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first_imgNEW YORK (AP):For Serena Williams’ first 26 matches at major tournaments in 2015, no deficit was too daunting, no opponent too troublesome, no victory too far from reach.She was unbeaten and, seemingly, unbeatable, nearing the first Grand Slam in more than a quarter-century. All Williams needed was two more wins to pull off that rare feat. And yet, against an unseeded and unheralded opponent in the US Open semi-finals, she faltered. Her pursuit of history ended, oh so close.In one of the most significant upsets in the history of tennis, Williams finally found a hole too big to climb out of, losing 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 yesterday at Flushing Meadows to 43rd-ranked Roberta Vinci of Italy.”I don’t want to talk about how disappointing it is for me,” Williams said at the start of a briefer-than-usual news conference. “If you have any other questions, I’m open for that.”Vinci had never before played in a Grand Slam semi-final. She had never so much as taken a set off Williams in four previous match-ups.VICTORIOUS DAY”Today is my day,” Vinci told the crowd in an on-court interview. “Sorry, guys!”She said she told herself not to think about having Williams across the net. And Vinci’s unusual style, full of slices and net rushes, kept Williams off-balance enough to cause problems and prevent the 33-year-old American from becoming the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a single season. Williams had been pushed to the limit before – this was her 12th three-setter in a major this season – but had managed to win titles at the Australian Open on hard courts in January, the French Open on clay courts in June, and Wimbledon on grass courts in July.This time, for once, the No. 1-ranked Williams could not pull it out, undone by 40 unforced errors, twice as many as Vinci. That negated the impact of Williams’ 16 aces, including one at 126 mph.”I thought she played the best tennis in her career,” Williams said about Vinci. “She played, literally, out of her mind.”Today, Vinci will face another Italian making her Grand Slam final debut: 26th-seeded Flavia Pennetta, who eliminated No. 2 Simona Halep 6-1, 6-3 earlier yesterday.Pennetta, 33, and Vinci, 32, have known each other since they were kids, having grown up in towns about 40 miles apart on opposite coasts of Puglia, a region in the south-eastern heel of Italy’s boot-shaped peninsula.Now they will face each other in a stadium in New York – with a Grand Slam trophy on the line. An intriguing story line, to be sure, but nothing compared to what Williams was chasing: a perfect Grand Slam season.After all, not only was she 26-0 at those tournaments this year, but her winning streak at majors was 33 matches entering yesterday, because she won last year’s US Open.If she had managed to win a fifth consecutive major title, Williams would have raised her total to 22, equalling Graf for the most in the Open era, which began in 1968, and second-most in history behind Margaret Court’s 24.last_img read more

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first_imgWith only 46 percent of deliveries in Liberia assisted by skilled attendants, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund has pledged more support to the training of midwives in the country.“Midwives are crucial in the fight to reduce maternal and newborn deaths. Midwives can prevent up to 90 percent maternal deaths if they get all the support and are allowed to practice their competencies and play a full role during pregnancy, childbirth and after birth,” says UNFPA Liberia Resident Representative Ratidzai Ndhlovu.“The presence of a midwife at birth can mean the difference between life and death,” Ms. Ndhlovu said on 15 January at the presentation of office equipment to the Midwifery Training Program of the Phebe Training School in Suacoco, Bong County. The equipment include a LaserJet network printer and a heavy duty Canon photocopier.  As part of the Phebe Hospital training program, the midwifery school is currently offering two study options: a 3-year direct-entry midwifery course immediately after high school (basic midwifery), and a 2-year nurse-midwifery training program for nurses.The UNFPA Representative said: “If we encourage pregnant women to deliver at the hospital, we have to ensure that the supply side of the health care delivery system is addressed by producing competent midwives, who are able to manage complications and refer as soon as possible those complications that they cannot handle.She expressed the hope that the donated equipment would contribute positively to the learning atmosphere of students of the midwifery training school. “The last time I visited the training facilities, there were lots of students holding old pieces of papers around, copying from textbooks because as they informed me, there was no printing or photocopying facility.In his remarks, Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Sampson Arzoaquoi expressed gratitude to UNFPA for the donation. “We are in the business of going out to seek support from individuals and institutions. A lot of them do not give us the kind of timely response that we have received from UNFPA,” he said.Dr. Arzoaquoi noted the donation would go a long way in helping to alleviate some of the challenges the students are faced with.Since the Government of Liberia and partners in March 2011 launch the roadmap for accelerated reduction of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in the country, a lot of efforts have been put into the training of more midwives. However, according to the Liberia Board of Nursing and Midwifery, by December 2013, there were about 800 midwives available to the population of 3.5 million people; highlighting the urgent need for the training of more midwives. