Thursday 23 November 2017

Cool Keeshan lifts Dolphin

RUGBY: Dolphin secured a second successive home win and have now moved ahead of neighbours Cork Constitution in the AIL's Division 1A after this 12-10 victory over Young Munster at Musgrave Park.

Playing with the wind, Young Munster took an early lead with a penalty from Shane O'Leary, but Barry Keeshan had Dolphin level after 14 minutes. A try by Darren Gallagher converted by O'Leary put the visitors back in front and Keeshan kicked his second penalty on the stroke of half-time to leave it 10-6.

Dolphin used the elements to their advantage after the break and two penalties from Keeshan had the home side ahead after 52 minutes. James Kiernan added a try shortly after and two further penalties by Keeshan saw the home team take the spoils.

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The Irish women were crowned Six Nations champions after title rivals Italy were beaten 34-0 by England at Esher yesterday.

Philip Doyle's side made it four wins from four on Friday night with a 15-10 victory over France at Ashbourne – a win which put them four points clear at the top of the table with the Italians the only country capable of matching their eight points. Ireland will complete the Grand Slam if they beat Italy in Parabiago on St Patrick's Day.

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ATHLETICS: Pre-race favourites Sean Tobin (High School, Clonmel) and Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (Colaiste Iosagain) lived up to their billing and impressively won the senior titles at the Aviva Schools Cross-Country championships in Belfast.

Cleirigh-Buttner coasted to victory in a time of 10:27, which put her 13 seconds clear of Linda Conroy of Mercy Kilbeggan in second with a time of 10:40. Sarah Ni Mhaolmhuire (Colaiste Iosagain) stormed through on the final lap to snatch the bronze medal in a time of 10:53. Colaiste Iosagain also won the team title with a score of just nine points.

Sean Tobin took the senior boys title over the 6,500m course in a time of 22:42 – 15 seconds ahead of Hugh Armstrong (Gortner Abbey Crossmolina). Colaiste Mhuire Mullingar won the team title with a score of 68 points, edging High School, Clonmel on 92 points.

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HOCKEY: With one series of fixtures left in the Leinster women's Division One league campaign, holders UCD are in the driving seat to retain the title, and finish with relegated side Trinity to round off a good season.

It was easy pickings for UCD yesterday, handing out a 4-0 drubbing to struggling North Kildare. But for Railway Union – the one team left to upset the overwhelming odds in UCD's favour and keep alive their slim hopes – it was near disaster as they lost their way before coming from 3-0 down to Corinthian at half-time to win 4-3 with a late penalty stroke from Jean McDonnell.

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TENNIS: Ireland's James Cluskey yesterday had to be content with a runners-up spot in the doubles final of the ITF Men's Futures event in Lille, France.

Cluskey, along with Britain's Lewis Burton, suffered a 6-7 (3/7) 7-6 (7/5) 10/5 defeat by the top seeds, French pair Jonathan Eysseric and Nicolas Renavand.

No 2 seeds Cluskey and Burton took the opener on a tie-break. In the second set the home pair, roared on by a large crowd, levelled after a tie-break before going on to seal victory after the champions' tie-break.

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CRICKET: Unbeaten centuries from Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal put Sri Lanka in a commanding position but Bangladesh responded positively on day two of the first Test in Galle.

Thirimanne (155 not out) and Chandimal (116 not out) added their own three-figure scores to build on Kumar Sangakkara's hundred as the hosts declared on an imposing 570-4.

Bangladesh looked to be in trouble when they slipped to 65-2 but a fluent 65 not out from Mohammad Ashraful guided the Tigers to 135 without further loss at the close.

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BASKETBALL: Ulster Rockets claimed their place in the league semi-finals after defeating Wildcats at the Mercy Gym last night.

Megain Houlihan registered 11 points and, leading 50-42 at the end of the quarter, Rockets were never headed after that as they won out on a 71-61 scoreline.

The final round of games in the men's superleague saw Vincent's overcome Demons 60-58 with Eoin Quill impressive with 15 rebounds in a game which saw Mike Trimmer top-score on 20 points in what was his final home game for the club.

Vincent's, having already sealed their place in the champions trophy semi-finals, now face league champions Limerick Eagles on Friday, while Neptune play host club Demons in the preceding All-Cork affair.

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CYCLING: Sylvain Chavanel of France won a bunch sprint to take the sixth stage of the Paris-Nice race yesterday, while Australia's Richie Porte kept the leader's yellow jersey.

Chavanel edged out Philippe Gilbert of Belgium to complete the 220km trek from Manosque to Nice in five hours, 14 minutes, 23 seconds. Porte leads the overall standings, 32 seconds ahead of Andrew Talansky of the US ahead of today's final stage.

Nicolas Roche finished 27th and sits at 13th in the general classification with the final stage set for today.

Irish Independent

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