Friday 15 December 2017

Scarlets launch charge as Quinnell loses sight Twomey targets final qualification Barney bites back to reach last eight Brammeier signs Columbia pro deal Barnes wins but eyes improvement Valiant Barry bows out in quarters

Rugby union: Welsh rugby player Gavin Quinnell has permanently lost the sight in his left eye after an incident during Llanelli's Premiership game against Cross Keys.

The Scarlets confirmed the 26-year-old forward, a brother of former internationals Scott and Craig Quinnell and son of ex-Wales and Lions number eight Derek Quinnell, had received the news after consultation with a team of specialists in Newport, Wales.

The Scarlets also stated the matter is now in the hands of Gwent Police, who are investigating an allegation of assault. The Scarlets and Llanelli RFC lodged a formal citing complaint with the Welsh Rugby Union earlier this week, which is currently being dealt with.

"It is with a huge disappointment and regret that today we can confirm that our Scarlets player Gavin Quinnell has received a conclusive report from medics that he has permanently lost his sight in his left eye," read the Scarlets statement. "Naturally, the Quinnell family are all shocked and devastated and have asked to be given time and space to come to terms with the news and allow them to concentrate on giving Gavin their full support and attention."

Hamilton bid hit by practice smash

F1: Lewis Hamilton's Japanese Grand Prix weekend got off to the worst possible start today as the McLaren driver crashed out of the opening practice session at the figure-of-eight Suzuka circuit.

The Briton is bidding to re-ignite his championship bid after back-to-back retirements in Italy and Singapore, but an apparent error on his 10th lap saw him lose half of the opening 90-minute session, costing him valuable set-up time.

Entering the second part of the Degner Curve, Hamilton ran wide on the kerb before taking to the gravel and crunching heavily into the tyre barrier, removing his left-front wheel.

Hamilton, who trails championship leader Mark Webber by 20 points with four races remaining, was quickly out of the car and cut a forlorn figure as he waited in the underpass on the exit of the corner for the trackside marshals to clear away his stricken car.

Twomey targets final qualification

Equestrian: Billy Twomey is in eighth place, and less than a fence behind leader Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil, going into tonight's top-30 semi-final at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky -- and he is hoping to qualify for tomorrow night's top-four final.

On Wednesday, the British-based Corkman jumped another superb clear round with Tinka's Serenade, picking up just a single time fault in the competition, which also decided the team medals.

Meanwhile, Para Dressage rider James O'Dwyer (40), who hails from Kilkenny but is now based in America, finished fifth in the Grade 4 Individual Championship, and the Irishman now goes into Sunday's Grade 4 Freestyle with a medal in his sights.

Barney bites back to reach last eight

Darts: Raymond van Barneveld reached the last eight of the World Darts Grand Prix with a 3-1 victory over Mark Walsh at Citywest last night.

The Dutch star went 2-0 down in the opening set, only to win six legs in a row en route to a 2-0 set lead. Englishman Walsh hit back by winning the third set, but the three-time world champion continued undeterred and nailed a double 12 to finish the match.

Simon Whitlock crashed out of the tournament losing 3-2 to World No12 Andy Hamilton. Hamilton will face James Wade in tonight's quarter-final as the World No3 cruised past Colin Osborne with a 3-1 win.

Brammeier signs Columbia pro deal

Cycling: The An Post/Sean Kelly team has confirmed the departure of Matt Brammeier, who will be joining the HTC Columbia team on a professional contract. This follows a hugely successful season for the Liverpool-born rider, which saw him win the Irish National Championships in June.

Meanwhile, the An Post outfit have confirmed that Sam Bennett (19) from Carrick-On-Suir has signed for next season.

Barnes wins but eyes improvement

Boxing: Belfast's Paddy Barnes had to dig deep for a 4-2 win over Scotland's Iain Butcher at the Commonwealth Games yesterday. "I need to improve if I'm to take gold but that's what I'm aiming for," he said.

Valiant Barry bows out in quarters

Tennis: After taking four scalps, Sam Barry bowed out at the quarter-final stage of the ITF Men's Futures event in Naples, Italy, losing 6-3 7-5 to home favourite and No4 seed Federico Torresi.

MLB: Tampa Bay 0 Texas 6 (Texas leads best-of-five series 2-0), Minnesota 2 NY Yankees 5 (NY Yankees lead best-of-five series 2-0), San Francisco 1 Atlanta 0 (San Francisco leads best-of-five series 1-0).

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