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgA teenager was on Friday arraigned with the murder of his friend when he appeared at the Springlands Magistrate’s Court. Nineteen-year-old Sasenarine Somai, also called “Orvin” or “Bobo”, of Lot 91 Number 69 Village, Corentyne, was not required to plea to the indictable charge.The Police stated that between October 7 and 8, 2018, he murdered Mahindra Sooknanan, also called “KI”, 20, of Lot 36 Section A Number 69 Village, Corentyne.Magistrate Rabindranauth Singh refused bail and ordered that Somai return to court on January 3, 2019.The accused was represented by Attorney Chandra Sohan who made an application for the disclosure of statements. He told the court this it is his client’s first time in court.It was reported that on the day in question, the suspect and the victim were imbibing when an argument broke out after the now dead man made a statement about the suspect’s wife. The suspect reportedly got angry and left but it is believed that he ambushed the victim when he was heading home and stabbed him to death.Sooknanan’s body was discovered on Monday morning last in a pool of blood in the village. The suspect was later arrested and confessed to the heinous crime. He led investigators to the area where he disposed on the murder weapon.He would have given a confession statement and charges were instituted.last_img read more

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first_img“It has been the hardest time of my career to be honest. You start thinking ‘oh no, what is this?’ and that’s when the reality hits you. It’s a difficult moment and you are just burning inside to come back stronger,” Wanyama told the club’s official website.The midfielder had just made a return at Palace on November 10 after injuring his knee during a tie away to West Ham at the Olympic Stadium, but just after that game at Selhurst Park aggravated the injury again.Harambee Stars and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama during a training session at Hotspur Way. PHOTO/SpursOfficial/TwitterThis latest spate of injuries follows another similar train that followed him last season having missed a huge chunk of the season battling with an injury on the other knee.“It’s so annoying. You want to try to come back quicker but there is no short cut,” Wanyama further stated in the interview.He says his focus now is on helping Spurs in the remaining games of the season as they bid to exert pressure on an outside chance of winning the league title, but most importantly to pick up fitness for Kenya’s quest for Cup of Nations glory in July.“I want to get into rhythm as soon as possible and try to help the team. I just want to keep myself fit and finish the season stronger.”“I’ve missed playing, missed the games. I want to get into rhythm as soon as possible and try to help the team. I just want to keep myself fit and finish the season stronger,”Harambee Stars and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama vies for the ball with Son Heung-Min during a training session at Hotspur Way. PHOTO/SpursOfficial/Twitter“I know I need to work even harder to get back into the team. It won’t be easy but with hard work, everything is possible. I feel good now and I’m looking forward.”Wanyama was not involved in the midweek clash against Watford, but might be named as a sub in this weekend’s match against Newcastle United as he looks to build on his fitness.0Shares0000(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Stars and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama vies for the ball with Serge Aurier during a training session at Hotspur Way. PHOTO/SpursOfficial/TwitterNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – He has described the last two seasons as the toughest in his career, but Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama is looking to end this season strong after recovering from a two-month injury nightmare.Wanyama made a return for Spurs in last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup, his first appearance in a Spurs shirt since coincidentally, November 10 when the North London club beat Palace 1-0 in a league tie at Selhurst Park.last_img read more

