Friday 23 March 2018

Irish duo close in on medals


MAYO'S Ciara Ginty and Cork's Christina Desmond are just one win each away from at least bronze and an Olympic Youth place at the AIBA World Youth Championships, WRITES Bernard O'Neill.

Both girls won their last-16 bouts in Sofia, Bulgaria to progress to Monday's quarter-finals. Ginty beat Russia's Anastasia Nesmiyanov and Desmond earned a majority decision over Albulena Gubetini of Kosovo in their middleweight clash.

Desmond will now face Poland's Elizbieta Wojcik, while Ginty meets Italy's Monica Floridia.

Luke Thomas bowed out after losing to Ramil Gadzhyiev of Ukraine in the men's middleweight class. Brendan Irvine, Johnny Joyce and Cormac Long are in action in Sofia today.

Rafael Nadal's 30-match winning streak ended when the world No 1 was upset 7-6 6-4 by fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals.

Sixth seed Ferrer, who had beaten Nadal on clay only once 10 years ago, relied on his devastating forehand to prevail in over two hours. Ferrer will next face world No 3 and Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who dismissed Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic 7-6 6-2.

Cathal Moynihan proved he is as comfortable on the bike as he's in the boat by taking the first stage of the Ras Mumhan which started and finished in Killorglin.

The Tralee Manor West rider, who rowed for Ireland at the Beijing Olympics as part of the lightweight four crew, proved the strongest after 105km, making his move with 2km to go and holding out for victory.

Today's stage takes in the Healy Pass, Glengarriff, Ballingeary, Ballyvourney, Kilgarvan, and back to the finish in Kenmare after 145 tough kilometres.

Anna O'Flanagan's late equaliser saw Ireland end their three-game series with India on a high, drawing 2-2 in Belfield last night.

The UCD player had opened the scoring in the eighth minute before Chanchan Thokchom hit back with two goals.

Elsewhere, Railway Union's first taste of the top tier of European hockey was a tough one, losing 7-0 to Dutch hosts Den Bosch in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup.

They next play Germany's Berliner in the fifth-to-eighth play-offs today (4.0).

Irish Independent

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