Monday 20 January 2020

Mixed feelings for O'Rourke

ATHLETICS: It was a mixed day for Irish athletes at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul yesterday as Derval O'Rourke crashed out but Ben Reynolds booked a semi-final place, writes Marie Crowe.

O'Rourke failed to progress to the 60m hurdles final after she finished sixth in her semi-final. However, newcomer Ben Reynolds qualified for today's 60m hurdles semi-final with his fifth-place finish.

Despite O'Rourke running a season's best of 8.13, she was disappointment with her performance.

"I haven't had an ideal indoor season but still I felt I could come here and run well," she said. "I just have to go away and have a long think about it and come back better for outdoors. I don't think I'm that far away from being a finalist.

"Nothing is too disappointing, everything moves on, it's about the Olympics, today is just a bad day."

Earlier, Reynold's booked his place in today's semi-finals of the men's 60m hurdles by finishing fifth in his heat.

The North Down athlete ran a time of 7.82, which earned him one of the four fastest qualifier places. It was Reynolds' championship debut for Ireland and although he qualified for the semi-final, he was .08 seconds outside his personal best and admitted afterwards that he wasn't entirely happy with how he performed.

"I just need to relax and enjoy it. Why do I do it? For enjoyment. You can lose that side of it. I need to be a lot more aggressive out of the blocks in the semi-finals."

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Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe has joined Ireland team-mate Natalya Coyle in the final of the opening World Cup event in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Kilkenny man becomes the first male Irish pentathlete to make it through to a World Cup final, coming through a strong field of 99 to take his place in today's decider. He came 16th in the fencing, and eighth in both the swim and combined run and shoot, 40 points behind Chinese winner Jianli Guo in the B qualifier.

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HOCKEY: Ireland recorded an impressive 6-1 win over Russia in their bid to win a place at the London Olympics, but they had to pull out all the stops.

A near-capacity Belfield crowd saw John Jermyn, winning his 133rd cap come on from the bench, to give Ireland the lead in the 14th minute.

The cheers had barely died down a minute later as Jermyn thrust forward, to set it up for Timmy Cockram who made it 2-0. The resilient Russians chased down everything however and forced keeper David Harte to make some crucial saves. They were rewarded in the 24th minute when their No 6 Zakirov slotted home a rebound shot off Harte's pad.

Leading 2-1 at the break, Irish coach's Paul Revington half-time talk did the trick as the home side scored four more.

The pressure lifted nine minutes into the second half, when Mitch Darling popped up to slot home from close range to make it 3-1 while Peter Caruth, Conor Harte and Michael Watt sealed the win.

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GAELIC GAMES: Causeway CS beat Nenagh VS 3-13 to 2-15 in the Munster VS 'A' hurling final yesterday.

The woodwork denied Nenagh a replay in the last action as Causeway celebrated an amazing win. At one stage in the second half the Kerry side were five points behind but came back to open up a four-point advantage in final minute.

But Nenagh's man of the match Kevin O'Halloran goaled to leave them a point behind and Mark McCarthy's late effort came back off a post as Causeway held on.

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AN heroic defensive display from St Fergal's, Rathdowney saw them run out 2-8 to 0-12 winners over Borris VS in a cracking Leinster Vocational Schools SH 'A' final at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow yesterday.

The south Carlow school raced into an 0-6 to 0-1 lead after 14 minutes but a Fergal's goal from right half-forward Aidan Corby after 15 minutes brought the Laois side right back into it, before the half-time score was deadlocked 1-5 to 0-8. Borris fell behind when a long-range free from their outstanding centre back Paddy Bergin went all the way to the Borris net leaving Fergal's 2-5 to 0-9 ahead. Borris applied huge pressure but with Carlow county senior player Martin Kavanagh failing to spark, they lacked scoring power in attack.

Fergal's outstanding defensive qualities were evident throughout. The Laois side copper-fastened victory with a superb pointed free their top forward Tadgh Dowling, who finished with 0-6.

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Dermot Earley has made a significant step in his recovery from a nightmare run of injuries by playing his first match for 19 months.

Earley played the entire second half for a Kildare selection in a one-point victory over Waterford at WIT's Carriganore complex on Friday night.

Fellow cruciate victim, Hugh Lynch also saw some action, having suffered his injury in training last July.

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GOLF: Rory McIlroy shot a superb 65 at the Cadillac Championship in Florida yesterday to end the day at nine under par.

At one stage, McIlroy looked set for a course record, being eight under par after 10 holes. Having started the day in 28th, he rocketed to a tie for third and was just two behind overnight leader Bubba Watson, who had yet to tee off again following his 62 on Friday. However, when he bogeyed the 14th after driving into sand and dropped another shot at the 16th his chances of the record were gone.

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CYCLING: Stephen Halpin opened his account for the season yesterday in the Ras Naomh Finian held in Clonard, Co Meath. Halpin, who races for the British-based Metaltek-Scott team, outfoxed his four breakaway companions to land the spoils.

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BASKETBALL: UCD, 2011 cup champions, are on course for a second consecutive appearance at the National Basketball Arena after they recorded a surprise 83-80 victory over Neptune in last night's Men's Superleague quarter-final in Neptune Stadium.

While Michael Bonaparte (28 points) turned in a big performance for Neptune, a crucial tip in on the buzzer by Cathal Finn meant UCD trailed by just a point at the interval, 42-41. And with Owen McNally and Niall Meaney opening up an 11-point lead for Marian heading down the stretch, Neptune were found wanting.

UCD now face DCU Saints away next Sunday while UL Eagles take on UCC Demons in the other semi-final after a 97-81 win away to Killester.

Meanwhile, a Kate Maher basket earned Wildcats a 67-65 win in overtime against Killester in the Women's Superleague quarter-final.

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