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In brief: McGovern ends Rhode double bid

Rhode's quest for a Leinster minor and senior club double ended in disappointment, as Athy took the minor honours with a 0-12 to 0-8 final triumph at Eire Og, Carlow on Saturday.

Led by Kildare U-21 Liam McGovern and Niall Kelly, Athy deservedly led 0-9 to 0-3 at half-time

Free-taker Stephen O'Connell and Paul McPadden fuelled a Rhode comeback, as the deficit was cut to three points with seven minutes remaining.

However, Hughie Mahon fisted a point and Athy held out.

Elsewhere, the Ulster club minor football semi-final between Kilcar and Lamh Dhearg was postponed.

It has been refixed for next Sunday (1.30), with the winners playing Magherafelt in the final on Sunday, January 23.

Scorers -- Athy: L McGovern 0-4 (0-4f), N Kelly 0-3 (0-1f), K Bolger, T Gibbons, M Fennelly, D O'Toole, H Mahon 0-1 each. Rhode Og -- S O'Connell (0-2f), P McPadden (0-2f) 0-3 each, C Donohue, J McPadden 0-1 each.

ATHY -- J Roycroft; K Mulhall, L Thomas, W Clare; D Hyland, B Purcell; D O'Toole; L McGovern, M Fennelly; H Mahon, T Gibbons, N Kelly; M Kehoe, K Bolger, S Ronan. Subs: P Connell for Clare (45); M Robinson for M Kehoe (60); C Harrington for Bolger (60).

RHODE OG -- P Coates; C McNamee, O Rigney, T Mooney; J McPadden, S Hannon, C McGuire; J Brickland, P Foy; P McPadden, C Donohue, C Nolan; T Dowling, D Hickey, S O'Connell. Subs: W Molloy for Nolan (51), D Barr for Hickey (55).

REF -- Maurice Deegan (Laois).


JOE Sweeney's great return to form this season was underlined by an excellent top-10 finish in the International IAAF Cross-Country Challenge in Edinburgh.

The Irish inter-counties champion from Dundrum finished 10th in the 8.2km race in 26:29, holding his own in a world-class race on a tough, snowy course and helping Europe edge the team title.

Britain's double-European track champion Mo Farah won comfortably.

Michael Mulhare of Portlaoise, one of the Irish team who won the U-23 title at last month's European Cross-Countries, also had a good run in the 4.2km event, finishing ninth in 13:42 in a race won by Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (13:10) from Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop. Mulhare's older brother Dan was 12th in 13:52.

Kenya's world 10,000m champion Linet Masai won the women's 5.7km race in 20:24.


World No 2 Roger Federer began the 2011 season in style by beating Nikolay Davydenko to win the Qatar Open for the third time.

The 29-year-old Swiss came through 6-3 6-4 to claim the 67th title of his career. Federer will now head to the Australian Open looking to win a 17th Grand Slam title.

Elsewhere, top seed Robin Soderling brushed aside Andy Roddick to win the Brisbane International title 6-3 7-5.


Ballaghaderreen collected their sixth straight All-Ireland Senior Club title when they overcame Ballydesmond on an overall scoreline of 98-61 on Saturday.

The Mayo men overcame Kells, in the first semi-final, while their Rebel opponents disposed of Carrickmore in the last four.

Irish Independent