Saturday 18 November 2017

Sport in brief: Evans moves into Giro D'Italia lead

Cadel Evans of Australia and team BMC Racing rides to the sign on prior to the eighth stage of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, a 179km medium mountain stage between Foligno and Montecopiolo on May 17, 2014 in Foligno, Italy
Cadel Evans of Australia and team BMC Racing rides to the sign on prior to the eighth stage of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, a 179km medium mountain stage between Foligno and Montecopiolo on May 17, 2014 in Foligno, Italy
Diego Ulissi of Italy and Lampre-Merida celebrates winning the eighth stage of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, a 179km medium mountain stage between Foligno and Montecopiolo on May 17, 2014 in Montecopiolo, Italy

cycling: Italian Diego Ulissi delighted home fans by winning a dramatic stage eight of the Giro d'Italia but Australian Cadel Evans' fifth place meant he claimed the overall lead.

Ulissi edged out Croatia's Robert Kiserlovski in the closing moments of the 174-kilometre leg from Foligno to Montecopiolo incorporating the category one climb of the Montecopiolo to record his second stage win.

Julian Arredondo, who was in an early breakaway, had a chance to solo to victory but was caught by Frenchman Pierre Rolland in the final moments, only for the Frenchman in turn to be passed in the last 300 metres.

Evans, 2011 Tour de France champion, came home fifth to claim the pink jersey and lead the overall standings by 57.3 seconds from Colombian Rigoberto Uran with Poland's Rafal Majka just over 10 seconds further behind.

Nicolas Roche finished the stage just over six minutes down and is now 21 minutes and 32 seconds behind Evans.

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gaelic games: Five second-half points by Conor Kavanagh proved pivotal as Dublin qualified for the semi-finals of the Electric Ireland Leinster MFC after a 0-15 to 0-12 victory over Meath in Parnell Park yesterday.

The Dubs enjoyed a 0-7 to 0-6 interval advantage with Jack Burke kicking three points while Daire Rowe did likewise for Meath.

Dublin were largely dependent on the free-taking of Kavanagh in the second half with a late insurance score by substitute Chris Sallier helping the Dubs prevail.

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Laois were never headed as they booked a semi-final place in the Leinster MFC following a 2-7 to 1-8 win over Wexford at Wexford Park yesterday.

Despite playing against the wind the visitors led 1-4 to 0-6 at the break, with Colm Murphy netting their goal

Laois claimed their second goal through Aaron Dowling soon after the restart and although midfielder Niall Hughes netted for Wexford, Laois held firm.

* * * * *

a goal and two points from substitute Michael Kelly in the opening five minutes of extra time helped Kildare book their place in the Leinster MFC semi-final with a 2-17 to 2-13 victory over 14-man Longford at Pearse Park.

Longford had 1-1 on the scoreboard inside the opening two minutes before the game was held up for 18 minutes in the first half after a clash between Longford's Enda Macken and Kildare's Conor Hartely with both players being taken to hospital as a precaution. Longford hit three further points before Kildare took control and 1-7 without reply gave them a four-point lead at the break.

The second half was a tighter affair with Longford enjoying a dominant spell which saw them come back into the game. Kildare went one point in front in the 60th minute but a fine point from Shane Kenny brought the game to extra time.

* * * * *

golf: Pádraig Harrington's consistency at the Byron Nelson Championship continued yesterday as the Dubliner shot a round of 66 to follow his 68 on each of Thursday and Friday.

Lying four shots off the leader Brendon Todd overnight, Harrington hit five birdies in a round where his only blemish was a dropped shot on the par- four third hole.

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World No 690 Thomas Pieters shot a third-round 71 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Spanish Open after home favourite Miguel Angel Jimenez's charge faltered yesterday.

Scotland's Richie Ramsay, England's Chris Wood and Australian left-hander Richard Green are three shots behind on four under. Paul McGinley leads the Irish challenge on level par after a third consecutive 72.

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The European Tour have not gone as far as admitting they were wrong to finish last Sunday's Madeira Islands Open a few hours after the on-course death of caddie Iain McGregor when he suffered a heart attack, but they have apologised for the "hurt and upset'' caused by the decision.

Although an indefinite suspension of play was initially announced, play later resumed, a scenario which was met with outrage from players and caddies alike.

At a meeting at this week's Spanish Open in Barcelona it is understood that George O'Grady was not only hit by a barrage of criticism by the ETCA committee, led by chairman Gerry Byrne, but also by the Dane Thomas Bjorn, chairman of the Tournament Players Committee.

* * * * *

rugby: Saracens powered on in relentless pursuit of a domestic and European double as they booked an Aviva Premiership final appointment with Northampton in two weeks' time.

The 2011 league champions fought back magnificently from a six-point interval deficit to prevail 31-17 over Harlequins as Kelly Brown, Brad Barritt and Chris Ashton scored tries.

Outhalf Owen Farrell chipped in with 16 points as Saracens' underlined a rude state of health ahead of next Saturday's Heineken Cup final showdown against holders Toulon in Cardiff.

Brown and wing Ugo Monye scored Quins' tries – Nick Evans added a penalty and two conversions.

* * * * *

cricket: Eoin Morgan blasted a rapid 77 runs from 43 balls yesterday for Middlesex but his side still lost to Essex by eight wickets in a T20 game at Lords. Mark Pettini hit an unbeaten 95 to chase down the Middlesex total of 180 with seven balls remaining.

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