In brief: Maher on song in Gallen success
Gallen CS Ferbane withstood a late charge from Ashbourne CC to come away with a 0-9 to 0-6 victory in their Round 1 Vocational Schools football clash at a wind-swept Donaghmore/Ashbourne yesterday.
Gallen took full advantage of a ferocious breeze to race into a 0-7 to 0-1 half-time lead but Ashbourne staged a commendable fightback after the restart, and closed the gap to three with five minutes remaining.
However, Gallens held firm and a fourth point from the outstanding Joe Maher helped them over the line.
SCORERS -- Gallen CS: J Maher 0-4 (0-1f), B Grehan 0-2, A McDonagh, R Delaney, D Keeneghan 0-1 each. Ashbourne CC: D Murtagh 0-2 (0-1f, 0-1 s-l), R Thorpe (0-1f), N Shorthall, P Bannon, A Hughes 0-1 each.
GALLEN CS -- D Duignan; J Nally, C Lowry, J Kelly; S Wren, D Corbett, S Costello; L Fox, C Cahill; J Maher, A McDonagh, D Keenaghan; R Delaney, B Grehan, E Lowry.
ASHBOURNE CC -- A Colgan; C Cannon, C Walsh, N Lenihan; J Weldy, S Melia, G Deely; D Murtagh, N Shorthall; J Dwyer, R Thorpe, T Strich; R Howard, S Kent, P Bannon. Subs: A Duff for Howard (ht), A Hughes for Kent (52).
REF -- G McCormack (Dublin)
Fernando Verdasco'S hopes of qualifying for the upcoming ATP Tour World Finals ended as he was eliminated from the Paris Masters yesterday.
The Spanish sixth seed edged a closely-fought opening set in his third-round match against Gael Monfils, but the Frenchman came back to seal a 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 victory.
Defeat for Verdasco means he cannot improve on his current ninth place in the rankings, with Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Andy Roddick all qualifying for the season-ending event at London's O2 Arena later this month.
World No 4 John Higgins is set to return from his six-month ban today when he competes in the Euro Players Tour Championship in Hamm, Germany. The three-time world champion will face Joe Jogia in the first round.
The 35-year-old was cleared of match-fixing in September but fined £75,000 after admitting breaching rules around betting following an investigation into allegations of frame-throwing by the News of the World.
AS Laura Davies set off in pursuit of her fifth European Ladies Tour title of the year with a flawless seven-under-par 65 at the Honda Womens Indian Open, Ireland's four-strong challenge faltered in Delhi.
Martina Gillen, tied 25th after her one-over-par 73, was best of the the Irish, with Hazel Kavanagh two shots further back after a 75. Rebecca Coakley landed an eagle at 18 on her way to a 75, and Tara Delaney birdied the last for a 79.
ED JOYCE top-scored with 68 and made a winning return to the national team in Pune yesterday as Ireland chased down 257 to beat an Indian Select XI by two wickets.
Sussex batsman Joyce, who was given special dispensation to play in next year's World Cup earlier this week, rescued Ireland after a mid- innings wobble before Trent Johnston's 46 not out won the training match with four balls to spare.