Thursday 19 April 2018

In Brief: Lake County seal final spot

GAELIC GAMES: Westmeath bridged a 13-year gap by reaching the Leinster MFC decider after a hard-earned 0-11 to 1-6 semi-final win over Meath at Pairc Tailteann.

Three points from corner-forward John Corbally left the Lake County leading 0-7 to 0-3 at the halfway point. Tom Carr's side managed to overcome the handicap of having full-back Israel Ilunga sent off for a straight red card five minutes into the second half.

Boosted by a goal from James McEntee on 47 minutes, Meath reduced the deficit to two points but with substitute Luke Loughlin pointing twice in the closing stages, Westmeath held out.

Elsewhere, two goals by Cian McMonagle helped Kildare cruise to an emphatic ten 3-13 to 2-6 win over 14-man Dublin in the second semi-final at Parnell Park.

Despite Cillian Sheanon's early goal, the holders were outclassed throughout, with the impressive Neil Flynn also finding the net for the Lilywhites.

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GOLF: Graeme McDowell, who has either won or missed the cut in each of his last seven events, has the chance to maintain that odd streak in the final round of the Alstom Open de France today.

McDowell carded a third round of 70 at Le Golf National outside Paris to finish five-under-par and share the lead with South Africa's Richard Sterne as the 2018 Ryder Cup venue again proved a tough proposition.

England's David Howell, Austria's Bernd Wiesberger and Australian Richard Green are a shot behind, with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn only three off the lead despite hitting two tee shots on par-threes into water and covering the back nine in 40 in a round of 74.

Meanwhile, the Irish contingent of Gareth Maybin (71), Alan Dunbar (72), Michael Hoey (74) and Damien McGrane (74) are several shots off McDowell's pace.

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CYCLING: Overall leader Eddie Dunbar came through the penultimate stage of the Martin Donnelly Junior Tour unscathed yesterday.

But his loyal lieutenant Dylan Foley on the Stena Ireland team crashed eight kilometres from the finish and came in four minutes behind the stage winner, Australian Owen Gillott, who is guesting with the NRPT Standard Life team.

The stage from Ennis to Cooraclare was largely uneventful, as the challengers failed to make any inroads into Dunbar's advantage of over two minutes.

Today's final stage of 86km finishes at Gallows Hill near the village of Cratloe. It looks game, set and match for the first year junior from Banteer to give Ireland a home victory in the race last won by Sam Bennett.

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CAMOGIE: Cork and Offaly will participate in a straight shootout for a place in the senior semi-finals in a fortnight, after the two counties maintained their 100 per cent records with victories over Dublin and Tipperary, respectively.

Last year's runners-up Cork were much too strong for a disappointing Dublin outfit, registering a 5-23 to 0-4 verdict at Páirc Uí Rinn.

Offaly had to work much harder for their 1-15 to 0-10 success in Banagher. Tipperary played well and led by 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time, but veteran full-forward Elaine Dermody netted late to seal it for Offaly.

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IN Group 1, All-Ireland champions Wexford suffered a 0-10 to 0-8 defeat, the first of their campaign, to a Galway team that desperately needed the win, having lost their opening tie. That urgency may have been the difference at Wexford Park, as the Tribeswomen came away victorious from a tightly-contested affair in which defences dominated.

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SOCCER: Enraged fans in Brazil invaded a football field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body after he stabbed a player to death.

The Public Safety Department of the state of Maranhao said that it all started when referee Otavio da Silva expelled player Josenir Abreu from a game last weekend.

The two got into a fist fight, then Silva took out a knife and stabbed Abreu, who died on his way to the hospital.

The statement issued this week says Abreu's friends and relatives immediately "rushed into the field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body."

Local news media say the spectators also decapitated Silva and stuck his head on a stake in the middle of the field. Police have arrested one suspect.

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FORMULA ONE: Lewis Hamilton made it back-to-back pole positions after relegating home hero Sebastian Vettel to second on the grid for today's German Grand Prix.

When it mattered most Hamilton pulled a rabbit out of the hat with a superb lap of one minute 29.398secs, pipping Red Bull's triple world champion Vettel by a tenth of a second.

Irish Independent

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