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Fascinating Rock lands Leopardstown feature

Written By doni icha on Rabu, 15 April 2015 | 23.06

Fascinating Rock got his season off to the perfect start with a workmanlike victory in the Listed Heritage Stakes at Leopardstown.

Representing the red-hot duo of Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen, who can do little wrong at present, he was sent off the 9-10 favourite.

Winner of the Ballysax and Derrinstown Derby Trials last season, the Fastnet Rock colt was just short of the top three-year-olds but with a winter on his back he could be a major player this season.

Running over a mile, a trip short of his best, Smullen had to keep him up to his work but he eventually saw off the persistent challenge of Seanie before Alive Alive Oh stayed on to take second, beaten a length and three-quarters.

Aidan O'Brien's Cougar Mountain, who ran in three Group One sprints having won on his debut last year, stayed on nicely to claim third.

Weld said: "It was a pleasing performance from him. He's very adaptable in that ground.

"He'll probably come back here for the Amethyst Stakes (10 May). He got a little bit tired in the last half-furlong, which I expected.

"He's up a good few kilos on last year but equally he has matured from last year. Hopefully he'll have a long and successful season. We'll look at races between a mile and a mile and a quarter.

"He had a busy year last year and raced on very fast ground. He was a bit stiff and sore after the Irish Derby, so we said we'd leave him off until this year.

"He's always been a very good horse. I see him campaigning here in the immediate future before travelling as the year progresses."

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More

Davy O'Halloran joins Clare football squad

Former Clare hurler Davy O'Halloran has joined the county's football squad.

Clare football manager Colm Collins told the Irish Examiner: "We took a week off after the league and he's in with us this week. He's an excellent footballer."

Eire Óg's O'Halloran, along with Nicky O'Connell, left the Clare senior hurling panel a month ago after an alleged breach of discipline, claiming he was humiliated.

And while O'Connell rejoined the hurlers on Monday evening and apologised to the panel, O'Halloran has laid his allegiance to the footballers for the coming season.

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More

IRFU warns Govt 'be very careful' over free-to-air

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has warned the Government to be "very, very careful" to not disturb the funding balance of rugby in any consideration about whether the Six Nations should be designated free-to-air.

Minister for Communications Alex White is reportedly considering designating the games as sporting events which must be available to be broadcast live on terrestrial TV.

"Don't interfere in the marketplace. Let us be the judges of what is best for the sport."

Speaking at the announcement of Irish Sports Council funding for the IRFU, the FAI, and the GAA, as part of which the IRFU received €2.36m to boost grass-roots development of the game, Brown voiced the IRFU's concerns about the proposals.

"The reality is that free-to-air television has been good to the Six Nations up to now, and we're one party of six in the Six Nations," Browne told RTÉ Sport.

"So, we have a say, but we have a minor say – we have a 'sixth say' in what happens. The fundamental issue for us is that if the revenue streams are affected by decisions taken by Government in what is a market, an open marketplace, and a pan-European marketplace, then we have potentially difficulties, in that some of our income stream may be affected.

"The reality is: the €2.36m that the Government puts in is a drop in the ocean compared to the revenues that are generated by the Six Nations Championship for us."

Browne said he doubted the Six Nations would be removed from free-to-air in the near future, but warned the Government to stop interfering.

"What we're really saying is; don't interfere in the marketplace. Let us be the judges of what is best for the sport."

He accepted that fans wanted to see more of Ireland's success on a free-to-air basis, but said: "there won't be any success if we can't afford it. It's a chicken-and-egg scenario.

"And the reality is: you strip out funding, the first thing we have to decide: do we put the money into the professional game or do we put it into grass-roots?

"Now the reality is: if we take it away from grass roots, well then that affects our future. If we take it away from the professional game, that affects our ability to generate revenues ... What we're really saying to the Government is: be very, very careful what you do, that you don't disturb the economy of what is a finely balanced sport."

Browne said the funding the IRFU received from the Sports Council was "absolutely fundamental to what we do, in terms of building participation numbers around the country."

