Sunday 23 April 2017

In Brief: McIlroy one stroke off lead

GOLF: Rory McIlroy is keen to spoil Martin Kaymer's New Year celebrations with victory in the Abu Dhabi Championship. McIlroy tees-up in the final round of the €1.5m event at 14-under par, just a stroke behind the German.

Kaymer -- who won the Abu Dhabi event two years ago -- carded a third straight 67 with McIlroy also posting a 67 that left the young Ulsterman tied in second with England's Ian Poulter, who also signed off for a 67.

Reigning Irish Open champion Shane Lowry is also in contention on 12-under par, just two shots off Kaymer.

Pembroke see off Harlequins

HOCKEY: Pembroke Wanderers, last year's Irish Hockey League champions duly won their second round home Pool A tie against visitors Cork Harlequins yesterday, picking up the bonus two-goal margin win with a 3-0 victory.

Elsewhere, Lisnagarvey held top spot in Pool B with a 3-1 away win over Cookstown, Glenanne beat Three Rock Rovers 4-3 and Monkstown drew 2-2 with Corinthian.

Black & Whites run rampant

GAELIC GAMES: Leinster champions Blacks & Whites (Kilkenny) had no problem booking a place in the All-Ireland Club JHC semi-final when they wiped out John Mitchells (Warwickshire) at Nowlan Park yesterday by 4-19 to 0-2.

Wicklow pip Dublin to final

Wicklow -- probably the most successful team in the Leinster Vocational Schools senior football championship with 12 titles -- qualified for yet another provincial final as a result of this slender 1-9 to 0-11 win over Dublin at Roundwood yesterday.

Donnelly bags Tyrone brace

Tyrone booked their place in the Dr McKenna Cup semi-finals as Group B winners following an 2-17 to 1-4 victory over Cavan in a game that was delayed by half an hour due to dense fog.

Tyrone led by 1-8 to 0-3 at half-time, thanks to Mark Donnelly's 33rd-minute goal and two points each from Niall McKenna and Eoin McCusker. Donnelly added a second goal 15 minutes from the end as the Red Hands ran out comfortable winners.

Stylish debut for Murphy

Brendan Murphy marked his first competitive senior game for Carlow with a hugely influential display that included a goal and two points as the hungrier home side beat Wicklow 2-13 to 1-10 at Dr Cullen Park to reach the O'Byrne Cup Shield semi-final.

A goal from the alert Seanie Furlong gave Wicklow a 1-4 to 0-6 half time lead but two goals after the break saw Carlow progress.

Fitzgerald the hat-trick hero

A first half tour de force from Kildare set up an easy 5-21 to 2-14 win for the Lilywhite hurlers in the first round of the Kehoe Cup in Newbridge.

Two goals from Martin Fitzgerald and a scrambled effort from David Kennedy put Kildare in command at the break, leading 3-13 to 1-6 at half-time.

McGourty haul vital to St Gall's

St Gall's hurlers showed their footballers the way after beating Galway side Tynagh /Abbey Dunirey 0-12 to 0-10 in the All-Ireland Intermediate hurling championship semi-final at Parnell Park.

Conor McGourty was the star of the show, hitting 0-8 of his side's total but they needed defend well to hold off the Westerners' late charge.

Tralee taken out by Deise

Davy Fitzgerald's experimental Waterford side proved too strong for IT Tralee -- winning 2-13 to 3-5 -- in this Waterford Crystal Cup game, played in Tralee yesterday.

Sweet revenge for Neptune

BASKETBALL: Neptune avenged last week's agonising cup defeat to Demons with a 76-74 victory over their Cork rivals at the Neptune Stadium last night.

A big crowd turned up for this derby clash which saw Neptune close the game down with two minutes to go following scores from the free-throw line from Juwann James (38 points) and Gary Walsh.

Meanwhile, Belfast Star maintained their push for a play-off spot, with the return from injury of Michael McKillop and Stephen Dawson instrumental in their 93-80 win over Moycullen. American Kevin Ratzch top-scored with 35 points.

Sunday Independent

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