A round-up of other sports stories in brief...
FIA defer move
FORMULA ONE: The FIA have averted a potential row with the Formula One Teams’ Association by agreeing to defer their controversial new “winner-takes-all” system until 2010.
Just two hours after FOTA voiced an official protest to the plan, whereby the driver with most race wins becomes F1 champion, motor sport’s world governing body reacted swiftly to announce they were deferring the move.
Busy weekend for Irish contingent
EQUESTRIAN: Denis Lynch is competing at the World Cup qualifying show at s’Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands this weekend, lining out with Abbervail van het Dingeshof, Lantinus and Upsilon d’Ocquier.
In Germany, Damien Dixon is in action at the Ravensburg two-star show with Joy’s Mouche, Sonnengraf CH and Vivaldi, while Declan McEvoy competes at Busto Arzizio with Triest Star, Umberto and Rossinan Cavlier.
McEvoy is joined at the two-star Italian venue by Niall Talbot who travels with Global IT Onisha, Nina des Ulis and Gringo.
Jessica Kürten is among the Irish contingent jumping at Arezzo, while Irish riders also continue their participation at Comporta, Portugal. Across the Atlantic, Kevin Babington represents the country at the five-star Wellington show in Florida with Souvenir.
Darragh Kerins rides Night Train at the same venue.
TENNIS: Andy Murray believes he knows the key to beating Roger Federer in the semi-final of the BNP Paribas Open tomorrow.
“It’s important to serve solid, make a lot of balls and not feel like you have to do anything special on each point to win against him,” said Murray ahead of the last-four clash at Indian Wells.
Murray has won five of the pair’s seven meetings, although both Federer’s wins were in finals.
Coláiste Iognáid claim title to bridge long gap
HOCKEY: Coláiste Iognáid won Connacht its first All-Ireland schoolgirls’ title since 1988 – and only its second ever – at Grange Road yesterday, the Galway team beating Ulster cup holders Foyle in the ESB Kate Russell final with an extra-time golden goal, reports Mary Hannigan.
Not since Taylors Hill’s success 21 years ago had a Connacht school triumphed in the competition.
Megan Frazer gave Foyle a first half lead. But Katie Codyre, one the stars of the under-16 team that won Connacht its first ever interprovincial title last season, levelled before Elaine Kerry gave the school the lead three minutes from time. Olivia Jones, though, sent the game into extra-time with a last minute equaliser, Isobelle Mortimer then clinching the title for Coláiste Iognáid with a golden goal winner.
Cookstown, meanwhile, regained the boys’ title they won in 2007, beating defending champions St Andrew’s 2-0 in the final with goals from Stuart Smyth and Stephen Sloan. Wesley College finished third in the boy’s competition, a Carl Eggert hat-trick helping them to a 4-1 victory over Banbridge, while St Andrew’s won bronze in the girl’s tournament, Niamh Atchelor, Jenny Doran and Chloe Watkins getting their goals in a 3-1 defeat of Loreto Wexford.
*Both the girls’ and boys’ finals will be shown by Setanta next week – the girls’ final is on Thursday, March 26th (6.0) and the boys’ on Saturday, March 28th (2.0).