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Botanic aiming to bloom in decider

HOCKEY: After the highs and lows of the Olympic qualifiers, hockey gets back to normal this weekend with both women's and men's Trophy and Challenge finals.

In today's Challenge finals, Kilkenny are involved in both men's and women's finals. They take on Botanic in the women's decider and Ballynahinch in the men's final.

In Leinster, Pembroke Wanderers and Monkstown face off in tomorrow's Mills Cup final (2pm) at Grange Road, Dublin. All funds raised at the gate will go to the "Friends of Chris Pelow" fund.

p A strong Leinster women's team will contest next weekend's U21 Interpros for men and women in Cork. The squad is: Niamh O'Connor (Genesis); Gillian Pinder (Hermes); Hannah Matthews, Ali Meeke, Sinead McGirr, Hayley Mulcahy (Loreto); Erika Hinkson (Old Alex); Sorcha Clarke, Anna O'Grady (Pembroke); Orla Fox, Rachel Barnett (Railway Union); Enna Horan, Vera Taaffe (Trinity); Sarah Greene, Nicola Gray, Caroline Hill, Deirdre Duke, Niamh Atcheler (UCD).

SNOOKER: Josh Boileau from Newbridge CYMS won the National U19 Snooker Championship in the Douglas Snooker Club in Cork.

In the final, the 16-year-old Boileau beat the Irish No 1, Ryan Cronin, from Cork, 3-1.

Boileau also won the highest break trophy after knocking up a superb 123 clearance in his semi-final victory over David Cassidy.

It means that Fitzpatrick will lead the Irish team at the World U21 Championships in China later this year.

VOLLEYBALL: As part of its preparation for the European Championship Small Nations qualification round in Luxembourg next June, the Irish men's volleyball squad travelled to France for a training camp.

Locally, the semi-finals of the Association Cup take place today at DCU.

CANOEING: Eoin Rheinisch leads the entry for this weekend's Irish slalom canoeing selection races at Sluice Weir on the river Liffey.

Taking on Rheinisch in the men's K1 class are Ciaran Heurteau and Patrick Hynes.

In women's K1, Hannah Craig leads an entry that includes Aisling Conlon and Helen Barnes.

Places on Irish teams for the European Championships next May are at stake.

TRIATHLON: Mariusz Olejniczak of host club Naas won a closely contested final round of the Naas Duathlon Series at Punchestown. Olejniczak's time of 53 minutes gave him a margin of 23 seconds over Activ Multisport's Bjorn Ludick, with David Fagan of Midlands Tri Club third.

Aoife Lynch of Pulse Tri Club finished first woman in 57 minutes 41 seconds. Marie Boland and Rachel Glendon were second and third.