Wednesday 17 January 2018

In Brief: Déise legend Walsh passes

GAELIC GAMES: Former Waterford captain Frankie Walsh has passed away at the age of 76. He was one of the county's hurling legends and also one of their most decorated players. In 1959, he led the Déise to an All-Ireland title when they needed a replay to defeat Kilkenny.

During his career Walsh won three Munster medals, one National Hurling League medal, five Railway Cup medals along with several county titles with his club Mount Sion. And in the early 1970s he trained the Waterford hurlers.

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RUGBY: Ballynahinch opened up a four-point gap at the top of the Ulster Senior League table with a comfortable 23-10 win over the nearest rivals City of Derry at Judge's Road. That was Derry's second defeat in the competition, which brings Malone back into the equation also with two defeats. 'Hinch have only lost once and that was an upset against Armagh.

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CRICKET: Former England captain Tony Greig was hailed for his skills as a player, captain, commentator and cricketing revolutionary yesterday after his death at the age of 66.

Greig suffered a heart attack at his Sydney home in the early hours of yesterday morning, having battled lung cancer for more than two months.

In his playing days Greig was renowned as a tenacious all-rounder and captained England in 14 of his 58 Tests, while in latter years he became known for his endless enthusiasm and wilfully provocative style in the commentary box, where he served in both England and Australia.

He earned 58 Test caps, 14 as captain, before his controversial leading role in Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket ultimately saw his playing career at the highest level wind down.

The Packer controversy was one of a series of flashpoints in Greig's colourful career but has more recently been re-evaluated as a necessary bump in the road to the handsomely paid professionalism currently enjoyed by players all over the world.

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Australia's Michael Hussey will retire from international cricket, playing in his final Test against Sri Lanka next month.

The 37-year-old will finish Australia's summer season, with the Sri Lanka Test being the 79th time he'll have appeared for his country.

The left-handed batsman averaged 51.52 in his 78 Tests, and has 19 centuries.

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BASKETBALL: UL suffered their second consecutive defeat in Dublin in last night's stand-alone Men's Superleague fixture played up at the IWA.

Killester's 84-76 win over the league leaders was achieved as a result of a strong third quarter as they registered a series of uncontested lay-ups to open up a 30-point lead.

However, a series of free-throws from Jason Killeen coupled with a three-point play from Stephen Lynch had brought Limerick to within 10 points of the home side before Micheal Westbrooks landed a crucial basket to keep Killester in contention for a play-off spot.

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TENNIS: Tipperary's Hannah-May Morrissey last night produced the biggest shock so far in the Wilson National Indoors Championships when she dumped out top seed Grainne O'Neill in the quarter-finals.

And the Cashel native left no doubt about her superiority as she posted a 6-2 6-2 win over her Naas opponent at David Lloyd Riverview.

In the men's singles quarter-finals top seed Ciaran Fitzgerald, from Greystones, coasted to a 6-2 6-3 win over Co Down's Peter Bothwell, while former Davis Cup player Colin O'Brien, from Malahide, sent Greystones' Mark Bowtell packing on a 7-6 6-1 scoreline.

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World No 1 Novak Djokovic warmed up for the Australian Open by winning the World Tennis Championships with a hard-fought victory over Nicolas Almagro in Abu Dhabi.

The Serb had been impressive in qualifying for the final when he brushed aside David Ferrer but he did not have things his own way yesterday, having to come from behind before edging a tight third set to triumph 6-7 6-3 6-4.

Almagro, who replaced the sick Rafael Nadal, who has since pulled out of the Australian Open following a virus, took a surprise lead as he won the opening set on a tie-break.

Almagro fought hard after that, but the Serb underlined his resilience by keeping daylight between the two and then broke Almagro's serve in the final game to clinch victory.

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Li Na of China won the annual Hua Hin exhibition event yesterday by beating top-ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-3 2-6 10-7 after a Champions tie-breaker. The Belarusian defending champion won five straight games to level the match in the second set, but fell just short in the decider.

Sunday Indo Sport

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