Friday 23 March 2018

Murphy sails to silver medal

SAILING: Irish Olympian Laser Radial sailor Annalise Murphy has won a silver medal at the prestigious Delta Lloyd Regatta in the Netherlands. The event is an Irish qualifier for the Olympic Test event, which will take place in Rio in August. Having already qualified for the Olympics, Murphy was competing as part of her preparations for the Rio Games in 2016.


CYCLING: Alberto Contador had his overall lead sliced in half on the penultimate day of the Giro d'Italia yesterday, although the Spaniard remained on course for the title after the 20th stage.

Contador was dropped on the gruelling climb up a dirt road on Colle delle Finestre as rivals Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa sped clear.

Aru, who moved back into second place overall with victory on Friday's 19th stage, soloed to a second successive win to close the gap to two minutes and two seconds.

Aru's Astana team-mate Landa remained third overall, 3:14 back, ahead of today's flat finish in Milan.


RUGBY: Saracens created Aviva Premiership history at Twickenham as they beat Bath 28-16 to be crowned English champions for a second time in five years - the first club since Premiership play-offs were introduced 12 years ago to lift silverware after finishing outside the top two following a 22-game regular season.

Bath, despite blazing into the final following a campaign when they scored tries for fun, were blitzed as Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell, hooker Jamie George and wing Chris Wyles claimed touchdowns during a dominant opening 40 minutes that saw the Londoners take a commanding 25-3 half-time lead.

Farrell added 13 points from the boot, giving him an 18-point haul, but he could yet find himself in trouble following a high tackle early in the game that forced Bath full-back and his England colleague Anthony Watson off.

ATHLETICS: Defending champion Zak Irwin of Sligo Grammar ran a European junior qualifying time of 10.60 seconds to win the senior 100m at the Glo Health All-Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore yesterday. Irwin, was narrowly beaten in the 200m by Sean Lawlor of Kylemore college, who ran a time of 21.51 seconds.

Highlight of the girls' sprints was a win for Ciara Neville of Castletroy College in the inter 100m. Her time of 11.64 seconds was a European Juniors qualifier. Neville also won the 200m in a wind-assisted time of 23.99 seconds.

In the junior 800m, Mark Milner of Colaiste Choilm Templemore became the first athlete in this age group to break two minutes. His time of 1:57.58 was well inside the 1978 record of two minutes set by Paul Donovan.


GAELIC GAMES: Ciaran Brenan scored an impressive 3-4 as Sligo stylishly qualified for the Lory Meagher Cup final thanks a 19-point defeat of Fermanagh, 5-16 to 0-12, at a wet Kilcoyne Park in Tubbercurry.

The in-form Brenan notched 2-3 in the first-half to help Sligo lead 2-9 to 0-6 at the interval against an understrength Fermanagh side who were already through.


CRICKET: Alastair Cook became England's leading Test run-scorer as another day served up another headline record at Headingley.

Yet, opening partner Adam Lyth's maiden century was arguably England's most significant innings in the second Test against New Zealand. Lyth (107) shared a first-wicket stand of 177 and made the only Test century here by a Yorkshire opener since Geoff Boycott's 100th first-class hundred in 1977.

The hosts, hoping to close out a 2-0 series success, faltered to 253 for five at stumps on day two in reply to 350 all out after Lyth and Cook (75) set the tone for better with England's first century opening stand.

New Zealand had begun by continuing a hectic pace, and their general approach to Test cricket under Brendon McCullum - smashing 53 runs for their last two wickets in 7.1 overs. But Stuart Broad finished with five, at the cost of 109 in just 17.1 overs

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