Sunday 21 January 2018

Sport in brief

Aisling Sullivan, Killester, in action against Kathryn Fahy, UL Huskies
Aisling Sullivan, Killester, in action against Kathryn Fahy, UL Huskies

BASKETBALL: Defending champions UL Huskies booked their place in the final of the National Cup with a 80 -59 win over Killester at the Neptune Stadium last night.

Rachel Clancy’ s three-point-er had given UL a 39 -22 lead at half-time. Rachel Vanderwals and Aoife McDermott’s powerful inside play saw James Weldon ’s team pull away after the break. In the other semi-final, Glanmire showed terrific defence in the final quarter to defeat DCU MErcy 62 -53. Niamh Dwyer opened up a telling six-point lead with just two minutes to go . Lindsay  Peat countered with a three-pointer for DCU, but Glanmire were able to close out the game with two free throws from Dwyer.

CRICKET: Chris Dougherty scored a brilliant century as Ireland 'A' won the opening game of their Sri Lankan tour by 132 runs against a Sri Lankan Police XI in Colombo.

Dougherty struck 12 fours and a six in his 102 which helped Ireland post a healthy 274-4 in their 50 overs. Skipper Andrew Poynter impressed with 68 from just 65 balls as he and Dougherty rotated the strike, while also scoring boundaries at regular intervals.

The Police side were never in the hunt chasing the total, managing 142 all out in 45 overs as Phil Eaglestone (1-7) and Stuart Thompson (1-15) secured early breakthroughs, while change bowlers Eddie Richardson (1-25) and left-arm spinner James Cameron-Dow (1-32) kept the pressure on the beleaguered hosts.

Donemana all-rounder Andy McBrine (4-31) was the most successful of the attack, while Pembroke's Barry McCarthy (1-14) also impressed as six of the seven Irish bowlers used got amongst the wickets.

"It's good that there is strong competition for squad places, as it shows that there's not only quality but also depth in Irish cricket," said Ireland coach Phil Simmons.

Ireland 'A' are back in action today when they take on Kalutara Town in another 50-over contest, before the tour finishes on Tuesday with two Twenty20 matches.

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RUGBY: Former Ulster player Niall O'Connor kicked 17 points in Jersey's 37-19 British and Irish Cup win over Ulster Ravens. Ten minutes into injury-time they were awarded a penalty try and this earned them a bonus point to leapfrog Ulster in the table.

Meanwhile, Connacht Eagles were destroyed 59-3 by Rotherham Titans, who ran nine tries past the poor Connacht second string. Laurence Pearce and Jamie Broadley made it 12-0 to the home side early, with Connacht's only points coming from a Tadhg Leader penalty.

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GAELIC GAMES: Depleted Mayo were comprehensively beaten by 1-14 to 0-10 by a sharp and clinical Cavan outfit in yesterday's Hastings Cup clash at Bekan. Only excellent saves in either half by Mayo goalkeeper Shane Keane prevented a rout.

The Breffni boys led by 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time. Three points was as close as Mayo could get to the visitors in the second half as four points from Kevin Boucher helped seal the win.

In the other cup clash, Offaly battled back from a 2-4 to 0-5 half-time deficit to beat Longford thanks to a Gareth Mann point at the death. Ross McInerney had hit two goals for Longford in the opening half but they came unstuck in the second period.

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GOLF: England's Tommy Fleetwood will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Volvo Golf Champions today, with France's Victor Dubuisson and Holland's Joost Luiten in hot pursuit.

Defending champion and local favourite Louis Oosthuizen had been leading with three holes to play but ran up a triple-bogey seven on the 16th after hitting his second shot into thick undergrowth.

Meanwhile, Padraig Harrington shot a round of 70 to keep him in contention, while Darren Clarke's 72 leaves him six off the pace. Michael Hoey and Simon Thornton shot rounds of 73 and 80 respectively and are out of the running.

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HOCKEY: The call-up to international duty had a telling effect on some of the leading teams on the domestic league front, none more so than UCD who had been setting a fast pace at the top of Leinster Division 1.

They fell 4-0 to Hermes with six of their side away on international duty in Spain, while Three Rock Rovers drew 4-4 with Railway Union at Park Avenue, having led 3-0.


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ATHLETICS: Fionnuala Britton finished in second place in the Great Edinburgh Cross-Country International yesterday. Britton was competing against the current European cross-country champion Sophie Duarte of France and the silver medallist Gemma Steel of Great Britain.

Britton, along with Duarte, Steel and British duo Charlotte Purdue and Emelia Gorecka, were to the fore of the field from the offset. Steel and Gorecka broke clear on the final lap, with Steel running out the winner in a time of 20.35. Britton finished nine seconds back in a time of 20.44.

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Michael Bowler of Kilkenny City Harriers took gold at the Woodies DIY national indoor combined events. Bowler's victory at 60-metre hurdles and shot putt gave him a 138-point victory over Kourosh Foroughi.

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TENNIS: Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro crushed defending champion Bernard Tomic 6-3 6-1 in the final of the Sydney International yesterday.

Elsewhere, American John Isner earlier claimed his second Auckland Open title over Lu Yen-Hsun in New Zealand, while Spanish qualifier Garbine Muguruza hammered Klara Zakopalova to clinch her maiden WTA title in Hobart.


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IRELAND'S Amy Bowtell came up trumps yesterday in the singles final of the British LTA Tour event in Billesley, near Birmingham, against the top seed, Britain's Lucy Brown.

Bowtell, seeded No 2, dominated the contest from the outset and after suffering a 6-1 demolition in the opening set, Brown retired from the match, citing a leg muscle injury.

Next week's ITF Women's Circuit event in Glasgow marks the Irish No 1's initial sortie into the world ranking arena for 2014, and she is placed No 11 in the acceptance list, which is headed by Britain's Jade Windley, who is ranked at 302.

Irish Independent

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