By Mark Jones
Killester captured their first national men’s basketball cup final since 1987 when they overcame Ballina in a compelling decider at Tallaght last weekend. Having earlier put a stop to Notre Dame’s ambitions of a fifth successive title, Killester justified their favoritism to see off the challenge of Ballina by 87-71.
With Eric Jackson keeping Ballina’s dangerman, Liam McHale, under wraps, Killester produced a big third quarter to surge clear with Jackson (22), John Leahy (21) and Ed Randolph (14) leading the scorers. There was added celebration just before the end when Jerome Westbrooks was joined on court by his 17-year-old son, Michael, who added four points to the winners’ total.
In the women’s final, it was more of the same from Wildcats of Waterford, who secured a third cup success in four seasons with a convincing 62-44 triumph over Tolka Rovers. Catriona White produced a memorable display, with 16 points, including four three-pointers, to earn the MVP award.
Doherty finds form
Ken Doherty clinched his first snooker title for nearly a year when he defeated Paul Hunter 9-2 in the final of the Welsh Open in Cardiff last Sunday. The former world champion, who has struggled for consistency, got the better of reigning world champion Mark Williams in the semifinal after earlier seeing off the challenge of Stephen Hendry.
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"I’ve been inconsistent, so I want to continue this form for the rest of the season," Doherty said. "One tournament win in year isn’t enough, but I won’t grumble because there’s no feeling like picking up a trophy after a week playing against the top players in the world."
Sonia O’Sullivan had a comfortable victory in her first competitive outing of the year when she won the Australian Cross-country trials in New South Wales. O’Sullivan was never in trouble as she covered the 6-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 25.15 seconds.
She remains undecided over whether she will race at the World Championships in Dublin in March, but said she intends to speak with Ireland’s team coach, Jerry Kiernan, over the next few days to confirm her plans.