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first_imgAn ‘old rocker’ gave something back to some ‘young rockers’ when Cllr Dessie Larkin donated €2,000 of his personal political fund to the BEO project.BEO is the brainchild of pupils and teachers at a number of Letterkenny school spearheaded by Colaiste Ailigh.The project encourages students to organise, promote and stage their own rock concerts and battle of the bands contests. After this year’s inaugural concert, BEO will again host the concert on March 15th.Mayor of Letterkenny, Cllr Larkin, said he was delighted to donate the money for such a worthwhile project.To mark the occasion, BEO held a gig in The Green Room at Voodoo which was headlined by rockers Mojo GoGo, Jamaican Vampires and Insanity.  IT’S OFFICIAL – DESSIE LARKIN ROCKS! was last modified: December 21st, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BeoCllr Dessie Larkinlast_img read more

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first_imgEclipse Cinemas Lifford Strabane have decided to give away a FREE popcorn with any ticket booked online on Thursday 26th or Friday 27th January 2017.Click on this link to book online and avail of the Free Popcorn offer. Book your tickets for Sing, 50 Shades Darker and Lego Batman Movie today!Also this week at Eclipse Cinemas Lifford/Strabane:There will be an Autism friendly showing of Sing on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January at 3pm. Kids Club Sat & Sun Tickets €1.80 Loyalty CardsGet yours todayFifty Shades Darker Fifty Shades Darker comes to the big screen on February 10th 2017.Tickets On Sale – Book yours here Visit www.eclipsecinemas.com for all showtimes, events and special offers.FREE Popcorn at Eclipse Cinemas Lifford Strabane was last modified: January 26th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Eclipse CinemasEntertainmentLiffordmoviesstrabanelast_img read more

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first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Iraqi Prime Minister Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday that the $25 million bounty on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s head will be honored. “We will meet our promise,” al-Maliki told al-Arabiya television without elaborating. The United States had put forth the $25 million bounty for information leading to the death or capture of al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi, a 39-year-old Jordanian-born terrorist, was killed in a U.S. airstrike Wednesday. Also killed in the airstrike was al-Zarqawi’s deputy and spiritual adviser Abu Abdul-Rahman al-Iraqi, who had been key to pinpointing his boss’ location, U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said. Intelligence officials identified al-Iraqi with the help of an insider in al-Zarqawi’s network and began tracking his movements, watching when he would meet with his boss. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The U.S. also has a $25 million bounty for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.last_img read more

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first_imgHundreds of Donegal athletes have taken part in the Dublin City Marathon.Maria McCambridge was the second woman home.And a number have put in terrific performances to smash personal bests while others fulfilled the ultimate dream of completing their very first marathon.Runners from across the county including Inishowen AC, Finn Valley, Letterkenny, Milford Ac and the Rosses AC all had athletes in the race which attracted a record field 14,600 people. One man not doing his first marathon (or his one hundredth for that matter!) is Peter McGlynn.The Letterkenny man is in Dublin along with another well-known Donegal man Roy Hunter.One of the performances of the day must go to well-known Donegal Democrat man Ciaran O’Donnell who smashed his personal best to cross the line in an amazing time of 3 hours and 12 minutes.Another man who posted a fantastic time was Milford AC runner Damien McBride in a time of 3 hours and 11 minutes. Photographer and Finn Valley man Conor McGonagle also ran his heart out and posted a superb time of 3hours and 47 minutes.Darren Price and Ciaran O’Donnell who both did amazing times of 3.12 in the Dublin Marathon today.Well-known Dublin athlete Maria McCambridge, who is married to Letterkenny man Gary Crossan, was the second fastest woman home in a time of 2 hours and 34 minutes – just four seconds behind the winner of the women’s race Wanjiru Macharia from Kenya.Runners from Finn Valley and Castlefin after successful runs in today’s Dublin Marathon. Word has it that the lads enjoyed a pint of Guinness or several after all their hard work. Congrats all ’round!Former Finn harps player Martin McGinley also posted an excellent run of 3 hours and 32 minutes. DONEGAL RUNNERS TAKE ON THE DUBLIN CITY MARATHON CHALLENGE was last modified: October 27th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Donegal runnersDUBLIN MARATHONlast_img read more