He continued: "Without that funding it would be very difficult for us to do what we do.

"We're reliant on volunteers, but at the end of the day delivery of sport does require investment, in terms of development officers, in terms of coaching courses, in terms of a whole variety of programmes, all of which are there to ensure the quality of what we do at a grass-roots level.

"I think that the investment that has been over the last couple of years, you're starting to see it come to fruition, in terms of the success we've seen with the women's international team, and obviously the men's international team as well.

"That doesn't come by chance; it comes by careful investment and by delivering quality programmes at all levels in the game."

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More

VIDEO: Hurling final places up for grabs

Marty Morrissey has garnered the thoughts of the semi-finalists ahead of next Sunday's action at Nowlan Park where Cork face Dublin and Tipperary take on Waterford for the right to meet in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final.

On 7 March, Cork recorded a thumping 0-34 to 1-20 victory over Dublin at Croke Park.

Summing up that game, Dublin's Ryan O'Dwyer said: "Every bounce of the ball went in Cork's favour and everything bounced out of our hands. You get those days now and again and hopefully it's out of our system now."

Despite their emphatic victory six weeks ago, Conor Lehane of Cork is "expecting a tough game" from a team who will be keen to erase the memory of a bad defeat. 

Waterford were impressive in their quarter-final win over Galway but now face their biggest test of the spring against Eamon O'Shea's charges.

However, the Déise's Noel Connors is focussing on what his side have to offer.

"We are going to focus on ourselves and not focus too much on Tipperary," he said.

"We'll go out to be aggressive and be like dogs within the parameters and work extremely hard like we've been doing since the start of the season.

Tipperary's Michael Cahill spoke about the injection of youth that has helped the county's cause so far this year. 

"We've had a good bunch of young lads coming through lthat have stepped up to the plate. The likes of Ronan Maher and Michael Breen have made their point. Competition is a good thing. Morale is also good within the camp."      

Watch the video above. 

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More

Faydhan flops at Newmarket

Leading Qipco 2000 Guineas contender Faydhan was ruled out of the race after delivering a dismal display behind 9-2 shot Home Of The Brave on his seasonal reappearance in the CSP European Free Handicap at Newmarket.

Slowly away under Paul Hanagan on his second career start, the 4-9 favourite was last in the early stages, while James Doyle bounced out on Hugo Palmer's Home Of The Brave.

As Hanagan brought his mount out to challenge the response was limited, as up front Palmer's representative bounded up the hill after coming out of the Dip.

Home Of The Brave had a length and three-quarters in hand of Richard Hannon's Tupi, with Faydhan making a little progress late on into third.

Palmer said: "We'll have to sit down and have a long think (about the Guineas) and watch what happens tomorrow and Saturday (Craven and Greenham). He might be the perfect type for the Jersey.

"He was a bit gassy, as he always is in a race, and we might have to get some skin-tight silks as noises are not his best friend - he is a very sensitive horse."

Gosden was quick to rule Faydhan out of the Newmarket Classic: "It was not unexpected as he has only won a maiden and is a slow learner.

"He ran on steadily at the finish, but I have ruled him out of the Guineas.

"I see him as more of a Royal Ascot type, with either the Jersey or St James's Palace as the race to go for."

Osaila held off the challenge of New Providence to land the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes.

The highest-rated filly in the field and the winner of a Group Three at Ascot last season, as well as a big sales race, she was drawn widest of all and Frankie Dettori bided his time before joining the main group.

Travelling noticeably well two furlongs out, Godolphin's Beautiful Romance and New Providence were the only remaining dangers.

New Providence was looking to provide Hugo Palmer with a big treble on the day and refused to go down without a fight, but Osaila gave Richard Hannon a first winner on turf of the new season.

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More

Doherty and Swail miss out on Crucible places

Mark Davis has derailed Ken Doherty's bid for a place at the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible after recording a resounding 10-3 victory over the Dubliner in the third and final round of qualifying at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Doherty struggled past women's world champion Reanne Evans 10-8 in his first-round qualifier, but upped his level to account for Lee Walker 10-6 in his second-round success.

