In this month’s roundup: The Camogie league semi-finalists are decided, disappointment for Annalise Murphy, Marit Bjoergen becomes the most decorated Winter Olympian; 17-year-old Sarah Healy bursts onto the Athletics scene; and Six Nations news.
The last weekend in February saw Limerick and Galway join Champions Kilkenny and All-Ireland winners Cork in the league semi-finals.
Limerick just edged out Waterford to claim their fourth consecutive league semi-final; Kilkenny, who had already qualified for the semis, ran out easy winners against Meath in the other Group 2 game on a scoreline of 2-16 to 0-6; Galway held off a late rally by Wexford to claim their place in the semi finals; and All-Ireland Champions Cork maintained their 100pc record in the league when they defeated Offaly, 2-11 to 2-9.
Both semi-finals will be played on March 11th: Cork will take on Limerick in Cork IT with Kilkenny playing Galway at St Rynaghs GAA, Banagher.
Disappointment for Annalise Murphy
There was disappointment for Liberty Insurance brand ambassador Annalise Murphy and her fellow crew members onboard the Turn the Tide on Plastic in leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race when they were hauled back from a podium finish to fifth place. In third place with just 20 miles to go out of the total of 6,344 miles to Auckland, Annalise and her team were beaten to the line by the two powerhouse boats – MAPFRE and Dongfen Race Team. The leg from Hong Kong to Auckland was won by Team AkzoNobel.
Ireland two from three in Six Nations
Ireland bounced back from a disappointing opening day defeat to France with back-to-back home wins over Italy and Wales. The Irish were held scoreless by Les Bleus in Toulouse as the French secured a bonus point with a 24-0 victory. In their next game, Ireland overcame a very stubborn Italy in Donnybrook on their way to a 21-8 win.
Against Wales, Ireland delivered an impressive bonus point winning performance, comfortable winners in an exciting match in what finished up 35-12.
National Indoor Athletics Championships
Sarah Healy announced herself on the senior stage when she smashed the Under-20 and Youth 3,000m record to win her first national senior title. The 17-year-old beat 2016 Rio Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty into second place. Healy had also broken the Youth and Under-20 1500m records just six days before.
Katie Taylor seeks to unify boxing belts
Bray’s Katie Taylor will seek to unify the WBA and IBF boxing belts when she takes on Argentina’s Victoria Bustos in New York on April 28th. This will be the second time the 31-year-old Taylor will have defended her WBA crown having beaten Jessica McCaskill last December in London.
Winter Olympics round-up
Noway’s Marit Bjoergen became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time when she won Gold in the 30-Kilometre mass start cross-country ski race. This was the 37-year-old’s 15th Olympic medal.
Ester Ledecka became the first athlete to win Gold in both the snowboarding and skiing disciplines. She also became the first athlete to compete in Olympic skiing and snowboarding events. The 22-year-old Czech won the Women’s Super-G, despite never having won a medal at international skiing event and clinched her second Gold when she won the snowboarding parallel giant slalom.
International Women’s Day: Women In Sport event
In advance of International Women’s Day, Liberty Insurance hosted an exciting event in Croke Park to further raise the profile and recognition of women in sport. The event included new research from Red C Research on the changing attitudes to Women’s sport across the UK and Ireland, insights from Social Media listening agency Olytico on the most talked about womens’s sporting events of the past year, and a panel of speakers including author of ‘Eat Sweat Play’, Anna Kessel MBE; Europe’s first professional female referee Joy Neville; former Irish rugby international and media pundit Fiona Coghlan; and Camogie All-Star Mags D’Arcy. Keep an eye out for the upcoming article on the event and what we found out.