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first_imgSAN DIEGO – At a critical point in Sempra Energy’s $23 billion antitrust trial, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s office threatened to file a separate lawsuit intended to leverage a settlement that would mean tens of millions of dollars in fees for Lockyer’s longtime political ally and friend Tom Girardi and others on the legal team, lawyers and sources close to the case said. Girardi, his Los Angeles law firm Girardi & Keese and its employees contributed more than $260,000 to Lockyer’s political campaign between 2001 and 2004 and gave him gifts, including plane trips, sports tickets and $325 in cuff links, according to state documents. Even as the class-action case against Sempra, which owns the Southern California Gas Co., is being tried in San Diego, Girardi is the key figure in parallel high-stakes mediation talks in which the state stands to gain long-sought concessions that could be worth about $1 billion in Sempra Energy’s energy contract – a settlement that could bring $100 million or more in legal fees to Girardi and other plaintiffs’ attorneys. In an interview Monday, Sempra Energy’s attorney accused Lockyer of trying to influence the jury in the case with his threats and the company raised the specter of the threatened lawsuit in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing and in closed chambers with presiding San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager. The issue of a lawsuit being filed in San Diego was raised again Tuesday morning in the judge’s chambers. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week A source said, “The judge is very concerned about if there’s a suit and a press conference and it’s in the media in San Diego there could be some impact on the jury.” As questions were being raised about his role, Lockyer late Tuesday announced he will file a lawsuit today in Sacramento against a Sempra Energy affiliate, alleging that it “manipulated wholesale electricity prices on a large scale during the California energy crisis of 2000-01 through widespread use of Enron-devised schemes.” Lockyer spokesman Tom Dresslar said any claims the attorney general is trying to influence the class-action lawsuit in San Diego are “completely without merit.” “We are not going to comment on any statements allegedly made in closed chambers, and not comment on any private discussions we’ve had with Sempra,” Dresslar added. “Whatever the ultimate outcome, whether we decide to bring litigation or settle our claims arising out of the energy crisis, the attorney general’s motivation will be to obtain the most justice possible for the businesses and consumers who got ripped off.” Girardi did not return repeated phone calls. Sempra Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Andrews called the announcement of the lawsuit against the Sempra Energy affiliate, now known as Sempra Commodities, “old news,” adding that the issues in that case already were addressed through a settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “The action by the attorney general amounts to no more than commercial blackmail,” Andrews said. “The timing of the action is appalling and irresponsible given the class-action trial under way in San Diego.” Andrews said that for several weeks the company has been negotiating “in good faith” with state officials, including the Attorney General’s Office, and other parties. “But in recent days, officials in the Attorney General’s Office repeatedly have threatened that if our company did not agree to the state’s terms, the attorney general would file a lawsuit,” she said. “It appears that this lawsuit is making good on that threat.” Robert E. Cooper, the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher attorney representing Sempra Energy in the class-action trial, said in an interview Monday that there would be no justification for the attorney general to file a lawsuit in San Diego. “Such a lawsuit would be disruptive and designed to influence the jury.” Cooper said outside intervention by Lockyer’s office at this point in the trial would be uncalled for, and that the press attention it would attract would put tremendous public pressure on the jury in a case in which plaintiffs are seeking up to $23 billion in damages. The class-action lawsuit representing most consumers and businesses throughout California alleges a “massive conspiracy” between executives with Sempra Energy and El Paso Natural Gas beginning at a Sept. 15, 1996, meeting in Phoenix to manipulate and limit the supply of natural gas to the state, triggering the energy crisis. El Paso is no longer part of the lawsuit, as part of a broader 2003 settlement. The state for several years has been trying to rewrite Sempra’s contract, which was agreed to by the state at high rates in the midst of the energy crisis, but the company has resisted citing its $1.3 billion investment in new energy-generating plants since 2001. Sempra Energy is a publicly traded Fortune 500 company and the parent of Southern California Gas, which has customers in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, and San Diego Gas & Electric Cos. Pierce O’Donnell, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said he first heard of the state’s threatened lawsuit in the judge’s chambers, and had no independent knowledge of such an action. He emphasized that “the state of California is not a party” to the class-action suit, and also that