Friday 23 February 2018

Brief: Ireland cricketers tops in UAE warm-up

cricket: Ireland warmed up for the ICC World Twenty20 qualifier yesterday with a 14-run win over the leading UAE club side Wings in Dubai, writes Ger Siggins.

A 43-ball half-century for Paul Stirling led Ireland to 120-7, before the hosts' overseas stars Charles Coventry (36) and Alciendro Hinds (41) threatened a second scalp for Wings after beating Afghanistan on Friday.

But Max Sorensen, and Kevin O'Brien chipped in with three wickets apiece to ensure victory and a useful run-out before the official warm-ups start against Holland (Tuesday) and Papua New Guinea (Wednesday). Ireland face Namibia in the tournament opener on Friday.

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rugby: Winger Charles Piutau and No 8 Kieran Read scored second-half tries as New Zealand won 26-19 against France to maintain their unbeaten record this year and beat the French for the eighth successive time.

After a close first half, which saw Morgan Parra and Dan Carter cancel each other out with three penalties each, the game started to open up more in the second period.

The All Blacks capitalised on some poor defending when Piutau touched down in the left corner and Read scored in almost exactly the same place after being brilliantly set up by Piutau. Fullback Brice Dulin got France's try, but with only 10 minutes left it was too late for a comeback.

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Tommy Seymour grabbed two tries on his home debut as Scotland saw off the challenge of improving Japan 42-17 at Murrayfield following a flurry of second-half action.

The Glasgow wing's try proved the difference in an uninspiring first half and he crossed again in the 55th minute after the second of Kenki Fukuoka's replies.

Greig Laidlaw had gone over the line after the first of the Japan wing's tries to take him past the 200-point mark in his 22nd Test, and Alasdair Dickinson, Duncan Weir and Sean Lamont, who had a first-half try disallowed, all crossed when the visitors were down to 14 men.

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Two tries from fullback Danny Riordan helped Old Belvedere cut the gap on AIL Division 1A leaders Clontarf to just a point with a 30-26 victory over Ballynahinch at Anglesea Road.

The losers opened the scoring with a David McIlwaine try and Ritchie Lobb added the extras. Belvo hit back with Riordan grabbing the first of his two tries which Steve Crosbie converted.

Josh Eden-Whatri's try gave Belvo the lead for the first time while Crosbie and Lobb exchanged penalties before Ballynahinch's Michael Cromie was sent to the sin bin. Crosbie slotted the resulting penalty but the 14 men scored their second try through Stuart Morrow which left Ballynahinch trailing 18-17 at half-time.

But Belvo tries in two minutes late on sealed the bonus-point win.

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two late penalties from Peter Nelson ensured Dungannon held off a strong challenge from Blackrock College to secure a bonus-point 32-21 victory in Division 1B at Stradbrook.

A Mark Scott-Lennon try gave 'Rock the lead but Dungannon replied with tries from Nelson, prop Steven Sinnamon and replacement hooker Adam Macklin – as well as two bonus kicks by Nelson – to lead 19-7 at the mid-way point.

Paul Jackson's converted try soon after the restart ensured that the Tyrone outfit came away with a try bonus, but Rock closed to within five points of the winners with a Richie Marsh try and eight points from Keogh before Nelson put the seal on victory.

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A brace of tries by scrum-half Kevin O'Neill proved crucial as Terenure College held on to top spot in Division 1B with a hard-earned 26-17 triumph over Dublin University at Sydney Parade.

O'Neill's converted try on 17 minutes and two penalties from outside centre Conor Kearns left only one point separating the sides at the interval.

A third Kearns place-kick gave Trinity the lead four minutes after the restart, but the visitors quickly restored their advantage with a second try from James O'Donoghue and further tries from Kyle McCoy and Kevin O'Neill helped to ease Terenure's nerves in the dying moments.

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basketball: Champions Neptune were emphatic winners over Moycullen in the first round of the National Cup last night.

After defeat to Demons in the league nine days ago, this was the perfect response from Mark Scannell's men, with Darren Townes (25 points) leading the scoring in their 104-49 win. Star, meanwhile, having trailed by 20 points at one stage, produced a spirited display at the IWA but Killester were still able to secure an 83-80 win.

Elsewhere, two baskets apiece from Delwan Graham and Stephen King saw Eagles overcome a determined Dublin Inter side on a 74-63 scoreline down in Limerick. The other game played on Friday saw Vincents comfortable 84-48 winners over Templeogue.

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hockey: The big clash in the Women's Premier League at Park Avenue ended in a 2-2 draw between Railway Union and UCD, leaving the students holding onto their two points lead over Railway at the top of the table.

After a scoreless first half Railway looked on their way to victory, taking a 2-0 lead with goals from Kate Dillon and Julia O'Halloran. But UCD fought back to share the points, their Galway signings Elaine Carey and Brenda Flannery plundering a goal apiece.

Sunday Independent

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