Thursday 14 December 2017

In Brief: O'Dwyer tips Lilywhites

GAELIC GAMES: Mick O'Dwyer is tipping Kildare to lift Sam Maguire after yesterday's Croke Park shock which saw his native county crash out of the championship. The Kerry legend has plenty of inside knowledge on the Lilywhites having managed them for two separate terms. During his second stint in 1998 Kildare won the Leinster title but narrowly lost out to Galway in the All-Ireland final.

Speaking on RTE last night O'Dwyer indicated that he has no plans to retire and although he has plenty of options for the 2011 season he has yet to make up his mind. Speculation has been mounting over the last few weeks as to what county O'Dwywr would head to but he didn't reveal his intentions. Meanwhile he is enjoying his time off, coaching his club Waterville, golfing and fishing.


Gaelic Games: Down's Graham Clarke was King of the Mountain for the first time after claiming the overall title in the M Donnelly All-Ireland Poc Fada competition at the Annaverna Mountain in Cooley, Co Louth, yesterday.

Clarke took the honours ahead of Clare's Brendan McNamara, finishing the 5km course in 151 pocs.

Meanwhile, Waterford's Patricia Jackman claimed back-to-back Camogie Poc Fada titles, while Galway's Owen Treacy was the under-16 boys winner.


Motorsport: Red Bull Racing destroyed their rivals in qualifying ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix by sweeping to their sixth all-front row of the year spearheaded by pole king Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel claimed his seventh pole of the season and fourth in a row with a crushing lap at the Hungaroring of 1:18.773secs, just over four-tenths of a second quicker than Mark Webber.

It is Red Bull's 11th pole in the 12 races this season, but this was by far their most impressive, with third-on-the-grid Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari a staggering 1.2secs adrift. Alonso is joined on the second row by team-mate Felipe Massa, who suffered a near-fatal accident in qualifying on this track just over a year ago.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton again performed superbly in a below-par McLaren to claim fifth ahead of Nico Rosberg's Mercedes, but will have to go some to make it three wins in four visits here.


Cycling: Martyn Irvine of Planet X made it to the line first after 113km of racing, on the first stage of the Suir Valley 3 Day yesterday.

He held off the challenge of Conor Murphy of the Eurocycles Team with Andy Roche of the Isle of Man who, coincidentally, made all the running on the first stage of the Kerry Group Ras Mumhan at Easter.

The first three home were part of five-man group who decided the outcome of the stage.

The stage, which started and finished in Clonmel, was marred by at least 35 cyclists being involved in a crash on the road between Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir on the outward journey. Unfortunately, one was despatched to hospital with a suspected broken collar bone.


Cricket: Eoin Morgan's older brother, Gavin, hit 119 not out in the Senior Two Cup Final as Balbriggan had a 199-run win over Phoenix II at Balrothery.

The win bridged a 21-year gap for the north Dublin side, who are ambitious to break into Division 2 this year.

Meanwhile, in the Leinster League, Merrion had their third one-run win of the season when beating YMCA at Anglesea Road yesterday. YM were bowled all out, one-run short of their 270-run target.


Equestrian: Ireland now lies sixth in the Meydan Superleague of show jumping, it was confirmed yesterday by the world governing body, the FEI.

With only one leg of the series left -- Dublin Horse Show next Friday -- it now seems certain that Ireland will remain in the Superleague of the world's top 10 nations for 2011.

The team of Shane Breen, Dermott Lennon, Billy Twomey and Denis Lynch finished sixth overall at the British Nations' Cup in Hickstead on Friday, despite a catastrophic fall by Lennon and gelding Hallmark Elite at the notorious Hickstead water jump, which resulted in his automatic elimination and removed Ireland's discard option in the crucial second round of jumping.

Lennon is on the five-man squad for Ireland's Aga Khan team on Friday at Dublin alongside Cian O'Connor, Billy Twomey, Denis Lynch and Shane Breen.

Show jumping manager Robert Splaine will select his final four after Thursday's competitions. The lowest scoring four teams in the Meydan Superleague will be relegated after the Nations' Cup in Dublin.


GOLF: American Morgan Pressel continued her recovery from a poor first round at the Ricoh Women's British Open with a stunning seven-under-par third round of 65 yesterday.

Pressel endured a tough opening at Royal Birkdale on Thursday with a poor five-over-par 77. However, a 71 on Friday saw her fight her way back and that resurgence continued yesterday despite a wayward first two holes.

That put her five shots off leader Yani Tseng in a group of four on three under.

Tseng, of Taiwan, leads by four shots on eight under after successive 68s. The chasing pack consists of Amy Yang of Korea and American pair Christie Kerr and Brittany Lincicome, all on four under.


Tennis: Ireland's Amy Bowtell has surpassed all expectations by qualifying for the final of the ITF Women's Circuit event in Chiswick, west London.

Playing in only her second adult world-ranking event this year, the 16-year-old from Greystones yesterday ripped up the form book once again by dumping out the No 3 seed, Britain's 508-ranked Jocelyn Rae.

Bowtell underlined her character, composure and resolve by recovering from losing the first set to send Rae packing on a 4-6 6-3 7-5 scoreline.

In today's final, Bowtell takes on Britain's Tara Moore, who recently reached the quarter-finals of Junior Wimbledon..

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