Monday 21 October 2019

In Brief: No fairytale end for Horan

rugby: There was no happy ending to the illustrious career of prop Marcus Horan yesterday when his efforts were not sufficient to enable Shannon remain in the top tier for next season after they were trounced 42-0 by UCD in the relegation/promotion play-off at Coonagh.

Horan played 67 times for Ireland, including the Grand Slam win of 2009, during which he scored 30 points. He made 225 Munster appearances and scored 125 points.

The victory earned UCD promotion to Div 1A while it is the first time since the competition began in 1991 that Shannon – nine times champions – have been relegated.

UCD were in front 16-0 at the interval thanks to a try by Barry Daly and three penalties and a conversion by James Thornton. Daly had a second try after 65 minutes and this was followed by intercept tries by Danny Kenny and prop James Tracey. Stephen Murphy then capped a great day for the Div 1B runners-up.

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BOXING: Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin and current European champion Joe Ward are out of today's Elite international with France at the National Stadium, Dublin after picking up hand injuries in Friday night's 10-0 victory over the French in Cork.

Describing the injuries as slight, Irish head coach Billy Walsh said that there was no point taking any further risks with the European Championships just weeks away.

Walsh also confirmed that London 2012 bronze medallist Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan will move up weights for today's second leg.

Barnes moves up from light-fly to flyweight to meet Samuel Kistohurry and Conlan moves up from flyweight to bantamweight to face Elias Friha. France's Dylan Beccu, who Barnes stopped in the second round in Cork last evening, is also out injured.

Boxing begins at 2.0 and tickets are available on the door.

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Cricket: Niall O'Brien hit 104 runs yesterday for Leicestershire in their victory over Gloucestershire in the Yorkshire Bank 40 overs competition.

O'Brien, who hit his century in 88 balls, and fellow opener Josh Cobb hit a partnership of 193 that was the cornerstone of Leicestershire's total of 289.

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gaelic games: Conor McDonald helped himself to a magnificent 3-4 when he inspired Wexford to a thrilling 3-7 to 1-10 win over Kilkenny in the Leinster MHC at Nowlan Park yesterday.

McDonald bagged his first goal in the 10th minute when a mix-up in the home defence saw him bat the ball home from close range. He cracked home a second from a penalty in the 21st minute as Wexford opened out a 2-4 to 1-4 interval lead.

Kilkenny cut the deficit to two points on a few occasions in the second half, but a late score from sub James Cash earned the Slaneysiders the ticket through to the semi-finals with Kilkenny advancing to the quarter-finals.

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goalkeeper Laura Dunne was the toast of Laois last night after her two point-blank saves 10 minutes from time helped the midlanders carve out a 0-9 to 0-7 win over Dublin in the Camogie National League Division 3 final at Mullingar's Cusack Park.

The sides were deadlocked on 0-7 apiece when Dunne was faced with two one-on-one situations but the St Brigid's netminder was equal to the task, first denying Róisín Collins before blocking Emma Flanagan's shot.

That spurred Laois on and points from Síle Burke and player-of-the-match Sarah Ann Fitzgerald clinched the title.

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Offaly were crowned Ladies NFL Division 4 champions when they ran out 1-14 to 0-15 winners over Roscommon at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.

Offaly's first title since their Division 4 success nine years ago sees them promoted to Division 3, with luckless Roscommon condemend to life in the bottom tier for at least another year.

Linda Sullivan's goal midway through the second half gave Offaly a 1-13 to 0-11 lead, but Roscommon dragged themselves into contention with four successive scores.

Player-of-the-match Siobhan Flannery settled the Offaly nerves three minutes from time with her third point from play – and the final score of the game.

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squash: Sligo's Aisling Blake scored a stunning 11-5 11-9 11-6 victory over World No 4 Alison Waters in the Division 1 final of the European Women's Team Championship in Amsterdam yesterday. England won the other matches to clinch the gold medal, leaving the Irish women with silver for the second successive year.

Irish No 1 Madeline Perry from Banbridge, ranked No 11, came up short against world No 2 Laura Massaro on a 11-7 11-5 11-2 scoreline while in the deciding contest, Galway part-timer Laura Mylotte lost 11-4 11-5 11-2 to world No 8 Jenny Duncalf.

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Tennis: The Davis Cup committee of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have docked the Finland Federation their entire prize money of US$8,972 (€6,840) over their refusal to play the final singles rubber in last month's Davis Cup clash with Ireland in Dublin.

With the final contest due to take place, Finland non-playing captain Kim Tillikainen was adamant that his three remaining players in the four-strong team, Jarkko Nieminen, Harri Heliovarra and Henri Kontinen were too injured to take to the court.

An independent medical officer, who had examined the players, declined to declare them "unfit to play".

Irish Independent

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