McGee rallies to make Open final
JAMES McGEE courageously saved five match points to pull off a sensational victory in the semi-finals of the Irish Men's Open at the Fitzwilliam Club yesterday.
The 24-year-old Dubliner was on the brink of defeat when he found himself 15-40 and 5-6 down on his own serve in the third set against the No 2 seed, Slovakia's Miloslav Mecir.
In the 12th game of the decider, McGee rallied back to deuce, but Mecir held advantage three times before the Davis Cup ace eventually levelled at 6-6.
The Castleknock man marched into a 6-1 lead in the tie-break and while Mecir saved two match points, McGee made no mistake on his third to clinch a 6-2 6-3 7-6 (7/3) victory.
But Barry King failed to qualify for a final clash against McGee, the unseeded Davis Cup hero losing to France's top seed Charles-Antoine Brezac 6-0 6-4.
IRELAND beat Italy 5-2 in last night's Youth Round Robin tournament at the National Stadium in Dublin.
George Bates, Dylan Carr, Kieran Forde, Christy Joyce and Thomas Conroy had their hands raised in victory in the seven-bout clash at the home of Irish boxing.
Carr recorded one of the biggest wins, a 19-9 decision over Matteo Angioni, while Bates had eight points to spare over Omar Rahmoune. Bates, Carr, Forde and Joyce fired Ireland into an unassailable 4-0 lead, but Italy struck back with wins for Guiseppe Ranno and Fabio Turchi.
Turchi then beat Jack Morrissey, but Conroy finished off the night on a high note for Ireland with an impressive 16-12 decision over Guido Vianello. Ireland will meet England today and will face Scotland tomorrow morning.
Details in factfile
Colin Slade scored 19 points in his starting debut as New Zealand swept aside Fiji 60-14 in their season-opening Test. Slade -- picked at out-half ahead of first-choice Dan Carter -- scored a try and kicked four conversions and two penalties at Carisbrook Stadium.
The result was the All Blacks' lowest in five Tests against Fiji as they opened an international campaign which will culminate at the World Cup on home soil in September and October. New Zealand will now take on South Africa home and away in the Tri Nations tournament.
"There's some work to do," said All Blacks captain Richie McCaw. "We may not have got all the detail dead right -- but you can see it's going to come."
IRISH Superbike rider Thomas Lawlor has received a 16-month ban after failing a drugs test, writes Cliona Foley.
Lawlor tested positive for a metabolite of cannabis in a sample taken at the Irish Superbikes Championships on June 11 and the Irish Sports Council confirmed his provisional suspension yesterday.
It will date from June 30 unless he successfully appeals it.