Saturday 20 January 2018

O'Donoghue sunk by Perry

SNOOKER: Brendan O'Donoghue almost got the better of English pro Joe Perry in the first round of the snooker tournament at the World Games in Cali, Columbia. O'Donoghue won the first two frames, but Perry forced his way back into the match equalling the score at two apiece.

In a close-fought decider, Perry only took it 60-46. At home, a strong Irish senior and masters team, including O'Donoghue, is in Leeds for the annual Home Internationals, starting today. Leading the team is Irish No 1 David Hogan and former pro Michael Judge. Frank Sarsfield heads the masters team, with play continuing until next Thursday. The junior international begins on Tuesday with U19 and U15 teams competing.

TUG OF WAR: Ireland's tug of war squad finished just outside the medals in both 640kg and 700kg divisions at the World Games in Cali, Columbia.

First up was the 700kg, where Ireland narrowly lost to Sweden in the bronze medal match-up. In the 640kg division, which is always the toughest, they came up against Sweden earlier in the competition and did well to beat them and make the semi-finals.

They then faced Germany in the bronze medal decider and narrowly lost. A squad of 13 had travelled, including five members of the fabled Kehoe family from Co Wexford. Locally, Boyneside won the national 4x4 mixed title at the National Championships round in Borrisoleigh, near Thurles. An Irish 4x4 team heads for the European Championships later this summer and a development session is taking place today at Edenderry (4pm). Women and juniors who fancy trying this most traditional of sports are welcome to come along.

BADMINTON: A team of three Irish badminton players gave a good account of themselves against tough competition at the Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Aidan Connor improved as he went along and won his final group match against Wing Hong Li from Hong Kong.

Using his fitness and strength, Connor played a tactically smart match despite strenuous defence from his opponent. Connor had won the first set easily enough at 21-16, but when Li came back to take the second 21-14, the match went into a tie-breaker, which Connor won 21-17.

Even tougher was the doubles competition where Ireland were represented by Johnny Corcoran and Shane Keogh.

They faced Slovak pair Lipovsky and Vasicek in a memorable group match where the 30 degree heat made the shuttle very quick and difficult to control.

The Irish pair fought hard but went out in straight sets. Coach to the team was former Irish international Mark Topping.

TRIATHLON: Irish triathlete Neil Bolger of Dublin club Pulse finished fourth overall in the British Super Series after an excellent fourth place at the London Triathlon.

Bolger managed 10th at Windsor and 12th at Liverpool and his consistency has paid off in his third attempt at this series. Locally, in the Little Bo Beep National Series Triathlon in Kenmare, veteran Trevor Woods knocked 16 seconds off the course record when he won in 1 hr 55 mins 57 secs. A close second was Eric Wolfe, with Steven Macklin third. First woman was Katie Cook, with Rachel Clancy pipping Aileen Flynn for second.

GYMNASTICS: Kieran Behan, the gymnast who heroically competed for Ireland at the London Olympics last year, will attend the Gymnastic Ireland summer camp in Cork from August 16-18. Olympic coach Paul Hall and Barry Winch will supervise the sessions, with places still available. Behan, 24, survived serious childhood illness and brain damage in a gymnastics accident to make it to the London Games.

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