Thursday 14 December 2017

In Brief:

Basketball: Campbell keeps Eagles flying high

Neil Campbell was in excellent shooting form as UL Eagles extended their lead at the top of the Men's SuperLeague Southern Conference to eight points after a commanding 87-69 win away to Hoops.

"It was a fantastic win," said Eagles head coach Tony Hehir. "We were conscious that their wins in the league have come against UCC Demons and Killester but we started well and managed to avoid being their latest scalp."

Elsewhere, Belfast Star closed the gap on Northern Conference leaders Killester with a hard-fought 89-82 success away to UCD/Marian.

Star lead by 11 points at the break and went onto win the contest despite a late scare by a resurgent UCD/Marian in the final quarter.

"It's a huge win for us," said Adrian Fulton, former Irish international and now on the coaching staff at Belfast Star. "They were missing Luke McCrone but we were missing Michael McKillop and Stephen Dawson which was a big loss to us prior to the game."


World No 2 Rafael Nadal saw off Robin Soderling 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 to clinch the Capitala World Tennis Championship exhibition title in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Soderling, who came into the final with high hopes after beating the top-ranked Roger Federer, had two set points in the first set but lost the tie-break.

The Swede tired in the second set but saved three match points before Spaniard Nadal finished him off.

"This is a very important win for me," Nadal said. "I'm playing my best ever on court, probably since Roland Garros last year. I've worked very hard and it's nice to start the season like I did."

Meanwhile, Ireland's John Morrissey yesterday experienced a setback in his preparations for the Australian Junior Open later this month when suffering a shock defeat in Mexico.

After progressing to the third round of the ITF U-18 Grade A Casablanca Junior Cup in Tialnepantia, the 17-year-old Dubliner, seeded No 5, crashed out to unseeded American Mitchell Krueger on a 6-7 (2/7) 1-6 scoreline.

Morrissey can get back on track quickly, however, in this week's ITF Grade 1 Copa del Cafe tournament in San Rafael, Costa Rica, where the Donnybrook Club member is seeded No 3 in the hard-court event.


PHIL TAYLOR last night wrapped up a remarkable 15th career World title with a 7-3 victory over Australian Simon Whitlock

Unseeded Whitlock, an 80/1 outsider at the beginning of the week, enjoyed an impressive start and broke Taylor's throw three times in the early stages to capture the lead.

However, he couldn't maintain that consistency and some superb three-figure check-outs from Taylor seized the initiative. Twenty years after his first world title, Taylor summed up his class in the final leg with a 131 finish to secure the winner's cheque of £200,000.

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