The 45-year-old, who has reached the Crucible in 19 of his previous 24 campaigns as a professional, made a wretched start against the world number 18 and trailed 8-1 overnight.

The 1997 world champion won the first frame of Wednesday morning's session but the task he faced proved predictably insurmountable.

Late bloomer Davis has now reached the Crucible in each of the last four seasons, having qualified for the World Championship just six times in his first 20 seasons as a professional.

Joe Swail also fell at the final hurdle as two-time finalist Matthew Stevens advanced at the Belfast player's expense.

Stevens held a narrow 5-4 lead when play resumed but Swail, who may have been feeling the exertions from his titanic tussle against Dominic Dale in the second round, won just a single frame as the former world number four ran out a comfortable 10-5 winner.  

Doherty's fellow Dubliner Fergal O'Brien took a 6-3 lead into the final session of his decider against Kurt Maflin at 5pm.

Meanwhile, Graeme Dott sealed a return to the game's biggest stage but took a swipe at World Snooker chief Barry Hearn.

The 2006 World Championship winner was furious when changes to the format meant he had to win three best-of-19-frame qualifiers just to reach the televised first-round stage in Sheffield.

The 19th-ranked Scot would have gone straight through to the final preliminary round under rules that were scrapped for this season, but had to overcome the little-known Mark Owens and Fraser Patrick before fending off China's Yu De Lu 10-7 in a tense tussle.

While the world's top players go into the main draw, Hearn has insisted it is only fair the rest begin on an equal footing, with 128 players thrust into the maelstrom of qualifying at Ponds Forge leisure centre, quarter of a mile from snooker's most famous venue.

"Is that me at the Crucible? So I don't need to do anything else? No beep tests, or assault course or anything? As long as I'm there I'm happy with that," Dott said.

The 37-year-old Scot was riled though by being thrust into the qualifying format when his ranking almost earned him direct entry.

The top 15 in the world are taking the automatic route to the Crucible, along with Ali Carter, who stood 13th in the world when he was diagnosed with lung cancer last May. He has fallen to 31st, but fellow professionals agreed his previous standing should be frozen for tournament entry purposes.

It meant Welshman Michael White, who stood 16th in the rankings, had to enter qualifying and suffered a frustrated exit in the second round.

Dott's grievance was with the overall system, and he said: "Of course it's not fair.

"You've got debates on TV with politicians, but if you had a debate between Barry Hearn and me, and the public actually heard what I'm trying to say, how could anybody think it's fair that Michael White finishes 16th and he's three rounds behind the guy at 15th."

Dott lost to Kyren Wilson at the same qualifying stage last year, and now will fear nobody, saying: "I'd take Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round, why not? Nobody's going to want to draw me."

Ryan Day, Jamie Jones, Craig Steadman, Alan McManus and Anthony McGill were others to secure places in the first round.

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More

Irish abroad: Swansea's helping hand from Coleman

Written By doni icha on Selasa, 14 April 2015 | 23.06

A moment of madness from Everton's Seamus Coleman cost his side victory against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this weekend. Coleman's entirely unnecessary handball gifted the Swans a penalty to help them to a 1-1 draw.

Coleman was his usual attacking self throughout, charging up and down the wing and offering himself on the overlap as his crossing caused problems for the Swansea defence

However the former Sligo Rovers full-back looked shaky in defence and just after the hour mark he went down in his own penalty area under pressure from Marvin Emnes and, perhaps expecting the referee's whistle, scooped the ball back with his hand, conceding a blatant penalty which Jonjo Shelvey converted.

Manager Roberto Martinez defended his player, suggesting that the referee should have given a free-kick before Coleman handled the ball. "There is contact, he gets unbalanced," Martinez  said.

"It's an action that's not a goal scoring threat, it needs common sense, is that handball? For me the whole action is too soft, I expect the referee to use common sense, there is not enough goal scoring threat to give a penalty.

