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Craven slumps in Rás standing Boxers sign to WSB Strauss praises Eoin Orlando work Magic

CYCLING: Blink and you'll miss the moves in the FBD Insurance Rás. And that is how the fourth stage spun out yesterday as Alexander Wetterhall of Team Sprocket Pro gained the initative on overnight leader Dan Craven of Ralpha Condor Sharp, writes Tommy Campbell.

After a 169km stage from Oughterard to Tipperary town, Craven let his lead slip and he plummeted to eighth overall, more than two minutes back.

The An Post Sean Kelly boys were central to the action. Conor McConvey, now in fifth place overall, led the charge when he streaked ahead with 19 other competitors, but Wetterhall did enough to take the lead.

Stephen Gallagher, the 2008 Rás winner, was best of the Irish in ninth place, while Fraser Duncan of Eurocycles was the top county rider in 12th place.

Meanwhile, Frenchman Damien Monier attacked on the final climb to claim victory on stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia.

Ireland battle on

tAbLE tennIS: It has been a tough few days for the Irish men's team at the World Team Championships in Moscow.

Ireland lost to group favourites Indonesia before they recovered in their next match against Moldova with a 3-1 win.

Unfortunately, they lost their next two matches to Algeria and Ecuador, both 3-0. They still have a slim chance of squeezing into the top three in the group, if they beat Dominican Republic.

Boxers sign to WSB

BOXING: Olympic silver medalist Ken Egan, AIBA World bronze medalist John Joe Nevin and European Union champ David Oliver Joyce have signed up for the World Series of Boxing (WSB), due to glove off in November, but they will not lose their Olympic status.

Strauss praises Eoin

CRICKET: England captain Andrew Strauss is confident he has at least two batsmen -- Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan -- in his team who can wrest the initiative from any opposition.

The Middlesex man hailed Dubliner Morgan saying: "I've no doubt he'll (Morgan) have a long and distinguished Test career."

Orlando work Magic

NBA: The Orlando Magic's plucky bid to overturn Boston Celtic's 3-0 series lead continued with a comfortable 113-92 win over the Celtics to take the series to 3-2.

MLB: Cleveland 4 Chicago White Sox 5, Kansas City 5 Texas 2, Seattle 5 Detroit 4, Minnesota 0 NY Yankees 1, Baltimore 1 Oakland 6, LA Angels 6 Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 3 Boston 11, Minnesota 2 NY Yankees 3, Florida 3 Atlanta 7, NY Mets 5 Philadelphia 0, Cincinnati 4 Pittsburgh 0, Chicago Cubs 5 LA Dodgers 8, Milwaukee 0 Houston 5, Colorado 7 Arizona 3.