jurors are sworn not to read newspapers or watch television during the trial. The threatened state litigation also was viewed as leveraging efforts to drive the months-long, increasingly strained settlement talks with Sempra Energy, with escalating dollar amounts benefiting not only California ratepayers, but potentially also the plaintiffs’ team of lawyers. Sempra Energy in the regulatory filing with the SEC said it anticipated state action if the settlement negotiations broke down. “Sempra Energy and its subsidiaries have been engaged in settlement negotiations with multiple parties seeking to achieve a comprehensive resolution of many of these proceedings, but there can be no assurance that these negotiations will be successful or that they will continue. A settlement could be concluded or negotiations abandoned at any time in the future. “Based on statements made in the course of these negotiations, it is likely that, if the negotiations are unsuccessful, additional litigation and legal proceedings will be instituted against Sempra Energy and its subsidiaries by the California Attorney General, regulatory agencies and other parties,” the filing said. Cooper said arguments in the class-action, antitrust lawsuit, known as the Continental Forge case, filed in September 2000, deal with a subgroup of Ventura County ratepayers so that a jury in San Diego would not have to rule on matters potentially affecting their own interests. The case is being tried before a jury after a summary judgment motion by Sempra Energy was rejected in October 2004. By filing a separate state lawsuit against the company involving San Diego ratepayers, the jury’s impartiality could be compromised, Cooper said. The state litigation was characterized as involving claims that SDG&E and Sempra Energy failed to have an adequate gas-supply system in place, resulting in brief curtailments of natural gas to two power plants in the winter of 2001 during the California energy crisis. While no electrical outages resulted in San Diego, there were some brief shifts to fuel oil to keep the power plants operating. Cooper said he hadn’t seen a complaint document. Former San Diego County District Attorney Paul Pfingst said the state’s lawsuit could raise significant conflict of interest issues if it was intended to force a settlement including renegotiation of Sempra Energy’s state contract, and to benefit political or personal associates of the attorney general. “There are potential conflicts whether the action discussed by the attorney general is intended to influence a separate piece of litigation, and the attorney general might benefit, because of a relationship between the attorney general and plaintiff,” said Pfingst, a Republican who said he’s maintained amiable ties to Lockyer despite an Attorney General’s Office search of one of his deputy district attorney’s offices during his tenure. “If the attorney general had a relationship with plaintiffs and intervened to favor one side or another, it would present some considerable (conflict) issues. If that party is someone the attorney general might have a relationship with, the motive of the civil suit might be in question.” El Paso, a Houston-based company that transports natural gas, agreed to a $1.625 billion settlement in July 2003, which also ended all private suits and regulatory action against the company. That settlement, the largest in connection with the energy crisis, also resulted in millions of dollars in legal fees for five firms, including Girardi & Keese, and Pierce’s firm, O’Donnell Shaeffer Mortimer. Beth Barrett, (818) 713-3731 beth.barrett@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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first_imgOVER AND OUT AS SAM CANCELS DONEGAL VISITDonegal fansEven before the ball was thrown in at Croke Park, the current Donegal team had not been showing genuine signs of reaching the All-Ireland Final, never mind winning it.And so it proved on an evening when Mayo, helped by the brilliance of Aidan O’Shea, his brother, Seamus, and the deadly precision of Lee Keegan, basically controlled proceedings from start to finish. Credit where it’s due, Rory Gallagher’s men fought to that finish but that seven day turnaround, and inconsistency in the run-up games to the quarter-final, had done for them and they never really looked like overcoming the Connacht champions.Some suggestions that Keegan’s goal early in the second half was a bit of a fluke and that he’d meant to send the ball over Paul Durcan’s crossbar. Not a chance – it was sheer class as anyone can see with another glance at the recording. Surely the only contender for goal of the year unless he can emulate it against the Dubs.Donegal have indeed players to match Keegan and the O’Sheas but they simply failed to turn up on Saturday and apart from Michael Murphy, who pointed eight of his team’s scores, they just couldn’t contend with the men in the green and red and were well off the pace for much of the game. No surprise in some ways given that the North-Westerners had played four more matches than their opponents to get to this stage.Certainly the