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In brief: Britton avenges European defeat

Fionnuala Britton gained some compensation for being just squeezed out of the medals at the European Cross-Country Championships in the Algarve last Sunday when she turned the tables on two of the three runners who finished ahead of her at the IAAF event in Belgium yesterday.

In fact, Britton had the two Portuguese runners that were first and third in the Europeans, Jessica Augusto and Dulce Felix (who was given the same time as Britton), well behind her in yesterday's event at Park Van Laken when she chased home Kenyan Caroline Chepkwony, the winner in 20 minutes 35 seconds.

Britton was just two seconds behind in second with another Kenyan, Prisca Jepleting, third in 20:45. Augusto finished in sixth with Felix well back in 16th place.

"I suppose it's a bit sweet to get some measure of revenge but it still does not make up for last Sunday," said Britton. "I was even more determined today but, to be honest, from the halfway point I did not see either Augusto or Felix and I was concentrating in keeping with the Kenyan.

"I was still with her with a half a mile or so to go but then she just got away from me in the end. I do feel a little better now and it's a good end of the year for me."

Meanwhile, Sergiy Lebid of the Ukraine followed up his record ninth win in the Europeans by winning the men's race yesterday when he held off a string of Kenyans, including Isaiah Koech.


MARTINA GILLEN copper-fastened her Ladies European Tour card for 2011 with a final round of one-over-par 74 on La Manga's South Course as Q-School came to a close on Spain's east coast yesterday.

The Dubliner finished the 90-hole test well inside the all-important top-30 in a seven-way tie for 18th place on eight-over-par.

Sweden's former world amateur champion Caroline Headwall fired a flawless 65 to lead the field by nine strokes.

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As hockey suffered its fourth successive weekend winter wipeout, at least four lucky teams enjoyed some action indoors on the boards at Loughlinstown leisure centre.

Glenanne and YMCA qualified for the later stages of the national indoor league, while Belfast Harlequins and Suttonians fell at the first hurdle.

The Glens won three matches out of three, with Eddie O'Malley their top scorer with six to his credit. But the the men from Tallaght were skating on thin ice when they laboured to put away Harlequins.

The Ulster representatives, masterminded by international defender John Jackson, held Glenanne to just one goal -- scored by O'Malley from the penalty spot.

A significant upset appeared on the cards when Suttonians held YMCA to 1-1 going into the final stages of their game. However, the northsiders then fell away, conceding six in seven minutes, four of them off the stick of the prolific David Robinson.

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