Sports digest


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

India's Zaheer ruled out of tour

CRICKET:Zaheer Khan has been ruled out of the remainder of India’s tour of England.

The 32-year-old pace bowler needs ankle surgery, which will rule him out until November.

A statement from the Board of Control for Cricket in India read: “Zaheer Khan is suffering from a recurrent right hamstring strain and a right ankle impingement.

“He will require a surgery for his ankle, followed by intensive rehabilitation for both the ankle and hamstring. He will need at least 14-16 weeks to recover completely.

“He will therefore not be able to participate in the ongoing Test series and subsequent T20 International and ODI series against England.”

Zaheer sustained a hamstring injury in the first Test at Lord’s after bowling just 13.3 overs.

Mixed weekend for triathletes

ATHLETICS: It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for elite triathletes Aileen Morrison and Gavin Noble in the Olympic test event at the Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Series race in Hyde Park, London.

Lisburn-based Morrison put in a solid performance to finish 18th in the Women’s Olympic dress rehearsal which took place on Saturday morning and was won in convincing fashion by the host nation’s Helen Jenkins.

In the men’s race which got underway yesterday, Noble also looked on course for a positive result when he exited the water just 20 seconds down on the swim leader and World Champion, Javier Gomez.

However, rain caused him to crash his bike on one of the slippery corners. At the head of the field Alistair Brownlee claimed an easy win after getting away on the bike with three other athletes.

Instonians end Phoenix's hopes

CRICKET: Leinster’s six-year domination of the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup came to an end yesterday as Phoenix went down to an eight-wicket semi-final defeat to Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge in Belfast.

Batting first the Dublin side made a healthy total of 262 for three, with former Ireland international David Langford-Smith making an unbeaten 106 and sharing in an unbroken stand of 170 for the fourth wicket with Conor Kelly (70no).

But buoyed by an opening stand of 169 between Rory McCann (86) and John Stevenson (72) and some late hitting from James Shannon (60no) and Andrew White (30no) Instonians won with 22 balls to spare. They will take on fellow NCU side Waringstown in the final at Comber on September 4th after they beat Brigade by 27 runs at Beechgrove.

Final sprint deprives Martin of victory in Tour of Poland

CYCLING:Daniel Martin finished second overall in the Tour of Poland on Saturday, writes Shane Stokes.

Martin’s big rival Peter Sagan (Liquigas Cannondale) finished second behind Marcel Kittel (Skil Shimano) on the stage and the six seconds gained there proved crucial in lifting him above the Irishman in the final standings.

Sagan had led the race until Martin seized the yellow jersey with his stage win on Friday.

However with just three seconds separating the two, it was always going to be difficult for Martin to hold off his Slovakian rival, who is more suited to sprinting.

Sagan gained time in two different points. The first was in the intermediate sprint 30 kilometres from the finish in Krakow. He finished second to Martin’s team-mate Heinrich Haussler there, but the latter was subsequently relegated when judges ruled he impeded Sagan in the sprint.

The second was in the final gallop to the line, where he finished just behind Kittel.

Cup victory for St Catherine's

SOCCER: Republic of Ireland striker Noelle Murray hit two second-half goals for Dublin side

St Catherine’s as they defeated Cork’s Wilton United 3-1 in yesterday’s FAI Women’s Senior Cup final at Turner’s Cross.

Mary Waldron headed St Catherine’s in front on the stroke of half-time following a cross by Amy McLoughlin.

Wilton’s Laura Lynch and Ericka O’Sullivan both went close to equalising after the break before Murray extended the lead on 77 minutes. The striker received the ball 30 yards and her crisp shot flew over goalkeeper Amanda Budden and into the net.

Denise O’Sullivan, part of the Ireland Under-17 squad that reached the World Cup quarter-final last September, reduced the arrears for Wilton two minutes from full-time.

Within a minute, the contest was over. Murray once again produced the spark by skipping past a number of Wilton defenders and coolly guiding the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Defeats for Irish men and women

HOCKEY:Ireland’s men lost their final two games before the European Championships in Germany later this month, writes Johnny Watterson. Playing in two Tests against Argentina, Ireland were beaten 3-2 on Friday night before losing 4-1 in the second match at UCD yesterday.

Yesterday, Cork’s John Jermyn finished off a goalmouth scramble to give Ireland a 1-0 lead.

Argentina came back eight minutes later with a drag-flick from Pedro Ibarra at a penalty corner before Tomas Innocente made it 2-1. Ibarra added a third just after the hour before Ignacio Bergener scored with a penalty stroke on 63 minutes.

The Irish women, who also travel to the European Championships in Germany, finished a three-match friendly series against Spain with their third defeat yesterday.

Having lost 0-1 on Friday, that score was repeated on Saturday before the home side again went down 1-3.