Tuesday 21 January 2020

Power could be out for season

GAELIC GAMES: Richie Power's season could be over after the ace Kilkenny forward sustained a serious knee injury in a club match last evening.

Power was stretchered off towards the end of his club Carrickshock's victory against James Stephens in Thomastown last night.

Eyewitnesses revealed that the All Star forward was in considerable distress as he was removed from the pitch. The 26-year-old forward looks certain to play no part in next Sunday's Allianz National Hurling League final against Cork at Semple Stadium.

And if Power has, as suspected, sustained serious knee ligament damage, he will be ruled out of Kilkenny's defence of their Leinster and All-Ireland championship crowns.

Kilkenny boss Brian Cody was one of the spectators in Thomastown last night and will be sweating on the results of a scan on Power's damaged knee.

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SNOOKER: Stephen Hendry completed a crushing 13-4 victory over John Higgins to reach the quarter-finals of the Betfred.com World Championship.

Higgins played perhaps the worst eight frames of his career on Friday night to gift that session 7-1 to Hendry, who had already been 5-3 in front after a tighter battle that morning. And, armed with a 12-4 lead, there was no way Hendry was going to lose to his fellow Scot yesterday.

Higgins looked nicely set to take the opening frame of the afternoon but missed a pink, and a break of 64 from Hendry left last year's champion needing a snooker. After leaving a red on, Higgins offered his hand in defeat. Hendry plays another Scot, Stephen Maguire, in the last eight.

Three-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan developed a 5-3 lead over Mark Williams, winner in 2000 and 2003, in their second-round clash. O'Sullivan doubled in the green and added brown and blue in the final frame to leave Williams requiring snookers he had no interest in chasing.

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RUGBY: Garryowen were reduced to 13 men and trailed 6-5 at half-time before a second-half resurgence, and players returning from the sin-bin, saw them overpower Ballymena 24-6 to clinch the Bateman Cup yesterday.

Neil Cronin, younger brother of Leinster's Sean, gave the Limerick side the early advantage when he blocked a clearance and crashed over. Ballymena pressurised in the closing stages of the first half, however, and Garryowen lost Declan Lavery and Rory Hircock to yellow cards.

Two Luke Marshall penalties saw Ballymena lead 6-5 at the break but Ross Hackney's caution and a bustling try from Garryowen wing Alan Gaughan swung the tie. Gaughan crossed for a second try on 59 minutes.

The game's fourth yellow card was flashed to Ballymena's Mark Irwin late in the match and Ronan O'Mahony made the tie safe with an opportunistic try right in the corner. Garryowen captain Paul Neville lifted the trophy after his final match for the club.

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HOCKEY: The line-up for the Men's and Women's Irish Senior Cup semi-finals in two weeks' time features a North-South duel in the men's section, while Leinster teams have a three-to-one advantage in the women's.

Railway Union and Cork Harlequins scored notable victories over Glenanne and Banbridge respectively, with Pembroke Wanderers going down 3-0 away to Lisnagarvey.

Railway coasted to a 3-0 win over Glenanne, their first win over the Glens this term, while Harlequins ousted Banbridge 2-1 with a goal apiece from David Lombard and Colin Ross. Julian Lewis won it for Instonians, scoring the only goal against NICS with only 45 seconds left.

UCD women pulled off the big result of the round by knocking out holders Pegasus 2-1. First-half goals from Nicola Gray (UCD) and Natilie Pinkerton (Pegasus) left it all to play for in a see-saw second half, settled finally in the last two minutes when Anna O'Flanagan got the students winner. Railway Union and Loreto found it all easy picking, scoring 9-0 and 5-0 victories over Armagh and Old Alex.

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GOLF: Austrian Bernd Wiesberger will take a five-shot lead into the final round of the Ballantine's Championship after carding a second straight seven-under-par 65 at Blackstone Golf Club in Icheon, South Korea.

For the second day running the 26-year-old collected seven birdies en route to a flawless round -- equalling his own course record and advancing to 14-under as a result.

Fraser, who won this title on Jeju Island in 2010, remained his nearest challenger on nine-under after a creditable 69 despite blotting his copybook by bogeying the par-five 15th.

England's Oliver Fisher (67) was a further shot back on eight-under alongside Chile's Felipe Aguilar (68), with Ireland's Paul McGinley (65) and Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez (69) one further adrift in a tie for fifth.

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CAMOGIE: Cork are back in the Division 1 League final for the first time since 2007 courtesy of a convincing 1-12 to 0-10 victory over Galway in the first semi-final in Sixmilebridge.

Captain Gemma O'Connor and Orla Cotter were dominant at midfield and Jennifer O'Leary turned in a match-winning performance, scoring 1-7.

Sinéad Cahalan did provide some resistance for Galway in defence but the Westerners never looked like pegging Cork back in the second half.

The sides were level on 0-3 apiece when some good work by Cotter and O'Sullivan in the 13th minute ended with O'Leary rounding her marker and smashing the sliotar to the Galway net for the only goal of the game.

The second semi-final between four-in-a-row chasing Wexford and Kilkenny takes place at Carriganore today.

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CYCLING: Philip Lavery came up trumps yesterday in the Ultimate Clothing Grand Prix held on the custom-built road circuit in Corkagh Park, Clondalkin, Co Dublin.

On a circuit of 1.2kms in length, the competitors raced for 45 minutes and three laps. Lavery, based in England with the Node 4 team, complimented the new circuit. "It is ideal for racing and the cycling authorities should look at the possibility of organising the Criterium Championship at this venue," he said. Gary Gorman surged late to snatch second from Brian Ahern.

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SWIMMING: Melanie Nocher warmed up for the 200m backstroke today by winning the 200m freestyle at the Tri-Nations event in the National Aquatic Centre last night.

The 2008 Olympian is aiming to qualify for London when she competes at the European Championships next month and today's performance should give her a pointer as to where she is at.

Yesterday, Nocher held off British Olympian Hannah Miley to win 200m free gold in 2:00.89.

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