final, Daly winning on a tiebreak, 11-1, after games of 19-21 and 21-17.

Down's Lorrraine Havern collected her 19 and Under trophy, following Saturday's tiebreaker victory over New York's Sandy Ng.

Cork's Killian Carroll was in fine form in the Boys 17 and Under final, where he defeated local handball hero Brant Bidegain 21-5 21-9.

Fellow Rebel Catriona Casey was the star of the Girls 17/15 and Under grade, where a final-round victory over Tyrone's Maeve McElduff secured her third consecutive US Junior singles crown.

Roscommon's Lauren O'Riordan was awarded the 15 and Under title as the highest ranking player in the group at that age. O'Riordan only dropped one game, to Casey, over the course of the event.

Rugby

Cardiff Blues had to survive an Ospreys fightback to clinch a 27-25 victory in a thrilling Magners League clash at the Cardiff City Stadium yesterday.

The Blues raced into a 24-3 lead thanks to Dan Parks' boot and tries by Tom James and Richard Mustoe.

Two tries from Paul James and Tommy Bowe brought Ospreys back into it, and Andrew Bishop ran over in the closing stages, but it was too late.

The Blues move up to third in the table, a point behind Ospreys, who came away with a losing bonus point.

Irish Independent

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