By Nick MulvenneyBernard Foley kicked a long-range penalty a minute from time to give the New South Wales Waratahs their maiden Super Rugby title with a 33-32 victory over the seven-times champion Canterbury Crusaders in a thrilling final on Saturday.The Waratahs dreams of a first title in their third final were hanging by a thread when the Wallabies flyhalf calmly slotted his seventh penalty of the night from 44 metres to send the record crowd of 61,823 at the Olympic Stadium into raptures.The Waratahs also had tries either side of half time from centre Adam Ashley-Cooper but they had to dig deep in the second half when the Crusaders erased an early deficit and took a slender lead.It was a first win in 12 matches over a decade against the New Zealanders, who had won the first two finals between the teams in 2005 and 2008.“The Crusaders really lifted their game in the second half and showed why they’re the kings of the finals,” said Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, who has transformed the underachieving state side in his two years at the helm.“But we’ve been working really hard on our persistence all year and it paid off for us.”The Crusaders had tries from flanker Matt Todd and winger Nemani Nadolo – his 12th of the season – along with 20 points from the boot of flyhalf Colin Slade but their wait for an eighth title will now go into a seventh season.The Waratahs, as they have often this season, started at a canter and were 8-0 up inside five minutes after Foley kicked his first penalty and Ashley-Cooper finished off a breathless move by barging through three tacklers to touch down.The Crusaders appeared shellshocked by the Waratahs’ opening salvo – making uncharacteristic handling errors and looking fragile at the set piece – and two more Foley penalties extended the lead to 14-0 after 15 minutes.The New Zealanders had too much quality to simply lie down, though, and from a counter-attack from inside their own 22 on 18 minutes, number eight Kieran Read offloaded to flanker Todd, who brushed off Ashley-Cooper’s tackle to score in the corner.Dan Carter added the extras in one of his last contributions before he departed the contest on the half-hour mark with a corked thigh, leaving Slade to trade a couple of penalties apiece with Foley before the break.CONTROVERSIAL DECISIONThree minutes after halftime and the scores were all square at 20-20 after another sweeping Crusaders counter-attack resulted in Nadolo touching down in the corner.It was a controversial decision confirmed by referee Craig Joubert only after review of the TV pictures, which suggested the Fijian’s foot might have gone into touch.Slade converted and added a penalty after the Waratahs scrum collapsed under pressure in the 48th minute to put the Crusaders ahead for the first time at 23-20.Foley missed a chance to level the scores a couple of minutes later but made no mistake with his next attempt only for Slade to slot another penalty to maintain the three-point cushion.The Crusaders were now dominating the breakdown but the Waratahs stuck to their task and managed to get enough quick ball to launch another assault with Ashley-Cooper again crashing through tacklers to give the home side the lead at 30-26.Slade kicked two more penalties, though, to give the Crusaders a two-point lead but ultimately it only set the stage for Foley, who got his chance when Richie McCaw infringed at the breakdown.“We’re absolutely gutted,” said Crusaders skipper Read.“We definitely started slowly and I was proud of the way we fought back. In the end it came down to one kick. That’s footie I guess.”The crowd was a record for a Super Rugby match, beating the 55,000 that watched the Bulls beat the Waikato Chiefs in the 2009 final in Pretoria.
Providence Captures Lead Early To Defeat Musketeers, 24-2, after a big 17 run first inning from Providence. Musketeers fell behind early and couldn’t come back in a 24-2 loss to Providence on Tuesday.Providence scored on a home run by Borden, a walk by Taylor, a double by Betz, a single by Lewis, a walk by Davis, a single by Graf, a walk by Tackett, a walk by Taylor, and a double by Betz in the first inning. Providence captured the lead in the first inning. With zero outs in the first inning Borden drove in three runs when he homered.Home runs for Providence came when Borden homered in the first inning and Uhl homered in the third inning.Dawson Dupin and Ridge Hall each drove in one run to lead Musketeers.Providence collected 16 hits. Wurm, Taylor, Graf, and Betz each collected multiple hits forProvidence. Wurm went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead Providence in hits. Providence was sure-handed and didn’t commit a single error. Proctor made the most plays with five.
Moville couple Brian and Sharon Thompson have begun fundraising for the Victoria Thompson Scholarship to highlight the need for children’s palliative care services in Ireland.The fund was set up in memory of their daughter, Victoria Thompson, who passed away in 2012 – nine months after her birth. Baby Victoria was diagnosed with a rare, painful and terminal condition at five months of age and was cared for by her parents and LauraLynnChildren’s Hospice in her final months.Victoria’s family and community had to fight to find palliative care for her at the time. Training in children’s palliative care is a new speciality, so Sharon and Brian Thompson are aiming to support nurses on this course of study. Ireland’s first dedicated Masters or Post-graduate programme for Children’s Palliative / Complex Care was set up at NUI Galway in 2016. Sharon and Brian had enough funds to provide €1,000 scholarships for two nurses in 2016.“It’s kind of magical that one of them this year is a Donegal nurse,” Sharon said.“I always say there is a magic in the synchronicity of things after Victoria died,” she told Donegal Woman. “Whenever she passed away the whole community rallied around and did fundraising. Different things that have happened along the way have been very special. I always said that ‘If Victoria wants it to happen, it will happen’. One little thing always leads to another.” Brian and Sharon are fundraising to support more nurses this coming year. There is a need for outreach nurses to provide palliative care in all Irish counties. There are approx 3,840 children living with complex life-limiting illnesses. Unfortunately in 2017, there’s a shortage of specialised nurses to care for these children and their families.Victoria’s parents, Sharon and Brian Thompson said “Most parents of terminally ill children find it difficult to get specialised nurses to care for their complexly-ill child at home. The Victoria Memorial Fund will fund education, research and advocacy projects which advance children’s palliative care. Presently, NUIG kindly facilitated our scholarships of excellence to two nurses on their MSc course. www.nuigalway.ie/nursing-midwifery.“Victoria died at exactly nine months old but she showed us the gaps in care for children like her. In her memory, we aim to highlight the care needs of complexly ill children and find ways to advance the care options for terminally ill children. We must acknowledge children need palliative care and provide it nationally.”The Thompsons are currently working to register The Victoria Thompson Scholarship as an official charity. They hope to provide funds for more nursing students in the year to come and have set a target of €2,000 for 2017.“I will not be content until other families can have the basic care they need, that they can come home and feel they have the links to medical staff and know that their child won’t die in pain at home,” Sharon told Donegal Woman.Further information can be found at thevictoriathompsonscholarship.com A wish in memory of a magical baby girlDonegal couple launch charity in honour of baby girl was last modified: January 31st, 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:charitypallliativevictoria thompson