In Brief: Spirited Ireland come up short
Ireland gave a greatly improved performance against Wales in the senior Women's Home Internationals at Sherringham on the Norfolk coast yesterday, but they are nonetheless out of the title hunt.
After a 7-1 thrashing by England on Tuesday, they looked out for the count. However, they battled to a 4-4 draw with Wales yesterday, only to see any hopes of the crown disappear when England crushed Scotland. Ireland and Scotland will fight today to avoid the wooden spoon.
Ireland led Wales 2-1 after the foursomes with Helen Jones and Pat Doran, and Sheena McElroy and Phil O'Gorman winning their matches.
But in the afternoon they could manage only two more points through McElroy and Mairead MacNamara.
England are virtually certain to wrap up the title today when they face Wales.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt has withdrawn his allegations that England players deliberately lost the third one-day international against Pakistan earlier this month in return for money.
The PCB chairman arrived in London this week to meet English officials and last night released a statement in conjunction with the ECB, in which he withdrew his "misunderstood" comments.
"I would like to make it quite clear," said Butt, "that in the statements which I made, I never intended to question the behaviour and integrity of the England players nor the ECB nor to suggest that any of them were involved in any corrupt practices or in a conspiracy against Pakistan cricket."
An injury-time try and penalty handed Leinster an 8-0 victory over Munster in this Schools 'A' inter-provincial tie.
The game looked like it was heading for a scoreless finish until a minute into injury-time when winger Jamie Buckett scored a try in the corner.
In the eighth minute of injury-time, Alex O'Driscoll made sure of the win with a penalty.
The first half saw few scoring chances for either side.
Sam Moore looked like he would open the scoring with a try midway through the second period, but play was called back for an offside infringement.
Munster -- R Hunt; C Moloney, C Haran, A Walsh, S Scallan (J Robinson 43); N Hodson, A Atkinson(J Sweetnam 77); N Willoughby (D O'Donnell 58), B Cross (K Ryan 66), P Marks; PJ Hegarty (S O'Sullivan 52), E Fitzgerald; E O'Monochoe, S Hunter, P Deane.
Leinster -- Sam Moore (A Moore 55); J Buckett, F Halpin, A Douglas (M Higgins 55), A Ryan; A O'Driscoll, A Gibbons; A Marshall, J Byrne (J Gibbons 61), D Baulle (K Adebole h-t); M Dunne (S Byrne 37 temp), R Garland; J Pickers, S Kealan, S Branna.
Ref -- D O'Flynn (IRFU).