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CRICKET: Kevin O'Brien has been voted Cricketer of the Year in the annual Cricket Ireland awards, with pace bowler Craig Young collecting the Emerging Player accolade and Cecilia Joyce pipping her sister Isobel as top woman performer.

CRICKET: Kevin O'Brien has been voted Cricketer of the Year in the annual Cricket Ireland awards, with pace bowler Craig Young collecting the Emerging Player accolade and Cecilia Joyce pipping her sister Isobel as top woman performer.

In a quiet international year, O'Brien was consistent with bat and ball and led Ireland to a series victory over Scotland in September, deputising for William Porterfield and scoring 159 runs across the three matches. Joyce played a starring role in Ireland's clean-sweep in the European Championships.

Cilic crushed with ease by Djokovic

tennis: Novak Djokovic began his began his challenge for a hat-trick of ATP World Tour Finals triumphs in London with a 6-1 6-1 demolition of Croatia's Marin Cilic last night.

The Serbian world number one produced a ruthless display against a ragged US Open champion, opening his Group A account with a 56-minute masterclass.

The 27-year-old has now won 28 consecutive matches indoors dating back to 2012. Earlier, Wawrinka returned to form with a 58-minute 6-1 6-1 thrashing of Tomas Berdych

Shutthefrontdoor opens up with win

Racing: Irish Grand National winner Shutthefrontdoor made an impressive return to action in the Weatherbys Bank Graduation Chase at Carlisle.

With Tony McCoy currently sidelined, the seven-year-old was reunited with Barry Geraghty, who was on board for his finest hour at Fairyhouse, and Jonjo O'Neill's charge travelled noticeably well throughout.

He had so much left in the tank he jumped out of Gergahty's hands at the final fence and the 2-1 chance cruised home to beat Vintage Star by eight lengths.

Pulev anger over Klitschko 'tricks'

boxing: Kubrat Pulev failed to turn up at the news conference yesterday before his IBF title bout against Vladimir Klitschko after being informed that only three people from his camp could be present.

"The sneaky tricks of the world champion are just the beginning," the unbeaten Pulev, known as The Kobra, wrote on his Facebook page ahead of the bout against the world heavyweight champion on Saturday in Hamburg.


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