Wednesday 22 May 2019

Athlete Messitt passes away

athletics: The death of the great Irish distance runner and Olympian, Bertie Messitt was announced yesterday, writes Tom O'Riordan.

Messitt (83) was a long- time member of Donore Harriers and won numerous national individual and team titles. He competed in the marathon in the 1960 Olympics in Rome and also set several Irish records on the track from 3,000m to the 10,000m.

He competed in seven International cross-country championships -- later to become the World Championships -- winning three successive Irish titles in '59, '60 and '61. In 1958, he set nine Irish records from the three miles (13:44) to the one-hour run on the track of 12 miles 142 yards, and competed for Ireland in the European Championships in Stockholm, achievements which won him the Texaco Award.

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Waterford long jumper, Kelly Proper, finished eighth at the Aviva Indoor Grand Prix at the National Arena in Birmingham yesterday.

Proper showed a return to her best form when winning the national indoor title last Sunday with a leap of 6.34 metres and was confident she would build on that and perhaps even challenge to qualify for the world indoors.

The Irish record holder opened with 5.98 metres but was unable to improve on that mark while Sarah Procter of Britain booked her passage to Istanbul for the world indoors with a winning leap of 6.80.

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Two more Irish athletes, 400 metres runner Brian Gregan and hurdler Ben Reynolds, last night achieved the qualifying standards for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul next month.

They achieved their marks at the indoor meeting in Gent with Gregan getting inside the standard of 46.90 when clocking 46.66 seconds as Reynolds ran a lifetime best also of 7.74 seconds for the 60m hurdles.

Finally, Derval O'Rourke had earlier withdrawn from the women's hurdles as a precaution against a niggling foot injury.

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CRICKET: Ireland lost the first of two ICC World Cricket League matches against Kenya by seven wickets after a match-winning innings by Tanmay Mishra in Mombasa.

Ireland won the toss but made just 200 all out having opted to bat first, Paul Stirling top-scoring with 46. Kenya, led by Mishra's 70 not out, knocked off their target for the loss of only three wickets and with 44 balls remaining.

Captain William Porterfield was the first man down for Ireland, departing for five, while Stirling set off on an innings that contained six fours and a six. After that, a series of batsmen got in without making a major contribution, with Alex Cusack and Gary Wilson both out for 27 and Kevin O'Brien chipping in with 39.

Duncan Allan fell to John Mooney for 15 as Kenya started their reply and when George Dockrell snared David Obuya for 20, the score was 43 for two. Trent Johnston ran out Collins Obuya for 29, as a fourth-wicket stand of 100 sealed the win.

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HOCKEY: Glenanne opened up the race for the Leinster Division 1 men's League title yesterday by scoring a decisive 3-1 win over leaders Pembroke Wanderers at Tallaght.

The pair are now joint second, two points behind new leaders Monkstown. Maurice Elliott scored for Pembroke in the first half, but Glenanne's firepower paid off as Graham Shaw bagged a brace, with Jonathan Kane also on target.

Monkstown grabbed their chance to fill top spot, but it didn't come easy against visitors UCD who they edged out 3-2 with Kyle Goode scoring twice.

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TENNIS: Ireland's Sinéad Lohan yesterday captured the girls' singles title in the ITF U-18 Circuit Grade 4 event in Almere, Netherlands.

Playing her second world-ranking tournament of the year, the Tramore 17-year-old, seeded No 1, saw off the challenge of unseeded France's Fiona Ferro on a 6-2 1-6 6-4 scoreline.

And James McGee claimed a 6-1 6-2 win over Morocco wild card Abdelkader Benabdellah in the first round of qualifying in the ATP Challenger Tour event in Meknes, Morocco.

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GAELIC GAMES: Kerry footballer David Moran has suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury for the second time in just 10 months. The injury occurred while the 23-year-old was training with his club Kerins O'Rahilly's in Tralee.

Moran underwent a scan yesterday morning which confirmed that he had severed the same cruciate ligament that he damaged last April against Monaghan in the National League.

The midfielder is likely to miss the rest of the season.

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AUSSIE RULES: Down youngster Caolan Mooney made his debut for AFL side Collingwood yesterday, just three months after joining the Melbourne-based outfit.

Playing in the pre-season NAB Cup, Mooney impressed observers with his hard work and was credited with kick-starting his side's comeback against new franchise Greater Western Sydney (GWS) with a crunching tackle in the middle of the field.

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GOLF: South African Jbe Kruger carded a six-under-par 66 at the Avantha Masters yesterday to put himself in position for a maiden European Tour title in New Delhi.

Ireland's Paul McGinley is two shots off the pace in joint fifth on nine-under par as he bids to end a seven-year drought on tour. The Dubliner shot a four-under-par 68 yesterday heading into today's final round.

Scotland's Peter Whiteford, was a shot off the pace after a level-par 72, and was joined by Germany's Marcel Siem (68) and Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (69). There are 14 players within three shots of Kruger.

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basketball: UL Eagles maintained their push for second spot in the Southern conference with a resounding 85-62 win over Vincents at the UL Arena last night.

Beaten by Demons on Friday night in a re-run of their cup final clash a fortnight ago, Limerick ran up a big 28-12 lead in the first quarter with two early steals from Robert Taylor cementing their lead shortly after.

Killester needed over-time to defeat Neptune 97-96 with Peter Madsen converting the winning free, while Moycullen had three players fouled in the final quarter as Scott Summersgill inspired Star to a 76-67 win in Belfast.

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