A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Gass crowned Tarmac champion
Darren Gass is the 2012 Irish Tarmac Rally Champion after this weekend’s Cork 20 International Rally. Gass was crowned champion before the event even began as title rival Garry Jennings was unable to enter a car for the rally, meaning Gass could not be caught on the leaderboard.
Despite the knowledge of knowing he had won the title Gass started well but it was Daragh O’Riordan who led from stage one, with Gass 11 seconds back. The Armagh driver began to close the gap across the next three stages, however on Stage 5 Gass crashed out, breaking his steering rack and ending his involvement.
O’Riordan and co-driver Tony McDaid then led the procession in their Subaru over the next nine stages to win the event by 4 minutes and 6 seconds from Declan Boyle in second and Denis Cronin finishing third, over 7 minutes behind the leader.
Sam Moffett also secured his own title as he took the Group N Tarmac title. The Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year finished fifth in Cork, which was enough to secure the title in his Mitsubishi Evo 9.
Breen completes Irish hat-trick in Horse of the Year
Shane Breen brought up a hat trick of Irish victories at the Horse of the Year Show early on Saturday evening when he won the accumulator on his own nine-year-old stallion Balloon.
The Hickstead-based rider picked up the maximum 65 points in 49.89 to claim the £6,600 first prize with Britain’s Guy Williams second in 51.22 on Larino 0087. Anthony Condon finished sixth on the Irish-bred Special Lux (54.86).
Earlier in the day, Billy Twomey claimed the jump-off competition on Sally Lane’s Dutch-bred mare Wings Sublieme.
In eventing, Wexford’s Lucy Latta won the pony two-star class at Weston Park in Shropshire. Riding Nono, Latta completed on her dressage score of 43.70 penalties.
Fundraising drive for Argentina trip
Things are looking up in a better way than could have been expected. The Leinster Hockey Association have made a statement as they pledged €4,000 to the Irish senior men’s fundraising campaign and urged their constituent clubs to get behind the campaign to see Ireland take up their place at the Champions Challenge in Argentina next month.
The first day of fundraising, as of Friday, has raised more than €13,700 but the LHA also correctly demanded that this situation leads to “proper governance” of the IHA, saying they will “demand a full report and a review of the unfortunate situation that the national body find itself in. The LHA will also suggest a forum to discuss all aspects of the national squads and the very future of the sport.”
The recap is that the Irish men pulled out of an international tournament in Argentina because there were no funds but now a more encouraging story has just come out of a pretty disappointing series of events, which is often the way these things work. JOHNNY WATTERSON