Irish quartet suffer near miss in Rome Cup bid
Equestrian: The Irish team was pipped at the post for the coveted Intesa San Paola Nations Cup at CSIO Rome yesterday where they finished second behind Sweden.
This prestigious title has eluded Ireland since the first of its 87 editions was staged back in 1926, but hopes were high that Michael Blake's side was about to break the duck when going into the second round on level pegging with the eventual winners carrying just four faults.
Peter Moloney (Chianti's Champion) and Darragh Kenny (Important de Muze) both jumped clear first time out. But when Mark McAuley (Jasco VD Bisschop) added four more to his single first-round error, Moloney collected five faults and Kenny left one on the floor then eight had to be added to the Irish scoreline despite a final clear from Cian O'Connor (PSG Final) who had double-faulted first time out.
Sweden claimed pole position with eight faults, Ireland finished with 12 and The Netherlands and Belgium shared third place on a total of 25.
McAuley started the day with a great win in the Land Rover Speed. Denied victory by a late offensive from Italian riders the previous evening, he threw down an impossible target with the super-fast Valentino Tuiliere in 56.00 seconds and he couldn't be beaten this time around.