Saturday 25 March 2017

In brief: Mayo ladies await decision

Gaelic games

The fate of the Mayo ladies football team will be decided on Wednesday in Tullamore when they put their case to the Central Council.

The Mayo County Board withdrew the team from the Connacht and All-Ireland championships in May, having been unable to appoint a successor to former manager Pat Costello, who resigned in April.

The hearing comes as a result of an appeal submitted last week by the Mayo clubs which forced the postponement of today's Connacht final. If Mayo's bid for re-entry is successful, they will play Sligo in the Connacht semi-final and Galway will take on the winners. Should the appeal fail, then Sligo and Galway will contest the final.

The board refused to allow the panel to train without a manager, citing insurance issues. However the Mayo ladies resumed training on Friday night after receiving permission from ladies football chief executive Helen O'Rourke.

Cricket

Paul Collingwood's defiant 95 was in vain as England foundered against Shaun Tait's pace at Lord's to end their NatWest Series campaign on a low with a 42-run defeat to Australia.

Tait, who finished with four for 48, blasted out Andrew Strauss and Mike Yardy early on in England's pursuit of 277 for seven; the hosts slipped to 73 for five and never recovered. Collingwood's efforts prevented embarrassment, but England have now been well beaten in successive matches to end up shading the series only 3-2.

Dubliner Eoin Morgan, brilliantly caught by Shaun Marsh for just nine yesterday, was named man of the series and has set his sights on the Ashes, saying: "It's an aspiration of mine. Playing against Australia is always a privilege."

TRENT JOHNSTON smashed two huge sixes in the final over of Ireland's innings to leave the defending champions in a strong position halfway through their crucial World League Division 1 clash with Afghanistan in Rotterdam.

The skipper hit a breezy 42 not out from only 28 balls but with a healthy 237 for nine posted from 50 overs, Ireland were then frustrated by rain. With even a reduced-overs chase ruled out, the two best non-Test-playing nations will return to the VOC ground this morning when the Afghans will begin their reply. The eventual winners in Rotterdam will join Scotland at the top of the six-nation table after two games.

Hockey

The Australia women's side wound up the three-game Test series against Ireland at Belfield yesterday with a decisive 4-1 victory.

The Australians' winning margin helped them to restore their No 5 world ranking in the wake of their slender 1-0 wins over Ireland on Wednesday and Friday. Aussie striker Emily Hurtz, whose strikes gave them their victories during the week, again proved the thorn in the hosts' side yesterday, notching a hat-trick for her efforts from short corner set-pieces.

The result was well decided by the time Lisa Jacob pulled a goal back.

Camogie

Galway cemented their place in the semi-finals of the Gala All-Ireland Senior Championship by inflicting a second defeat of the round-robin phase on Cork in Athenry yesterday.

Noel Finn's charges set the platform for their 1-14 to 0-11 success over the champions in the first half, at the end of which they led by 1-8 to 0-5.

Playing with a slight breeze, the Corribsiders flew out of the traps with a point from Veronica Curtin after just 19 seconds. A minute later, Tara Rutledge pounced for a goal after Aislinn Connolly's free hit the bar.

Five of the six forwards scored from play in that opening half while in contrast, only Emer O'Sullivan did so for Cork, with Síle Burns slotting four frees. Burns added three more frees after the resumption but with Curtin dropping back to perform the sweeper's role well, Cork just could not carve open the goal chance they needed and their challenge faded.

Sailing

University College Dublin's crew has reached the final in the cox fours at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta, after overcoming teams from Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard in earlier rounds.

The team of Tom Doyle, Finbarr Manning, Colm Pierce, David Neale and cox Jenni Lynch will today compete against the University of Bristol for the title which hasn't been won by an Irish team before. In front of crowds of over 100,000 people, the UCD crew defeated Harvard by almost a full length in the semi-finals yesterday.

Athletics

Paul Hession of Galway and Brendan Christian of Antigua and Barbuda could not be separated at the end of a thrilling 200m at the Cork City Sports at the new CIT track in Bishopstown yesterday, with officials declaring it a dead heat after a massive home-stretch duel.

"That is a good feeling because I knew I'd a deficit to make up in the last 10 metres," said the Galwayman, who trailed by a clear metre a dozen strides from the finish.

Another of Ireland's medal hopes, Derval O'Rourke, had to be content with third place in the 100m hurdles but gave the stars -- Canada's Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and American Kellie Wells -- plenty to think about and finished in 13.40, a fine effort considering that she is still sporting the cuts and bruises from a fall she suffered in Germany last week.

Triathlon

Nicola Spirig, from Switzerland, who is ranked fifth in the world, came first in the women's elite race to claim the European Championship title in Athlone.

Spirig finished in 1hr 57mins and 54secs, narrowly beating France's Carole Peon. The two athletes were shoulder to shoulder during the last two laps before Spirig claimed first place in a nail-biting finish.

Ireland's Aileen Morrison took on some of the best triathletes in Europe race to claim a very respectable fifth place.

Sunday Independent

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