Monday 19 February 2018

In brief: Players could share GAA pot

GAELIC GAMES: Inter-county players could be in for a share of advertising income and gate receipts after GAA Director General Páraic Duffy revealed that the Association is open to discussing such a proposal, writes Marie Crowe.

Speaking on Setanta's iTalk Sport, Duffy said that allocating five or 10 per cent of their annual receipts is something the Association is willing to look at. This could generate up to €1.35m for a players' fund.

Gaelic Players Association spokesman Sean Potts said that right now there are formal negotiations taking place between the GAA and the GPA on a long-term agreement.

"The nuts and bolts of how we plan to operate for the next few years are being finalised now and part of that is how we will support players through the current economic crisis. How the funding is being made available is also being discussed at the moment and it is something that will be publicised when the agreement is finalised," said Potts.

"I know that in a few pre-season tournaments money has been raised for a benevolent fund already, so I think it would probably make sense to formalise some arrangement where some of the gate receipts were put into funds, the formality of that has to be finalised also.

"It's all part of the broader negotiations; how both parties can work together to ensure that there is a support structure there for players. We know that goodwill from the GAA is there, we just need to finalise the formal agreement first," added Potts.

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Although on the losing side, Roscommon's Cathal Cregg was the star of the show as the 2010 All Stars overcame their 2009 opponents in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Cregg was the unanimous choice for man-of-the-match after hitting an impressive 4-2. Cregg was introduced as a first-half substitute and all his goals came in the second half of a game that was decided by a penalty shoot-out, after the sides finished deadlocked at full time following a 19-goal spree -- 2009 All Stars 10-8, 2010 All Stars 9-11.

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GOLF: Gary Murphy kick-started his European Tour qualifying school stage two campaign on a generally disappointing day for the Irish contingent in Spain.

Kilkenny man Murphy, who lost his card for the main circuit this year after a season of toil at the top table, bounced back from his opening 75 at El Valle in Murcia with a three-under 69.

Murphy finished with a two-over 144 and is still outside the qualifying places in 37th behind halfway leaders, Raphael De Sousa and Mads Dam.

Birr's Stephen Grant slipped back with a 74 for 145 while Mervyn Owens (147) and Barrie Trainor (148) are both languishing down the order.

At Arcos Gardens in Jerez, Lurgan's Gareth Shaw had to settle for a second successive two-over 74 for a 148 as he finished eight behind French frontrunner Christophe Brazillier.

Jonathan Caldwell, who earned a tour card at the 2008 Q-school final, sagged to a 79 for 150 while former Challenge Tour winner Michael McGeady slithered to a crippling 83 for 159.

Niall Turner, the only Irish player at Hacienda Del Alamo, has work to do after a 73 left him on a 147 while play at Costa Ballena was delayed for over five hours due to torrential rain and was eventually suspended.

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Rugby: Drew Mitchell scored a hat-trick as Australia humiliated their hosts 59-16 at the Stade de France. After Adam Ashley-Cooper's early score, Australia's problems at the scrum were exposed when France were awarded a penalty try and Les Bleus moved into the lead at 16-13 courtesy of the third of Morgan Parra's three penalties at the start of the second half.

But tries from Benn Robinson and Will Genia in the 48th and 51st minutes put Australia in control, before Mitchell claimed a quick-fire hat-trick and James O'Connor added a try of his own to complete a personal haul of 29 points.

Meanwhile, Romania beat Uruguay 39-12 to seal the 20th and final berth at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The win in Bucharest gave Romania a 60-33 victory over the home-and-away play-off following a 21-21 draw in Montevideo two weeks ago and maintains their record of qualifying for every tournament since the competition's inception in 1987.

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Basketball: UCD Marian defeated Saints last night in a game that saw the Glover brothers, Pat and Barry, paired off against each other. A three- pointer from halfway by Michael Chubb had given Vincents a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter and they were 40-36 up at half- time. However, with Barry Glover coming out on top after the break, Marian ran out comfortable winners, 81-69.

Micheal McGinn was in outstanding form for Neptune as Moycullen never recovered from a poor first quarter -- Pat Price's team running out 100-77 winners.

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equestrian: Mayo's Cameron Hanley celebrated a return to form at Dresden, Germany yesterday with a first place in the Grand Prix Qualifier competition signalling his first major victory in some months.

Riding Castlemartin Stud's 13-year-old Danish-bred gelding "Complete'', the 37-year-old was one of 15 combinations through to the second round from a starting field of 60, and pipped Netherlands challenger Willem Greve to the €6,600 winner's prize by a twelfth of a second.

Hanley, who finished fourth at last year's European Jumping Championships in England, now has his sights set on this afternoon's Dresden Grand Prix, for which yesterday's competition was a qualifier. The Grand Prix boasts total prize money of €30,000 with a Mercedes car going to the winner.

Sunday Independent

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