In brief: Slender lead for Imming in Kerry
CYCLING: Dutchman Bram Imming of Reuiter Dakkpallen Wierlerteam retained his overall lead of the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan when stage three finished in Waterville yesterday.
Imming, a 20-year-old, kept decent pace during the 142km of racing with a start and finish in Waterville which included a visit to Valentia Island. Victory on the stage went to Paul Griffin of the Earl of Desmond/Tralee BC. In the overall placings, Imming holds a slender one-second lead over Sean Lacey of Edge CC heading into today's 72km final stage around Killorglin.
Meanwhile, Belgian Philippe Gilbert became only the second man to claim all three Ardennes classics when he sprinted clear of breakaway companions Andy and Frank Schleck to win the Liege-Bastogne-Liege in his home country yesterday. Irish trio Nicolas Roche, Matt Brammeier and Dan Martin failed to finish while Philip Deignan crossed the line in 89th place.
THE irrepressible Rafael Nadal claimed his sixth Barcelona Masters title in a row with victory over David Ferrer yesterday.
It was the World No 1's second victory over his fellow Spaniard in a final in a week after a similar outcome in the Monte Carlo Masters last weekend. The 6-2 6-4 victory means the 24-year-old is unbeaten on clay for 34 matches.
He took the first set easily, but Ferrer rallied in the second and led 4-2 and looked like gaining a foothold. But Nadal won four games in a row to continue his stranglehold on the competition and he looks primed for another tilt at the French Open in June.
Ireland scored back-to-back 2-0 wins over France in the second of three women's hockey internationals at Belfield yesterday. Again, Ireland were in charge, but the margin of victory was a poor return for their overall dominance throughout.
Audrey O'Flynn sank a drag flick goal in the first half and Miriam Crowley got Ireland's second after Nicola Daly had made the opening with eight minutes to go.
At Park Avenue, Railway Union, bidding for a third/fourth play-off place in today's climax to the Euro Hockey Club Champions Trophy, kept their interest alive beating Italian side Libertas San Saba 3-0. It only hinged on Royal Wellington beating Sumchanka by more than two goals in the last match, and it fell into place,as the Belgian side swept to a 5-1 win in the end. The final for promotion to the top grading for next season's Euro Champions Cup will take place today.