Minority Report – Herald June 8

Photo 3NETBALL: Ireland’s netballing women went undefeated at the Netball Europe Open in Aberdeen, Scotland. Playing in a division for developing netball nations, the Irish beat Gilbralter twice and also had a comfortable victory over Switzerland. Winner of the tournament was Wales, thanks to strong performances against Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. Next up for the Irish team, which is entirely self-financing, is the Nations Cup in Singapore later in the year. There the women in green, world ranked 30th, will aim to improve their international rankings. They will play, among others, close rivals Northern Ireland, currently ranked 11th in the world and still hoping for a place at next year’s Commonwealth Games.

DUATHLON: The trip from Cork proved worthwhile for Stephen Macklin when a strong performance on the second run gave him victory in the Runways Dublin Duathlon held in the Phoenix Park. Marathon runner Barry Minnock of Rathfarnham WSAF had taken the lead on the opening 2.7km run, but fell back on the 12km cycle, when Macklin, along with Belpark’s Kevin Donagher and Derek McCormack of Naas forced the pace. Macklin had a narrow lead heading into the final 2.7km run and pulled away from Danagher and McCarmack for victory. Muckno’s Killian Heary, winner of the May event, was a close fourth ahead of Minnock and Gary Crossan.
In the women’s race, Aoife Lynch of Pulse dominated, taking the run and cycle primes as well as overall victory.  Second and third were T3 teammates Jennifer O’Connell and Gena Byron.

CANOEING: At sprint canoeing’s final world cup in Poznan, Poland, Barry Watkins of Salmon Leap finished 2nd in the 200m B final and was a fighting 4th in the 1000m B final only missing otu for second in the sprint for the line. Jenny Egan, also Salmon Leap, was 5th in the 5000m final, just 62 seconds behind the winner. Egan also competed in the 500m, where she finished 9th with her best time of the weekend, and qualified for the semi-final in the 200m. Also in action were Michael Fitzsimons who made the semi-finals of both K1 500m and 1000m, Sean Marcehtti and Val Pierce who both made the 200m semifinals, and the K2 pairing of Peter Egan and Maciej Majchrzak who made the 200m semi-finals.

SNOOKER: Robert Murphy and Frank Sarsfield were both knocked out in the quarter-final stages of the European Senior and Masters’ Snooker Championships in Poland.

In the senior competition, Murphy was beaten 5-4 by John Whitty from England in a superb match that saw the Dubliner lead 2-nil, 3-2 and 4-3 before Whitty got the upper hand.

Masters player Frank Sarsfield of the Victoria club lost to former European Champion Alan Trigg from Ukraine 4-1. Jason Devane, playing for the first time at this level, did well to make it through to the last 16, where he lost to former pro Roy Stolk 1-5.

SAILING: Four of Ireland’s Olympic sailors are back in the waters of Weymouth this weekend for the Sail for Gold Regatta. Annalise Murphy (Laser Radial), Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern (49er) and James Espey (Laser) have their first races tomorrow (Sun)in what will be the third round of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup.
Dubliner Annalise Murphy, who has won the first two Eurosaf events, will aim to keep her medal streak going.
Keeping her company is older sister Claudine, who has paired up with Andrea Brewster to campaign in the 49er FX class this season. Tiffany Brien and Saskia Tidey, both recent ISA (Irish Sailing Association) Academy graduates, will also compete in this new Olympic class.

SWIMMING: Chris Bryan, Fiona Doyle, Sycerika McMahon and Barry Murphy will all represent Ireland at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona starting on July 20.
Long-distance swimmer Bryan will compete in a test 5km race in Barcelona on June 14 before travelling to Kazan, Russia for the World University Games in mid-July.
Canada-based swimmer Fiona Doyle, who set new Irish 100m and 200m breaststroke records in recent weeks, is another heading to the World University Games. Sycerika McMahon, who will compete in the 200m individual medley, takes up a swimming scholarship at Texas A&M after the world championships.
Barry Murphy has qualified on his 50m breaststroke time and competes at the Sette Coil International in Rome next week as part of his preparations.

BADMINTON: Irish No 1 Chloe Magee put up a brave fight but lost to No 4 seed  Hsiao Ma Pal of Korea 15-21, 20-22 in the women’s singles at the Thailand Badminton Open in Bangkok. In the opening round, Magee had beaten  Canadian player Christin Tsai in straight sets.  Magee and brother Sam went out in the opening round of the mixed doubles, losing to No 8 seeds Pei Jing Lai and Aik Quan Tan from Malaysia.

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