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In brief: GAA agree to new GPA deal

GAELIC GAMES: The much debated GPA deal was passed unanimously at yesterday's Central Council meeting. The motion sailed through despite reports last week that a number of Ulster counties were set to object to the proposed plan.

The agreement will see the GAA provide more than €8.5m in funding to the players' body over the next five years. However, the Inter-Provincials didn't fare out as well, there was no decision made on their future, which will be discussed at the next Central Council meeting.


KERRY senior star Bryan Sheehan bagged 1-7 as St Mary's claimed AIB All-Ireland JFC honours with a 3-13 to 1-05 win over Swanlinbar at Croke Park last night.

The Cahirciveen outfit turned on a superb second-half display after the sides were tied 1-4 to 0-7 at the break, with Mark Cunningham netting the Swanlinbar goal. The Cavan side were held to just one second-half point, with two goals from Sean Cournane and a third from Sheehan paving the way for a third Kerry success in a row. St Mary's full-back Stephen Curran was honoured with the Man of the Match award after the game.


Tipperary came from nine points down before three points apiece from Tommy Heffernan and Niall O'Meara in extra-time secured a 3-20 to 2-16 win over Galway and their place in the All-Ireland Vocational schools hurling final.

The hosts led by 1-12 to 0-6 at half-time thanks to a run of six consecutive points midway through the half and a penalty after 30 minutes from Keelan Cullinane.

But Tipperary recovered and the superb Eoin Ryan smashed a 21m free to the net six minutes after the restart and another with 11 minutes left to ignite the Premier challenge.

Substitute Stephen Cahalan goaled for Galway with seven minutes remaining to give them a five-point cushion.

However, three points on the trot and Jamie Bergin's scrambled goal for Tipperary in injury time saw them take the lead for the first time only for Sean Sweeney to force extra-time with a late leveller.


The death has occurred of former Armagh footballer Frank Kernan. A member of the famous football and showjumping clan from Crossmaglen, he died suddenly at his home on Friday, aged 76.

Frank, a first cousin of former Armagh manager Joe Kernan, was at right half-back on the Armagh team that lost the 1953 All-Ireland senior final to Kerry, having won a minor medal four years previously. His sons James and Hank were also prominent sportsmen.

His remains will be removed from his home tomorrow (10.30am) to St Patrick's Church, Crossmaglen, for a funeral Mass and burial.


Defender Niall McElroy bagged a vital goal as Lisnaskea Emmets braved extra-time to prevail 1-16 to 0-15 against St James and take the first ever All-Ireland Intermediate Club success for a Fermanagh side at Croke Park last night.

Emmets shaded a 0-6 to 0-4 interval lead in normal time. St James bounced back through the efforts of Eoin Concannon on the restart, but Lisnaskea dug in with a Daniel Kille free forcing extra-time. The sides were 0-13 apiece at half-time in extra-time, but Lisnaskea pulled ahead through McElroy's goal and never looked back.


ATHLETICS: Promising Co Mayo high jumper Pamela Hughes proved to be the best of the Irish performers at the British AAA Indoor Championships in Sheffield yesterday.

The 21-year-old cleared a lifetime best of 1.79 metres to take the bronze medal behind the winner, British heptathlon star Jessie Ennis, who cleared a seasonal best of 1.88.

Clare Brady and Niamh Whelan failed to advance from the semi-finals of the women's 60m, both clocking 7.61. However, Claire Bergin and Michelle Carey came through to make it into today's final of the 400m.

Meanwhile, Joe Warne qualified for the final of the 1,500m, while John Coghlan did not and both Orla Drumm and Sara Treacy advanced to the final of the women's event. Ciara Everard also qualified for the final of the women's 800m.


CRICKET: Ireland fell to a 32-run defeat to a rampant New Zealand in their latest World Cup warm-up clash in Nagpur. Martin Guptill's century helped the Kiwis post a mammoth 311 for the loss of six wickets. Ireland replied with a 72 from skipper William Porterfield and Ed Joyce's 41, before falling with 10 balls to spare on 279.


HOCKEY: Cork C of I suffered their second home defeat in a week at Garryduff, losing 4-3 to Cookstown in yesterday's delayed Irish Senior Cup second-round tie, having shipped a crushing 5-1 defeat by Glenanne in the Irish Hockey League a week earlier.

Loreto consolidated their grip on the Leinster women's league title with a 3-1 victory over Hermes.


Basketball: Neptune came out on top in the big Cork derby down at the Neptune Stadium last night courtesy of a fourth-quarter blitz from the hosts.

Their 73-62 win secures third spot in the southern conference while UCD Marian returned to winning ways as they overtook Belfast Star in the final 30 seconds to win 83-77. Jermaine Turner meanwhile hit 34 as Northern Conference leaders Killester defeated Ulster Elks 91-67 at the IWA.


TENNIS: Eight double faults exerted a heavy toll as Limerick's Conor Niland crashed to a shock defeat in the qualifying first round of the ATP Tour Marseille Open yesterday.

World No 134 Niland compiled one double fault in the opening set and seven more in the second as Sweden's 315-ranked Michael Ryderstedt posted a 6-4 6-1 win.


COMPETITION: Michael O'Donoghue from Cappamore, was the winner of the overnight stay at a four-star hotel and two tickets to today's game between Ireland and France. Dermot Smyth from Terenure won two tickets to the game.

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