Tuesday 20 February 2018

In Brief: More records for Irish swimming pair

Barry Murphy and Sycerika McMahon were the Irish stars on Day Three of the European Short Course Championships in Chartres.

Murphy, who has recently returned from the USA to train at the NAC High Performance Centre, finished in ninth place in the heats of the 50m breaststroke in 27.05 to secure a spot in the semi-final.

The Dubliner set a new Irish Senior record of 26.66 in the semi-final to qualify for the final in sixth place. There was then another Irish record for the London Olympian in the final when he finished sixth overall in 26.60. Italy's Fabio Scozzoli won gold in 26.18.

McMahon was also in record-setting form when she clocked a time of 1:06.89 to reach the semi-finals of the 100m breaststroke.

The Leander ASC swimmer then went on to lower the time in the semi-final when she touched in 1:06:46 to qualify for today's final.

And just 20 minutes later McMahon was competing in the 100m Individual Medley final, where she clocked 1:01.12, yet another Irish Senior record.

Brendan Hyland set another Irish Junior record when he swam 1:59.73 in the 200m butterfly heats. Clodagh Flood (1:02.61), Jane Roberts (1:02.91) and Sarah Kelly (1:05.21) all set personal bests in the 100m butterfly heats.

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HOCKEY: Frozen pitches put paid to three of yesterday's Irish Women's Senior Cup ties as Hermes away to Armagh, Ards v Ulster Elks, and Pegasus away to Catholic Institute, all fell foul of the weather.

Holders UCD advanced with a 2-0 win over Old Alexandra, their goals coming from Nicola Evans and Jeamie Deacon, while Railway Union managed to plunder a 2-1 victory over Loreto seconds from the end thanks to a short corner goal from Emer Lucey.

Pembroke Wanderers kept up their push for the men's Leinster Division 1 title with a 5-1 win over Railway Union, with Alan Sothern and Maurice Elliott scoring two apiece. Three Rock Rovers, in second spot, slipped up when losing 3-0 to Monkstown.

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Andrew Meredith's reign as Ireland men's hockey started with defeat far from home at the Champions Challenge tournament in Buenos Aires, beaten 4-3 by Argentina

The Irish made a very nervous start to the game but built a surprise two goal lead thanks to a penalty stroke from John Jermyn and a reverse stick goal by Timmy Cockram

However, the sides were back all square before the break before Argentina themselves built a two goal lead. Mikey Watt scored a consolation goal 20 seconds from the final hooter

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GAELIC GAMES: Silvermines of Tipperary staged a remarkable comeback to claim a 0-14 to 0-8 victory and deny Ballyduff of Kerry for the second year in-a-row in the final of the Munster Club IHC at Semple Stadium.

Ballyduff led 0-6 to 0-3 at half time with Bobby O'Sullivan scoring two points while Mikey and Padraig Boyle had a point each as Silvermines found the going tough.

However, they resumed a transformed side with Jason Forde taking advantage of some Ballyduff indiscipline and the sides were tied at 0-8 apiece with eight minutes left. Six unanswered points from Jason Forde (3), David Keogh (2) and Orrie Quirke, saw the Tipperary side crowned.

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CRICKET: Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen's unbroken century partnership put England in a position of great promise on Day 2 of the second Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium.

Cook (87 no) and Pietersen (62 no) joined forces at a critical point in an intriguing contest, on this spinners' pitch, after England had lost two wickets for as many runs to Pragyan Ojha.

From 68-2 shortly before tea, in reply to 327 all out, they then saw out the day to the tune of 178 without further loss – and England's prospects of battling back after their nine-wicket defeat in the first Test were significantly bolstered.

Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann had combined well too in the morning to take India's last four wickets for 61 runs. By the time Swann had Pujara stumped half an hour before lunch, the near immovable India No 3 had batted for almost 18 hours without being dismissed.

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BASKETBALL: Demons suffered their first defeat of the season as league leaders UL Eagles won out 83-72 in last night's top-of-the-table clash played at the UL arena.

Eagles had controlled the game from start to finish with Jason Kileen's rebounding prominent as they brought their record to 9-1 for their campaign to date.

Neptune, meanwhile, overcame DCU saints on an 88-74 scoreline with their underage star Mati Rubak putting up some big defence.

Moycullen moved up to fourth after defeating Killester 79-58 with player coach Salva Camps coming out on top against former club stalwart Puff Summers.

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RALLYING: Craig Breen finishes Day Two of Rallye du Var in sixth place overall after a rollercoaster second day in the French Riviera for the Irish driver.

Breen began the day in 13th position overall and immediately made inroads by claiming the second fastest time on stage five.

However, on stage seven Breen's joy turned to despair when his Sainteloc, Peugeot 207 suffered it's second puncture of the rally. Dropping over two and half minutes with the problem he found himself out side the top 10 again.

The recently-crowned SWRC Champion was back on the pace on stage eight where he again clocked second fastest time to reach midday service in 10th overall. In the final stage Breen kept the pressure on by storming back to end the day in sixth.

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TENNIS: Ireland's Daniel Glancy had to be content with a doubles semi-final placing in the ITF Men's Futures event in Fes, Morocco yesterday.

After an emphatic 6-1 6-3 win in the quarter-finals against Algerian duo Mohamned Hassan and Hichem Yasri, the Mayo man and Britain's Joshua Ward-Hibbert bowed out on a 6-2 6-3 scoreline against the No 3 seeds, Italy's Riccardo Bellotti and Austria's Dominic Thiem.

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GOLF: Argentina's Estanislao Goya made light work of testing conditions in northern Spain to shoot a six under 66 and claim a two-shot lead over the Tour Course in the first round at the European Tour Q-School Final Stage at PGA Catalunya Resort.

Chris Devlin and Simon Thornton are the leading Irishmen over the same course after posting first rounds of 71 with Niall Kearney two shots further back in a tie for 77th place.

Over the Stadium Course David Higgins (73) is five shots behind leader Mikael Lundberg of Sweden. Gareth Shaw and Peter O'Keeffe are both well down after each shot a nine over 81.

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