Monday 20 October 2014

In Brief: Mixed night for O'Brien

Published 04/11/2012 | 05:00

George Vancouver gave trainer Aidan O'Brien back-to-back wins in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita last night.

But there was no repeat victory for St Nicholas Abbey in the Breeders' Cup Turf as last year's winner could only manage third behind Little Mike.

The Ballydoyle handler was successful in the Juvenile 12 months ago with Wrote, and followed up in California with George Vancouver under Ryan Moore.

Always handily poised, Moore's partner swept into an unassailable position deep along the straight, and had far too many guns for the previously-unbeaten Noble Tune.

Owner Michael Tabor, of the Coolmore triumvirate, said of George Vancouver: "He's been waiting for this fast ground, and that really was the key. He's obviously a top-class horse and hopefully he'll go for all the big races."

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GAELIC GAMES: On a night when a football match was secondary to the sense of occasion, a crowd of 18,662 came out to show support for the Harte and McAreavey families at last night's Match for Michaela.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Ulster Rugby chief David Humphreys made historic first ever visits to the west Belfast GAA ground. Mickey Harte publicy thanked the crowd when speaking on the pitch at half-time.

"It is most uplifting to see the energy in the crowd, how early they came and how excited they are to be here," Harte said. "It gives us a sense of hope and a sense of how something good can come out of something horrible."

Joe Kernan's Ulster side defeated Jim McGuinness's Donegal by 2-12 to 1-12, having led by 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time.

The Ulster selection dominated with Martin Penrose hitting a personal tally of 1-3 to earn the Man of the Match award.

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St Vincent's of Cork cruised into the semi-final of the Munster Intermediate Football Championship yesterday, thanks to a comprehensive dismissal -- 1-12 to 0-6 -- of Tipperary's Moycarkey-Borris in Pairc Ui Rinn.

The victors, who dominated proceedings right from the off, were well worth their nine-point victory at the finish.

Star performers for the winners were corner-forwards Cian Barry and Derek O'Connor, with impressive displays from right half-back Tomas O'Connell and centre-forward Jonathon Buckley contributing well to the Vincent's cause.

Vincent's now face a stiffer challenge next time out when they meet O'Curry's of Clare for a place in the Munster final.

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LIMERICK'S Ballybrown secured a comfortable six-point victory over Ballinhasssig of Cork, 3-10 to 2-07 in the Munster Intermediate Club Hurling quarter-final at Kilmallock.

When Ballybrown led by eight points at the interval it seemed they would cruise past their rivals. But two goals from 21-yard frees by goalkeeper Martin Coleman left only three points between them with 13 minutes to play.

The Cork side will regret hitting 11 wides compared with only four for Ballybrown. Ballybrown meet the Kerry senior champions in the semi-final.

* * * * *

camogie: All-Ireland champions Wexford and finalists Cork shared six All Star awards apiece presented last night at Citywest with special guest, Olympian Annalise Murphy in attendance.

Wexford claimed on the double, as JJ Doyle collected the O'Neills Manager of the Year Award for the second year in succession, having led the Model County to three-in-a row All-Ireland titles in September.

Wexford's defensive lynchpins, Claire O'Connor, Catherine O'Loughlin and Deirdre Codd collected awards as did forwards Katrina Parrock, Kate Kelly and All-Ireland final Player of the Match Ursula Jacob.

Meanwhile, for Cork, Gemma O'Connor collected her seventh All Star while the Mackey sisters, Pamela and Katrina became the first twins to win Camogie All Stars.

* * * * *

Basketball: Two periods of over time were required to settle last night's Men's Superleague contest in Belfield with Moycullen player coach, Salva Camps, getting the crucial baskets as Moycullen secured their first win of the season 77-72.

After a low scoring first half, UCD were to turn in a strong final quarter but were left to rue two missed free throws from John Galvin. Moycullen then forged head before a three-pointer from Kevin Foley forced double overtime with the score now on 68-68.

And it was nip and tuck up until the final minute when Camps landed two free throws and a basket to secure the win.

UL meanwhile defeated newcomers Dublin Inter 66-38 after a slow enough first half with Jason Killeen's defensive rebounding the highlight.

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CRICKET: Fast bowler Stuart Meaker has been drafted into England's squad as cover for the injured Steven Finn. The Surrey bowler is likely to play in the final warm-up game before the test series against India begins in on November 15.

Finn, who was expected to be a key man for England, suffered a thigh strain during the first game of the tour against India 'A'.

Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan proved all is well with England's back-up middle order as they scored 118 and 76 against Mumbai 'A' as England recovered from being 66-4 to close at 338-6.

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EQUESTRIAN: Tipperary's Shane Breen maintained a steady strike rate at the five-star show in Lyon, France, with a top-five place in the big Accumulator competition yesterday.

The 38-year-old, who is now based in Sussex, piloted the Irish Sport Horse, Cos I Can, but was more than two seconds off the pace of British rider Scott Brash and Bon Ami at the final bell.

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FORMULA ONE: McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton's slim hopes of winning a second drivers' championship got a boost yesterday when he secured pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, holding off the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and two-time defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, clocked one minute, 40.630 seconds on the 5.6km Yas Marina circuit, 0.348 seconds quicker than Webber.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, 13 points behind Vettel in the drivers' standings with three races remaining, slumped to a disappointing seventh. The Spaniard has struggled all weekend with pace and last-minute changes by his team have failed to improve the car's performance.

Pastor Maldonado of Williams will start fourth followed by Kimi Raikkonen.

* * * * *

HOCKEY: Leinster sides performed well at the expense of their Ulster opponents in yesterday's Men's Irish Senior Cup. Holders Lisnagarvey exited on penalties to Pembroke Wanderers after Pembroke 'keeper Mark Ingram saved two of the penalties. Cork Harlequins and Three Rock Rovers also dispatched two more Ulster sides, Cookstown and Instonians.

The most exciting encounter featured Rovers' 6-5 see-saw win over Instonians, with Peter Blakeney notching five goals for the winners.

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