old football adage ‘we wuz robbed’ couldn’t apply to Donegal in this instance – unless in reference to the supporters bus which found itself the victim of a break-in during the game. It just wasn’t your day were you wearing the colours of Donegal.And what about next year? How many of the current squad will be around to give it another go? Already, goalkeeper Paul Durcan, has announced his intention to emigrate – temporarily at least – to the shirt sleeves quarter of Qatar where his wife has secured a teaching job.And if the body language of one or two of his team-mates in the immediate aftermath of the quarter-final is to be interpreted correctly – not so much shirt sleeves for Colm McFadden but a strange reluctance to part with his entire jersey following requests by a couple of the Mayo players – a handful more may be planning to follow him, not quite to the Middle East, but heading west as far as inter-county football is concerned.Many of this squad can reflect back to the glory year of 2012 when fortunes were reversed against Mayo and Mr. S. Maguire arrived back for his first visit to the county in twenty years. With an All-Ireland medal in their locker it may not be too tough a decision to make for some though others, even those with that cherished possession, may decide that it isn’t enough.Rory Gallagher will eventually engage with all of his players after the domestic Championship is parked away for another year but it’s safe to say a handful of the team that brought so much joy to this county in Ulster and All-Ireland terms won’t be around to travel that longest of roads again.Meanwhile, Mickey Harte’s Tyrone surprisingly overtook both Ulster Finalists on that road and now prepare to meet the Kingdom. Warning to Kerry: No ruffling stuff or you may find yourselves within a hair’s breadth of been given an indecent send-off. SKYFALLAs the sky was about to cave in on Donegal’s All-Ireland ambitions last weekend, some of us were still bristling at the sell-out by the G.A.A. to a satellite station that forced thousands of supporters to miss out on the live T.V. coverage.Not content with dragging Donegal followers to Dublin for a second weekend in succession, the authorities had long ago snubbed those fans who couldn’t travel through their decision to bring SKY into what had been the terrain of terrestrial television.And so for that generation of supporter who resided in rural Ireland, and in this case rural Donegal, and had faithfully supported their local club side over the decades and the county team whenever possible, there was either the option of a trip to the local – or at least a local that had SKY access – or turning to the radio to keep tabs on events from Croke Park last Saturday evening. And there they would have been huddled up beside their transistors in Crolly and Cranford, Laghey and Linsfort, Belcruit and Breenagh, listening in when they should have been watching on had the G.A.A. not sold out to the moneyed men.Probably difficult to believe for those G.A.A. suits who enjoy access to the satellite channels but there are many who don’t – can’t indeed – subscribe to them and don’t have the latest Smart phones at hand and were left waiting for the highlights package on ‘The Sunday Game’ to catch any sight of the green and gold on their T.V. (as hard as that may have been given the outcome of the match).Too late now to argue their case – the dirty deed done and dusted last summer with the Gaelic authorities pocketing over 10 million euro in a three year deal with SKY Sports. And no doubt eager to sit down around the mahogany table to extend that deal well into the future.But why would they possibly concern themselves with those loyal long-time supporters of Gaelic Games whenever there’s airgead mor to be made?IS THE FIRST DIVISION GETTING READY TO HANG ON TO HARPS?From a position where they had climbed up the hill and were looking down on their promotion rivals , Finn Harps now may be facing something of a mountain if they are to secure top ranking for next season.Now two points adrift of Wexford Youths, who have a game in hand, they are also quickly being reeled in by U.C.D., a brace of points behind but with a couple of matches to spare.And then there’s this Friday night’s opponents, Shelbourne, who can draw level with Harps on the points board should they come away with all three from Ballybofey.Hardly what we’d been envisaging a few short months ago when the Finn Parkers were seemingly in control at the top – and destiny was very much in their own hands. To some extent it still is but they’ll need to take just about maximum points in each of their remaining seven games, starting this weekend, if they are to even entertain hopes of a play-off spot.At this stage of the campaign, the students and the Youths are hot favourites to claim the automatic promotion spot and that play-off position and Harps may appear to have blown it after that 2-0 defeat in Wexford.Had they emerged from Ferrycarrig Park with victory they would still be leaders in the race but with only furlongs to go – and a striker like Danny Furlong in the Wexford front-line – they are looking less