Monday 18 December 2017

Meadow takes amateur title

Golf: Stephanie Meadow yesterday became the first Northern Ireland winner of the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship since Maureen Madill, who is now a television golf commentator, 33 years ago.

The 20-year-old from Royal Portrush is the first Irish winner since Lilian Behan in 1985.

Just a week after Alan Dunbar won the amateur title, the plus-three handicapper continued the amazing success for Northern Ireland golf when she swept to a 4&3 victory over Spanish teenager Rocio Sanchez Lobato.

The Alabama University student, who holed the winning putt for Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis cup three weeks ago, said: "This has been the best month in my whole life."

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Soccer: The FAI has welcomed the news that Uefa's executive committee will present a special award to Irish fans to recognise their behaviour and contribution to Euro 2012.

UEFA president Michel Platini said that he intends to travel to Dublin to make the presentation. The decision comes after Irish supporters were praised internationally for their behaviour despite results on the pitch.

The FAI has confirmed that the award will be dedicated to the memory of James Nolan who lost his life in a tragic accident in Bydgoszcz during the tournament.

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Laurent Blanc has stepped down as coach of France. The former Bordeaux coach guided Les Bleus to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 where a limp display saw them go out 2-0 to Spain.

The 46-year-old took over from Raymond Domenech after France's miserable campaign at the World Cup in 2010, but he will not renew his contract after meeting with the French Football Federation.

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Boxing: Jason McKay and Brian Wall had to settle for silver yesterday after losing out in their double header with Russia at the 16th European Junior Championships in Bulgaria. McKay, who boxes out of the Canal BC in Antrim, was beaten 16-7 by Suleiman Bammatov in the light-flyweight final.

And Wall, of the Cashen Vale BC in Kerry, was retired with a nose injury in the opening round of his middleweight final with Magomed Magamedov.

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AN Irish-made documentary on the life and fights of 'Gentleman Jim' Corbett will have its world premiere on Wednesday July 11 as part of the Galway Film Fleadh.

Corbett, born in San Francisco to Irish-born parents, won the world heavyweight title by knocking out John L Sullivan in 21 rounds in 1892 and lost it to Bob Fitzsimmons in 1897. After his retirement Corbett turned to acting at a time when the movie industry was in its infancy. The documentary is written and directed by Andrew Gallimore and narrated by Liam Neeson.

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Athletics: Paul Hession finished eighth in the men's 200m final in Helsinki last night in a time of 21.27.

Hession, who was drawn in the tight inside lane, blasted from the blocks and passed the Italian Diego Marani. However, he faded towards the close and the Italian passed him on the line.

It was a disappointing night too for the men's and women's 4x400m relay teams. The women finished in fifth -- following an impressive second leg from Joanne Cuddihy -- but were disqualified for a zone infringement in the third changeover between Marian Heffernan and Michelle Carey.

The men's team finished eight in 3.12.63 but were later disqualified for an out-of-zone changeover between David Gillick and Tim Crowe, while Jason Harvey stepped inside the track 120m from the finish.

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Gaelic football: Tyrone packed too much scoring power for Derry as they ran out 0-15 to 0-6 winners in a one-sided Ulster MFC semi-final at Clones.

Five James McGahan points and three from Mark Bradley helped secure a comfortable win for the Red Hands, who will meet Monaghan in the decider.

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Diarmuid Murtagh was the hero for Roscommon as his extra-time point clinched a spot in the Connacht minor football final against Mayo in two weeks' time.

Eoin McCormack looked to have given Galway victory with his goal seven minutes from time, but two late frees from Thomas Corcoran pushed the game at Tuam Stadium yesterday evening into extra-time.

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Cycling: Fabian Cancellara went full circle yesterday when he won the Tour de France prologue in Liege on the same circuit as his first major victory in the same race in 2004.

The Swiss was seven seconds quicker than pre-Tour favourite Bradley Wiggins, clocking seven minutes and 13 seconds over the 6.4km course.

French time trial champion Sylvain Chavanel was third in the same time as Wiggins. It was Cancellara's fifth victory in the Tour opener.

Irish riders Daniel Martin and Nicolas Roche finished in 55th and 56th place respectively. Martin was 24 seconds behind the winner, Roche 25.

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Camogie: Wexford maintained their good start to the All-Ireland senior championship and gained some measure of revenge for their defeat in the league final in the process by defeating Cork 0-14 to 0-9 in their second-round tie in Enniscorthy.

The champions' excellent defence was critical in a game in which both sides largely cancelled themselves out.

Galway had seven points to spare over Kilkenny, with two outstanding goals from Brenda Hanney the key to the 2-11 to 1-7 result.

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Australian Rules: Caolán Mooney made his competitive AFL debut yesterday in what was just his 14th game of Aussie Rules football, as his side Collingwood defeated Freemantle 107 to 78.

The 19-year-old was introduced as a fourth-quarter substitute in place of Travis Cloke and received a resounding cheer from the Collingwood fans amongst the 44,891 attendance at the MCG.

The Rostrevor native made a very good impact as well, showing his renowned speed and setting up goals for Chris Dawes and Dale Thomas.

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rowing: Hopes for Irish success at Henley Royal Regatta finally came unstuck yesterday when Sanita Puspure went out of the single sculls at the hands of Canadian Isolda Penney.

The scullers went off evenly in their semi-final, with Puspure taking a slight lead after the quarter-mile mark. But Penney was never out of the fight and bided her time to make the killer move with just 400 yards left.

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