In Brief: Ireland fall off the pace in Sotogrande
Ireland slipped down the leaderboard on Day 3 of the European Nations Championship at Sotogrande.
Having posted an aggregate score of 438 after two days on the tricky Spanish course, they started out yesterday in joint-third place but now find themselves in sixth spot on 659, 13 shots behind leaders France and 11 behind England in second.
Ballymena's Dermot McElroy posted the best score for the second successive day, his par 72 leaving him tied for 12th on 220, 11 shots behind French leader Adrien Saddier.
Behind him is Headfort's Rory McNamara, who carded a one-over-par 73 that leaves him tied for 22nd on 222, the same score as Reeve Whitson (Mourne), who finished with a 76.
For the second consecutive day, reigning British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar saw his score discounted after carding a 78, leaving him tied for 37th.
ROSS HICKEY has had an operation on his broken left forearm in the Czech Republic and is a major injury doubt for June's European Championships in Belarus.
Hickey suffered the injury in Thursday's quarter-final win over Austrian Khamsad Musaev at the Usti nad Labem Grand Prix. European champion Ray Moylette, who Hickey beat 15-11 in February's Irish Elite final, now looks likely to be called up to the Irish squad.
Meanwhile, Sean McComb and European U-23 champion Jason Quigley are through to today's lightweight and middleweight finals.
THE Republic of Ireland opened their U-18 Centenary Shield campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Northern Ireland at Institute FC in Derry.
Ollie Horgan's Irish side squandered a glorious chance to open the scoring on 20 minutes when Jake Dykes picked out the unmarked Conor Barry in the box but the attacker failed to get a proper connection.
Northern Ireland weren't so wasteful 10 minutes later, however, as they hit the front. A surge down the left by the inventive Joel Bradley resulted in his cross which Jonathan McMurray reacted first to beat Mervue United goalkeeper Conor O'Malley with a close-range shot.
REP OF IRELAND – O'Malley (Rice College, Westport); Cantwell (St Kieran's College, Kilkenny), Byrne (Yeats College, Galway), Fitzgerald (De La Salle College, Waterford), Barry (Portumna CS, Galway); O'Connor (St Peter's College, Wexford), Browne (Nagle CC, Cork), Feeney (Coláiste Phobal, Roscrea), Doherty (Comeragh College, Carrick on Suir); Hurley (Arklow CBS), Dykes (Summerhill College, Sligo) Subs: Boyne (Castleknock CC, Dublin) for Feeney, Cashin (Malahide CC) for Hurley (both h-t), Rocks (Christian Brothers, Cork) for Barry (69), McCormack (Athlone CC) for Dykes (79), McMahon (St Macartan's College, Monaghan) for Fitzgerald (90).