Condon at his best on Riverside

first_img Only fifth jumping the final fence, the jockey brought his mount wide to make his challenge in the familiar JP McManus silks, but it looked in vain as top-weight Man With Van had gone clear. The welter burden began to take its toll, though, and as the leader’s stride shortened Condon forced Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old (9-1) up close home to score by a head to win over the bigger obstacles for the first time. The trainer said: “That was nice – he confirmed what he showed at Leopardstown. We didn’t know how he would handle the track, but he handled it well. He’ll make a nice three-mile chaser.” Ger Fox looked to have plenty to do jumping the last in fourth spot in the ‘Ulsters Real McCoy’ Handicap Chase, but Peter Kavanagh’s 6-1 shot Town Pond dug deep and collared Ardmillan – ridden by Fox’s twin brother Anthony – late on to score by a neck. Derek Fox delivered Feel The Air with a punishing run heading to two out in the Toals Best Value For Football Betting Handicap Hurdle and Mark McNiff’s 9-1 shot quickly asserted after the jumping the obstacle to win by seven lengths. Riverside City benefited from a power-packed ride by Davy Condon to win the Toals Bookmakers Ulster Grand National EBF Handicap Chase at Downpatrick. Condon said: ” That’s my first winner for JP and it’s an honour to wear these colours. We said we’d hunt him round and hope to be in with a squeak over the last two. I needed a clear run over the last two so I pulled him wide, and he winged the last. H e dug deep and will be a fun summer horse.” Elliott added: “This is a lucky track for us so it’s nice to win their big race. “We were worried about him getting the trip so we told Davy to ride him to be placed so that there was no pressure on him. Thankfully it worked out and Davy gave him a peach. We might take him to Punchestown for the long-distance chase.” Cheltenham Festival charity race winner Knight’s Parade earlier led home a one-two for Elliott after a dramatic conclusion to the Visit Rated Hurdle. The progressive five-year-old was sent off the 11-10 favourite after winning his last three ‘proper’ races, two of them over jumps and one on the Flat at Dundalk, but supporters must have been worrying as they entered the closing stages of the contest. Sailors Warn held every chance as they approached the second-last flight but crashed out, taking Massini’s Trap with him, and Condon had to get after King’s Parade to haul in stablemate Cape Glory on the run-in for a length victory. Elliott said of the winner: “He got hampered and stuck on the inside coming down the hill. He’s won four on the bounce for us so we’ll find another one for him. He’ll keep going.” Condon added: ” He’s a smashing horse who can go on to better things.” Ted Walsh’s 4-6 favourite Salsa Sensation gave backers a minor scare when clumsy at the third-last in the Maiden Hurdle, but Ruby Walsh always looked confident and led going to the last before winning by six and a half lengths. Press Associationlast_img read more

Lorri Johnson is first woman to have a jersey retired in Pitt Athletics

first_imgLike us at @NewPghCourier on Twitter Lorri Johnson points to the sky as her picture is unveiled in the rafters of the Petersen Events Center next to four other all-star basketball players, Don Hennon, Billy Knight, Charles Smith and Brandin Knight. (Photo courtesy Alex Mowrey/Pitt Athletics)PITTWIRE—It’s been 27 years since Lorri Johnson stepped onto the court wearing No. 24 for the Panthers, but she still holds the record for career points scored—in Pitt men’s or women’s basketball—at 2,312.In honor of that achievement, on Jan. 13, at the Petersen Events Center, Johnson became the fifth Pitt basketball player and the first-ever woman to have a jersey retired.“It is an honor to have my jersey retired,” said Johnson, who played forward from 1987 to 1992. “I’m excited to get back on campus and celebrate with my former coaches, teammates and this current group of Panthers. Pitt basketball will always hold a special place in my heart.”Johnson, who led her team in scoring all four years, ranks eighth in women’s basketball career rebounds at Pitt with 908. She holds the single-season record for field goals (266) and the single-game mark for points with 45 against Kent State on Dec. 18, 1990. Johnson also ranks third in program history with 677 points scored during the 1988-89 season.“She set a standard,” said Athletic Director Heather Lyke in a video played at the Jan. 13 halftime ceremony, who added that recognition is “long overdue.”“Lorri is well deserving of this honor, not just because of her accolades but because during her four years at Pitt, she demonstrated a relentless pursuit of excellence. That is her true legacy as a Pitt Panther,” said Lyke.“There have been some really great players who deserve this honor of getting their jersey retired,” added current Head Coach Lance White. “And now, all of those players have someone to look up to.”Kirk Bruce (A&S ’76), head coach from 1985-98 who coached Johnson, said, “There are four or five other names I could think of right now” who would be well deserving of having their jersey retired next. This gesture opens the door.“We talk a lot about ‘what is your legacy going to be?’” said White of the current team, which was 9-8 heading into the Jan. 13 contest against Boston College. “And now, to be able to point to the rafters and see that there is a Pitt women’s basketball player. … I think it’s a huge step to have someone up there. I’m extremely excited for Lorri and for our administration for honoring her.”Despite a strong effort in the first half, the Panthers lost to Boston College, 59-55. But in addition to Johnson making history, more than 20 Pitt women’s basketball alumni were also recognized in front of friends and family on the court at halftime.last_img read more

