Sunday 25 February 2018

In Brief: Quigley boosts medal count

BOXING: Donegal middleweight Jason Quigley guaranteed Ireland a second bronze medal at the European U-23 Championships in Russia yesterday.

The 2009 European Youth champion registered a 12-9 last-eight victory over Moldova's Victor Carapchevschii over three rounds at the Sports Palace in Kaliningrad. Quigley will now face Russia's Maksim Timofeev in tomorrow's 75kg semi-final.

Kildare light-flyweight Hugh Myres will also be in last-four action tomorrow, against Israeli surprise package David Albrdian.

However, there was double last-eight disappointment for Irish boxers against Russian opponents yesterday with Declan Geraghty and Mark O'Hara bowing out at the quarter-final stage.

Dublin bantamweight Geraghty, the 2009 Irish Elite champion, lost 17-7 to Vladimir Nikitin and Belfast lightweight O'Hara dropped a 22-10 verdict to Maksim Shimiglev.

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SWIMMING: Barry Murphy just missed out on a place in the final of the 50m breaststroke at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul last night.

Dubliner Murphy had qualified fourth fastest for the semi-finals after clocking 26.76 in the morning heats and if he had equalled his Irish record of 26.60, he would have made today's final.

But the 27-year-old could only manage 26.82, which left him 10th fastest and two places outside of the final.

The London 2012 Olympian has been pleased with his performances in Istanbul and at the recent European championships in France.

"Overall, I am happy because my training has been a bit of a patch-up job, but come the new year and with a good block of training behind me I know I can go fast."

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CRICKET: Mike Hussey scored an unbeaten 115 to drive Australia towards an aggressive declaration at 450-5 before Sri Lanka were reduced to 87-4 at stumps on the second day of the first Test yesterday.

More than two hours of play were lost to rain, but the Australians made the most of what time they had on the picturesque Bellerive Oval to take firm control of the opening match in a three-Test series.

Dimuth Karunaratne was the first Sri Lankan to fall, but it was the cheap wickets of the experienced duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene that would have delighted Australia more.

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RACING: It was to prove yet another glorious Cheltenham Saturday for Paul Nicholls as the champion trainer's four-timer included almost every race of consequence.

In a week that started with the acrimonious departure of retired jumping great Kauto Star, it ended with Nicholls' 18-year-old nephew Harry Derham coming of age aboard the equally youthful Unioniste in the feature Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup.

Unioniste (15/2) carried the familiar yellow silks of John Hales as he forged 11 lengths clear.

Then, just over half an hour later stablemate Zarkandar claimed top honours in the International Hurdle.

Zarkandar (6/5 favourite) was in receipt of 4lb from Grandouet and Rock On Ruby and ended up beating the pair in a fascinating tactical battle.

Ruby Walsh started the day helping Nicholls' Far West (2/9 favourite) cement his position as the best juvenile seen so far when strolling clear in an effective match race with Handazan in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial.

The Jenny Mould Memorial Handicap Chase produced a thrilling finish between Walsh and the Nicholls-trained Shooters Wood (11/4 joint-favourite), who thwarted a late charge from Tony McCoy and His Excellency.

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RUGBY: Fourteen-man Connacht Eagles gained revenge for last week's defeat to Cross Keys with a 31-16 victory in the return game at Dubarry Park in the British and Irish Cup.

Tadhg Leader and Steffan Jones swapped penalties to leave it nine apiece at half-time as Rodney Ah You was sent off for the Eagles.

Leader put Connacht ahead with a try early in the second half and although a Dorian Jones try converted by Steffan Jones briefly had the visitors in front, further home tries from Eoghan Grace and substitute Kevin O'Byrne sealed victory.

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Ulster Ravens kept their pursuit of a quarter-final place on course with a hard-earned victory over Cardiff on a 34-7 scoreline.

The Ulstermen followed up last week's resounding victory with a satisfactory performance, securing a crucial try bonus-point.

Ulster were fortunate to hold a 13-0 lead at half-time. Cardiff failed to convert several chances and succumbed to fatigue in the second half.

The excellent Niall O'Connor kicked 14 points. Tries from Ricky Andrew, skipper Niall Annett, powerhouse Adam Macklin and Adam D'Arcy secured the spoils.

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Darren Meade was the match winner when kicking 17 points in Kanturk's 32-23 Irish Junior Cup quarter-final victory over Cooke at Milltown Road.

The Belfast team led 20-14 at the break but the Cork side struck back with two tries and more Meade penalties.

In another close tie, Clogher Valley, after taking a 7-0 interval advantage, held on to eliminate Newbridge 7-5.

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basketball: Vincent's inflicted only a second defeat on league leaders UL Eagles last night to keep their chances of making the knockout stages alive.

After running into foul trouble early on, Jason Killeen was to have a quiet night for the Limerick men, scoring just four points overall.

And while both Matt Hall and Scott Kinevane fared well from open play, Vincent's were always in command with Conor Grace, Keith Anderson, Eoin Quill and Martin Provizors all reaching double figures in their 76-63 win.

In the Women's Superleague, Glanmire kept the pressure on leaders UL after defeating Killester Ladies 83-57.

The visitors had scored heavily in the first quarter with Niamh Dwyer registering three lay-ups as Glanmire raced into a 23-12 lead they never relinquished.

UL, with an 8-0 record, take on second-placed Mercy at the DCU Sports Complex at 3.30 today.

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AMERICAN FOOTBALL: The New York Giants will honour those killed in the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school by wearing a decal on their helmets for today's game at the Atlanta Falcons, the National Football League (NFL) website reported.

The NFL has asked all home teams to observe a moment's silence prior to kickoffs today and the Giants will also have the initials "S.H.E.S." for Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on the back of their helmets.

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