Sport in brief: Equestrian
Irish riders continued to blaze a trail on the international show jumping circuit over the weekend, with big wins for Jessica Kuerten in Leipzig and Billy Twomey in Amsterdam.
Kuerten won the eighth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup series, and the €39,600 first prize, with a superb second-last-to-go run with Castle Forbes Libertina. It was an all-girl affair at the head of the line-up as the Irish rider pipped Australia's Edwina Alexander while Penelope Leprevost from France slotted into third. And it was no easy victory, as 16 of the 40 starters qualified to the jump-off.
Cian O'Connor (Rancorrado) and Denis Lynch (Nabab's Son) also lined out at the fixture but didn't qualify for the jump-off. Twomey won the Grand Prix in Amsterdam yesterday with Je T'Aime Flamenco, the stallion with which he won last summer's Grand Prix at St Gallen but which has also only returned to action following a long injury break.
Leeside's big two experienced contrasting fortunes in the Irish League over the weekend. While Cork C of I emerged as genuine contenders, Cork Harlequins were left wallowing pointless at the foot of Pool A.
Quins were toothless up front at Serpentine Avenue where they were given a 3-0 pummelling by Pembroke Wanderers. Dutch goalkeeper Reinout Mensink deserves huge credit for limiting the damage to just three goals.
Wanderers now top Pool A, ahead of fellow Dubliners Corinthian after their 1-1 draw with Monkstown. Meanwhile, Johnny Moore scored twice as C of I beat Anndalde 4-3.
LIMERICK'S Sam Barry pulled off a surprise first round win in the Australian Junior Open yesterday.
World U-18 No 65 Barry dumped out Russia's 50-ranked Victor Baluda 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-3 after one hour and 36 minutes. But there was Irish disappointment when 30-ranked Dubliner John Morrissey tamely crashed out 1-6 1-6 to Germany's 13-ranked Dominik Schulz, the No 8 seed, after just 45 minutes.
MARY CULLEN exorcised her European Championship demons by leading from gun to tape to come home well ahead of Hungary's Aniko Kalovics and Britain's Jessica Sparke in the IAAF International Cross-Country in Greenmount yesterday.
Sparke snatched third place from Fionnuala Britton, who was nine seconds clear of European champion Hayley Yelling, with Deirdre Byrne next home for Ireland in eighth.
Kenya's Mike Kigen won the men's race by a 51-second margin from Britain's Andy Vernon. North Belfast's Stephen Scullion finished seventh, while North Laois runner Michael Mulhare finished 10th. Elsewhere, Water-ford long jumper Kelly Proper got her season off to a brilliant start by breaking the Irish record with a 6.62m effort when winning at the Vienna Indoor Gala.