Monday 22 January 2018

McGraynor shines for DCU

gaelic games: Wicklow's Conor McGraynor bagged 1-6 as DCU claimed a 1-15 to 0-9 win over Louth in the Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup at Haggardstown last night.

Louth's Richard Brennan became the first player to officially pick up a black card in 2014 when he was punished for dissent 20 minutes from the end, while the hosts reduced to 14 men soon after following the dismissal of Brian White.

The students were in impressive form early on and raced to a 1-6 to 0-3 lead with McGraynor netting their goal after just two minutes.

Five points separated the sides at the break with points from Paddy Keenan and White ensuring a 1-8 to 0-8 scoreline four minutes after the restart. Louth's Kieran Ward extended the students' advantage and they never looked back as Niall Moyna's charges claimed a comfortable win.

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Two first-half goals in the space of a couple of minutes gave Mayo a 2-14 to 0-12 victory over Longford in round 1 of the Hastings Cup under 21 Football Tournament at Emmet Park, Killoe yesterday.

The visitors were trailing by 0-6 to 0-5 before their chief marksman Adam Gallagher dispatched a penalty to the back of the net in the 19th minute. Soon after the second goal materialised, with Evan Regan getting the vital touch.

Longford's top scorer Robbie Smyth, after shooting seven points, was sent off with ten minutes gone in the second half after receiving a black card for remonstrating with Westmeath referee Niall Ward.

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Hosts Cavan coasted to a 1-14 to 0-9 victory over Offaly in a largely one-sided under 21 Hastings Cup opening-round tie at Killeshandra. The Ulstermen led from pillar to post, with Niall Walsh's 17th-minute major helping to propel them into a 1-9 to 0-5 half-time lead, from which they never looked back.

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ATHLETICS: Bahrain's Mimi Blete claimed yesterday's IAAF Antrim International CrossCountry with Fionnuala Britton pipped for third place by Belgium's African import Almensh Blete.

Blete took gold in 18 minutes and seven seconds just ahead of compatriot Maryam Jamal; Belgium's Almensh Blete -- sister of the winner -- took bronze in 18 minutes 21 seconds, two second clear of Britton.

World Cross-Country champion Japhet Korir of Kenya blasted to victory in the men's race, taking the tape in 28:40, two seconds clear of last year's champion Thomas Akeyo of Uganda. Kenya's Emmanuel Bett took third.

Westmeath's Micheal Mulhare was the first Irishman home in seventh position. Paul Pollock's eighth place saw him take the men's Northern Irish title, with Eimear Mullan landing the women's title.

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rugby: Zebre claimed the Italian bragging rights for the first time as they defeated Treviso 14-12 in the Pro12 thanks largely to the boot of Luciano Orquera to heap more pressure on Connacht.

The hosts, who had lost on the road at Treviso a week ago, trailed 9-5 at the break despite scoring the only try through full-back Guglielmo Palazzani as fly-half Mat Berquist kicked three penalties for the visitors.

Berquist added another three-pointer after the resumption, but a trio of penalties for Italy international Orquera gave Zebre the spoils in a 14-12 scoreline.

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James O'Connor scored all of his side's 22 points as London Irish won the battle of the bottom two sides 22-9 in the Premiership against Worcester at the Madejski Stadium.

Australian ace O'Connor contributed a try, a conversion and five penalties as Irish produced a strong second-half performance to put a 14-point gap between themselves and the rock-bottom Warriors.

Worcester's loss was their 12th successive defeat this season, their points coming from three Chris Pennell penalties.

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Johnny Sexton played a full 80 minutes in yesterday's Top 14 League game but his side, Racing Metro, lost 6-0 to Oyannax -- their seventh loss of the season. The Irish out-half missed with the only two penalty attempts he had, both slipping narrowly wide.

Oyonnax won the Pro D2 last year and have already scored notable home victories over over Clermont, Castres and Toulon.

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HOCKEY: UCD continued their upward march towards the Leinster Women's Division One title with a 9-0 win over bottom side North Kildare, Anna O'Flanagan scoring a hat-trick. Hermes, however, continue to make up ground, taking second spot from Loreto, who were not in action, while Old Alexandra also made a notable move upwards, beating Corinthian into fifth.

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Basketball: Ahead of their big semi-final National Cup clash next Friday, the country's top two teams both registered wins in the Premier League with Demons keeping Killester off top spot courtesy of a win away to Marian at the Belfield gym last night.

UCD were blown away in a first quarter with Shane Coughlan shooting four from the outside as Demons ran out comfortable 104-64 winners.

Killester, meanwhile, enjoyed an 85-55 win away to Dublin Inter.

Dublin Inter's next game is away to Neptune who, despite a three-pointer from Gary Walsh in the second half, had to withstand a late run from Star which saw them register eight unanswered points before coming up just short on an 86-84 scoreline.

Irish Independent

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