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Dennis return to lift team: Button

FORMULA 1: Jenson Button believes the return of Ron Dennis as McLaren boss has ramped up the confidence of all within the team.

Earlier this year, Dennis staged an internal coup and deposed Martin Whitmarsh as McLaren Group's chief executive officer, while at the same time overhauling the internal structure of the team.

At the Grands Prix this season, it is known Dennis will certainly have his hand on the tiller come the opening two races in Australia and Malaysia later this month, at least.

Asked whether everyone within McLaren was now more on their toes with Dennis back on the scene, Button replied: "Yes, and I think in a good way. He is quite an unusual character, Ron. I think him being back at the team is very important for the future of McLaren."

After a disastrous campaign in 2013 in which McLaren failed to step on to the podium in any race for the first time in 33 years, Dennis is naturally determined to restore his team's credibility.

McLaren fared quite well during pre-season testing to suggest they will at least be in the hunt for points at the season-opening race in Melbourne on March 16.


CRICKET: Ryan Harris condemned South Africa captain Graeme Smith to defeat in his last international as the seamer sealed a 245-run victory for Australia in the dying moments of the third Test at Newlands yesterday.

Harris bowled Dale Steyn and Morné Morkel in the same over as South Africa, trying to bat out a draw, were bowled out for 265 with 27 deliveries remaining in the game. Australia clinched the series 2-1, handing South Africa just their second series defeat in their last 26 Test series under Smith.

Australia declared twice at 494-7 and 303-5, and South Africa replied with 287 and 265. For centuries in both innings, Australia opener Dave Warner was named man of the match, and series.

DDSL amendments

Sat Mar 8 (10.30unless stated)

U12 SFAI Danone Cup (3rd Rd) (10 e/w E/T & FIFA pen rule to apply): Knocklyon Utd v Castleknock Celtic, Delaford, TBC. U12 SFAI Danone Cup (Round of 32) (10 e/w E/T & FIFA Penalty rule to Apply): Villa v St Francis, Connors Park, Waterford, 2pm, Local Ref. Tom Kavanagh Cup (Quarter Finals) (10 e/w ET & FIFA penalty rule to apply): Belvedere FC v Crumlin Utd, Clontarf, 11.30, AUL; A Kearney; Cabinteely FC v St Francis, Kilboggit Pk, N Byrne; - OFF; St Kevins Boys v Shelbourne FC, Coll of Surgeons, C Dunne; Cherry Orchard v St Josephs Boys, Elmdale, TBC. 12 Maj: Shelbourne FC v Lourdes Celtic, AUL, A Kearney; Cabinteely FC v WFTA, Kilboggit Pk, N Byrne. Hillary Cup (Q/Finals) (10 mins E/T & Fifa Pen rule to apply): Broadford Rvs v Park Celtic (A1), Marley Pk, R O Shea; Phoenix FC (B) v Raheny Utd (B1), Scribblestown, A Mahon; St Josephs Boys (B) v Home Farm (A1), Pearse Pk, D Ellison. 12B1: Raheny Utd v Killegland FC, No 15, St Anne's Pk, A Harty - OFF. 12C: Manortown Utd v Cabinteely FC, Greentrees Rd, R Colreavey - OFF. 12C1: Greenhill's Boys v Howth Celtic, Greenhill's Pk, D Murphy; - OFF

(11.30 KO unless stated)

U13 SFAI Troy Cup (Rd of 32) (10 e/w E/T & Fifa penalty rule to apply): Esker Cel (A1) Drogheda Boys v Crumlin Utd, J Clarke; OFF; Drogheda Boys v Crumlin Utd, Rathmullen, 12.15, Local Ref. U13 SFAI Cup (Round of 32) (10 e/w E/T & Fifa penalty rule to apply): Belvedere FC v St Kevins Boys, Clontarf All Weather, 1.30, A Bracken. Liam Brady Cup (Quarter Finals) (10 e/w ET & FIFA penalty rule to apply): Belvedere FC v Cabinteely FC, Clontarf A/W, 10.30, A Bracken - OFF. 13 Prem: St Kevins Boys v Mt Merrion, Shanowen Rd, P Harrison - OFF; Mt Merrion v Cabinteely FC, 10.30, TBC. 13C: St John Bosco v Leixlip Utd, Benmadigan Rd, 11.30am.13C1: Leixlip Utd v Greystones Utd, Amm Cen, D Penny; - OFF.