Saturday 20 January 2018

Irish on song in Azerbaijan

BOXING: David Oliver Joyce was victorious for Ireland at the AIBA World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Azerbaijan yesterday

The St Michael's Athy lightweight posted a 23-11 decision over Mohammad Momevand of Iran in Baku to set up a last-32 clash with Mohammad Khaiber of Afghanistan tomorrow. The Kildare man -- who forced the tall and rangy Iranian into a standing count in round three -- was 14-7 up when he answered the bell for the start of the third.

Earlier yesterday, Darren O'Neill eliminated Glodi Eneste. The Kilkenny southpaw beat the Norwegian middleweight 16-5 in a repeat of the 2009 European Union final which O'Neill, a silver medal winner at the 2010 European Championships, won 13-2.

He'll now meet 32-year-old 2004 and 2008 Egyptian Olympian Mohamed Hikal, a bronze medal winner at the 2005 AIBA World Championships, tomorrow. Yesterday's victories ensure that the entire 10-man Irish squad are now through to the last 32 of the tournament.

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GAELIC FOOTBALL: Carlow senior football champions Old Leighlin fought back from a poor start to book a first ever SFC final meeting with Tinryland, following yesterday's 2-7 to 1-6 semi-final replay win over Eire Og at Dr Cullen Park.

Eire Og led 1-2 to 0-1 after a cracking goal on 10 minutes from centre-forward Alan O'Brien. The challengers led 1-4 to 1-3 at half-time but a goal for Old Leighlin from left half-forward David Bambrick on 37 minutes put the champions in front for the first time (2-4 to 1-5).

Once in front the men from near the Kilkenny border held their composure to book an October 9 final meeting with Tinryland.

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HURLING: Having initially looked like having the Fr Collins Cup in the bag, holders Lavey needed a free from Paddy Henry deep in injury-time to rescue a 1-14 to 3-8 draw against Kevin Lynch's in the Derry SHC final at Celtic Park yesterday.

A brace of goals from Henry and a third from Cailean O'Boyle looked to have set the Gulladuff men on their way to consecutive county titles as they led 3-7 to 0-12 as the game entered six minutes of injury time. Two Paddy Kelly frees closed the gap to two and then substitute Ciarán Mackle found the net to put Kevin Lynch's side 1-14 to 3-7 in front, before Henry pointed to save the day for Lavey and earn a replay.

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TENNIS: World No 4 Andy Murray survived a scare to reach the final of the Thailand Open in Bangkok yesterday.

The top seed won the first set 6-2 against Gilles Simon, but the Frenchman fought back to win the second set 6-3. However, the Scot broke early in the third set, and went on to win the decider 6-2 to book a place in the final against American Donald Young.

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CONOR NILAND last night set up a possible showdown against his Davis Cup teammate Louk Sorensen in the qualifying second round of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Mons, Belgium.

No 4 seed Niland clinched his place in the last 16 after a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win over Belgian wild card Ofaf de Weerdt in just an hour. Today, Sorensen is due to face Germany's Gero Kretschmer in his opening-round match.

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Hockey: The clash of Glenanne and Pembroke Wanderers lived up to the hype at Serpentine Avenue yesterday, with the home side taking the points 2-1.

Richie Shaw got the Glens off to a flyer after eight minutes. However, Pembroke weathered the storm making equalising from Kirk Shimmins on the stroke of half-time.

It proved a timely leveller as their response in the second half put them on the winning path, with Mathew Brown giving them the lead 20 minutes after the break which they held to the end.

Elsewhere, Corinthians somehow clawed back a two-goal deficit with seven minutes to go to snatch a 3-3 draw against Railway Union.

On the women's side Loreto lost their place at the top in Leinster Division 1 losing 4- 2 to UCD, who moved up into the top half of the table.

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Basketball: Neptune made an impressive debut under Mark Scannell as they overcame UL at the Neptune Arena last night on a 78-62 scoreline.

Featuring well for the Cork team was new American Ron Thompson who turned in very impressive stats which included 28 pts, 12 rebounds and five assists.UL, under former Killester coach Mark Keenan, had Jason Killeen back in their ranks after a spell in the States and he returned with 19 points.

Meanwhile Killester proved to strong for Star in the second half with Jermaine Turner's 21 points setting up them up for an easy 90-63 win over the Belfast outfit.

In the Womens Superleague, Glanmire welcomed back duo Niamh Dwyer and Valerie O'Driscoll as they defeated Oblate Dynamos 59-40

And Dwyer -- named England's top-flight player of the year last season -- made a successful impact as Glanmire under new boss Cormac O'Callaghan blitzed Dynamos 21-7 in the final quarter.

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AUSSIE RULES: Geelong kicked the first goal just 10 seconds into the match and withheld numerous Collingwood comeback attempts to beat the Magpies 18-11 (119) to 12-9 (81) in the Australian Football League championship final yesterday.

A crowd of 99,537 watched as the Cats prevented Collingwood from winning their second consecutive title at the MCG in Melbourne and tie Carlton and Essendon for total league championship titles at 16. It was Geelong's ninth title and third in five years.

Collingwood led by three points at half-time but Geelong kicked five goals in the third quarter to lead by seven going into the fourth quarter, which they dominated to give Chris Scott a championship in his first season as coach.

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