Wednesday 25 April 2018

Sports in brief

Wallabies hold off Wales rally

RUGBY UNION: A Quade Cooper-inspired Australia produced a stunning performance to beat Wales 30-26 in an enthralling contest at the Millennium Stadium yesterday.

The Wallabies came from 13-3 down after the first quarter to lead 30-16 going into the last quarter. Wales closed the gap to five with 10 minutes to go, but Australia's defence was stout and the pack kept the ball to run out time for a ninth straight win over the Welsh.

Wales had a chance in the last 10 minutes to make a difference and had an short-range penalty and a man advantage after Cooper was sin-binned in the 74th minute.

Captain Sam Warburton set aside the penalty kick to gamble on a 12-man attacking lineout, but it was easily stopped and the ball was knocked on in the back-line. Australia cleared, received a scrum penalty and the Six Nations champions' challenge petered out.

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BASKETBALL: After single-digit defeats to Dublin Inter and Neptune, UL Eagles made a return to winning ways with a 74-57 victory over Star in Limerick last night.

Their American, Delwan Graham, turned in a season high with 36 points. Graham's offensive rebounding was key and, having put his team 41-32 up in the third, he converted two from the line following a steal by Scott Kinevane.

Vincent's made it a fourth straight win with back-to-back threes from James Donnelly crucial in their 68-64 win away to Dublin Inter. Mateusz Rudak inspired Neptune to a 91-77 win over Marian with Ian McLaughlin hitting a number of threes.

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GAELIC GAMES: One of Ulster's great players, Jim 'The Natch' Gallagher, died at the age of 84 in Sligo General Hospital yesterday. Mr Gallagher, who lived at Coolcholly, Ballyshannon, played for Ulster and Donegal and was a member of the Aodh Ruadh club.

He played on the Donegal senior team in the 1940s and '50s, starting at the age of 16 and captaining the county when they played at Croke Park in the early '50s. He captained Donegal when they won their first major trophy, the Dr Lagan Cup in 1952.

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Monaghan title holders Emyvale were crowned Ulster JFC champions following their narrow 1-6 to 0-6 win over Killeeshil of Tyrone at the Athletic Grounds.

Daniel McMahon punched home the 22nd-minute goal that helped Emyvale come from behind to take a 1-3 to 0-3 lead into the interval, and the Monaghan men defended superbly as they held their opponents scoreless for the final minutes.

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Truagh completed a Monaghan double at the Athletic Grounds last night, winning the Ulster Club IFC title with a powerful 0-17 to 0-12 victory over Eskra.

Three Daniel McKenna points and two each from Christopher McKenna and Paudie McKenna helped Truagh to a 0-9 to 0-6 interval lead.

Rory Treanor, Christopher McKenna and Mark Counihan added quality scores as they pulled away from the Tyrone men.

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RUGBY LEAGUE: Australia became world champions for the 10th time after beating New Zealand 34-2 in the World Cup final at Old Trafford yesterday.

Billy Slater and Brett Morris scored two tries apiece and Cooper Cronk also touched down as Australia gained sweet revenge for their surprise final defeat by New Zealand in 2008.

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CRICKET: South Africa won the final one-day international by four wickets to restore some pride yesterday after losing their first series to Pakistan.

Captain AB de Villiers finished 48 not out in South Africa's 181-6 as the Proteas overhauled Pakistan's 179 all out with more than 11 overs to spare to seal the series win 2-1.

South Africa's seamers had earlier run through Pakistan to dismiss the tourists for 179 in 46.5 overs. Vernon Philander took 3-26 to lead South Africa's pace attack while Misbah-ul-Haq's 79 not out was the only significant contribution by Pakistan's batsmen.

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HOCKEY: Leinster sides fared well in the Irish Men's Senior Cup second round ties, with six of them advancing over their Ulster counterparts.

Cup holders Monkstown beat Portadown 6-1, while Pembroke Wanderers and Three Rock Rovers netted seven goals apiece, seeing off Cookstown and Belfast Harlequins.

In the Women's Cup Glenanne came off second best against visitors Ballymoney. It looked odds-on that Clare Shillington was going to prove the saviour again this time, scoring twice to put them 2-1 in front. Ballymoney came back to level, finally winning on penalty strokes after extra-time.

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SWIMMING: Andrew Meegan lit up the Irish Short Course Championships in Lisburn last night with a new Irish senior record for the 1500m freestyle.

The powerful 23-year-old from Aer Lingus set a new national best of 15:11.69, winning gold ahead of Athlone's Brendan Gibbons in 15:28.25.

Shauna O'Brien of UCD picked up her third gold medal of the championships when she won the 50m freestyle in 25.89, edging Michelle Houghton, who clocked 26.18.

Dubliner Barry Murphy, who will be heading to the European Short Course Championships in two weeks' time, added the 100m breaststroke title to the 50m breaststroke title he won on Friday night when he touched for gold in 59.87.

In the 400m freestyle heats 12-year-old Antoinette Neamt set a new Irish junior record of 4:12.62, which came less than 24 hours after she won silver in the 800m freestyle.

Sunday Independent

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