Friday 23 February 2018

Athletics: Indoor title for Heffernan

athletics: Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) secured his 14th National Indoor title at the Woodie's DIY Senior Indoor Championships, setting a relentless pace to win in 19:06.58. Three-time Olympian Jamie Costin (West Waterford AC) was second in 19:35.06.

Laura Reynolds (Athenry AC) won the women's 3k walk in 21:46.23, retaining her national title from World Youth champion Kate Veale (West Waterford AC), who finished in a time of 21:52.79.

Irish record holder Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) showed a return to form when winning the women's long jump in a season's best of 6.34m while Clare Wilkinson (Ballymena and Antrim) won the women's pole vault.

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SNOOKER: Over 40 million TV viewers will tune in when Ireland hosts the world's top snooker stars in Galway over St Patrick's weekend.

The Players Tour Championship finals -- snooker's version of the Champions League -- will be held in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway from March 14-18.

Stars such as world No 1 Mark Selby, world champion John Higgins, UK champion Judd Trump, Masters champion Neil Robertson, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Ireland's Fergal O'Brien are among those appearing. After 12 tournaments around Europe, the top 24 in the PTC Order of Merit have qualified for Galway.

Ireland fought off stiff competition from cities in Thailand, the UK and Malta to host the finals.

"It's a tremendous line-up of leading players, with a great mixture of legends of the sport and rising stars," said world Snooker chairman Barry Hearn. "There will be a top prize of £70,000 from a total prize fund of £250,000 plus a lot of ranking points at stake, so this will be an event the top players really want to win."

All matches are the best of seven frames.

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rugby: Mike Ruddock's Ireland Under-20 side secured their second victory of the Championship by beating France 13-12 in Grenoble.

A Paddy Jackson penalty in the first half kept the Irish 3-6 at the break. Shortly after, replacement winger Foster Horan scored the decisive try under the posts after he evaded a number of tackles. Jackson converted and a further penalty from JJ Hanrahan secured a memorable win.

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A Claire Molloy try in the final minute, converted by Niamh Briggs, was not enough for Ireland as they went down 7-8 to France in the Women's Six Nations in Pau. In a very physical game the Irish fell behind to a 20th minute try from winger Caroline Ladagnous and trailed 0-8 at the break.

Though Ireland dominated possession towards the end and with French tighthead prop Cristelle Chobet yellow carded with 12 minutes left.the Irish try came a little too late for the Irish

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golf: Rory McIlroy and Thomas Bjorn opened the door to the chasing pack at the Dubai Desert Classic yesterday -- and Lee Westwood was only too happy to walk in. Three behind at the halfway point, Westwood shot a five-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead in today's final round.

Overnight leaders McIlroy and Bjorn shot 72 and 73 respectively, the US Open champion going into the water on the short seventh and Bjorn doing the same at the last.

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tennis: Ireland face an uphill battle to secure overall success after losing the doubles rubber of the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group II first round clash against Hungary in Szeged yesterday.

James McGee and Sam Barry, making his first Davis Cup appearance, succumbed to a 7-6 (8/6) 6-7 (2/7) 6-2 7-6 (8/6) defeat by the host country's pairing of Attila Balazs and Denes Lukacs after three hours and 45 minutes.

Following on the share of the two singles rubbers on Friday, the Magyars now hold a 2-1 lead.

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basketball: UL Eagles secured their quarter-final spot in the Men's Superleague last night with Jason Killeen turning in a huge display for Mark Keenan's men as they defeated Moycullen 80-59.

Moycullen trailed by eight at the end of the first quarter and with Killeen (34 pts) turning in impressive game stats, which included 15 offensive and defensive rebounds, Limerick kept their opponents at bay.

They now face Demons and DCU Saints in a tough double header while in the other game last night, Killester suffered an agonising 112-109 double overtime defeat to Star in Belfast despite a 45-point game tally from Jermaine Tally.

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gaelic games: Goals in either half from Conal Ó Néill and Oisín Ó Ruairc helped Coláiste Eoin, Dublin cruise to a 2-11 to 0-5 win over Mullingar's Coláiste Mhuire in the Leinster Colleges SF 'A' quarter-final at Silver Park yesterday.

Ó Néill's sublime strike at the end of the first quarter ensured a 1-7 to 0-2 interval lead for the gaelscoil with Ó Ruairc's precise finish from Colm Ó Cróinín's pass settling the contest 12 minutes from time.

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A storming second half from Moate Community School saw them book a place in the Leinster Colleges SF 'A' semi-final with a 0-16 to 1-7 victory over St Peter's Wexford at Carlow IT yesterday.

And penalties from Cian Doyle in either half proved decisive as Dundalk Colleges came from six points down to beat Knockbeg College 3-6 to 1-10 in their quarter-final in Navan.

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SIX points from Barry Keane saw Galway march to a 0-12 to 0-8 victory over Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Vocational Schools hurling final in blustery Thomastown yesterday.

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