Wednesday 7 December 2016

In brief: O'Brien books his place at Crucible

Snooker

Published 08/03/2010 | 05:00

Fergal O'Brien will compete in the televised stages of the World Championship for the first time in three years after beating Glaswegian Alan McManus 10-4 in the final qualifying round last night.

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O'Brien, who was beaten 10-7 by McManus on his Crucible debut in 1994 and had failed to beat him in six other meeting, won eight successive frames from 4-2 down to secure a ninth appearance at the famous Sheffield theatre.

Ken Doherty, the 1997 champion, faces Belfast's Joe Swail today.

Hockey

Ireland just missed out regaining the Celtic Cup, losing 2-1 to Scotland in a tight encounter in France.

A draw would have been enough for Ireland but Scotland took control of the first half, dominating for large periods, and scored the only goal of the half from a penalty corner strike in the 15th minute.

Ireland came out strongly in the second half and equalised in the 38th minute with a great goal by UCD's Lisa Jacob after a fine cross into the circle by Emma Smyth.

Ireland pressed Scotland but struggled to get their passing game going and it was Scotland who forced more penalty corners and with one of these, with eight minutes left, the Scots scored what would prove to be the winner.

Ireland went three at the back and threw everything at Scotland in a effort to equalise but Harvey's drag flick was well saved and in the dying seconds Jacob had a chance but her shot was saved.

Cycling

Adam Armstrong, making his debut in the Eurobaby/Eurocycles colours, edged out his breakway companion Neil Delahaye to win the Cycleways Cup on the outskirts of Navan yesterday.

Sean Lacey of Cork's Edge Racing Team came home adrift of the duo in third place, 15 seconds back after 110kms of a testing course.

In the first stage of Paris-Nice, Irish cousins Nicolas Roche (AG2R) and Daniel Martin (Garmin) posted the same time 53 seconds off the winner of the 8km prologue, Lars Boom of the Rababank squad.

The Dutchman upstaged the pre-race favourites, including Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, with a time of 10mins 56secs to lead the eight-day event which is synonymous with Sean Kelly, who won the event back in the 1980s.

Sailing

The Irish Sailing Association received two thirds of its annual income from government sources, the annual conference for the sport's governing body has heard.

Despite a 4.3pc drop in support, almost €1m in 'ring-fenced' funds for high-performance and core funding is received.

The AGM also heard that a proposed move of the association's headquarters from Dun Laoghaire to Galway to create a national watersports centre is now unlikely to go ahead.

Irish Independent

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