Sunday 22 April 2018

Sport in brief: McDermott battles to front

Gary McDermott
Gary McDermott

golf: Co Sligo's Gary McDermott battled winds gusting up to 40mph to shoot a two over 74 and take a two-shot lead over West of Ireland champion Jack Hume into the final round of the weather-delayed Irish Amateur Open at Royal Dublin, writes Brian Keogh.

The 32-year-old bank official, now playing out of Carton House, leads on two under 214 from Hume who fired a third successive 72 on a day that brought a mid-afternoon suspension of nearly two and a half hours because of the threat of lightning.

Irish Close champion Cormac Sharvin from Ardglass is third on one over par alongside Scotland's Jamie Savage (75) after a battling 73.

McDermott eagled the second from 30 feet and was four clear of the field on seven under par after a birdie at the 12th before he sandwiched a triple bogey eight at the 14th between bogeys at the 13th and 15th.

A birdie from 20 feet at the 17th followed by a bogey at the last in fading light left him happy with his day's work. "Bar one hole it was pretty good,'' said McDermott.

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racing: The stands' side held sway as Gabriel's Lad gave Denis Coakley a high-profile success in the £7.5m Totescoop6 Victoria Cup at Ascot.

The 25-strong field split into two groups soon after the start, with Purcell taking the far side along, while Dubawi Sound led the nearside runners.

George Baker had his mount perfectly poised on the stands' side, settling towards the rear early on before sweeping through inside the final furlong to claim the seven-furlong prize at odds of 12/1, two and a quarter lengths clear of Glen Moss with last year's Hunt Cup hero Belgian Bill in third.

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gaelic games: A four-goal blitz in the first half put Louth well on their way to a 4-19 to 0-7 victory over Sligo in a one-sided Nicky Rackard Cup Qualifier Rd 1 in Dundalk.

A succession of scores had the hosts six points ahead even before David Mahony kicked the sliotar to the net in the 14th minute.

Gary Cadden stroked over a free for Sligo – their only score of the first half – and David Kettle netted Louth's second goal before two more in stoppage time from Shane Maguire and Mahony had the Reds 4-9 to 0-1 ahead at the break.

The Wee County pushed on in the closing stages, helped by three points from play by midfielder Shane Callan.

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Nicky Rackard Cup holders Donegal got the defence of their trophy back on track with a 3-26 to 0-15 win over Monaghan in Letterkenny.

Monaghan travelled with only 17 players and it had been suggested that they might not even be able to fulfil the fixture. Their threadbare panel couldn't prevent Donegal from progressing to take on Louth in the semi-finals.

Having led 1-16 to 0-6 at half time – with Ciaran Mathewson the early goalscorer – Donegal added a second goal on 38 minutes from Danny Cullen before Sean McVeigh rubber-stamped the victory with a third on the hour.

Monaghan were reliant on the dead-ball accuracy of Conor Boyle, who scored 11 of their 15 points, with just one of that total coming from play.

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Longford are through to the Lory Meagher Cup final at Croke Park on June 7 after an emphatic 2-17 to 0-4 win over Warwickshire in the round 2 game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park yesterday.

First-half goals from Joe O'Brien (in the 26th minute) and Cathal Mullane (just before the break) left Longford in a commanding 2-10 to 0-4 lead, and holders Warwickshire failed to register a score in the second half.

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Wexford's point-taking ability proved pivotal as they emerged with a 0-18 to 1-9 victory over Offaly in a Leinster MHC quarter-final at Wexford Park yesterday.

Eoghan Cahill's free had Offaly in front inside three minutes, but Wexford struggled in front of goal and had to be content with points from Joe Coleman (four frees), and one each from Cathal Dunbar, Sean Kelly, Darragh Pepper, Matthew Joyce, Daire Barden and Joe O'Connor to lead 0-9 to 0-1 after 25 minutes.

Cahill and Coleman exchanged points before substitute Conor Freeman goaled just on half time, followed by a Cillian Kiely free to leave the home side leading 0-10 to 1-3 at the interval.

Wexford increased their lead with four early second-half points, and while Kiely's frees kept Offaly in touch, the home side finished with three points through from Kevin Poole, Coleman and Pepper.

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Kilkenny redeemed themselves in the Leinster MHC as they crushed Carlow 3-22 to 0-7 at Dr Cullen Park.

With Alan Murphy knocking over the frees and Ronan Corcoran scoring from play, it was all Kilkenny in the first half and Murphy's 10th minute goal helped the Cats into a 1-14 to 0-2 lead at the interval.

Murphy scored his second goal in the third quarter and substitute Daniel O'Connor added another to heap further misery on an outclassed Carlow outfit.

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equestrian: Capt Geoff Curran and Shanclough Crecora were best of the Irish at the Badminton Horse Trials in England yesterday, finishing in an overnight 16th place, with Austin O'Connor and Ringwood Mississippi 20th.

In what was one of the toughest conditions in the 65 years of the event, there were five eliminations and 18 riders opting to retire.

Australia's Paul Tapner and the Irish Sport Horse Kilronan held their overnight lead to stay in pole position ahead of today's show jumping.

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