Magee claims a knockout victory


SPORTS DIGEST: BOXING:Belfast southpaw Brian Magee knocked out Rudy Markussen to retain his WBA interim super-middleweight title in Denmark on Saturday night.

The former Irish Olympian dropped the Dane after two minutes and 35 seconds of the fifth round with a left to the body to improve to 36 wins (25 KOs) from 41 outings in Brondby.

All three ringside judges had the fight scored at 38-38 after four fairly tight opening rounds.

“It was a tough fight, Rudy was very strong but I caught him nice and clean. I am pleased with my performance and very happy about the victory,” said Magee.

The Ulsterman is now expected to target regular WBA champion, Karoly Balzsay of Hungary.

Andre Ward, a gold medal winner for the United States at the 2004 Olympic Games, is the current WBA super-middleweight champion and is another possible opponent for Magee.

Parrock’s goal turns tide for WIT

CAMOGIE:Waterford IT were celebrating yesterday after capturing their fourth successive Ashbourne Cup title when they beat University of Limerick 2-8 to 0-4.

Played on home soil at the Sports Campus grounds, they were made to fight all the way against a resilient UL team, only pulling away in the final quarter.

The turning point arrived midway through the second half when All-Ireland medallist Katrina Parrock found the net. The midfielder had just switched into full forward and made no mistake finding the net from close range.

Gaining momentum, Kilkenny attacker Marie Dargan added a second goal three minutes later. From there to the full-time whistle Waterford IT pulled away adding four unanswered points.

Meanwhile, goals from Aoife Bugler, Catriona Regan, Orlaith Durkan and Emma Brennan helped Dublin City University to a 4-7 to 0-4 victory over Queen’s University in the Purcell Cup final.

Reynolds and Gregan book their trips toWorld Indoors

ATHLETICS:Irish interest in next month’s World Indoor Championships effectively doubled over the weekend when both Ben Reynolds and Brian Gregan achieved their required qualifying standards, writes Ian O’Riordan.

Competing at the Flanders International meeting in Belgium, Reynolds finished second in the 60 metres hurdles in 7.74 seconds – the exact time required to get him to Istanbul, where the World Indoors are being staged from March 9th-11th.

Gregan also dipped under the 400 metres qualifying standard of 46.90 seconds when setting an indoor personal best of 46.66, good enough for second place on the night.

Elsewhere, Joanne Cuddihy continued her progress towards London Olympic selection by winning the 400m at the Sydney Track Classic, her time of 51.86 improving on her season opener 52.08 last week.

At the same meet, Paul Robinson set a personal best when finishing eighth in the 1,500m in 3:40.50.

Levi clouts record with 13 sixes

CRICKET:Opening batsman Richard Levi took advantage of the small boundaries at Seddon Park to blast a world record 13 sixes and guide South Africa to an eight-wicket win over New Zealand to level their Twenty20 series in Hamilton on Sunday.

Levi, who only made his debut on Friday in Wellington, also brought up the fastest international T20 century off 45 balls as he scored 117 not out to help the visitors chase down New Zealands 173 for four with four overs to spare.

Meanwhile, Australia enjoyed an easy 110-run win over India in Brisbane to go top of the triangular series. Set 289 for victory, the visitors lost early wickets as Ben Hilfenhaus (five for 33 and Brett Lee (three for 49) shone with the ball.

Federer eases past Del Potro

TENNIS:Roger Federer outclassed Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam to win his first title of the year.

The top-seeded Swiss, who also beat Del Potro in the quarter-final of the Australian Open last month, took the first five games in the first set, while a break in the sixth game of the second proved sufficient for Federer to win the title for the second time.

Ireland’s run ended by Kenya

CRICKET:Ireland’s unbeaten start to their World Cup qualifying campaign was well and truly ended in Mombasa on Saturday as they went down to a comprehensive seven-wicket defeat to Kenya, writes Emmet Riordan.

Having won the toss, Ireland were bowled out for just 200 in the 48th over, with Paul Stirling’s 46 off 44 balls at the top of the order the only real innings of note despite half a dozen batsmen getting a start.

Boyd Rankin and Trent Johnston bowled well with the new ball on their return to the side, but failed to make the breakthroughs that were needed in defending such a low total.

First-change John Mooney did pick up the wicket of Duncan Allan for 15, while George Dockrell struck with his third ball to bowl David Obuya for 20. But an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 99 between Tanmay Mishra (70) and Rakep Patel (42) got the African side home with 44 balls remaining.

The sides meet again today at the same venue.

Rome Olympian Messitt passes away

ATHLETICS:The death has taken place of former Irish Olympian and distance running great Bertie Messitt, at age 83, after a long illness.

Born in Bray in 1928, Messitt represented Ireland in the marathon at the Rome Olympic Games in 1960. He also competed in the European Championships of 1958 and 1962 and held 16 national records during his career, in distances ranging from 3,000 metres to the marathon.

His big year was in 1958 when he broke a total of nine Irish records with a best of 13:44 for three miles, 14:14.8 for 5,000m and 49:33 for 10 miles, either at Santry or College Park. In 1958 he ran both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the European Championships in Stockholm, all of which earned him the Texaco Award for athletics.

His funeral Mass will take place tomorrow in St Annes’s Church, Shankill at 11am.