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Sport in brief: Selby comeback stuns O'Sullivan

A STUNNING comeback from Mark Selby saw him win the Masters title with a 10-9 victory last night after an extraordinary against Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Other than the opening frame, O'Sullivan led throughout the game and held the upperhand at the mid-session interval with a 5-3 advantage.

The Rocket maintained his momentum to surge into a 9-6 lead but Selby's renowned battling qualities came to the fore when he surged back by taking the next two frames, including a break of 109.

In an absorbing 18th frame, O'Sullivan looked to be in position for victory when he snookered Selby on the angle of the yellow pocket and Selby gave away eight points.

A stunning, left-handed red along the cushion put O'Sullivan within two balls of frame and match, however, the former world champion missed the green while stretching and Selby cleared up to send the match into a decider.

It was Selby's seventh final frame decider at Wembley Arena and he maintained his 100 per cent winning record when seizing the initiative in the final frame but ran out of position on 27 only to run out of position, however, a poor safety shot from O'Sullivan allowed Selby back in and he made no mistake to clinch his second Masters title in three years.

Hoey books Olympic spot


Ireland's Winter Olympic team has been boosted considerably with the news that Aoife Hoey's bobsleigh team and skeleton athlete Pat Shannon qualified for the Vancouver games on Saturday.

The women's two-person bobsleigh team of driver Hoey and brakewomen Claire Bergin and Leona Byrne are the first Irish athletes to have qualified for the event.

For Hoey qualification comes third-time lucky as she narrowly missed out on the Games in 2002 and 2006.

The team qualified in 20th place at San Moritz in Switzerland, Hoey's sister Siobhain -- a former bobsleigh driver -- will be Chef de Mission for the team.

Shannon also secured his berth at San Moritz and will look to follow in Clifton Wrottesley who came fourth in skeleton at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. He will be among 30 competitors in the event.

Downhill skier Niall O'Connor has already qualified and the Olympic Council of Ireland will announce a full squad for the Games which begin on February 12 as they await the qualification of former Olympic rower Paul Griffin in cross country skiing and the recovery from injury of downhill skier Kirsty McGarry.

Sheriff shoots down UCD revival


Six goals in two games and nothing to show for it -- that was UCD's wretched experience over the weekend.

First the students ran Monkstown very, very close in the Irish Senior Cup game at Belfield on Saturday only to lose out in a shootout.

Then they staged a magnificent comeback against Pembroke Wanderers in yesterday's Leinster league game and were denied any reward by a last-gasp goal from Justin Sherriff.

Robbie McFarlane's hat-trick propelled the first-round cup tie against Monkstown into the penalty shootout, which went to sudden death.

In the end, college player/coach John McInroy fluffed his second effort from the spot to give keeper Davy Fitzgerald an easy save.

Undaunted UCD had the temerity to strike the first score yesterday on their visit to mighty Pembroke Wanderers, through Pembroke old boy Ronan Flannery.

However, the game then ran along more expected lines as Alan Sothern added three goals to the six he bagged for Wanderers the on Saturday in the 14-0 cup annihilation of hapless Bangor. The visitors audaciously responded through Flannery and Gavin O'Halloran leaving them on course for a precious point going into the last minute of the game.

Then Pembroke strung together a scintillating series of passes to tee Justin Sherriff up for the latest of late winners.

Youths event hotting up


KEITH MONKS, Rohan Date, Paul Kelly, Anthony Upton, James Myres and Fergal McRory booked their tickets into the quarter finals of the IABAs Open Youth Competition with impressive wins.

Michael O'Reilly, Mark McLoughlan and Shane McCarron also advanced, albeit by one-point margins, in three bouts that went all the way down to the final bell at IABA headquarters.

Robert Murphy and Ger Slane produced the first count-back of the tournament, Murphy progressing by a three point margin.

The Eddie Byrne versus Stephen Broadhurst duel was another tight affair, Broadhurst eventually advancing.

The tournament will recommence with quarter finals next Friday and Saturday. The IABA are using the Open Youth Competition to help with their selection process for the 2010 AIBA World Youth Championships in Azerbaijan.

The AIBA World Youth Championships glove off in Baku on April 20 and will act as the only qualifier for the 2010 Youth Olympics Games in Singapore next August.

Irish Independent