A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Thurles book place in last four after pulling away in second half

Thurles CBS 2-23 Castletroy CC 2-12

GAELIC GAMES:Thurles CBS booked a spot in the last four with victory over Castletroy CC in yesterday’s quarter-final played in Tipperary town.

Thurles led by 0-11 to 0-10 at half-time but could have trailed as Michael Breen’s 26th-minute penalty was saved by Robert Larkin.

Kevin Dunne and Eoin Moriarty scored second half goals for Thurles as Tom Morrissey replied with two for Castletroy.

Thurles play Dungarvan Colleges in the semi-finals.

THURLES CBS: P Maher; R O’Regan, K O’Dwyer, R Larkin; J Lineen, R Maher (0-1 free), B Troy; S Cahill (0-4), P Russell (0-1); S Ryan (0-2), S Nally (0-2), K Dunne (1-2); C Lanigan (0-9, five frees), E Moriarty (1-1), C Maher (0-1). Subs: J Skehan for Russell (47 mins), J Woods for C Maher (52 mins), S Ryan for Dunne (57 mins), R Nally for Cahill (59 mins), C McCullagh for S Nally (60 mins).

CASTLETROY CC: C O’Dwyer; J Porter, M Breen, P Morrissey; L Lyons, A La Touche Cosgrave, P O’Kane; A Hanley, B Nash (0-1); E Doyle, T Morrissey (2-2), S Power (0-9, six frees, one 65); J Nicholas, S Griffen, J Fox. Subs: D Kennedy for Lyons (half-time), J Stack for O’Kane (47 mins), R Murphy for Nicholas (52 mins).

Referee: D Copps (Cork).

Three third-round cup ties as top clubs play catch-up

With several Irish Senior Cup ties postponed due to the weather before Christmas, the competition is playing catch-up this weekend with three third-round ties scheduled. Railway Union, who host Hermes in their tie, came agonisingly close to ending their ISC drought in 2010, when they lost on penalty strokes to Loreto, but beat the same opposition in November to set up a meeting with another of their leading Leinster rivals.

Pegasus finally got their twice-postponed tie against Catholic Institute played last week, winning 3-1 in Limerick, but, based on current form, face as stern a test possible when they travel to Dublin to play cup holders UCD. And a week after retaining their National Indoor title, Ards head south to play UCC.

UCD will be back in action again on Sunday when they meet Corinthian in the league, the students currently tied at the top of the table with Railway.


Saturday – Irish Senior Cup, third round: Railway Union v Hermes, Park Avenue, 2.45; UCC v Ards, The Mardyke, 1.0; UCD v Pegasus, Belfield, 1.0. Leinster League – Division One: Trinity v Old Alexandra, Wesley College, 1.30; Glenanne v Loreto, St Mark’s, 4.30.

Sunday: Hermes v Pembroke Wanderers, St Andrews, 2.0; UCD v Corinthian, Belfield, 4.15.


Nevin steers Lionhearts to series victory

John Joe Nevin outclassed his fellow Olympic silver medallist Daouda Sow to help the British Lionhearts to a home win over the USA Knockouts in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) clash in London last night.

Nevin took all five rounds to earn a unanimous decision over the French lightweight, a finalist at Beijing 2008, at York Hall. His win stretched the Lionhearts’ advantage over the Americans to 2-0 following Kaupo Arro triumph over Jeffrey Camp.

Wales’ Andrew Selby then fired the Lionhearts into an unassailable 3-0 with victory over Ireland’s Michael Conlan, a bronze medal winner at London 2012.

Ireland’s Joe Ward denied the Knockouts a losing bonus point with victory over Croatia’s Marco Calic.

Athletics Ireland switch gear sponsors to New Balance

: Athletics Ireland has sealed a sponsorship deal with New Balance, the American sportswear brand, to provide international competition gear for all Irish athletes for the next three years.

The new deal comes despite the relatively poor showing of Irish athletes at last summer’s London Olympics, but is no doubt reinforced by the gold-medal performances of Fionnuala Britton and the Irish women’s team at last month’s European Cross Country in Budapest, and the continued success of Irish junior and other underage competitions.

It also ends the long association with Asics, who had sponsored Irish athletics for the last 23 years, taking over from Adidas, in 1989. New Balance have sponsored individual Irish athletes over the years, most notably John Treacy, who signed up with New Balance shortly before winning his Olympic marathon silver medal in 1984, and stuck with the company for the rest of his career.

Two years ago, New Balance also signed up junior runner Ciara Mageean, reportedly on a six-figure deal to run for three years, with the option of a fourth.


Armstrong stripped of 2000 Olympic bronze medal

CYCLING:Lance Armstrong was stripped of his 2000 Olympic Games cycling time trial bronze medal by the International Olympic Committee yesterday, continuing the once dominant American rider’s spectacular fall from grace after a doping storm.

“We have written asking for the return of the medal from the Sydney 2000 Games,” an IOC official told Reuters after the decision to take away the last major title held by the American.

The retired Armstrong had his seven Tour de France titles taken from him and was banned for life by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in October after several riders testified that he took drugs.

The UCI also stripped Armstrong, who had never failed a doping tests, of all results since August 1st, 1998.

The testimony came in a United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) report in which the 41-year-old’s former US Postal team was accused of running “the most sophisticated, professionalizsd and successful doping program that sport has ever seen”.

Armstrong, a cancer survivor who founded the Livestrong Foundation, had always denied wrongdoing and aggressively pursued anyone claiming he did.

Miracle shot sets it up for Robertson

Defending champion Neil Robertson produced an incredible escape shot and converted it into a match-winning century as he saw off Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen in a high-class quarter-final.

With the match into a deciding frame, Allen put Robertson in all sorts of trouble when he ran through off a red to tuck in snug behind the yellow which was just off its spot.

Robertson’s only real chance of an escape was to target a red hanging over a top pocket, and Allen could do nothing but watch as his opponent went off the cushion and down to the pocket, clipping in the red and landing on the black.

From there Australian Robertson made a classy 105 to win the match 6-5.

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