"His [Coleman] feeling is that there is contact, he expects a free-kick, we felt the crowd were asking for it and unfortunately we were on the receiving end."

The result was harsh on Everton, who had looked the better team throughout, with James McCarthy in particular impressing in midfield.

McCarthy, who came in for some harsh criticism since his Ireland display against Poland, has impressed for the Toffees in recent weeks and again shone at the weekend.

Always a threat when on the ball, his accurate crossing troubled Swansea throughout and led to his side's goal as his ball from the left wing immediately took two defenders out of the equation and allowed Aaron Lennon to fire home.

Shane Long helped his Southampton side keep up their push for European football next season as they claimed a convincing 2-0 victory over a Hull City team featuring Paul McShane and Stephen Quinn, with David Meyler suspended and Robbie Brady on the bench.

Long was a constant problem for the Hull defenders, getting in their faces at every opportunity, chasing down lost causes and putting them under pressure whenever they had the ball. He also operated well as a target man, holding up the ball and bringing others into play.

His most telling contribution came on 56 minute when, with the game still scoreless, he beat one-time Ireland international Alex Bruce before the Hull defender took him down, leading to the penalty that put the Saints in front.

Bruce came in for criticism from his father, Hull manager Steve: "He (Alex) needs criticising like everybody else," said the manager.

"It's a silly challenge from a lad of his experience to try and make. We've been punished and it probably cost us the game."

Meanwhile neither McShane or Quinn impressed for the Tigers. McShane came off second best in his battle with Long and was often disappointing in possession. Even though he did his best to get forward and join in when his side were on the attack, his use of the ball and crossing were poor.

Quinn fared slightly better in midfield and had a fine chance to open the scoring in the first half but he scuffed his shot and it was an easy save for Kelvin Davis in the Southampton goal.

Damien Delaney has been in fine form for Crystal Palace in recent months, turning in impressive displays week after week. However at the weekend he had one of his quietest games for months against Sunderland - because he had so little to do. Crystal Palace romped to a 4-1 victory.

Delaney helped Crystal Palace to weather an early storm as Sunderland pressed in the opening 15 minutes but from then on out it was a stroll in the park for the Palace defence. The only blot on Palace's, and Delaney's, copybooks was the 90th minute consolation goal scored by Conor Wickham, but by that stage the points had been won.

If Delaney could afford to relax, Sunderland skipper John O'Shea endured a torrid afternoon. Alongside Santiago Vergini in the heart of the Sunderland defence both he and O'Shea looked well of the pace and struggled to cope with the mobility of hat-trick scorer Yannick Bollaise.

O'Shea's lack of pace and poor positional sense was exposed in particular for Palace's third and fourth goals as he was twice unable to beat players to a straight-forward through ball.

Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark was another Irish defender to suffer this weekend, as he limped off during his side's 1-0 win away to Aston Villa.

Clark suffered a knee injury and was withdrawn after just 17 minutes. It's an injury which looks likely to rule the Irish international out of his side's trip to Wembley for their FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool this weekend.

Jack Grealish however pushed his case for a starting place in that semi-final with an explosive display that came on the back of a fine performance in his side's midweek 3-3 draw with QPR.

Having forced his way into the first choice eleven, Grealish looks to be in no mood to give up his place and he trouble Tottenham defenders throughout. Given licence to drift in behind the front two, his movement helped to create space for both Agbonlahor and goalscorer Benteke and his willingness to run with the ball had the Spurs defence on the back foot.

Marc Wilson, Glenn Whelan, Jon Walters and Stephen Ireland all featured for Stoke City in their 1-1 draw with West Ham.

Ireland, introduced as a second-half substitute for Whelan made the biggest impact, gave his side an extra creative edge they had been lacking and it was no surprise that their equaliser came after his introduction. Indeed were it not for a harsh offside call, Ireland would have had an assist as Marko Arnautovic found the net after his clever pass only for the linesman's flag to be raised.

