Thursday 27 October 2016

Tribeswomen seal final slot

Published 16/08/2015 | 02:30

CAMOGIE: Niamh McGrath kept Galway's double dream alive with an injury-time point to secure a place in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior final after a 1-14 to 2-10 win over Wexford.

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It was tough on a resolute Wexford, who had displayed their character with a strong finish that looked certain to have rescued them.

But when a McGrath free was deflected out for a '45 in the seventh minute of additional time, the Sarsfields sharpshooter made no mistake to snatch the coveted final berth.

Wexford had the advantage of the wind at Nowlan Park but were always playing catch-up in the opening period.

With the elements behind them in the second half, Galway looked to put the game to bed quickly and two points from Niamh Kilkenny gave them a handy advantage.

The Yellowbellies eventually battled back to level terms but the joy of their supporters was short-lived as McGrath held her nerve to give the Tribeswomen an opportunity to garner their second All-Ireland in three seasons.

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Ladies' FOOTBALL: Eamonn Ryan's Cork remain on course for a tenth TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football crown in 11 seasons after a 1-12 to 1-10 win over Galway.

The Rebelettes held off a spirited second-half fightback from Galway at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick to secure a place in the semi-finals against Kerry on August 29, a clash that will be a repeat of last month's Munster final.

Cork were seven points up at half-time against Galway in Saturday's quarter-final, 1-6 to 0-2, but the Westerners fought back to within a point twice in the second half.

But the Tribeswomen couldn't get close enough to the champions, suffering another big-game defeat against their opponents after Cork won the Tesco National League Division 1 final replay between the counties in May.

Cork could have had a couple of second-half goals too but Áine O'Sullivan rolled an effort just wide before the Beara forward, who scored 3-5 against Meath on her championship debut, saw another effort brilliantly saved by Tina Hughes.

Despite the best efforts of Geraldine Conneally and Róisín Leonard, Galway couldn't reel in the Leesiders, who kept their heads against the breeze in the second half to keep their Brendan Martin Cup hopes alive.

And after Munster champions Kerry secured their passage to the semi-finals earlier in the evening, the scene is now set for Cork to potentially gain revenge for their provincial final defeat against the Kingdom.

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ALAN O'Neill's Kerry ran riot against Mayo in the second half of yesterday's TG4 All-Ireland Ladies' senior football quarter-final to book their place in the last four after a 2-13 to 1-8 win.

Goals from Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh and Megan O'Connell opened the floodgates as the Kingdom scored a comfortable eight-point victory at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Just five points were registered in the first half but the Kingdom outscored their opponents by 2-10 to 1-6 after half-time, with Mayo managing a consolation 1-2 in the closing minutes.

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GAELIC GAMES: Kerry qualified for the All-Ireland Minor B Hurling final as they came from behind to score an impressive 2-22 to 3-9 win over a resolute Down side in the semi-final played at Newbridge.

Down were quicker out of traps than Kerry as they raced 1-1 to 0-1 clear by the end of the opening quarter, thanks to a 14th-minute goal from Daithi Sands.

However, once a John Buckley '65 deceived the Down 'keeper and ended up in the net in the 19th minute, and a minute later John Buckley gave Kerry the lead, Down could never get in front. Kerry, with their half-back line of Eoin Ross, Jason Diggins and Robert Collins outstanding, never looked in any danger of losing control.

Rhys Ward got a last-minute consolation goal for Down, but Kerry, with Fionan MacKessy dropping back into defence and playing a blinder, deservedly reached another All-Ireland final at this grade.

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CRICKET: Rangana Herath ripped through India with seven wickets as Sri Lanka completed a stunning comeback to win the first Test at Galle.

The hosts had trailed by 192 runs after the first innings and were staring at a potential innings defeat at five for three in their second. But after Dinesh Chandimal's unbeaten 162 gave them something to bowl at, Herath took seven for 48 and fellow spinner Tharindu Kaushal three for 47 as India were bowled out for 112 to lose by 63 runs.

India captain Virat Kohli slammed his team's batsmen for lack of intent during their failed chase of just 176. "It was a case of us not playing fearless cricket and not going out there and being positive. We have been let down by our batting today. There are no excuses", Kohli said.

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TENNIS: Ireland's Jenny Claffey won the doubles final in the ITF Women's Circuit event in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt., late last night. Claffey and Australiia's Sara Tomic, who were seeded No 4 beat Fatima Al Nabahni and Annette Munozova from Sweden in straight sets 6-4, 6-0.

Meanwhile, Sam Barry came up short in his bid to capture his first singles of the year on the ITF Men's Futures circuit. Paired against Chile's Gonzalo Loma, the 23-year-old Limerick man suffered an emphatic 6-2 6-3 defeat in the final of the outdoor claycourt event in Hyvinkaa, Finland.

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GOLF: Irish-American Hannah O'Sullivan last night won a dramatic semi-final to the US Women's Amateur Championship to qualify for today's 36-hole final against Sierra Brook.

The 17-year-old O'Sullivan, from Chandler, Arizona, but whose grandparents are from Kilmallock and Ballyrobin in Tipperary, rallied to beat Mathilda Cappeliez of France, Three holes down after eight, O'Sullivan won nine, ten, 12 and 14 to take a one-up lead.

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HANDBALL: Cavan's Paul Brady opens his title defence at the World Handball Championships in Calgary, Canada tomorrow. Brady is vying for a fifth consecutive Men's Open world title and faces an opening game against the preliminary round winner of Newfoundland's Chris Simmons and Minnesota's Ryan Pesch. The 35-year-old former Cavan footballer has dominated handball since the turn of the century, and many feel this could be Brady's last hurrah on the global stage.

In the Ladies' Open grade, Antrim's Aisling Reilly is also bidding to defend the title she claimed three years ago in Dublin. Reilly opens her World Championship campaign on Tuesday, with an opening-round game against the preliminary round winner of New York's Shirley Chen and Texan Terry Bowman.

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