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Wednesday 3 September 2014

McKillop seals deal for Neptune

BASKETBALL

Published 06/01/2014 | 02:30

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Neptune warmed up for next weekend's Cup semi-final with a thrilling win over Belfast Star in Cork.

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Sixteen points were scored in the last two-and-a-half minutes but it was Neptune who emerged as two-point winners.

Star scored five points in quick succession late on before Michael McKillop drained a three-pointer on the buzzer to seal a narrow win for Neptune.

UCC Demons and Killester maintained their first and second place positions with convincing wins over UCD Marian and Dublin Inter respectively.

Defending champions UL Eagles got back to winning ways as they easily disposed of bottom side SSE Renewables Moycullen in Galway, while DCU Saints continued their good run by beating Templeogue.

Meanwhile, in the Women's Premier League, Team Montenotte Hotel saw off defending champions UL Huskies in a gripping game in Limerick.

Montenotte overcame a six-point half-time deficit thanks to a blistering fourth quarter. Niamh and Grainne Dwyer along with Emilee Harmon were all in superb scoring form as Montenotte claimed a win that kept them top of the table.

Fellow title contenders Killester and DCU Mercy had an easier time of it on Saturday night as they comfortably defeated Liffey Celtics and Ulster Rockets respectively. Rockets suffered their second defeat of the weekend as 25 points from Rachel Roberts set WIT Wildcats on their way to a comfortable win.

Lleyton Hewitt pulled off an upset as he defeated Roger Federer 6-1 4-6 6-3 to win the Brisbane International.

The Australian veteran made Federer pay for what was an unusually sloppy performance, with the Swiss committing 22 unforced errors in the first set alone, as Hewitt won the 29th ATP title of his career.

Hewitt said: "Playing the best players in the world in finals of tournaments, always it's exciting. That's why you still play the game.

"For me, it was motivation enough just to try to get the win out there and obviously win another title. It's been a couple of years. So I was just ready for the challenge today.

"I played great at the start, really well. It took Roger a little bit of time to get into the match. Then I just had to fight hard at the start of the third set."

Unbeaten Leinster league leaders UCD proved they had lost none of their appetite over the Christmas break by blitzing North Kildare 9-0.

The students showed no mercy at Belfield on their bottom-of-the-table opponents, with international striker Anna O'Flanagan helping herself to a hat-trick. The result completed an easy double for the college side, who racked up a total of 14 goals over two lopsided fixtures.

North Kildare are not the only ones among the league's lesser lights to have been totally eclipsed by the Jonathan Harte-coached side. They have scored four goals or more in all but three of their 11 matches in the campaign, hitting the target 58 times while conceding just six.

FORMER Tipperary hurling star John Leahy will be confirmed as the Premier County's new ladies intermediate football team manager this evening. The Mullinahone native, who won All-Ireland SHC medals in 1989 and 1991, succeeds Sean O'Donovan in the position.

O'Donovan guided Tipperary to last September's TG4 All-Ireland ladies intermediate final but after losing to Cavan, the Fethard man stepped down from the position.

Veteran Gordon Erskine scored his first victory in more than a year when he finished a single mark ahead of Alan Kilkenny in the MEC Freeman Cup Sporting Trial at Greenan, Co Wicklow.

In a close finish, John O'Reilly was just one further mark behind in third place.

Four-times Northern Ireland Autotest champion Steven Ferguson was the clear winner in Omagh MC's new year event, opening a 22-second gap after Guy Foster from Navan couldn't keep up his hot early pace.

Irish Independent

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