Saturday 16 December 2017

Sullivan snatches late precious point for Bray

in brief


John Sullivan grabbed a 95th minute equaliser as Bray came from 2-0 down to snatch a valuable 2-2 draw which looks set to secure their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division survival. The midfielder headed in Ryan McEvoy's free deep into stoppage time at the Carlisle Grounds to prevent Shamrock Rovers climbing above Cork into second in the table. Despite being the better side in the opening period, Wanderers were punished in between two glorious chances by the Hoops. Simon Madden hooked Graham Kelly's early effort off the line while just before half time, Hugh Douglas headed against the bar.

Rovers went ahead when Mikey Drennan curled in a ninth minute free with Maxime Blanchard heading Brandon Miele's 37th minute corner to make it 2-0. The Seagulls pulled one back when Douglas nodded in Ryan McEvoy's corner on 71 minutes.

Candystripes preserve their Premier status

DERRY City guaranteed their Premier Division status last night after a deserved 2-0 win away to Limerick FC, who remain rooted to the bottom of the table with only two games remaining. Second half goals from Mark Timlin and Barry McNamee secured the points for Paul Hegarty's side.

Derry hit the front on 54 minutes when a free kick from the left wasn't cleared by the Limerick defence and Timlin lashed it home from the edge of the box. Poor defending from the home side allowed McNamee an easy finish to double Derry's lead. Patrick McEleney later struck the crossbar, although he left on a stretcher after a worryingly long stoppage in the closing minutes.

Bohs boost hopes of top-four finish at Sligo

Bohemians' hopes of a top-four finish and European football are still alive after an impressive 2-0 win in the Showgrounds last night.The visitors were two up by the break, thanks to superb headed goals from the excellent Ismahil Akinade and Anto Murphy as Bohs cruised to victory.

Deila praises Brown for playing through pain

Ronny Deila hailed Scott Brown as captain courageous after shrugging off injury to drive Celtic to the top of the SPFL with a 1-0 win at Motherwell. The Scotland skipper broke down at training on Thursday with a twisted ankle which left him a big doubt for the trip to Fir Park.

However, Brown took up his usual centre midfield role and helped the champions dominate a game in which Nadir Ciftci's clinical fourth-minute strike proved enough to take the Parkhead men two points clear of Aberdeen.

"I said to the players in the dressing room afterwards that Scott is a role model in hard work," said Deila. "I think he had the ball by himself for the last five minutes. His ankle was swollen on Thursday but he played through the pain, as he is a natural leader, and he shows what the right attitude is. He is a fantastic example to all our young players. When you are playing for Celtic, you are playing in the Premiership and always fighting for titles.

Ronaldo shines as Real enjoy a stroll at home

Real Madrid opened a two-point lead over Villarreal at the top of La Liga when Cristiano Ronaldo set a club scoring record in a 3-0 stroll at home to Levante yesterday. Marcelo fired Real ahead in the 27th minute at the Bernabeu when he exchanged passes with Ronaldo and blasted the ball past Ruben in the Levante goal.

Ronaldo made it 2-0 three minutes later when he cracked a long-range effort into the corner, his 324th Real goal putting him one clear of former Spain striker Raul.

Ronaldo, needed a mere 310 matches across seven seasons to overtake Raul's tally of 323 goals, amassed in 741 games over 16 years. It ended a rare four-match goal drought in Spain's top flight for the Portugal captain, his joint-worst run since he joined Real in 2009. Substitute Jese skipped past his marker and then drove the ball high into the net eight minutes from time, as Real secured a morale-boosting win ahead of Wednesday's Champions League Group A match at Paris St Germain.

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