Thursday 18 January 2018

Buckley seals title for Cork

GAA: Eamonn Ryan's Cork retained their Tesco Ladies National Football League Division 1 crown in Portlaoise last night, as dual star Rena Buckley's late point sealed victory in a thrilling replay.

Buckley struck from distance with two minutes remaining on the clock to secure a third successive league title for the Rebelettes, who consistently find a way to dig out a result.

Remarkably, this is Cork's ninth League success since and including 2005, with Galway left to ponder on another big day defeat as they were denied a first Division 1 win.

The Tribeswomen will feel they missed their chance at Parnell Park a week previously but they were ahead in the 52nd minute when Annette Clarke, who missed a penalty in the first game, put over a super point.

But Cork looked the better team throughout and from the start, it was clear that the Leesiders were anxious to shut down the Galway attack.


EQUESTRIAN: Ireland's 19-year-old Bertram Allen notched up his third victory at the five-star show in La Baule with a win in the big Derby class.

The Wexford teenager took on a world-class field on the renowned French derby course, a difficult mixture of cross-country obstacles such as ditches and banks, together with traditional showjumping fences.

Allen, riding the bay mare Wild Thing L, took the lead from just over half-way down the start list with four faults on his card and a finishing time of 141.23 seconds.


GOLF: Sergio Garcia insisted he stood a chance of winning the Open de Espana after a third-round 67 saw him close to within five shots of the lead.

Pre-tournament favourite Garcia faced an uphill struggle to make the cut after a slow start, but recovered sufficiently on the back nine to card a level-par 72 and qualify with a shot to spare at El Prat.

And the Spaniard's comeback continued as he recorded a five-under-par third round to have leaders Francesco Molinari and David Howell looking over their shoulders.

Garcia birdied three of the first six holes before parring the next three to complete the first nine in 33 shots.

The Spaniard began the back nine in confident fashion by picking up another shot at the 10th, before successive bogeys at the 12th and 13th held up his progress.

But Garcia repaired the damage by making birdies at the 14th and 15th before picking up another shot at the 18th to sign for a 67 that put him two under for the tournament.


CYCLING: Alberto Contador survived repeated attacks to retain the Giro d'Italia lead after stage eight's summit finish at Campitello Matese yesterday.

Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) rode through the pain of a shoulder dislocated on Thursday to retain the race lead on Friday's longest stage and again had to dig deep to keep hold of the pink jersey on yesterday's 186-kilometre leg from Fiuggi.

Benat Intxausti (Movistar) won ahead of Mikel Landa Meana (Astana) and Sebastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling).

Fabio Aru (Astana) led the group of overall contenders in fourth, 35 seconds behind, with Contador on his wheel in fifth.

Contador even managed to extend his lead by two seconds at a mid-stage sprint, meaning Aru is now four seconds behind.

Team Sky's Richie Porte was sixth on the day to sit 22 seconds behind Contador overall.


TRIATHLON: Alistair Brownlee was beaten into second place in a dramatic sprint finish at the fifth World Triathlon Series event of the season in Yokohama yesterday. Olympic champion Brownlee was in contention right until the end but was eventually edged out by two seconds by world champion Javier Gomez.

Bryan Keane from Cork returned from his Chengdu World Cup fifth-place finish with another fantastic result. Keane had a brilliant swim and bike combo and posted a blistering 31:08 10k run to finish 13th, elevating him to 33th in the World Triathlon Series.

In the women's race, America's Gwen Jorgensen continued her remarkable run of form by claiming her ninth consecutive victory, with Aileen Reed finishing sixth for Ireland.

Reid had a front pack swim and bike and posted a 34:44 10k run to finish well inside the top 10. The result sees Reid move up to seventh in the World Triathlon Series rankings


ATHLETICS: One of the oldest records on the books was broken at the GloHealth Munster Schools T&F Championships at Cork IT when Adam King of Colaiste na Sceilge, Caherciveen, threw the hammer a distance of 64.50m.

The previous record of 64.28m had stood to former rugby international Gary Halpin since 1984, three years before the Rockwell College student would go on to represent Ireland at the 1987 World Championships.

Another impressive record-breaking performance came from Bandon Grammar School pupil Scott Gibson, who won the senior 400m in 47.60, smashing the previous best of 48.3 which has stood to Tomas Coman (Thurles CBS) since 1998.

The time was also inside the 'B' qualifying standard of 48.2 for this year's European Junior Championships. Earlier in the afternoon, 17-year-old Gibson had also taken the 100m title in a personal best of 11.03.


RUGBY: Leicester and Saracens booked their play-off spots with wins on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season as Exeter agonisingly missed out on a top-four finish.

Leicester beat table-toppers Northampton 22-14 to clinch third place and Saracens pipped Exeter to fourth thanks to their 68-17 victory at basement dwellers London Welsh.

Northampton will now host Sarries in next week's semi-finals, while Leicester will head to Bath.

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