Thursday 23 November 2017

Race for Treaty post heats up

GAELIC GAMES: Tom McGlinchey and former Mayo footballer Maurice Horan are the frontrunners to replace Mickey Ned O'Sullivan as Limerick football manager, writes Damian Lawlor.

Five candidates have already been interviewed and a decision on the new appointment is expected in the coming days. If McGlinchey gets the nod, the Sunday Independent understands that former Irish and Lions rugby international Keith Wood will be included in his back-room team.

Ex-Tipperary manager McGlinchey and Wood worked together with the Smith O'Brien's senior hurling team in Kilalloe last year when Wood was involved in the conditioning and coaching of the side. It's believed that the pair will again join forces if McGlinchey gets the nod. Meanwhile, Pat Heffernan is one of the frontrunners to be named Limerick hurling boss by the end of the week.

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All-Ireland club champions St Gall's completed a remarkable double when annexing the Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland football 7s crown for the fourth time with a 3-9 to 2-5 win over Bellaghy at Glenalbyn.

The Antrim men -- who had earlier beaten two Donegal sides St Michael's and St Eunan's in the knockout stages after emerging from their group -- were pushed hard by their Derry opponents early on. Eoghan Brown was in outstanding form for Bellaghy and his goal pushed them into a first half lead but a crucial Anto Healy major gave the winners a 1-4 to 1-3 interval advantage.

Ger Doherty slotted a penalty to give Bellaghy, who had to overcome Bryansford, Clonoe and Caherlistrane in the knockout rounds, a two-point advantage but Conor McGourty and Colin Brady both netted to secure the title for St Gall's.

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ATHLETICS: First place in the Lifestyle Sports-Adidas Half Marathon went to Alan O'Shea in the Phoenix Park yesterday. The Cork man led the field of 8,000 runners right through the race, winning in a time of 1:07:06.

He was followed closely by Pablo Vega, the Brazilian, who finished just behind O'Shea in 1:08:49. Third place went to Spar "Spartan" Challenge team runner Michael Clohisey.

The first woman home was Polish native Patrycja Wlodarczyk, the Raheny Shamrocks runner finished in 1:18:03, 48 seconds ahead of her club-mate Lorraine Manning. Third place went to Pauline Curley of Tullamore Harriers in a time of 1:19:18.

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GOLF: US Open winner Graham McDowell yesterday carded a second successive 68 to lie two off the lead on 11 under after the third round of the Austrian Open.

England's David Lynn -- who came back in 30 to shoot an impressive 64 -- shares the lead with compatriot Danny Willett, who shot a 65, on 13-under par. However, 15-year-old Matthias Schwab stole the show firing a second successive 69 to move within five shots of the joint leaders on eight under. The Austrian schoolboy, playing on a special invitation, belied his age by mixing five birdies with two bogeys at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg.

Of the rest of the Irish, Damien McGrane is still in contention on six under while Simon Thorton (two under) and Gary Murphy (one over) are well off the pace.

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Damian Mooney led a group of seven Irishmen through stage one of the weather-delayed European Tour qualifying school.

The Antrim golfer closed his campaign at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire with a level-par 72 for a two-over 290 and finished second, three behind former Walker Cup player Wallace Booth. Michael Collins eased through in a share of fourth on 296 after a 72, while Gareth Shaw shot 69 to qualify on a 300. Barrie Trainor and David Mortimer grabbed stage-two spots with 303s.

Meanwhile in Germany, Stephen Grant (71) and Mervyn Owens (73) both squeezed through with nothing to spare on the level-par 288 limit.

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CRICKET: Pakistan's cricket team faced new allegations of spot-fixing yesterday after the ICC launched an investigation into Friday's one-day international against England, just three weeks after one of the sport's biggest betting scandals emerged on the tour.

The latest probe is based on information received by the International Cricket Council before Friday's match from a British tabloid newspaper, which claimed that a scoring pattern in Pakistan's innings was prearranged.

"A source informed The Sun newspaper that a certain scoring pattern would emerge during certain stages of the match and, that information appeared to be correct," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.

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CYCLING: Team Ireland's Olivia Dillon retained the race leader's pink jersey after yesterday's second stage of the Ras na mBan based in Sneem, Kerry.

The US-based Mayo woman justified her pre-race favourite tag by sprinting in for victory at the head of a five-rider group to finish Friday's arduous first stage over Moll's Gap and then doubled her account by winning a four-rider sprint for victory in stage two yesterday.

The Irish national road and time-trial champion has so far fended off the challenge of the strong UK Shred Racing Rapha Condor team, who lie second and third overall with Alli Holland and Natalie Creswick six and 12 seconds in arrears respectively.

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Italian Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall lead in the Vuelta a Espana yesterday after Spaniard Ezequiel Mosquera won the final mountain stage.

Nibali finished second behind Mosquera on the summit finish at the Bola del Mundo with another Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez in third place. Ireland's Nicolas Roche finished three places back in sixth and lies in seventh overall. The Irishman, who already registered two top-five individual finishes in Spain over the last 20 stages -- his best ever Grand Tour performances -- was as high as sixth overall prior to yesterday's result.

Sunday Independent

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