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Saturday 20 September 2014

In Brief: Morgan stars for England

Published 23/12/2012 | 05:00

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CRICKET: Eoin Morgan hit the last ball for a straight six as England pulled off their highest Twenty20 run chase to conclude their 2012 schedule with a thrilling six-wicket victory over India.

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It seemed Morgan (49 not out) had left it too late, with three still needed to win off the final ball from Ashok Dinda.

But the Irishman kept his cool, even after Dinda controversially pulled out of the delivery first time round with Morgan crouched in his stance.

An apparent rethink then worked a treat for England as Morgan stood his ground to strike a perfect blow straight back over the seamer's head to tie the two-match series.

England had earlier struggled to contain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina's late onslaught and appeared to be up against it to better 177-8 at the Wankhede Stadium.

But on a good batting surface, and with a heavy dew making life difficult for India after Morgan had won an important toss, Michael Lumb (50) and then the captain himself scrambled England home.

Even another three economical wickets from Yuvraj Singh could not quite tip the balance India's way this time.

Lumb shared an opening stand of 80 with Alex Hales – and then after Yuvraj had done his worst, Morgan finished the job in company with Jos Buttler.

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Andre Botha is set to return to Clontarf as player-coach for next season. The South Africa-born all-rounder, who played 55 times for Ireland and who spent the last two seasons at Terenure, will return to the club that first contracted him as an 18-year-old in 1994.

Botha played for six years with Clontarf before moving to North County with whom he won four Irish Senior Cup titles. His role in Clontarf will see him in charge of all senior coaching as well as playing for the first XI.

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BADMINTON: Ireland's Chloe Magee achieved major compensation for her defeat in the Irish Badminton Open women's singles final two weeks ago when she captured the corresponding title in the Turkish Open in Istanbul yesterday.

And the victory was even sweeter for the No 3-seeded Donegal native as she upset the form book in the final, edging the No 1 seed, France's Sashina Vignes Waran, on a 21-18 23-21 scoreline.

To cap a great day for Magee, she teamed up with her brother Sam to also claim the mixed doubles title, the Raphoe pair beating German duo Fabian Roth and Jennifer Karnott 21-14 21-10 in the decider.

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ATHLETICS: Irish runners Fionnuala Britton and Linda Byrne have been named in the European Team for the Edinburgh triangular international cross-country event at the picturesque Holyrood Park next Saturday.

They have been named in the six-member women's team that will take on Britain and the USA in what promises to be a hotly-contested event, which was won so impressively by Britton last year.

Britton will lead the European team fresh from her second successive victory in the European Championship, in which Byrne ran a top-class race to finish in eighth place and so gain selection for the big Edinburgh event which will be televised again by the BBC.

It will be the same in the men's race, where Ayad Lamdassem of Spain will be seeking a second successive victory. But he will have tough opposition, including Sergiy Lebid, of the Ukraine, the nine-times European Cross-Country champion.

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BASKETBALL: Dublin Inter avenged last week's defeat to Moycullen with a series of three-pointers securing victory for the Superleague newcomers in Galway yesterday.

Their 72-67 win over Salva Camps men was achieved in the final quarter as Moycullen struggled to contain the outside threat of Mindaugas Tamusauskas.

Mazvydas Cepliauska also punished Moycullen from the free throw line to secure a rare win. In the women's SuperLeague, UL suffered their first defeat of the season as Glanmire overturned a 16-point deficit to close the gap at the top, winning 75-62.

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TENNIS: Former Davis Cup players Colin O'Brien and John McGahon will chase title glory in this week's National Indoor Championships at David Lloyd Riverview in Clonskeagh, Dublin which begin next Thursday. O'Brien made seven international appearances for Ireland in Group Two between 2008 and 2009.

Dundalk's McGahon lined out in six matches in the Group Three round-robin campaign in Cairo in 2007.

O'Brien, still only 28, had to call time on his pro career in January 2011 due to a persistent arm injury, and 30-year-old right-hander McGahon is now involved full-time in tennis coaching.



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'Great opportunity for our fans to see Cristiano again and also for me to meet up with Jose again – I'll need to order some good wine'

– Alex Ferguson is looking forward to facing Real Madrid in the Champions League at Old Trafford

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