Tuesday 16 January 2018

In brief: Galway name new selectors

GAELIC GAMES: New Galway football manager Tomás ó Flatharta has drafted in two former All-Ireland winners as his selectors.

Martin McNamara, goalkeeper in 1998 when Galway lifted the Sam Maguire Cup for the first time in 32 years, and former All Star Seán óg de Paor, have been confirmed as ó Flatharta's selectors.

Double All Star de Paor -- who won All-Ireland medals in 1998 and 2001 -- is also a selector with the Irish International Rules team. The two new selectors were ratified by Galway Football Board delegates on Friday night.

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HOCKEY: Corinthians, lying third from the bottom in Leinster Division One, picked up their second league point yesterday in their surprise 0-0 draw away to leaders Glenanne.

As a result, Glen's slip up has allowed both YMCA and Monkstown to close the gap to a point at the top, as YM were convincing 4-0 winners over Three Rock Rovers.

YM have been averaging over five goals a game and lookto be early contenders for honours this year. Meanwhile, Pembroke Wanderers carved out a 5-3 victory over Fingal at the Airport venue thanks, mainly, to Brendon Panther's hat trick. Peter English also bagged a hat trick in Railway Unions 4-3 win over UCD.

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GOLF: Two bogeys over his closing five holes dented Peter Lawrie's hopes of a double Spanish success heading to the final day of the Castellon Masters.

Lawrie -- who captured the 2008 Spanish Open -- birdied three holes in a row early on, along with birdies at eight and 13 before dropping shots at the 14th and 17th holes in a round of 67 for a 10-under-par tally.

It left the Dubliner trailing four shots behind England's Gary Boyd, who matched the effort of his Castellon room-mate John Parry, with a course record-equalling 63 to move two clear of the field at 14-under par.

Ballyclare's Gareth Maybin (69) is next best at three-under par, Damien McGrane (71), Michael Hoey (75) and Paul McGinley (72) are at one-under par while Shane Lowry (76) starts the last day at two-over par.

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For a man who began the week with a performance that ranked as "the worst I have ever hit it as a professional," Rory McIlroy left the Egyptian Open content in the knowledge that he is on the way back to form after finishing the tournament with his lowest score of the week, a four-under-par 68.

That final round effort, for a six-under aggregate of 212, saw the Northern Irishman finish the week in a tie for 12th position, seven shots behind the champion Mark Tullo of Chile.

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Rebecca Coakley dropped three shots in round two of the Sanya Ladies Open in China, finishing her day on 75. She is now the only Team Ireland player to make the cut at the Yalong Bay Golf Club.

Ireland's Martina Gillen signed for a round of 76 to finish 11-over par and Tara Delaney was on 16-over after a second round of 80; both Irish hopefuls failed to make the cut.

Stefanie Michl of Austria added a 70 to her opening 65 to maintain her lead yesterday finishing on nine-under-par.

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MOTORSPORT: Pole-position king Sebastian Vettel clinched his ninth top spot of the season to edge out Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber yesterday in qualifying for today's Korean Grand Prix.

For Vettel, it is the most poles in a year since Michael Schumacher in 2001, with only six drivers in Formula One history claiming more -- Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen, Jacques Villeneuve and Schumacher.

It was another dominant performance from Red Bull overall, with the team locking out the front row for the fourth time this season, and the eighth for Vettel and Webber as a pairing, with the duo split by just 0.074 seconds on this occasion.

On the second row of the grid at the Korea International Circuit will be Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren. Nico Rosberg was fifth fastest for Mercedes, Ferrari's Felipe Massa sixth, with Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button a disappointing seventh.

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Basketball: Former Sligo All Star, Mike Higgins, came off the bench five minutes into the game to shoot back-to-back three pointers to set UCD Marian on their way to an easy victory over winless Moycullen in Belfield last night.

The Students ran into a 35-18 lead in the first quarter and with Barry Glover on form with 15 points in the first half, UCR Marian won out on a 95-79 scoreline to make it three victories from three.

Cameron Mitchell, with 34 points, continued his impressive start to the season as he top scored for the Eagles in their 89-72 win over Star. The game marked the return of Puff Summers to Superleague action, while Micheal Bonaparte faced his former club but was on the losing side as Killester hit the century mark against Neptune at the IWA.

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EQUESTRIAN: After finishing seventh in Friday's Grand Prix qualifier in Helsinki, Ireland's Jessica Kurten came back yesterday to claim fourth place in the main event, the Helsinki Grand Prix.

Picking up e6,000 for her finish, Antrim-born Kurten was piloting Lady Georgina Forbes's grey gelding API Largo and returned just one of five double clear rounds achieved in the competition.

However, neither Kurten nor the other three second round zero score riders could match the scorching finish of Germany's Christian Ahlmann and the talented bay stallion Taloubet Z, who stopped the clock almost five seconds ahead of the Irishwoman and collected the first prize of e20,000.

Kurten will now have her sights set on today's Rolex FEI World Cup competition at the Hartwall arena in the Finnish capital, where a total of e100,000 is up for grabs along with vital World Cup points for the 2010/2011 season.

Sunday Independent

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