Monday 22 January 2018

Laois mourns McNulty death

Laois GAA was plunged into mourning yesterday after the sudden death of Portlaoise club and county star Peter McNulty, who was due to play against Stradbally today in the Senior Football Championship semi-final. The match has been cancelled as a mark of respect.

Mr McNulty, who was in his 20s, was a native of Summerhill, Portlaoise and a stalwart of the club, which has won a record 26 Laois Senior Football Championships.

He was last seen at the club grounds, Pairc Ui Fhaolain, on Thursday evening for a squad training session. He was found dead at home yesterday. A post-mortem will be carried out.

Peter McNulty was regarded as one of the club's finest players. A stylish corner-forward, he scored the final point in Portlaoise's quarter-final win against Crettyard. Two years ago he scored 1-3 in Portlaoise's 2-14 to 1-7 victory over Timahoe in the final of the senior championship in O'Moore Park.

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handball: Legendary Kilkenny handballer Michael 'Ducksy' Walsh (Talbot's Inch) added yet another title to his illustrious list when he claimed the Masters 'A' singles crown at the All-Ireland Softball (60X30) Championships.

Walsh was too strong for Tyrone ace, Niall Kerr (Brackey), in a one-sided final over two games at Kells, Co Meath yesterday, winning emphatically 21-2 21-3.

Meanwhile, Connacht bagged the GAA All-Ireland Softball (60X30) Girls' under 13/17 Inter-Provincial Team-Of-10 Championships title, when they easily defeated Munster at Semple Stadium, Thurles on a total scoreline of 88-39.

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Basketball: The domestic season kicked off last night with Pat Price's Neptune side easily accounting for Star at the Neptune Stadium on a 105-56 scoreline.

Topping the scoring was 6'7'' American power forward Robinson Louisme with 29 points and 14 rebounds while Phil Taylor (signed from Hoops in the summer) was one of seven players to hit double figures.

Meanwhile in Belfield, UL Eagles held UCD scoreless for four minutes in the third quarter during which they pulled ahead with new signings Cameron Mitchell (25) and Carlton Cuffe both shooting well for the Limerick outfit.

James Crowder top scored on 22 points for UCD but having got back to within four points in the final quarter, a poor percentage from the free-throw line was to ultimately cost UCD as Eagles won 84-72.

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HOCKEY: Monkstown faced a stiff test but collected three points in the end in yesterday's men's Leinster League Division 1 encounter, edging home 4-3 winners over home side Railway Union.

Goals from Andy Ewington, Stephen Cole, Lyle Goode and Gareth Watkins gave them a 4-2 cushion, but then came a fine comeback from Railway, for whom Eoin McArthur came close to snatching a late equaliser.

Pembroke, Glenanne and Three Rock Rovers had easier times of it in their respective wins over Weston, Fingal and Corinthians. Rovers and Corinthians were level at 0-0 at the break before the home side opened up to win 4-1.

Their were tight squeezes for this season's two leading lights in Leinster women's hockey. Hermes managed a 1-0 win over Old Alex, thanks to a goal from Aine Connery, while Trinity, making their first appearance this term, lost 2-1 to last year's high flyers Railway Union.

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RUGBY: The Leinster under 18 Clubs team fell to a 15-13 defeat against Connacht in Donnybrook yesterday but still grabbed the inter-provincial title after Munster beat Ulster in Portadown.

Connacht, who had won three of the previous five interprovincial titles, got off to a flying start and were rewarded for their pressure through flanker Paul Hackett after 15 minutes, though Ross Keller's conversion fell wide of the mark.

Leinster regrouped and eight minutes later reduced the deficit through the boot of Thomas Daly. Daly added his second kick on 25 minutes to give the hosts a slender 6-5 half-time lead.

The westerners began the second half with real enthusiasm and winger Conor Fitzgibbon's break in the 41st minute resulted in their second try, converted this time by full-back Keller, who increased his side's tally with a penalty six minutes later.

Led by some outstanding forward play, with Navan's impressive back-row Akhlaque Khan and skipper Eoghan Masterson asking questions of their opposite numbers, eventually Leinster's pressure told.

In the 62nd minute Aidan Sherlock touched down, converted by Carlow centre Daly, to ensure a tense finale, but Connacht held on to seal the win.

But the day wasn't all bad news for Leinster, as Munster's 16-10 victory over Ulster ensured Leinster took the overall title.

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Gaelic Games: Leitrim's 1994 Connacht champions will take on an All-Ireland selection next Saturday to raise funds to purchase rehabilitation and IT equipment for former county player Seamus Dillon. The 32-year-old was paralysed from the neck down in a car accident last August.

The match will be played in Carrick-on-Shannon and the opposition will include former Dublin players Keith Barr and Eamon Heery.

Donations to the Seamus Dillon Trust can be made at Bank of Ireland, Manorhamilton, sort code 90-54-08, account no 48432830.

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OUR ever-popular FBD All-Ireland forecast competition attracted the usual bumper entry, but with so many shocks at provincial and national level, no one came close to an all-correct entry.

Our winner is D McCarroll, Newry, Co Down, and the four runners-up are S Farrell, Portlaoise; M Woods, Co Clare; M Gaynor, Co Westmeath and J Carroll, Cork.

Sunday Independent

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