Work-in-progress Leafs rally past Murdoch rival Castlegar 5-3

first_imgFor a team that just over a month ago didn’t have a coach, Leaf fans must feel pretty good after week one of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season.Nelson exploded for three goals in a span of 134 seconds to rally past the Castlegar Rebels 5-3 in KIJHL Murdoch Division action Saturday night at the NDCC Arena.The win, coupled with 3-3 tie Friday against Beaver Valley, lifts Nelson into sole possession of first place in Murdoch Division standings.“Anytime you get the first win at home you’ve got to be happy,” said Leaf skipper Dave McLellan following the gritty win that saw the Leafs twice rally from two-goal deficits.“It took a lot of contributions tonight . . .. Everyone’s working hard to get this going and it’s rewarding to get the win.”The start may be something McLellan would like to focus on during the next team meeting.Castlegar opened the scoring when Jeremy McNeill scored midway through the opening frame.Then before the period ended Yannis Soukas made it 2-0 with a power play goal. It took Nelson 32 minutes to solve Patrick Zubick in the Castlegar nets. Nolan Percival, the game’s first star, managed to get Nelson on the scoreboard with an even-strength marker.But Aaron Petten restored Castlegar’s two-goal lead, beating Brett Soles in the Leaf nets by converting a rebound.However, the Leafs once again cut the lead to a single goal when Aaron Dunlap scored on the power play by tapping in a loose puck to in the final seconds of the middle period.The goal came compliments of a lapse in judgment by Mike Bhatoa who took exception to a clean hit near the Castlegar bench, which led to a roughing penalty.In the third Nelson jumped all over the Rebels.Matt MacDonald tied the game before Darnel St. Pierre ripped a point shot past Zubick.Forty seconds later Robson Cramer added some insurance with another blast from the left faceoff circle Zubick had not chance of stopping.“Tonight we had really good contribution from the whole team from the goaltender out . . .,” McLellan said.“It’s not an ideal game for my liking,” McLellan added. “We were really strong defensively overall for a while . . . (but) we got caught pinching all over the ice but it’s all stuff we can fix.“We talked to the guys after the game and a couple of the goals we’re really our mistakes and not something they did and as a coach we can make it better.”Nelson, which out shot Castlegar 40-36 in the game, returns to action next Friday when the club travels to Fruitvale to meet the Hawks.ICE CHIPS: Leafs dressed 17 players against Castlegar by design said McLellan. The Leaf coach said the club is awaiting cuts from the Junior A to fill out the balance of the roster . . . Aaron Dunlap had the “C” on his jersey with last year’s captain Darnel St. Pierre, Patrick Croome and Robson Cramer serving as assistants. . . . The last time Patrick Zubick played in the NDCC Arena he was a member of the Leafs during the Murdoch Division Finals against Beaver Valley. Zubick was called on to play goal after both Nelson netminders were hurt. . . . 100 Mile House spoiled banner night in Fruitvale as the Wranglers edged Beaver Valley 4-3. 100 Mile House rallied from a 3-1 deficit to steal the victory. . . . Friday night at the NDCC Arena during Nelson’s home-opener against Beaver Valley, the game was delayed 20 minutes after one of the pieces of glass was broked during the warm-up. Then early in the game BC Ambulance was called after Nico Sidoni was hammered into the boards. Sidoni was taken to Kootenay Lake Hospital, but was later released. . . . Nelson Leafs season tickets will be on sale during games at the NDCC Arena.last_img read more