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Defiant Gaskin shows his steel

SQUASH: Arthur Gaskin from Carlow put up a brave fight against eventual winner Mark Krajcsak from Hungary in the semi-finals of the West of Ireland Squash Open in Galway. Gaskin took a game off nine-times tour winner Krajcsak before going down 1-3. In the final, Krajcsak took on No1 seed Joe Lee from England, winning the first game 11-4, and then adding the second 11-3. Lee fought back in the third with many long rallies but Krajcsak always had one ball better.

He wrapped up the match 11-2 in the third game for his 10th tour title and was presented with the Paddy 'Whack' Walsh trophy.

p Meanwhile, at the European U19 Championships, the Irish team of Griffin Gillanders, Breanne Flynn, Michael Craig, Sean Conroy and Conor O'Shea finished 13th overall, winning their final game against Switzerland 3-0.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Two top high school American football games are scheduled for Páirc Tailteann, the Navan home of Meath GAA, as part of the Global Ireland Football Tournament this summer.

A clash between Oak Park High School, Winnipeg, and Villanova College, Ontario, will kick off the double-header at the 20,000-capacity venue on Friday, August 31. The Canadian rivals will meet at 4pm, followed by a showdown between Notre Dame High School, Arizona, and Fr Judge High School, Philadelphia at 7.30pm. Local Meath team the Trim Bulldogs will provide support on the day.

The double-header in Navan is one of three Global Ireland Football Tournament showcases at three different venues in the greater Dublin area that day featuring 12 teams from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Manitoba, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. The games are a curtain-raiser for the Emerald Isle Classic at Lansdowne Road's Aviva Stadium in Dublin between Notre Dame and Navy a day later.

SNOOKER: Navan's Royal Snooker club hosts snooker's seventh ranking tournament this weekend -- the final round before the National Championships. A place on snooker's pro tour is on offer for the player who finishes top of the rankings at the end of the season.

Currently leading is Rodney Goggins of 147 Wexford, winner of the last round and playing consistently well this season. A close second is Brendan O'Donoghue of New Institute Nenagh, while third is Vincent Muldoon of Maynooth. Between them, these three have won all six tournaments to date.

p PJ Nolan, the Irish national snooker coach, has been invited to coach in the cue zone at this year's Betfred.com World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, from April 20-24.

p Rodney Goggins, Brendan O'Donoghue and Greg Casey have been selected to play at the EBSA European Snooker Championships in Latvia from June 4-14. Mark Tuite, Frank Sarsfield and Anthony Bonnar will play in the masters' event.

NETBALL: UCD's netball team are celebrating a season's treble after beating arch-rivals St Anne's to take the Netball Ireland Winter League division 1 title last month.

At college level, UCD also won both the CUSAI and intervarsity titles. In the Winter League division 2 decider, St Anne's third team beat the UCD third team. Next up for the Irish international netball team is the Netball Europe Festival in Gibraltar in June, with squad training taking place on April 22 under the supervision of coach, Lynette Wall. An Irish team will also play at the inaugural World University Netball Championships in Cape Town in July.

ORIENTEERING: Irish competitors took two third places in the master's classes at the annual JK International Festival of Orienteering, held over four days in Perth, Scotland. Former Irish champion Aongus O Cleirigh of Ajax finished third in the over-50 class, while Steven Linton from North West was third M45.

In the elite men's international competition, Irish champion Marcus Pinker of Finn Valley was a fighting 15th, with Ruairi Short of CNOV 21st. In the women's competition, Ciara Largey of FermO finished 17th, with Niamh O'Boyle of CNOC 20th.

Other good results came from Nora Lee of 3ROC (third W50 short course), CNOC's Ruth Lynam (fourth W55), Jean O'Neill of Fingal fourth W65) and Conor Short of CNOC (seventh M20 elite).


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