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Crusaders clip Eagles' wings to set up Exiles showdown Scull stars storm to silver Murphy shows Euro value Sterling test for new caps Turner tames Beast of East

RUGBY LEAGUE: A 32-12 victory over the North Dublin Eagles in Tullow means that the Carlow Crusaders will play the Dublin City Exiles in rugby league's Leinster final on Saturday week. The Eagles kept within one score before the Crusaders broke twice in the last five minutes to secure their spot in the final. Taking place this weekend in Portarlington, Co Laois, is the Interprovincial final between the Irish Students and Munster, with Leinster and Ulster playing for third place.



Scull stars storm to silver

ROWING: A silver for the lightweight quadruple scull proved the highlight of the Irish performance at the World U23 Rowing Championships in Belarus. The crew of Niall Kenny, Michael Maher, Mark O'Donovan and Justin Ryan of UCC finished a fighting second behind Germany, who led the race from the start. Three other Irish crews made B finals to finish in the top 10 overall. Particularly notable was 19-year-old Lisa Dilleen's close third in the single scull.

At the Home International Regatta in Inniscarra, Co Cork, on Saturday, the Irish won both senior and junior women's titles. England took the men's senior title, with Wales best of the juniors.



Murphy shows Euro value

SWIMMING: Barry Murphy prepared for next month's European swimming championships in Budapest with a good victory in the 50m freestyle at the Irish Open and Youth Championships in the NAC, Dublin. Niamh O'Sullivan won the women's 800m freestyle, although her time of 9:00.19 was eclipsed by European junior bronze medal winner Sycerika McMahon who won the U15 class in 8:56.04. McMahon also won the 50m breaststroke.

Olympian Andrew Bree swam the heats of the 200m IM and 200m breaststroke but pulled out of the finals. Michael Dawson was the fastest Irishman in the 200m breast, taking silver in 2:20.88 behind South African Kyle Duckitt. Aisling Cooney had an impressive victory in the 100m backstroke, with her time of 1:02.79 putting her almost three seconds ahead of Ulster swimmer Chelsey Wilson. In the men's 100m backstroke, Kilkenny's Colm Dowling was the fastest Irishman, finishing third in 59.41.



Sterling test for new caps

HOCKEY: A new-look Irish women's hockey squad showed plenty of promise despite losing all three matches against Scotland in Sterling.

The 18-strong squad included six new caps, all eager to catch coach Gene Muller's eye before the three-match series against Belgium next week. New caps were Niamh Atcheler, Chloe Watkins and Anne O'Flanagan (all Hermes), Miriam Crowley (UCC), Jean McDonnell (Railway U) and goalkeeper Pam Smithwick (Old Alex).



Turner tames Beast of East

TRIATHLON: A superb cycle gave Limerick's Colm Turner victory in the 53 Degrees North Beast of the East Triathlon, held in Co Wicklow.

He won in two hours, seven minutes and 14 sec. Piranha's Elena Maslova was the first woman home and 14th overall in 2:27.32.

SQUASH: Madeleine Perry made an unexpectedly early exit at the Malaysian Squash Open in Kuala Lumpur, part of the WISPA World Tour. Returning after a two-month break, Perry lost to France's Camille Serme in the opening round. For the Australia Open, which starts on August 10, Perry, seeded no4, has drawn Low Wee Wern from Malaysia. Irish No2 Aisling Blake, seeded No15, faces Aussie Lisa Camilleri.


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