Wednesday 13 December 2017

Co Sligo take Senior Cup win

golf: A fourth AIG Senior Cup success for Co Sligo yesterday was especially sweet as a triumph for local talent, writes Dermot Gilleece. Indeed, the winning point in a 3-2 final victory over Rosapenna at Royal Tara was secured by anchorman Steffan O'Hara, who lives only 200 yards from the third tee on his home course.

The tightness of the match reflected considerable credit on the runners-up who had three players from the victorious Irish Mixed Foursomes side of last year.

Competitive strength was eventually decisive, however, with Irish international Gary McDermott gaining a crucial win at number two in the order.

As it happens, this was McDermott's swansong in the event. "I've decided I can no longer afford to take unpaid leave from work," said the 32-year-old bank official with AIB. It proved to be a sacrifice well worth making on this occasion, given his play of the 18th.

With the tie finely balanced, he hit a 250-yard rescue-club short, right of the home green and proceeded to pitch to two-feet for what proved to be a winning birdie.

And it was the only time he had managed to edge ahead of his opponent, Martin McDermott, throughout the match.

Serious Kerry cheers greeted the wedge approach of John McCarthy to the long 18th in the pivotal match of the Jimmy Bruen Shield. With his father Jim, close at hand as his caddie, the 17-year-old Leaving Certificate student left the ball 10 feet from the pin to set up the winning point of a 3.5to 1.5 victory over Trandragee.

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gaelic games: Corofin (Galway) gained revenge for their penalty shootout defeat by St Gall's (Antrim) in last year's final when coming out on top 2-6 to 1-8 in another humdinger to win the 41st Kilmacud Crokes FBD All-Ireland football sevens title.

Ironically, given how last year's decider concluded, penalties were to play a big part in this game as well. Corofin led 1-3 to 0-4 at half time, after Padraic Kelly goaled for Steven Rochford's side.

St Gall's edge ahead at the three-quarter mark when CJ McGourty converted from the penalty spot but Corofin were not to be denied and when Pat Fox adjudged that Gary Sice had been fouled in the square, Dave Morris sent an unstoppable shot beyond McGourty.

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rugby: Leinster will be without captain Shane Jennings at least for the opening round of the Heineken Cup – away to the Ospreys next month – and possibly longer, depending on a specialist's assessment of a broken bone in his hand sustained in the loss to Glasgow in Scotstoun on Friday night, writes Brendan Fanning.

New recruit Lote Tuqiri is also in doubt in the short term after straining a hamstring less than half way through his debut.

Jennings had the bone set yesterday morning and it remains to be seen if he needs surgery. If so, he could be out for up to six weeks; if not, he could be back in time for the second round in Europe, at home to Castres.

Munster have reported no casualties after their first defeat of the campaign, away to Treviso on Friday night.

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hockey: Defending Leinster League champions Pembroke Wanderers were on the wrong end of a 5-4 scoreline with visitors Three Rock Rovers yesterday.

It was a see-saw battle throughout with Pembroke 3-2 in front at half time. It continued in that vein after the break, with Alan Sothern chipping in with his second before Rovers struck for three on the trot from Shane Madeley, Michael Maguire and the winner from Luke Madeley.

Monkstown, another prime title contender, made a tentative start to the season, finishing 3-1 winners over Railway Union with all the scoring coming in the second half.

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athletics: Maria McCambridge was a clear winner of yesterday's Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon in the Phoenix Park.

Olympian McCambridge wrapped up her preparations for next month's Dublin Marathon taking the tape in 1:16:45, nearly 100 seconds clear of last year's winner Elish Kelly of Raheny Shamrock with Dundrum South Dublin's Niamh Devlin third.

Robbie Matthews from Dunshauglin, Co. Meath, took the men's race in 1:08:27, adding to his five-mile Dublin race series win.

Mark Hoey was second in 1:09:27, while third place went to international mountain runner Brian McMahon in 1:11:53.

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racing: Highland Colori turned what looked a competitive William Hill Ayr Gold Cup into a rout, running out a convincing winner for the rising star of the weighing room Oisin Murphy.

Earlier in the week Murphy's boss Andrew Balding, who trained the 20/1 winner, stated the young rider would not be riding in races worth less than £6,000 in an attempt to keep hold of his claim for as long as possible, and it is easy to see why.

Carrying a penalty for a win over seven furlongs at Warwick last month, the winner broke from stall 19 as the field converged on the near side rail.

For a brief moment Jack Dexter looked like giving Scotland a long-awaited success but at least Highland Colori's owner, Evan Sutherland, hails from north of the border.

Louis The Pious was second, two and a half lengths away, with Jack Dexter third and Heaven's Guest fourth.

Tropics was eventually sent off favourite but never threatened.

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TENNIS: Yet another remarkable chapter was added yesterday to the incredible run of Ireland's Louk Sorensen on the Turkey ATP Challenger Tour circuit.

Just back from a 12-month injury lay-off, Sorensen chalked up his sixth straight win to clinch a singles final place at the expense of 22-year-old Di Wu, in the outdoor hardcourt event in Izmir.

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