Saturday 20 January 2018

In brief: Niland on fire in Mexico heat


IRELAND'S Conor Niland yesterday made a highly impressive start to his assault on the ATP Challenger Tour event in Leon, Mexico.

The Limerick man, who is seeded No 7, romped to a 6-3 6-1 win over France's 432-ranked Jean-Noel Insausti in the outdoor hardcourt tournament.

Niland's reward is a clash today with Switzerland's 414-ranked Roman Valent, who thrashed Australia's Sadik Kadir in his opening match.

Meanwhile, Ireland's unseeded James McGee yesterday pushed the No 5 seed Malek Jaziri to three sets in the ITF Men's Futures event in Angers, France, eventually losing out 4-6 6-2 6-4.


All four provincial senior doubles champions will contest this season's GAA Handball All-Ireland semi-finals, following Meath's third-game victory over Armagh on Monday.

Meath's Brian Carroll and Tom Sheridan made sure of their last-four spot with a 21-8 win in the third game of their rescheduled quarter-final contest against Armagh's James Doyle and Charly Shanks.

Meath now take on Cavan's Paul Brady and Michael Finnegan, while in the second semi-final pairs reigning champions, Mayo's Dessie Keegan and Joe McCann, with rising Limerick stars, Seamus O'Carroll and CJ Fitzpatrick.

Also in action this weekend are the top four ladies in the country as they battle it out in the All-Ireland semi-finals. No 1 seed Aisling Reilly (Antrim) takes on Kildare's Anna Spence in Kingscourt (Cavan), while Kerry's Maria Daly and Marianna Rushe (Roscommon) meet at the Crinkle venue in Offaly.


First-half goals from Enda Dunne and Dave McGrath were enough to see Irish Universities comfortably regain the Hooper Cup from the Colleges FAI on a 2-1 scoreline at the Oscar Traynor Centre.

Dunne worked his way to the back line on 12 minutes and fired home a low left-footed drive from a tight angle. The Universities stretched their lead on the half hour when the unmarked McGrath headed firmly to the net from Alex Lee's fine right-wing cross.

Niall McCabe headed home a consolation for the Colleges FAI side in the final minute.

Colleges FAI -- K Burns, S Moynihan (S Fitzgerald 63), V Ekanem,E Browne, A McCann (N McCabe h-t), S Keely, P Doohan (K Crehan h-t), L Collins, D Ledwith, L Lynch, D O'Sullivan (T Elms 68).

Irish Universities -- N O'Carroll, S Conneely, M McSweeney M Conneely (C O'Shaughnessy 85), B Cleary, A Lee (P O'Brien 64), C Foley, C Mooney, E Dunne (P Reilly 64), M Gilmore (C Burke 52), D McGrath.

Ref -- T McGuinness (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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