In brief: Munster U-turn on hurling final venue
MUNSTER Council did a dramatic U-turn last night on the proposed venue for its provincial hurling final if it ends up being a Cork/Waterford decider.
Earlier in the week, Munster had indicated that Waterford had agreed to travel to Pairc Ui Chaoimh in that eventuality, a decision that apparently infuriated Waterford, who were not prepared to agree to such a concession.
After a meeting of their Competition Controls Committee (CCC) in Limerick last night, Munster released a statement saying: "The decision was taken to revert to the original venue of Semple Stadium, Thurles, should both Waterford and Cork qualify for the final on July 11."
Alan Dunbar has travelled back to the home of golf this weekend to defend the St Andrews Links Trophy.
The 20-year-old Portrush player, who has already made his mark this season by winning the Irish Open Strokeplay Championship, will launch his assault for more honours today in purposeful mood.
This weekend's East of Ireland event at County Louth is the main focus for the vast majority of the Irish contingent, but West Waterford's Seamus Power -- a three-time Irish Youths champion -- will join Dunbar in an international field at St Andrews.
ENGLAND'S Andrew Thorpe held the overnight lead for the first time as a professional after a second-round 65 propelled him into the lead going into today's final round of the EuroPro Tour event in Castle Dargan, Co Sligo.
Thorpe (23) edged one ahead of fellow countrymen Ian Keenan and Justin Evans as he carded five birdies and an eagle yesterday. Brothers Zack and Elliot Saltman were both tied fourth on six-under after shooting 66 and 69 respectively yesterday.
Curragh ace Paul O'Hanlon (67) and Donegal's Brian McElhinney (70) were Ireland's leading contenders, sitting in a share for eighth place on five-under.
IRELAND'S James McGee went down fighting in the quarter-final of the ITF Men's Futures event in Tunisia yesterday, losing 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7/2) to Malek Jaziri. In the deciding set, McGee held his own until Jaziri finally got to grips with his opponent in the tiebreak.
In the corresponding event in Lanzarote, Barry King and American Ashwin Kumar reached the doubles semi-finals with a 6-1 6-2 win over American Michael Grant and Spain's Juan Albert Viloca-Puig.
Ajmal Shahzad and Ryan Sidebottom spent yesterday trying to convince Andrew Strauss of their respective claims to face Bangladesh in the second npower Test at Old Trafford.
The prospect of fielding both seamers in a five-man attack appears distant, so Shahzad and Sidebottom headed for the nets with the opportunity to demonstrate their merits to be included in a Test expected to be played on a fast, bouncy pitch.
England v Bangladesh,
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