likely though the Youths game in hand is against U.C.D.Furlong’s two goals against Harps brought his tally for the season to nineteen – the combined Finn Park front-line can’t even match that total. Oh, for a striker of that marksmanship to aid the Harps cause. The days when we could rely on Kevin McHugh to breach double figures for a season are, seemingly, gone though his guile and experience has helped them out of some tight corners already this campaign.They’ll require more than that if they are to get back into a winning frame in a season when Harps have strung a handful of wins together and then followed it up with a series of losses or draws. Neither of the last two will do against Shels who were 3-2 winners in the sides’ last meeting at Tolka Park at the end of June during one of those negative spells.Harps have shown this season that they have the team to produce the football necessary to overcome most of their rivals – they’ve only failed to beat U.C.D. this season – and they’ll have to turn it on from 8 o’clock onwards on Friday night if the glimmer of hope isn’t to be completely extinquished.Come out and lend your support, the Donegal sporting public, and help them maintain that push for promotion.TIME FOR JASON TO MOVE UPQuigley is seeing the bright lights in the US.When it comes to fights involving Jason Quigley’s opponents in the ring, there are more towels thrown in than your average laundry.The latest to feel the power of the Twin Towns boxer was New York born Michael Faulk who paid a horizontal visit to the canvas in the second round of the Golden Boy Promotions bout in California at the weekend.Quigley’s professional career has been a succession of victories and this, his eighth such success, has marked him down as a potential champion in the making. He has come up against some sturdy opponents since moving Stateside but perhaps now it’s time for his management team to be looking for more high profile opposition in more high profile settings and tournaments.His string of fights and victories have kept him from becoming ring rusty but they are surely not doing him much good in terms of coming up against real quality and the keen edge that such bouts can bring to his game.He’s already made an impression on a personal level – a management spokesperson describing him as “smart, well-spoken and personable” – and it can’t be too soon when the world of top level boxing gets to hear the name, Jason Quigley, in the same breath as some of the sport’s most notable exponents.SHOW TIME WITH THE GREAT O’HEHIRThere was a time when I would have been fastened to my seat watching it. Or as fastened as you can be when you’re sitting on the edge of it. Holding hands over my eyes as the members of the Irish team went through their routines. Heart leaping moments as they took to the air and you wondered if they would come down the other side with everything intact, not least that tottering pole or dislodged brick in the wall.A time when the sport meant a lot more to me than it does now. As evidenced by the fact that I spent all of, oh five minutes or so, watching it before trading channels. Had I stuck with it, I would have, no doubt, been dragged back into some kind of that thrill ride from the past as the Irish team soared to victory in the Aga Khan but the years have placed other obstacles in the way, other sports that command all my time and interest and no amount of horse play can dislodge that.The era when the great Eddie Macken and Boomerang combined to give the nation, and this young viewer, many a stirring moment in arenas the world over and when Harvey Smith brought show jumping – not forgetting his two fingers – to new heights is no more in this mind’s eye but I was still leaping on the side of pleased when the sports bulletins on Friday evening brought news of that home triumph in one of the most coveted of international competitions.And when the Dublin Horse Show rolls around every August, I inevitably recall a youthful visit to the R.D.S. in the company of my late parents. I can’t recollect who won what that day or even the identity of any of the riders but I can clearly remember meeting one of the greats of Irish sport and exchanging a few words with a man who knew how to put those words together and did so over years of commentating on events from Croke Park to the Curragh.Micheal O Hehir was truly the doyen of Irish sports commenting – and not just Irish given that he also broadcast for NBC in America on horse racing. And also famously provided the commentary on Radio Teilifis Eireann on the 1947 All-Ireland Final from the Polo Grounds in New York.On radio or television he came across as a homely personality and that’s precisely what he was in real life – as down to earth as you can get even if I only have that couple of minutes at the R.D.S. all those years ago to justify such a commendation.So his is the first image that somehow comes into this mind, and that distinctive voice echoes through the years and ears, whenever the hooves trot into town for the Dublin Horse Show.JERRY AND THE PACE MAKERMark EnglishAnd still on the subject of horses, isn’t it time