This month we’ve got news from Annalise Murphy’s round-the-world race, Jamaica and Nigeria’s Bobsleigh teams, Joanne Cantwell’s appointment as host of the Sunday Game plus camogie, soccer and tennis news.
Cork’s Orla Cotter scored an impressive 10 points as the rebels made it two wins from two in League division 1 when they saw off Wexford 0-15 to 1-10 in Enniscorthy.
In the other Group 1 game, Tipperary put in a strong second-half performance to increase their half-time lead of 0-9 to 0-6 to finish with a commanding score of 0-16 to 0-7 against Offaly at The Ragg.
In Group 2 of Division 1, Limerick comfortably saw off Meath 2-10 to 0-2 at Dunganny while the other Group 2 game proved to be an exciting 2-13 all draw between Waterford and Clare at Carriganore.
All-Ireland Club champions Slaughtneill will defend their title in the final in Croke Park on March 4th. The Derry team had to do it the hard way as they needed extra-time to overcome Kilkenny’s Thomastown 0-14 to 0-11 at Inniskeen Grattans. In a repeat of last year’s final, they will face Sarsfields of Galway who pipped Tipperary’s Burgess-Duharra 0-10 to 0-09 in Banagher.
Liberty Insurance Brand Ambassador and 2016 Olympic Silver medallist Annalise Murphy spent the month of January back out on the ocean in legs 4 & 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Several crew members from various boats in the race have reported how physically gruelling and spiritually demoralising leg 5 of the race was. All the boats will again have to face the doldrums – an area of ocean infamous for its lack of wind where sometimes it can take several days for a boat to pick up a breeze. The Rathfarnham native is part of a 14-member crew of the Turn The Tide On Plastic vessel which has recently set sail on Leg 6, a 6,100 nautical mile journey from Hong Kong to Auckland in New Zealand.
Cork City Women’s FC have fully merged with Cork City ahead of the 2018 season. The 2017 Women’s FAI Cup Champions will play under the same banner as the men as Cork City Football Club. “We have been working more and more closely with Cork City Women’s FC since they affiliated to FORAS in 2014, and that process has now culminated in a full merger,” said Pat Lyons, Chairman of Cork City and FORAS.
Ireland’s first-choice goalie, Marie Hourihan has joined Brighton and Hove Albion on a short-term deal. The 30-year-old left FA Women’s Super League 1 leaders Manchester City to join the second tier south coast side on loan for the rest of the season.
Caroline Wozniacki finally won a Grand Slam event, 9 years after appearing in her first final at the US Open. The 27-year-old Dane beat Romanian Simona Halep 7-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the Australian Open final in Melbourne. Wozniacki - who has regained the No.1 ranking on the women’s tour - said that finally winning a Grand Slam was so special. “I think I had everything else on my resume: No 1, year-end championship, big tournaments, 27 titles. I basically have beaten any player that’s been playing and is on Tour right now. This was the only thing missing and I think it means something extra even that it took a little bit longer. But I made it here.”
30 years after sending a men’s team from a tropical country to compete, Jamaica is to be represented by its first women’s team at the games next month. Like their male forerunners, the women’s Bobsleigh team have no sled of their own after their Japanese built sled failed international competition specs. They will drive a Latvian rental at the games.
It’s not just the Jamaicans who are getting in on the winter fun. Nigeria will send its first ever team who will also compete in the Women’s Bobsleigh. They booked their spot last November where team member Seun Adigun broke three of her helmets in qualifying. “We honestly have never actually sprinted behind the sled yet,” she said with a grin. “We actually have just done maybe 70% hits because everything we have being doing to this point has been survival!”
Congratulations to Joanne Cantwell on her appointment as successor to Michael Lyster as anchor of RTÉs iconic Sunday Game. Cantwell has almost two decades of experience in sports reporting on both radio and tv. She is a former Dublin footballer who was first called up to the senior panel when she was just 16 years-old. In an interview last year, she expressed her disdain for the label of female sports broadcaster. “And the thing I hate more than anything is being called a female sports broadcaster. It’s only when that distinction is no longer made that we’ll be okay. But people write columns about it, it’s a man’s world and all that, but for me that’s the biggest problem, that distinction being made at all.”
Next month we’ll have an update from our Ambassador Annalise on Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Camogie and Football news plus reports from the 2018 games.