Wilson, Whelan and Walters were all solid and all three put in the requisite effort but did little to stand out in a game crying out for some invention or creativity.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Richard Dunne made a long-awaited return from injury as he came off the QPR bench in injury-time of his side's narrow 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.

In the Championship, Bournemouth took a big step towards promotion and maintained their place at the top of the table with a 1-0 victory over Brighton on Friday evening.

Harry Arter was again a major force for the Cherries, driving them on from midfield and helping to control the tempo of play. Away from home, he didn't has as much freedom to break forward as he often does but was impressive nonetheless and on hand to help cover in defence when called upon to do so.

In Friday's other Championship game, James McClean's Wigan came from behind to claim a 2-2 draw with Fulham but at this stage of the season it's wins they need and the Latics are seven points from safety with just four games to go.

McClean gamely battled for his side throughout and won the free-kick that led to their opening goal on 22 minutes. He linked up well with the Wigan front line but while the Irish winger was tireless up and down the wing all too often his crosses were easily dealt with by the Fulham defence.

Next up for Wigan are fellow strugglers Millwall; their situation is just as dire following their 2-0 defeat away to a Watford.

David Forde, Shaun Williams and Aiden O'Brien all lined out for the Lions but saw their saw well beaten but a Watford side whose automatic promotion hopes remain very much alive.

With Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill in attendance, Forde did his chances of reclaiming the Irish goalkeeper jersey from Shay Given no harm at all with a fine display, keeping his side in the game when on another day they would have been soundly beaten.

With just 42 seconds on the clock Forde was called into action to save brilliantly from Troy Deeney. He was beaten by a superb volley midway through the first half and again soon after the restart but there was little he could do about either goal.

Forde did help to keep the scoreline respectable, with further impressive says from Matej Vydra and Deeny and on this evidence even if Millwall do get relegated, the Irish goalkeeper is unlikely to be playing League One football next season.

Neither Williams or O'Brien will have done their international chances much good however, with O'Brien in particular failing to convert from two one-on-one chances with the Watford goalkeeper.

Watford's Tommie Hoban will have impressed O'Neill, after he recovered after a seventh minute mix-up between the defender and his goalkeeper gave Millwall a chance. Hoban defended well after that, rarely putting a foot wrong either positionally or with the ball and helped his side to a clean sheet.

Another of Forde's international rivals Darren Randolph was on the winning side as Birmingham put a big dent in Wolves' promotion hopes with a 2-1 victory.

Randolph produced a couple of decent saves and midfielder Stephen Gleeson also started but it was defender Rob Kiernan, on loan from struggling Wigan, who made the biggest impression as he scored his first goal for the Blues.

Four minutes after his side had gone behind, Kiernan equalised. He was on hand to poke the ball home from a Jonathan Ground header. The goal aside, Kiernan was impressive in the centre of the Birmingham defence, although he was forced off midway through the second with what appeared to be a hamstring strain.

Promotion rivals Derby County and Brentford played out a 1-1 draw at Pride Park. Derby manager Steve McLaren admitted the result flattered his side.

Richard Keogh and Jeff Hendrick started for Derby, with Keogh slotting in at right-back in place of Cyrus Christie, who paid the price for recent defensive lapses. Meanwhile Jonathan Douglas and Alan Judge lined out for the Bees.

It was a very mixed performance from Hendrick who gave the ball away leading to Brentford's breakaway goal, as Alan Judge's fine cross-field pass allowed Alex Pritchard to curl the ball home from the edge of the penalty area.

Hendrick went some way towards making up for that error as his miscued shot in injury time was turned home by Darren Bent, while Keogh, who was at times put under a lot of pressure, coped admirably at right-back.

For Brentford, Douglas was the leading light. He helped to create many of his side's chance and he was unlucky not to have got his named on the scoresheet as his second-half effort was just about cleared off the line.

Norwich's automatic promotion hopes are still very much alive after they claimed an injury time winner against Bolton. Wes Hoolahan, who was targeted by Bolton as the man to stop, struggled to impose himself on the game in the way he has in the past and was sacrificed with just over 30 minutes to go for a striker and a more direct approach.

