Wednesday 21 February 2018

In Brief: Lockyer breaks Leinster hearts

RUGBY: A dramatic last-minute try by Dafydd Lockyer ensured a famous 25-23 victory for Pontypridd against Leinster 'A' at Sardis Road in the British and Irish Cup.

Both sides enjoyed some good possession in the early exchanges but the Irishmen were first to put points on the board thanks to full-back Noel Reid's penalty early on. However, it was the home side who scored the opening try, and it came from an unlikely source in the aptly-named second-row, Craig Locke -- making it 14-6 at half-time.

Pre-match favourites Leinster stepped up a gear after the interval but it took the visitors an hour to score their first try, which came from winger Andy Boyle after finally splitting the defiant Ponty defence. Substitute Dan Leamy scored the visitors' second try minutes from the end but it was centre Lockyer who had the final say, going over in the last play of the match.

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Holders Munster had to come from behind to make it two wins from two in their cup tie at Tralee, winning 19-11 against Aberavon.

The Welsh side made the better start and led 8-7 at half time with a try from Richie Thomas and a penalty by Jamie Davis. Corey Hircock replied with a try for Munster, which Scott Deasy converted. Munster improved in the second half with excellent work by Tommy O'Donnell and James Ryan in the pack and Cian Bohane made some telling breaks down the centre.

Ronan and Barry O'Mahony added tries and Deasy converted one. Davis kicked a second penalty for Aberavon but Munster just ran out of time as they went in search of a fourth try to secure the bonus point.

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Darragh Frawley was the toast of UL Bohemian after he kicked the winning conversion two minutes into stoppage time of a keenly contested ODM Munster senior cup semi-final at Annacotty, to beat Young Munster 13-11.

It is the first time since 1980 that UL Bohemian reached the final, which they last won in 1962. Young Munster led 11-0 at the interval thanks to a try by Mike Madigan and two penalties by Brian Haugh.

Frawley kickded two penalties, then saw two more hit the woodwork, before he converted the late try by full-back Darren Moroney, who got in at the corner.

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GOLF: American Bo Van Pelt shot a five-under 67 yesterday to snatch a one-shot lead over compatriot Jason Dufner after the third round of the Perth International.

Van Pelt, who started the day in second place four shots behind Argentina's Emiliano Grillo and a shot ahead of Dufner, grabbed the lead when a faltering Grillo bogeyed two of his last three holes. The 20-year-old Grillo led at 11-under overnight and moved to 13-under with birdies at the sixth and ninth holes. Bogeys at 10 and 11 brought him back to the chasing group and Dufner, who also shot 67 yesterday, took a share of the lead with five birdies between the seventh and 12th holes.

Grillo reclaimed a one-shot lead with a birdie at 12 but Van Pelt finished strongly with four birdies over the last eight holes to lead going into today's final round. Van Pelt sealed his lead with a monster 55-yard putt for birdie on the 18th hole.

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Tennis: Irish ace Amy Bowtell is set to jump over 60 places in the singles world rankings after her impressive march to the quarter-finals of this week's ITF Women's Circuit event in Glasgow. The Irish No 1 knocked out No 3 seed France's 222-ranked Julie Coin, in the second round of the $25,000 indoor hardcourt tournament and has moved up to a ranking of 476 -- her highest to date.

The 19-year-old from Greystones hopes of a semi-final place were dashed when she suffered a 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 defeat by the No 6 seed, Croatia's 240-ranked Ana Vrljic.

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BASKETBALL: Demons had two points to spare in last night's top-of-the-table clash with Eagles at the UL gym, with their American Delwan Graham securing a 78-76 win.

UL's Robert Taylor having laid up and drawn the foul was unable to land the bonus score which would have tied the game. Demons then won the free when the ball went loose with Graham converting one of two with five seconds remaining. DCU's pressure defence saw them hold Marian to just two points in the final quarter with Keith Anderson playing a pivotal role in their 62-53 win.

Meanwhile, Neptune beat a young Moycullen side 90-68 at the Kingfisher gym with Ger Noonan their key player.

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HOCKEY: Leinster leaders Pembroke had newcomer Kirk Shimmins to thank for their 3-2 win over Monkstown with his winner coming 30 seconds from the end.

Meanwhile, Fingal gave Three Rock a big fright too, in their 4-3 defeat, with Shane Madeley and Mitch Darling bagging two apiece for Rovers.

Elsewhere, the Division 1 champions UCD women laid down a marker in the defence of their title with a 4-0 win over Hermes.

A first half goal from Nicola Gray, followed by a brace from Chloe Watkins, and one from Jamie Deacon sealed Hermes fate -- and they face another testing time against league leaders Loreto this afternoon.

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HURLING/SHINTY: Cork's Patrick Horgan stole the show as Ireland claimed a six-point (25-19) win in the first test of the Senior International at Bught Park, Inverness yesterday.

Ireland were in superb form throughout with Horgan registering three goals, two in the opening half to help the visitors take a 16-6 interval lead.

Horgan completed his hat-trick seven minutes from the end and although Scotland bounced back with late goals from Callum Cruden and Neil MacDonald it was not enough.

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TRIATHLON: Aileen Morrison had a DNF at the ITU Grand Final in Auckland after she pulled out of the bike event.

The Irishwoman got a flying start with a second place in the swim with a time of 19 mins 4 secs and had a smooth changeover to the bike allowing her to make the lead pack. But the effects of a cold she had been suffering came back to haunt her and she dropped off the pace.

"It was a tough call, but after being passed by the second pack I knew I was cooked," said Morrison. Olympic silver medallist Lisa Norden finished fourth, which allowed her to clinch the overall Series Title and be crowned 2012 ITU World Champion, while Morrison finished 17th

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CRICKET: Security involving more than 5000 police and paramilitary officials was in place yesterday as cricket-starved fans in Pakistan got to see some live international action for the first time in more than three years.

Fast bowler Tabish Khan achieved a hat trick while Umar Akmal and Shahzaib Hasan hit rapid half centuries as the Pakistan All Stars defeated an International World XI by 84 runs.

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