Friday 23 February 2018

Leaders Sligo held by Bray

soccer: Sligo Rovers' Airtricity League Premier Division title hopes took a knock at the Showgrounds yesterday as Bray Wanderers claimed a point in a 1-1 draw against the league leaders.

Jason Byrne's 12th goal of the campaign put Bray ahead on 49 minutes -- he capitalised on a mistake in the home defence to fire home.

Alan Keane equalised with his first goal of the season, after he was put through by substitute Mark Quigley.

Bray finished the game with ten men as Adam Mitchell was sent off for a second bookable offence.


Watford have appointed Gianfranco Zola as their new manager after the Championship club's new Italian owners sacked Sean Dyche.

The 46-year-old former Italian international and West Ham manager has been given a two-year contract.

Dyche was in charge for a year and guided Watford to 11th in the league last season. He was fired after the the Pozzo family -- who also own Italian side Udinese and Granada in Spain -- completed their takeover of the Hornets last weekend.

Zola has been out of work since being sacked by West Ham in 2010.


golf: British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar has pulled out of this week's Scottish Open at Castle Stuart near Inverness.

The Northern Irishman won the title at Royal Troon two weeks ago and went straight to the Irish Open in his home town Portrush.

His next tournament now will be the British Open at Royal Lytham starting on Thursday week.

Dunbar is one of only two amateurs in the field there, the other being Austria's European champion Manuel Trappel.


David Howell had what he described as "the perfect Saturday'' yesterday -- but it was anything but for his stablemate Lee Westwood.

While Howell, down at 350th in the world, charged into a share of the lead with Dane Anders Hansen following a 67 at the Alstom French Open, Westwood had an injury scare just 12 days before the start of the British Open at Royal Lytham.

The world No 3 tweaked a knee and strained his groin when he slipped walking on wooden sleepers down the side of the cart path to the first tee for his third round at Le Golf National near Paris.

It looked serious as he double-bogeyed the opening hole and bogeyed the next five, but with the pain easing he managed to play the remaining 12 holes in two under.

Graeme McDowell is the leading Irishman following a third round 71 to stand five shots off the pace, two strokes ahead of Shane Lowry. Dubliner Peter Lawrie shot a third-round 72 for a four-over-par overall 214.


Camogie: Two goals in the closing moments from super-sub Noreen Flanagan snatched victory for Tipperary over Kilkenny in the third round of the All-Ireland Senior Championship at Nowlan Park.

The winners led 0-10 to 0-7 at half time but Kilkenny struck early and hard at the start of the second half and led by five points with six minutes remaining. But Flanagan pounced for her two goals to break the Noresiders' hearts.


swimming: Olympian Barry Murphy is hitting top form at just the right time as he looks set to break the 50m butterfly Irish senior record at the Canada Cup in Montreal.

Yesterday Murphy -- a member of the team heading to London in three weeks' time -- finished in 24.50, just one hundredth of a second off the Irish senior record, and he now expects to dip inside the mark in the final.

Meanwhile, Brendan Hyland set his seventh Irish record in just three days as he set a new junior mark for 100m butterfly, breaking the four-year-old time of Conor Leaney when he touched in 55.65.

Curtis Coulter set a new personal best in the heats of the 200m freestyle event, finishing in 1:52.52, which put in him into the semi-finals where he finished 10th overall in 1:52.23.

The heats also saw personal bests for Clodagh Flood (27.87) in the 50m freestyle and David Prendergast (27.41) in the 50m backstroke.


Cricket: England captain Alastair Cook hailed his bowlers after they spearheaded a record ninth consecutive one-day international victory at Chester-le-Street yesterday.

Man-of-the-match Steven Finn led the way with 4-37 as England restricted Australia to 200-9 in conducive conditions for their four-pronged seam attack.

A well-paced chase ensured that score was never enough as England won by eight wickets to secure the series 3-0 with a game to play at Old Trafford on Tuesday.


athletics: Joanne Cuddihy ran her fastest time ever of 23.15 seconds when winning the 200m at the Woodie's DIY Senior Championships and now goes to the Olympics looking well capable of breaking her Irish 400m record.

Galway's Maeve Curley won her first senior title in the 5,000m walk in a time of 24:41.07. "My aim is to try and make the 2016 Olympics in Rio," said Curley who now lives in Tipperary.

Maria McCambridge was a popular winner of the 5,000m, leading every step of the way to win her fifth gold medal, gaining a small compensation for not making the Olympic team in the marathon.

Tori Pena again showed her consistency -- and class -- to retain her pole vault title with a clearance of 4.35 metres, having previously cleared 4.52 to qualify for the Olympics.

Michelle Finn from Leevale showed her strength and stamina when grinding out victory in the 3,000m steeplechase, winning comfortably from Fiona Clinton in 10:45.49.


TENNIS Jonathan Marray became the first British player to win the Wimbledon men's doubles title for 76 years after victory with wildcard partner Frederik Nielsen.

Thirty one year-old Marray, whose mother is a King from Monaghan, and Dane Nielsen only teamed up three events ago but beat fifth seeds Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau 4-6 6-4 7-6 6-7 6-3.

Nielsen's grandfather Kurt was the Wimbledon singles runner-up in 1953 and 1955.


Badminton: Chloe Magee has won through to the women's singles final at the Russia White Nights Pre Olympic Tournament in Gatchina, Russia.

Playing Monika Fasungova of Slovakia in the quarter-final, Magee started well, winning the first set, but in the second was unable to close out the match, narrowly losing 22-20. With the Slovakian starting to tire, Magee dominated the third set, winning 21-6.

After a few hours break Magee faced Romina Gabdullina of Russia in the semi-finals. Again Magee won the opener, then let the second set slip before closing out the match in the third. She now plays No 4 seed Kamila Augustyn of Poland in today's final.

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