Mick McCarthy's Ipswich are another team who remain in the play-off hunt and their 3-2 win over already relegated Blackpool keeps them in contention.

Luke Chambers, Daryl Murphy and Jay Tabb all started for the Tractor Boys with Murphy creating the winner. He crossed for Christophe Berra to head home with seven minutes to go. Murphy was also involved in his side's second goal, linking up well with Chambers to create the chance for Freddie Sears.

Murphy, with 23 goals to his name, has been named as the Ipswich supporters player of the year. "I was delighted to win the award and it was a real honour for me," Murphy told the club's official website.

"You look down the list of the players who have won it before and to be alongside them was a really nice feeling.

"It's nice to get that recognition from the fans and they've been brilliant all season.

For Blackpool it was yet another defeat – their 25th of the season. Defender Darren O'Dea also suffered a broken nose and could be out of action for several weeks.

At Huddersfield, Sean Scannell's return to form continues apace after he score the only goal in their 1-0 victory away to Nottingham Forest. Scannell's surging run from midfield was picked out by Jacob Butterfield and the former Irish Under-21 neatly lifted the ball over the on-rushing goalkeeper and into the net.

In League One, Chesterfield duo Jimmy Ryan and Jay O'Shea combined to help their side earn a 1-1 draw away to Barnsley.

Barnsley's Cork-born midfielder Conor Hourihane slipped while in possession, allowing Ryan to steal the ball and play in O'Shea, who blasted the ball low and to the bottom left corner. Hourihane did his best to make up for the mistake and offered a real attacking threat but was substituted just before his side equalised.

Paddy Madden gave Scunthorpe's hopes of avoiding relegation as major boost as he scored the winning goal in his side's 2-1 victory over fellow strugglers Crawley Town.

After forcing a couple of fine saves from goalkeeper Brian Jensen, former Bohemians player Madden fired home from close range to give his side a vital win that sees them move three points clear of the relegation zone.

Afterwards he said: "There was a lot of build-up leading into the game because both teams were on the same amount of points so it's huge for us. 

"It was a six pointer really and now gives us that little bit of breathing space but we don't want to get too complacent because it's another important game on Tuesday.  If we can get a win there, we might be looking a bit more comfortable but only when we're safe can we take our foot off the gas."

Madden's former team Yeovil Town had their relegation confirmed after a 1-1 draw with Notts County. James Berrett and Sam Foley both started for Yeovil but could do little to help their side claim a victory that would have at least postponed their relegation for another week.

In League Two, Seamus Conneely scored his second goal in two weeks for Accrington Stanley, finding the net deep inside injury time to give his side a point as they drew 2-2 away to Cambridge United.

Former Cork City midfielder Gearóid Morrissey had helped put Cambridge 2-1 up after coming in as a second-half substitute and pulling back the ball for Ryan Bird to slot home. However with the game in its dying moments, Conneely was on hand to pounce on a loose ball in the box and blast it home off the underside of the crossbar.

Jamie Devitt and Padraig Amond both sparkled in Morecambe's 3-1 victory over Portsmouth, a result which keeps the Shrimps' faint play-off hopes alive.

Devitt was one of his side's most creative players and his sweetly struck corner led to their opening goal which was headed home by Alex Kenyon. Devitt was again involved in his side's second as his cross saw Andy Parrish force a fine save from the goalkeeper only to see Kenyon knock home the rebound.

However it was Amond who stole the limelight, as his injury-time volley put the seal on the win. The former Shamrock Rovers man collected a bouncing clearance from defence and turned back inside before unleashing an unstoppable shot with his left foot.

Plymouth's Irish duo Carl McHugh and Anthony O'Connor both claimed a goal apiece as their side edged out Mansfield 2-1, a result which saw them move into the play-off positions.

