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Mixed bag for Irish crews at Royal Regatta as three reach semi-finals

Three wins on quarter-finals day kept Irish rowing hopes alive at the Henley Royal Regatta but there was disappointment for three more crews, including the UCD eight.

Olympian Cormac Folan and his NUIG team-mates kicked off the Irish interest with a two-length win over the Americans from New York and Camp Randall in the coxless fours. The Galway men established an early lead of more than a length at the quarter mile, and they pressed home their advantage, hanging on to a two-length margin at Fawley all the way to the finish.

But when the Commercial club eight drew Molesey in their third-round encounter it was a different story. With regatta chairman Mike Sweeney in charge from the umpire's launch, the Dubliners took an early lead of just a canvas at the barrier but Molesey went through at Fawley. Commercial spurted just before the mile but the opposition held on to win by a length.

There was better news for Fermoy in the club coxed fours where they drew Glasgow in their third-round match. As the Cork men set off at 44 strokes a minutes to Glasgow's 48, they put in a burst of sustained power, leading by two lengths at Fawley, and controlling the race down the second half.

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Lightweight sculler Dave Mannion came unstuck in his second-round tie of the Diamond Sculls, where he came up against the awesome might of Coleraine's Alan Campbell, the GB international. The margin was already one length at the top of the island before Campbell reduced the rate. Mannion made a late burst, but Campbell had plenty in the tank to lead across the line.

The UCD eight went out at the hands of the Americans from Princeton by just over two lengths.

"We knew they had a fast start but we held them well until they moved again and kept on the pressure. All credit to them, but we're absolutely gutted," said UCD cox Naoise Grisewood.

In the final Irish race of the day, Old Collegians Sean Jacobs and Con Collis beat Sir William Borlase Grammar School partnered by London team-mates James Lindsay-Fynn and Danny Harte in the club quads event to become the third Irish crew in today's semi-finals.

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