Saturday 17 March 2018

Something from the weekend

Ciaran Lennon

Ciaran Lennon

The good

Unreal McCoy

Despite his 3,000 victories in an epic career, this was the one Tony McCoy had been dreaming of. McCoy has relentlessly broken records during his 14 years as champion jockey but was well aware of the one gaping hole on his CV. Despite his 14 failed attempts , his Grand National victory on board Don't Push It was well worth the wait.

"I've won lots of big races and I'm supposed to be a good jockey, but to not win the Grand National would be a bit of a negative on the CV," said the 35-year-old. His achievement was even more remarkable, for not only did he break his own National hoodoo, the Unreal McCoy finally delivered the Grand ambitions for Jonjo O'Neill and JP McManus.

The bad

Brock James

Much of the pre-match build-up to Leinster's Heineken Cup quarter-final was dominated with doubts about the kicking form of a certain out-half. But while Jonny Sexton barely put a boot wrong on Friday night, Clermont's usually reliable Brock James had a complete nightmare with his footwork.

The Australian blew four place-kicks before fluffing his lines with two drop-goal opportunities right at the death. James could barely kick a habit on Friday but fortunately Michael Cheika's men are now well practised at closing out the tightest of games.

Fall-out Bhoys

Celtic's miserable season reached rock bottom on Saturday with a shock defeat to Ross County in the Scottish Cup semi-finals -- ending their hopes of securing silverware this season.

Neil Lennon's mis-firing team were made to look like a side lying fourth in the First Division of the Scottish League as they crashed to one of the most embarrassing defeats in the club's history. The 12/1 outsiders, who only moved up from the High Lands League in 1994, were full value for their victory and have now made Lennon's prospects of a permanent appointment evaporate into the Edinburgh sun. For Celtic this season can't end quick enough.

And the odd

Text of success

Text messages have been responsible for getting golfers into trouble in the past but they were the catalyst for success for Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples. The two Americans were egging one another on through text messages going into Saturday's third round at the Masters.

"It was pretty funny because we were texting a little bit about how low I was going to have to go to catch him and maybe play with him tomorrow," 50-year-old Couples said. Well it seemed to do the job, with Mickelson firing a five-under-par 67, boosted by an extraordinary eagle-eagle-birdie stretch on the back nine, and Couples carding a 68 during the phoney war.

Irish Independent

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