SPORTS ROUND-UP: Denis honoured as one of Ireland’s finest horsemen

Denis Lawlor of Ballyphilip Stud receiving his award from Irish Racehorse Trainers Association chief executive Michael Grassick.

DENIS Lawlor of the Ballyphilip Stud in Croom was among the winners at the Irish Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards last weekend.

With plenty of experience in the industry, Denis was recognised as “one of the finest horsemen working in the industry and a credit to Ballyphilip Stud”.

The citation read: “Denis has worked at Ballyphilip Stud for the past 20 years, virtually from the time it was acquired as a run-down, derelict sheep, and cattle farm. Three world champions and a host of stakes winners have been bred or produced on the farm and Denis has been a hugely important figure in the achievement of that success.”

“His attention to detail is second to none. He has an inbuilt kindness towards and empathy with all animals and particularly horses.”

Also honoured was Kilfinane native Tommy Hayes, Yard Manager at Goffs. A plasterer by trade, he worked with Major Sinnott of Furness Hose in Kill before joining his current employer in 1984, where he is one of the longest serving and most popular of its staff. 

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“Tommy has been the backbone of Goffs for around 40 years and remains a star,” a line from his citation read.

Hurling: AFTER only a year in the lower tier, Monaleen are set to return to the Limerick Senior Hurling Championship in 2023.

In the Premier Intermediate Final at Kilmallock, Eoin Brislane’s finely-tuned outfit accounted for Bruff, 2-16 to 0-16, following a very entertaining affair. 

The goals were obviously crucial and arrived in each half courtesy of Mark O’Dwyer (whose name will surely have been noted by county boss John Kiely) and John Nicholas.  O’Dwyer’s three-pointer was the opening score, but Bruff quickly sped into a three-point lead themselves, with points from the likes of four-time All-Star Seán Finn, Danny O’Leary, and Chris Browne. 

The teams were level at the interval 1-6 to 0-9. 

Nicholas’ green flag swung matters in favour of the city club approaching the three-quarter way stage. 

Monaleen will compete in the lower grouping of next year’s senior championship, alongside Adare, Ballybrown, Garrypillane, Mungret/St. Paul’s and South Liberties. 

Bruff were last senior in 2015.

Meanwhile, western rivals Dromcollogher/Broadford and St Kieran’s meet in the Junior Hurling Final in Newcastle West at 2pm on Saturday.

Rugby: RESUMING their Energia All-Ireland League campaign on the back of a couple of wins, Young Munster suffered an unexpected Division 1A home 13-20 loss to Lansdowne at Tom Clifford Park.

A Dan Walsh try, converted by Conor Hayes, saw the sides tied at ten points apiece but the visitors had a ten point haul afterwards, with the Cookies glad of a late losing bonus point when Hayes split the posts from distance.

On a weekend when all local teams lost, Shannon were beaten 27-9 at Clontarf and Garryowen fell (33-11) to Cork Constitution at Temple Hill. 

In the latter, a couple of penalties from Munster Academy scrum-half Jack Oliver had given the Light Blues an early 6-3 advantage. 

This Friday, George Clancy will take charge of the top-flight fixture between Shannon and Garryowen on the hybrid pitch at Thomond Park (7.30pm), while the following afternoon Young Munster are at Ballynahinch in County Down.

Soccer: ACTION resumes in the FAI Junior Cup at the weekend. 

On Sunday morning, last season’s finalists Pike Rovers are anticipated to advance away to Newport Town, while elsewhere Athlunkard Villa host Regional United, Summerville Rovers are home to Moyross United, and Coonagh United make the short trip to Ballynanty Rovers.  All fixtures kick-off at 11am. 

The previous evening (7pm), fancied Fairview Rangers, current leaders of the Premier Division, are at Charleville.  

In the Tuohy Cup this Thursday, Jackman Park is the venue for the interesting tie between Janesboro and Aisling Annacotty at 7pm.  

At the weekend, Pike qualified for the semi-finals (against either Coonagh or Charleville) of this competition after a dramatic penalty shoot-out win against Nenagh. Pike keeper Gary Neville played the proverbial blinder, brilliantly stopping three spot-kicks.