Minority Report – Herald January 19

SNOOKER: Former Irish snooker champion David Morris from Kilkenny showed a welcome return to form when he won the fourth ranking tournament of the season at the Ivy Rooms Carlow. Morris, who played on the pro tour until last season,  beat Brendan O’Donoghue  of Nenagh in the quarter-finals and  current Irish No 1 David Hogan 4-1 in the semis. In a tense final, he beat Robert Murphy 5-3. 
Murphy, from the Q Club Wicklow, had put out young pretender Josh Boileau of Newbridge 4-2 in his semi-final.  In other surprise results, Robert Redmond had a great 3-2 win over former world No 24 Michael Judge in the last 16 before losing to Boileau in the quarter-finals.

*Edenderry Snooker Club is the venue next weekend January 25-27 for the Peter McNally Memorial Snooker Invitation, with top players from Leinster  expected. 

BADMINTON: Top seed Liam O’Leary is scheduled to meet Scot Burnside in tomorrow’s  (Sun) men’s singles finals at badminton’s Leinster Open in Whitehall Road, Dublin. Top seed in the women’s draw is Catherine Coyle, with her doubles partner Aisling Ryan at No 2. There’s a strong entry for the men’s doubles, although Joshua Magee and Tony Murphy are still slight favourites to win ahead of Dan Magee and Niall Tierney. 

VOLLEYBALL: After wins for both DVC and Santry last weekend, nothing has changed at the top of  volleyball’s women’s premier league. DVC had the tougher outing,  with TCD pushing them to 25-23 in the final set having also won the second.  Against UCD, Santry had it easier although they also dropped a set. In the ninth round of matches next weekend, DVC face the Naas Cobras while Santry has a break. 
Playing tomorrow (Sun) in the opening round of the women’s Association Cup are Tallaght Rockets who travel to Galway to play NUIG. DVC and Santry both have byes into the second round. 
In the men’s premier division, former champions Aer Lingus picked up crucial points when they beat Ballymun Patriots last week. UCD remain top of the table on set difference after an easy win over DVC. They play NUIG Alliance in Galway today(Sat).

DUATHLON: Punchestown Racecourse is the venue tomorrow (Sun) for the first in this year’s Naas Duathlon Series. Three events will take place, each of them consisting of a 3.2km run, 20km cycle and 3.2km run. Other dates are February 24 and March 24.  To the north of Dublin,  Ring Commons, Balbriggan,  is the venue for the Fingal Duathlon Series, starting on Saturday February 2, with March 2 and 30 the other dates. The rounds and third rounds will consist of a 6km run, 20km cycle and 6km run. Round 2 is almost double the distance – an 11km run, 40km cycle and 6km run.

Over 200 duathlons, triathlons and similar are scheduled for 2013.

SQUASH: Following his win at the Swiss Squash Open late last year, Sutton junior player David Ryan starts 2013 at the top of the European under  17 rankings. Other Leinster players in the top ten are Breanne Flynn, Oisin Dunne, Stephanie Ryan and Scott Gillanders.  At senior level, Irish No 1 Madeline Perry is top seed for the WSA Tournament of Champions, starting today (Sat) in New York. She plays American Latasha Khan in her opening match. 

* Entry is still open for the Leinster Squash Senior Closed starting on Monday January 28 at Sutton LTC and continuing until February 3. Before that comes next weekend’s Mount Pleasant Open in Ranelagh, Dublin. 

HOCKEY: Match of the weekend sees Railway Union taking on Hermes at home in the third round of the Electric Ireland Irish Senior Cup. Last November, Hermes gave Railway their only beating of the season so far, although Railway avenged that defeat a few weeks later.  

Railway, currently second on the Leinster League table, went out to eventual winners UCD in last season’s Irish Senior Cup, while Hermes lost to Old Alexandra in the second round. Before Christmas, Hermes struggled against Armagh in the second round of the Senior Cup, only winning on penalty strokes.

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