R.T.E. athletics pundit, Jerry Kiernan, reigned his in a bit when it comes to mention of Mark English?After the Letterkenny man’s gold medal performance in the 800 metres at the National Track and Field Championships at Santry on Sunday, Kiernan insisted the former had been having an “up and down” season.That might apply given some injury problems the Donegal athlete’s has endured but then, the Kerry born Olympian maintained English had not appeared to progress over the past couple of years, apparently overlooking the small matter of a bronze medal at the European Championships in Zurich and a silver one at the European Indoors in Prague in that same non-progressive period.And as for the U.C.D. student’s winning performance on Sunday at the National Championships? “He has not convinced me that he’ll make an impression in Beijing,” Kiernan boldly predicted as he looked ahead to this month’s World Championships.I was watching the film, ‘Johnny English Reborn’ last night where our hero was jetting off to Hong Kong in his role as the secret agent. Coincidentally, Mark English was also heading there to continue his build up to the Worlds. Perhaps, our Jerry was getting the two of them mixed up…Meanwhile, three Donegal athletes will be attempting to make their mark in China with Finn Valley’s Tori Pena in the pole vault – she took the national title with a jump of 4.20 at the Morton Stadium – and Brendan Boyce who secured silver in the 10k walk, along with English (Mark, not Johnny).There were also impressive performances from Mary McLoone who came home with two gold medals from Santry in the long jump and triple long jump disciplines and from Ann Marie McGlynn who claimed silver in the 3,000 metres steeplechase.OFFALY GOOD TOURNAMENTIt’s always good to see a bit of temperament winning out. As someone who roared on the likes of John McEnroe on the tennis courts and Eric Cantona on the football pitch, I was always driven into the corners of those sportspeople who had both brilliance and passion in their game. And yes, a spark of the bold boy about them.He hasn’t reached the stage yet where he can be called brilliant but there is certainly a lot of passion about Shane Lowry’s game and when he sank that putt for a birdie on the 18th to claim the WGC Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday, the high fives with his caddy and the air punching he engaged in showed a man with plenty of it.He had used his wedge to negotiate a bank of trees following his wayward tee shot on that final hole – quite possibly the same wedge the Offaly man had deployed whenever he snapped his putter in two at the Irish Open earlier in the summer and was forced to use the former on the greens from there on in.Not that I’m suggesting that we need golfers to smash up the tools of their trade when things go wrong in tournaments but isn’t it good to see a bit of raw emotion on the course as opposed to the robotic stance of so many of Lowry’s peers?FROM HIGGSY….It’s surely no coincidence that Derry City’s improved form of late, matched by the results including that 4-0 hammering of Galway United at Terryland Park at the weekend, has come following the appointment of Paul Hegarty as assistant to Peter Hutton.Hutton’s teams had looked vulnerable all season underlined by that eleven game sequence when they wouldn’t even have won the half-time draw had they been the only ones in for it.But enter former Harps boss Hegarty and the Brandywell ship has steadied itself and all of a sudden they now look very likely to escape the clutches of relegation and move up the Premier League table.And there were some of us Harpers believing we were lining them up for a promotion/relegation play-off revenge match.,,,,TO GIGGSYAnyone who happened to be in Whoriskey’s Spar Supermarket in Ramelton one day roughly around three weeks ago may have believed they were queueing up beside a familiar figure at the check-out (not that familiar as it happened as the assistant failed to recognise her famous customer).Well, apparently they were and it was no less a personality than the great Ryan Giggs who, along with his two children, had popped in for an ice-cream cone (appropriately enough for a player who could cream most full-backs and whip over a ball from the wings that would freeze most defences).Only getting to hear about this now – I’m almost as slow as the arrival of summer – but it seems it’s all been captured on the shop security cameras.According to John Diver, who has reported on the arrival to his home town of many a famous face over the years, the former Manchester United winger and now assistant to Louis the Lip, Giggsy was on his way to Rosapenna where it is believed he may have been playing golf on either of the two great links courses to be found there.Though John is still insisting that Swilly Rovers are about to make a significant swoop in the transfer market.SAM CANCELS HIS TRIP AND WHY THE SKY HAS FALLEN – IT’S PADDY WALSH ON WEDNESDAY was last modified: August 12th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal DailyPaddy Walshsports columnlast_img read more

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