Tuesday 22 October 2019

In Brief: McDowell in final four mix

GOLF: Graeme McDowell yesterday finally got the better of Nicolas Colsaerts in the World Match Play Championship, despite a remarkable hazard escape by the defending champion.

Colsaerts beat McDowell in the final last year and also knocked the Northern Irishman out in the quarter-finals in 2011, but McDowell made it third time lucky with a 2&1 win in the quarter-finals at Thracian Cliffs.

McDowell will face Branden Grace in the last four after he beat England's Chris Wood 2&1 while the other semi-final sees Thomas Aiken take on Thongchai Jaidee, two men who beat Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter in the group stages.

Aiken beat Italy's Francesco Molinari 3&2, while Jaidee defeated Scotland's Scott Jamieson 4&3.


• Mark Tullo of Chile shot a four-under 68 to take a one-shot lead after the third round of the Madeira Islands Open.

Tullo birdied four of his last eight holes for a 12-under total of 204. Overnight leader Craig Lee of Scotland and American Peter Uihlein were tied for second. Ireland's David Higgins posted a round of 69, while Damien McGrane shot a 73.


• Des Morgan kept his dream of a first home win in the Mullingar Scratch Cup alive when he added a 70 to his superb morning five-under 67 to take a two-stroke lead over Castle's Daniel Holland into today's 36-hole finale.

No Mullingar man has won the famous event since Joe Carr won the inaugural competition 50 years ago.

But Morgan is making a valiant effort to break the hoodoo after firing six birdies in the morning and then picking up shots at the 17th and 18th in an afternoon 70 to lead on seven-under 137.


GAELIC GAMES: Kilkenny's bad run of injuries continued yesterday when former All Star Michael Rice pulled up with a hamstring strain after only 10 minutes of Carrickshock's senior hurling league tie against Fenians (Johnstown) at Nowlan Park.

Rice was immediately withdrawn from the Kilkenny panel to travel to Limerick today for the challenge match against the Shannonsiders.

The previous night Michael Fennelly picked up an ankle injury during a third-round match in the local league. However, there was hope yesterday that the injury might not be as bad as first feared.


CYCLING: Mauro Santambrogio of Italy won a weather-affected and altered 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia yesterday, and favourite Vincenzo Nibali finished second to extend his overall lead to 1:26 over Cadel Evans.

Santambrogio won in a time of 4:42.55 in rainy, windy and even snowy conditions, beating Nibali in a final sprint at the top of the steep Jafferau climb. Carlos Betancur was third.


CRICKET: England suffered a late collapse of four wickets for 12 runs to wreck Joe Root and James Anderson's good work with bat and ball on day three of the first Test at Lord's.

Root (71) fell just short of a new Test-best, in the first century stand of the match with Jonathan Trott (56), after Anderson had created an opportunity for England to take charge by completing his 13th five-wicket haul.

But Tim Southee (3-34) kickstarted New Zealand's fightback in an absorbing contest. Anderson (5-47) and Steven Finn (4-63) did most of the damage as the tourists lost their last six wickets for 52 to be bowled out for 207 yesterday morning.

Then after both England openers went with the score on 36, Root and Trott took over – until Southee, who had spent much of the evening session off the pitch with a hand problem, returned to see off Root, Jonny Bairstow and then Matt Prior in a stumps total of 180-6 and limit the home lead to 205.


TENNIS: Irish ace James McGee is set to rise more than 40 places in the singles world rankings after qualifying for the semi-finals of a Challenger tournament for the first time.

McGee has amassed a total of 192 ranking points, and will jump from his current position of 285 to approximately 240 when the ATP rankings are updated today. But the Castleknock man's hopes of featuring in the final were dashed yesterday when he came up short against the No 4 seed, Russia's Alex Bogomolov Jnr, 6-3 6-1.


HOCKEY: Ireland, having beaten Germany, the reigning Olympic men's champions 3-2 on Friday, lost the second of the weekend's Test matches against their hosts yesterday, 5-2.

Facing a 4-0 deficit, Ireland got one back via Mickey Watt, but the Germans responded before Kyle Good got a consolation.


ATHLETICS: Marcus Lawler was the star performer at the Leinster schools track and field championships yesterday, winning the senior boys 100m and 200m in record time and leading his CBS Carlow team to gold in the 4x100m relay.

Meanwhile, Siofra Cleirigh Buttner excelled in the senior girls' 800m, winning in 2:06.67 – a Leinster schools record and a European junior standard for Rieti, Italy in July. The All-Ireland schools contest is set for Tullamore on June 1.


SWIMMING: Chris Bryan, who is targeting the World University Games and World championships this summer, finished top of the pile at the Portugal 10k Open Water Championship. The Ennis man finished in a time of 2:02:15 – over 90 seconds ahead of his closest competitor.

Irish Independent

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