Thursday 20 July 2017

In brief: Doherty survives Shanghai scare

Snooker

Ireland's Ken Doherty and Joe Delaney both cleared their opening hurdles in the Shanghai Masters, but not before the 1997 world champion was given an almighty scare.

Delaney eased into the last 32 of the season's first world-ranking tournament with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Chinese wild card Li Yan, after Doherty almost came a cropper.

Shanghai's enormous Grand Stage venue almost witnessed a huge upset as Doherty struggled to beat Mohammad Sajjad, an unknown amateur from Pakistan, 5-4.

When Doherty trailed 4-2, one of the worst defeats of his 20-year professional career was looming large, but the 40-year-old Dubliner dug deep to win the closing three frames.

Rugby

IRELAND hooker Rory Best is set to miss Ulster's Magners League trip to Aironi this weekend, but the province have allayed fears that their captain faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Best was out for six months last season with a neck injury and when he was forced off in last weekend's win over the Ospreys there were fears he had suffered a recurrence of the problem that required surgery last year.

However, Ulster announced that the current injury was just "soft-tissue bruising". Centre Ian Whitten is due to resume training after suffering a dead leg against the Ospreys.

Tennis

IRELAND'S Sam Barry tore up the form book as he clinched a place in the second round of the US Junior Open in New York last night.

Playing in the Flushing Meadows event for the first time, the Limerick man, placed at No 62 in the U-18 world rankings, dumped out the USA's 34-ranked Nick Chappell 6-1 6-3 in 73 minutes.

Right-hander Barry's win was additionally creditable, as he made a very shaky start against his left-handed Toronto-born opponent, facing three break points in his opening two service games.

But after saving all of those, breaks in the fourth and sixth games helped Barry take the opening set in 35 minutes.

Barry and Indianapolis-based Chappell shared four service breaks in the first six games of the second set. However, the Irish player then broke to love in the seventh game and, after holding to 30 in the next, he finished off the American in style by breaking him to 15 in the ninth game.

Cricket

England star Kevin Pietersen was fined an undisclosed amount for foul-mouthed 'Tweeting' by the England and Wales Cricket Board yesterday.

Pietersen last week revealed news of being dropped to followers of his Twitter feed, calling it "a f*** up".

An ECB statement said Pietersen had pleaded guilty to two charges and offered an unreserved apology for his actions.

Irish Independent

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