Monday 26 June 2017

In brief: Irish take inside track for Cup tie

Tennis

TENNIS IRELAND have broken a long-standing tradition by deciding to stage this summer's Davis Cup second- round tie against Lithuania indoors.

In the past, when Ireland held home advantage, such fixtures were invariably played outdoors -- as was the case against Ukraine in July 2008.

But for the Europe-Africa Zone Group 2 clash with the east European outfit on July 9-11, Tennis Ireland have opted to play the fixture at the Fitzwilliam indoors arena.

"We've decided to go indoors because of the surface, spectator capacity and atmosphere factors," said Tennis Ireland chief executive, Des Allen. "We feel that we have a better chance of winning the tie on an indoors fast surface rather than the (sand-based) artificial grass surface outdoors."

Meanwhile, Conor Niland yesterday steamrolled his way into the quarter-finals of ATP Challenger Tour event in the Channel Islands after beating Britain's Daniel Smethurst 6-2 6-1.

Basketball

COLAISTE Einde's Tomas Mitkus and Toms Fabriciuss yesterday celebrated a dream double, as they contributed 75 points between them on the way to claiming the All-Ireland Schools U-16 'C' and U-19 'C' league titles in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

The Galway side kicked off the day with an easy 53-28 win over Tallaght CS in the U-16 'C' final, with Mitkus notching up an impressive 28 points and the 'Most Valuable Player' award to go with it.

And the deadly duo were back to their best in the U-19 'C' final against CBS Ennistymon, with Mitkus as again headed the scoring charts with 21 points but it was Fabriciuss who was awarded 'MVP' after scoring 14 points.

In the Girls finals, St Mary's of Arklow claimed the U-19 'C', while St Attracta's of Tubbercurry edged out Christ the King Cork 33-31 to lift the U-16 'C' trophy.

Cycling

Nicolas Roche dropped to fifth place in the overall standings after the fourth stage of the Volta Catalunya yesterday. He was placed 29th on the stage behind Jens Voigt, who held off the challenge of Rein Taaramae in Ascó.

Overnight race leader Joaquin Rodriguez (Team Katusha) remains in pole position overall.

Elsewhere, Mayo's David O'Loughlin finished 12th in the qualification round of the individual pursuit at the world track championships in Ballerup, Copenhagen after posting a time of four minutes 25.203 seconds in the 4,000m test.

Boxing

IRISH boxers who reach the semi-finals of next month's AIBA World Youth Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, will quality for the inaugural Youth Olympics Games in Singapore this August.

World amateur boxing chiefs, AIBA, yesterday confirmed that the top four boxers in each weight category at the World Youth Championships, which is the only qualifying tournament for the Youth Olympics, will book their tickets for Singapore.

Irish Independent

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