Tuesday 28 March 2017

In brief: Irish team shines to maintain lead

Sailing

Steady performances by each of the three Irish boats at the Rolex Commodores' Cup maintained Ireland's overall lead of the event at Cowes in near perfect conditions yesterday.

Team captain Anthony O'Leary's Antix earned a first-place tie with Codiam of the France Blue team in the morning. The French crew beat Antix into second place in race two in very consistent conditions. Dave Dwyer's marinerscove.ie had a fourth and second place for the day.

The team small boat Roxy 6 -- owned by Welshman Rob Davies -- had a seventh place in the first race readily compensated for by a win in the afternoon.

Overall, Ireland ended the day slightly further ahead on points than the opening day but very mindful of today's high-scoring offshore race that offers plenty of uncertainty over the next 36 hours.

The strength of the French teams is legendary when it comes to offshore racing and Ireland's 20-point lead could prove to be a very small cushion.

Golf

The Maguire twins last night pulled out of the British Ladies Open Strokeplay Championship, which begins tomorrow at Tenby in West Wales.

No official reason was given for the withdrawals, but they have played a lot of golf this season.

The 15-year-old Curtis Cup stars from Slieve Russell both competed in the AIB Irish Open at Killeen Castle, with Lisa being the leading amateur, and then they headed for Royal Belfast and played in the British Girls Open Championship. There, Leona reached the quarter-finals and Lisa got to the semis.

They intend to play for Ireland in next month's Home Internationals at Whitchurch in South Wales.

Danielle McVeigh of Royal County Down defends her Strokeplay title at Tenby.

Tennis

IRELAND'S James Cluskey bravely overcame his shoulder problem to reel off a brace of wins in the ITF Men's Futures event in Jurmala, Latvia.

Cluskey retired in the first round of last week's corresponding tournament in Vierumaki, Finland, because of the injury. But the 23-year-old Dubliner courageously played through the pain barrier yesterday to clinch a main-draw place in the clay-court event.

In the second round of qualifying, the No 6-seeded Swords man overwhelmed Latvia's Janis Stepins 6-1 6-2, and he followed up with a hard-earned 3-6 6-3 7-5 victory over another Latvian, Arturs Kazijevs.

In the first round of the main draw, Cluskey has again been paired against Sweden's Milos Sekulic, the player he was trailing 1-6 in the first set when forced to retire in Finland.

Cluskey's fellow Irish players, Colin O'Brien, the No 3 seed, and Daniel Glancy are also in action in the first round of the Latvian event today.

Meanwhile, Louk Sorensen faces a stiff test in today's first round of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Salvador, Brazil, being paired against the No 2 seed, Argentina's 125-ranked Federico del Bonis.

Irish Independent

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