A clever looping header from O'Connor gave his side the perfect start, putting them ahead after just two minutes. McHugh scored what proved to be the winning goal on 63 minutes as he nodded home from Bobby Reid's corner. O'Connor claimed he got a touch on McHugh's header just before it crossed the line but, while replays were inconclusive, neither player should be too concerned.

Former Republic of Ireland Under-21 James Collins was another among the goals in League Two, as his side Shrewsbury side claimed a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Exeter.

Collins forced the ball home from close range after a Liam Lawrence corner caused all kinds of problems in the Exeter defence. Lawrence again put in a real captain's performance for his side, driving them on from midfield and helping out at the box in a box-to-box display.

Southend's promotion push continues apace as Barry Corr's ninth goal in 11 games was enough for a 1-0 win at home to second from bottom side Tranmere.

Corr bagged the game's only goal seven minutes from half-time when he finished smartly from a Will Atkinson corner kick.

In Scotland, Adam Rooney seems determined to ensure that his Aberdeen side push league leaders Celtic all the way, He scored his 26th goal of the season in the Don's 2-1 win away to Kilmarnock.

Rooney's smartly taken first-half header means that the striker has now scored against each SPL team throughout the season but more importantly it helped to leave Aberdeen five points behind Celtic, who dropped two points against Inverness CT.

Willo Flood was selected in the heart of midfield for the Dons and duly impressed, following up a decent midweek display against Inverness with another calm and composed performance full of endeavour and effort.

In the MLS, Robbie Keane had to watch from the stands as LA Galaxy returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders. A groin strain kept Keane out of the game, but it is not expected to be a long term injury.

Sean St Ledger was another forced to watch from the sidelines as his Orlando City side claimed a 2-0 victory over Portland Timbers.

Meanwhile Puskas Award nominee Stephanie Roche got her US career underway, coming on as a 75th minute substitute in Houston Dash's 2-0 win against Washington Spirit.

In Australia, Andy Keogh's Perth Glory side went down 3-0 to an impressive Sydney FC side but Glory's biggest problems are off the pitch rather than on it.

Football Federation Australia announced that the Perth side would not be allowed to compete in the top six A-League finals because of breaches of the salary cap via undisclosed payments over the last three seasons. Glory are appealing the decision.

In Malaysia, Eamon Zayed continues to find the net, scoring his side's only goal as Sabah Rhinos drew 1-1 with PKNS. That goal means that Zayed is now the top goalscorer in the league.

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ireland Women's U17s must wait to learn UEFA fate

Republic of Ireland Women's U17 0-0 Hungary Women's U17

The Republic of Ireland Women's U17 side missed out on automatic qualification for the UEFA finals after a scoreless draw with Hungary in Turner's Cross but remain in with a chance of qualifying as best runners-up.

Dave Connell's side finished their Elite Phase unbeaten and with three clean sheets but the scoreless draw with the Hungarians allowed England progress following their 2-0 win over Netherlands.

Ireland looked a little nervy early on and were fortunate not to concede twice in the opening ten minutes.

After six minutes Petra Krascsenics fired wide from 10 yards out after a brilliant left wing raid by Zoé Magyarics.

Three minutes later Irish keeper Amanda McQuillan made a brave save to deny Krascsenics once again.

In the 13th minute Ireland were desperately unlucky not to score when Saoirse Noonan chipped keeper Luca Varga only to see the ball bounce down off the crossbar before being cleared to safety.

Less than a minute later a powerful free-kick from Courtney Higgins was well saved by the Hungarian keeper.

Soon after the break captain Jamie Finn got her head to a Courtney Higgins corner and it appeared to have crossed the goal-line but the referee ruled that keeper Varga had kept it out.

Then Varga saved at the feet of Noonan and from the resulting corner Finn once again her head to the corner and this time a defender cleared off the line.

Unfortunately on a warm afternoon in Cork the energy sapped from the Irish attack and they failed to really trouble the Hungarian keeper. Now they are left waiting on results from elsewhere to decide whether they will play in Iceland this summer.

