Sunday 26 March 2017

Boxing: Sheehan opens World account

THREE-TIME Irish Elite champion Roy Sheehan will begin his World Championships and Olympic qualifiers campaign with a last-64 bout in Baku, Azerbaijan, this afternoon.

The St Michael's, Athy welterweight, a gold medal winner at the 2007 EU Championships, will be in the ring between 12.0 and 1.0 (Irish time) against Carl Hield of the Bahamas.

If the Kildare man advances, he'll will face either Borna Katalinic of Croatia or Cheng Chin Su of Chinese Taipei in a last-32 bout on Sunday.

Golf

A second round of seven-under-par 64 propelled Corkman Niall Turner into a share of the lead at halfway in the European Tour's Q-School first stage at Golf d'Hardelot in France.

Turner was tied at the top with Mark Laskey on 10-under after the Welshman's second-round 67. Dubliner Niall O'Briain was one shot off the pace after his 67.

The top 19 and ties go forward to December's second stage of qualifying.

Lurgan's Gareth Shaw was best of the Irish in 18th on three-under in this week's other qualifier at Bogogno, Italy, where the top 26 and ties advance.

Meanwhile, days after hitting the $11.44m Tour Championship and FedEx Cup jackpot in Atlanta, Bill Haas has clinched a captain's pick from US Presidents Cup skipper Fred Couples.

tennis

BARRY KING'S shock decision to retire from professional tennis has opened the Davis Cup door for Sam Barry.

The promising Limerick teenager will now be the strong favourite to take over from King on the Ireland team for next February's first-round away clash with Hungary.

After spending a number of years in a renowned tennis academy in Paris, prior to training full-time at the Tennis Ireland National Training Centre at Dublin City University, Barry enjoyed an outstanding career on the ITF U-18 circuit and has since been campaigning full-time on the adult ITF Futures circuit.

cricket

AUSTRALIA will return to Ireland next summer to play an RSA Challenge one-day international in Belfast only two years after their last visit.

The 50-over match at Stormont on June 23 will give Phil Simmons' team another chance to claim an upset win after threatening to topple the Aussies in Clontarf last year before eventually losing by 39 runs.

Irish Independent

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