Sports digest

Fri, Aug 31, 2012, 01:00

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

Walsh given late finals chance for Sydney Swans

AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL:Former Kerry footballer Tommy Walsh has been given an 11th hour opportunity to play a role for high-flying Sydney Swans in the AFL’s finals’ series, earning a recall for tomorrow’s round 23 clash against Geelong.

Walsh has had to wait in the wings since the end of May, when he was dropped after a horror showing in round 9 against his former club St Kilda. That came just a week after finally making his AFL debut with a two-goal contribution as the Bloods pounded Melbourne.

The 24-year-old has bided his time in the NEAFL with the reserves since then, producing some excellent performances that included bagging six goals just a couple of weeks ago.

The NSW club play champions Geelong in the final round of the home-and-away series, with a chance of winning the minor premiership by finishing top of the league table.

An injury to key forward Sam Reid has given Walsh a late opportunity to impress as the season draws to a climax.

The Tralee man failed to make the breakthrough with St Kilda in two seasons, having signed a contract with them in 2009.

Meanwhile, Zach Tuohy plays in what will be Brett Ratten’s last game as Carlton head coach, after the Blues boss was told he would be sacked at the end of the season having failed to get the club into the finals.

Caolán Mooney’s untimely ankle injury rules him out, while Martin Clarke remains out of favour.

Pearce Hanley will play his final game of another outstanding season for him as Brisbane play host to Western Bulldogs.

Perez to make decision on future in next few weeks

MOTOR SPORT:Sergio Perez is to make a decision on his future within the next few weeks. Although heavily linked with Ferrari as a potential replacement for Felipe Massa for 2013, the interest appears to have waned.

The 22-year-old Mexican, a member of the Scuderia’s young driver academy, yesterday confirmed there was no contact with Ferrari over the recent summer break.

Perez, ninth in the drivers’ standings and having finished on the podium in Malaysia and Canada this season, knows the clock is ticking.

“It’s getting closer to when I have to make a decision, whether I stay with the team or if I will leave,” said Perez.

“It’s still a bit early, but it has to be made quite soon, in the next weeks, although I’m not really worried about it.

“I’m in a good position, and I’m just thinking about the second half of the season, which is the most important for me.

“But I need to speak to my people to see what is going to happen about my future.”

Asked as to whether there was any further interest from Ferrari, he said: “No, not really.”

Changes afoot as Holland steps down

ROWING:The changes in Irish rowing continue apace with the lead coach for juniors, Derek Holland, stepping down. Holland, who as an athlete had a long international career and rowed for Ireland in the 1996 Olympics, teaches and coaches at Portora Royal School and held the Ireland coaching post on a part-time basis.

The work of Rowing Ireland to formulate plans to build up domestic rowing will move up a gear in the coming months, culminating in a Rule-Change EGM in January. Rowing Ireland has asked clubs which intend to propose changes to submit them in the next two weeks. There will be a discussion meeting in October.

Ireland will soon be the location for a major international rowing forum, as the World Rowing Conference will be held in Limerick on November 4th.

The Fisa Congress put out a request for countries to apply for the World Coastal Rowing Championships in 2014. Next year’s Championships are set for Helsingborg in Sweden.

LIAM GORMAN

Four Ireland players shortlisted for ICC award

CRICKET:Four Ireland players have been shortlisted for the prestigious ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year award.

Ireland have only once won the award, with skipper William Porterfield earning the honour in 2009.

Dutch all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate saw off Irish rivals among the shortlist to win the award for the last two years.

This time around the odds are heavily stacked in Ireland’s favour, with Kevin O’Brien, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling all nominated, along with Afghanistan’s Dawlat Zadran.

The awards will presented at a ceremony in the Sri Lanka capital Colombo on September 15th ahead of the World Twenty20 finals.

EMMET RIORDAN

Power best of the Irish in Burghley

EQUESTRIAN:Elizabeth Power is best-placed of the three Irish riders who completed the dressage phase of the Land Rover Burghley horse trials yesterday, lying 10th on the Good Times Syndicate’s ex-racehorse September Bliss.

The Co Meath rider received a penalty score of 51.5 while the leader, on 45.5, is Britain’s Ruth Edge riding Rogersdale, the combination which finished seventh in the three-star class at Tattersalls in early June.

Louise Lyons (Watership Down) is in 36th place on 65.2 with Mark Kyle, who was on the Olympics team this year finishing 41st of the 43 starters on Step In Time.

The dressage phase of the four-star event continues today when Captain Geoff Curran, riding the Minister for Defence’s Shanaclough Crecora, will be first into the arena at 9.30. Peter Hannigan competes with First Mate at 11.17, immediately followed by Sam Watson and Horseware Bushman. Kyle rides his second horse, Willow Fairgreen Attraction, at 14.30.

MARGIE McLOONE

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