Ireland: McQuillan, O'Callaghan, Higgins, Finn, Moloney, McLaughlin, Doyle, Noonan, Meaney (McCartan 56), McKevitt (Beirne 49), Prior. 

Hungary: Varga, Rozmis, Kun, Vancsik (Szakonyi 74), P Krascsenics, C Krascsenics (Török 80+2), Gruber (61), Kocsán, Pilán, Magyarics (Csányi 71), Németh.

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More

Doherty makes dreadful start to final qualifier

Ken Doherty endured a disastrous first session in his World Snooker Championship third round qualifier against fellow veteran Mark Davis as the English cueman claimed an emphatic 8-1 overnight lead against the 1997 world champion at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.

Davis had accrued a 4-1 advantaged by the mid-session interval and won another four frames on the trot to leave the Dubliner in dire straits ahead of the conclusion of their best-of-19 frames match on Wednesday.

Doherty, who laboured to a 10-8 victory over perennial women's world champion Reanne Evans in his first round qualifier, looked more assured in his 10-6 second round success over Lee Walker but faces a colossal challenge if he is to feature at the Crucible for the 20th time in his career.

Joe Swail, who produced a courageous comeback to edge out Dominic Dale in a final-frame decider on Monday, trails former world number four Matthew Stevens by a single frame after their first session.

The Belfast potter led Stevens 3-2 at the mid-session interval, but lost three of the following four frames to ensure that his Welsh opponent would lead 5-4 overnight.

Fergal O'Brien plays Steve Davis' conqueror. Kurt Maflin, tonight from 7pm. 

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More

Barry says Cork unfairly branded by 'Dublin media'

Former Cork City star Dave Barry reckons the Leesiders are being unfairly branded by the "Dublin media".

Ex-Ireland manager Brian Kerr offered his insight into their performance against St Patrick's Athletic on Friday, in a game that ended 0-0, their second consecutive scoreless game away to Dublin opposition.

The former Faroe Islands boss said that that City can "outplay" most teams, and that they should be making more of the talents of former Celtic and Manchester United midfielder Liam Miller, instead of playing hopeful long balls to their attackers.

But Barry rejected this, saying that City are a different proposition at home and that they have been judged on their away performances.

The former Cork football player and All Star said that reporters might change their tune if they came to Turner's Cross to watch the side.

"The problem is a lot of people, especially the Dublin media, would only see Cork City playing away from home," he told RTÉ Sport.

"A lot of them don't go down to Cork City. They don't go to away games.

"If you went down and saw Cork playing against Derry, they won 3-0, it could have been six. Liam Miller was outstanding. With 5,000 people behind them [they play the ball more]."

"When you go away from home, definitely, you have a different mindset"

Cork are unbeaten after seven games, a run that includes three homes wins, and one win and three draws on the road.

Barry says that the Munster side, who finished second to Dundalk in last season's table, can't be judged just yet.

He said: "John Caulfield, it's his second season in charge and people are expecting them to be in front of Dundalk at the moment. Dundalk have had a fabulous start to the season but Cork City need to stay with them.

"They've had four away games – Sligo Rovers away, which was difficult, Shamrock Rovers away, [Bray away] and Pat's away. When you go away from home, definitely, you have a different mindset.

"In [Brian Kerr's] day, it was all attack and bomb forward, it was like [Arsenal manager] Arsene Wenger, but you have to sit in. There's no doubt about it.

"Liam Miller is probably the best man to get on the ball in the league at the moment and pass it, and he's shown that.

"You have to see him in seven or eight games and then make a judgement. It's very hard to see one game and say Cork are playing [a certain] way.

"Definitely at home, they are after scoring 10 goals in three games. John Caulfield is building a very good squad and it's entertaining."

Cork face Drogheda away on Friday before two homes games against Longford Town and Dundalk on 24 April, a game which is live on RTÉ2 television.  

For more, watch Soccer Republic on RTÉ2 on Monday nights or on RTÉ Player. 

23.06 | 0 komentar | Read More
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