Sunday 21 January 2018

Butler storms to Cavan triumph


Alexander Butler claimed the GAIN/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League title in style in Cavan.

It came down to a thrilling showdown between Butler and his nearest rival, Capt Michael Kelly, who held the lead going into the final leg and jumped double-clear with the great mare Mo Chroi.

Butler and Will Wimble then had to win the final leg to top the league table, and succeeded with a blistering run in 29.40 seconds that clinched it.

Harold MacGahern's Will Wimble also claimed the Leading Horse title.

Another Meath man, Gerard Clarke, set a new record at Cavan when clearing 2.20m to win the Kingsland Puissance with Zanzibar.

Meanwhile, Denis Lynch and All Star finished 11th at the third leg of the Longines FEI World Cup series in Verona, where Germany's Christian Ahlmann and Aragon Z won through in a thrilling 12-horse jump-off.

A wonder goal from Railway Union's Julia O'Halloran was not enough to earn her side full points against UCD.

Kate Dillon got the opener for Railway shortly after the break, and O'Halloran hit a rocket of a reverse-stick shot to the top left corner.

However, unbeaten league leaders UCD struck back impressively through Elaine Carey and Breda Flannery.

In the men's league, the top three – Three Rock Rovers, Monkstown and Pembroke Wanderers – all enjoyed wins, while UCD eased into fourth spot as they beat Railway Union 2-1.

Belfast Star's Paul Dick and UL Eagles' Delwan Graham both shone in the weekend's action in the Premier League.

Despite recording 24 points, Dick could not stop undefeated Killester, who beat his side 83-80.

Graham netted 26 points in UL Eagles' 63-74 win over Dublin Inter.

Meanwhile, in Cork, Bord Gais Neptune bounced back from their defeat to their local rivals C&S UCC Demons last week when they won 104-59 against Moycullen.

Templeogue came up short as a more experienced DCU Saints side prevailed 84-48.

Team Montenotte Hotel Cork saw off WIT Wildcats in the only encounter in the women's game this weekend, winning 72-69.

Waterford rally driver Craig Breen made a strong recovery from early mechanical problems to finish third in the final round of the European Championship, Rally du Valais in Switzerland.

Longford pair Colin Duffy and Sam Johnston took the honours in the Monaghan Drumlin Navigation Trial, finishing nine marks ahead of Richard Cassidy and Paul Phelan after a demanding 120-mile route.

Mike Quinn and Tony Healy headed a one-two finish for Ford Escorts in the Banna Beach Resort Kerry Winter Rally, with just eight seconds covering the top three crews at the end.

Irish Independent

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