Saturday 21 October 2017

Ireland stung by late flurry

Cricket: Just when Ireland thought they had the beating of Bangladesh, the game was taken away from them by a savage batting assault last night, writes Ger Siggins.

Three sixes in four balls off George Dockrell by the big fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza brought the Asians back from the edge of defeat, and they clinched the game off the last ball of the RSA Series.

Ireland's middle order crumbled again, with Kevin O'Brien struggling. He was out to Man of the Match Mortaza, who took his career best 4-19 as Ireland totalled 140-8.

With the spinners on, and the score at 62, Mohammed Ashraful carted the ball to John Mooney at long off, and suddenly Bangladesh were 69-3. Another flurry of wickets saw them collapse to 89-6 as Paul Stirling (3-21) and Dockrell (2-33) exerted pressure.

With seven balls left Mortaza was bowled by O'Brien, and while Trent Johnston and his fielders made sure every run was hard-earned, the scores were tied with one ball left. A scampered single and a whisker-missed shy by O'Brien saw another close win for the Asian Tigers and a 3-0 win in the series.

*****

Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith hit centuries as South Africa wiped out England's lead in the first Test at The Oval yesterday by closing on 403-2 -- 18 runs in front.

Amla was 183 not out, with 22 fours from 369 balls, while captain Smith made 131 from 270 balls with 20 fours for his 25th Test century.

Jacques Kallis eased to 82 not out from 161 balls, with 10 fours after South Africa began day three on 86-1. Tim Bresnan, who took 1-77, was the only bowler to take a wicket on a demoralising day for the hosts.

*****

Camogie: Offaly and Cork cemented their places in the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland senior camogie championship by virtue of their play-off victories over Kilkenny and Tipperary, who will play Dublin and Clare next Saturday, with the last two quarter-final spots up for grabs.

Elaine Dermody struck the killer blow for Offaly, her 48th-minute goal breaking the Kilkenny resistance on the way to a 2-13 to 1-11 win in Birr.

A Katie Power goal had edged the Cats to a 1-6 to 1-5 half-time lead but with player of the match Siobhán Flannery driving them on from midfield, Offaly turned it around and held out for a deserved win.

In the Cork-Tipp encounter in Ballincollig, Cork had the superior artillery up front as Katrina Mackey hit 1-4 to help her side advance to the top six on a 1-13 to 0-9 scoreline.

Wexford and Galway await the winners of the two quarter-finals in the semi-finals.

* * * * *

AFL: Pearce Hanley became the second GAA recruit to reach the landmark of 50 AFL appearances this year when helping Brisbane struggle to a 59-48 win over neighbours Gold Coast yesterday.

Martin Clarke had managed the feat in Round 4 and the select group is completed by Jim Stynes, Sean Wight, Tadhg Kennelly and Setanta Ó hAilpín.

Brisbane were far from impressive in Round 17 but Hanley's 27 possessions, eight of which were contested, proved crucial. The Mayo man also gathered eight marks and recorded six one-percenters, while providing his trademark run from deep that is such a key element of the Lions' counter-attacking strategy.

At the other end of the scale, Caolan Mooney was a late call-up to play his second game for Collingwood who were blitzed 138-91 by Hawthorn in what had been billed as a potential Grand Final preview.

Mooney managed just six possessions, three of which were contested. He took two marks and provided a goal assist but Collingwood were never in the game.

* * * * *

Equestrian: Irish riders continued to rake in the prize money at England's five-star Hickstead show yesterday, following their historic Nations' Cup win on Friday, the first there in 11 years.

Shane Breen took first place yesterday afternoon in the Speed Classic on the bay mare Ominerale Courcelle, adding another €8,000 to his British haul, while US-based Richie Moloney, whose double clear round helped Ireland win the team competition, pocketed almost €5,000 for a second place with the gelding Alsvid.

* * * * *

Cycling: Colm Cassidy finally got the monkey off his back yesterday when he won the Danny O'Shea Memorial Time Trial over 10 miles in Kilpeddar, Co Wicklow.

Cassidy had been runner-up on the last three occasions of the promotion.

"It is great to have won this prestigious prize," he said. "It felt like I was a bridegroom! Three years in the runner-up spot."

* * * * *

ATHLETICS: Cillian O'Leary, a member of Raheny Shamrock, returned to his native Cork to win the Donoughmore seven-mile road race, an event which took place for the 30th consecutive year.

This was O'Leary's first race since finishing fourth in the Cork City Marathon in early June and he covered the undulating route in a time of 37:55 to finish 28 seconds in front of John Meade of St Finbarr's with former winner Cathal O'Connell in third.

"I had a small injury after the marathon and took a few weeks off. I'll now hope to do a cross-country season before targeting the Rotterdam marathon in April," said the winner.

Meanwhile, American runner Crystal Cox was stripped of her gold medal from the 4x400m relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics yesterday after admitting to doping, while the IOC put off a decision on whether to disqualify the US team.

* * * * *

Tennis: Irish players Julian Bradley, Paul Keoghan and Stephen Martin are through to the qualifying second round of the FBD Irish Men's Open after seeing off overseas challengers at Dublin's Fitzwilliam Club yesterday.

Bradley disposed of Switzerland's Patrick Thomet on a 6-1 7-5 scoreline, Glasnevin's Keoghan accounted for Cameron Spearman of the USA 6-2 7-5, and Martin from Bray's Co Wicklow club ended the trophy hopes of American Rico Gore 6-4 6-4.

The second round of qualifying will take place today, starting at 11.0, with eight players advancing to the main draw, with the opening matches in the first round down for decision for tomorrow.

* * * * *

Soccer: Tommy Farrell, who died last Friday after a long illness, was a member of the all-conquering Shamrock Rovers team of 1964, which made a clean sweep of the League, Shield and FAI Cup trophies.

Farrell, 77, played in four FAI Cup finals with the Hoops, losing in 1958 to Dundalk and winning in '62, '64 and '65. Originally a right-back, he joined Rovers from Home Farm, but played at centre-back in all four finals.

In the 1962 final win over Shelbourne, his brother Eamonn played beside him at left-half. Eamonn is the father of actor Colin Farrell.

In later years, Tommy was a keen golfer at Hermitage Golf Club. Funeral arrangements to follow.

Sunday Indo Sport

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport