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Dragons burn poor Munster O'Brien seals place Roche off the pace Spain into quarters Irish lose Celtic Cup

RUGBY: For a team of such character, this was a distinctly uncharacteristic display, and one that leaves defending Magners League champions Munster in danger of losing their title.

Tim O'Donnell and Tony Buckley added touchdowns to a penalty try but there was little else to enjoy about the 31-22 loss to the Dragons and lots to be concerned about for Munster as the play-offs race closes in.

Munster's veterans were ruffled by Newport's rookies to the extent they were twice ticked off for dissent and were even out-scored when their hosts were reduced to 14 men. Even more uncharacteristic were the three misses from five goal attempts by Ronan O'Gara.

After the game flanker Alan Quinlan was keen not to single anyone out: "No-one is blaming Ronan. As a team we made far too many mistakes."

The defeat was Munster's sixth in seven away league games.

Kenneally cruises

ATHLETICS: A smile can say it all and that was certainly true of Mark Kenneally as he crossed the finishing line to win the National Cross-Country Championship for the first time in the Phoenix Park.

The women's race was won by Dundrum's Linda Byrne, 61 seconds ahead of Borrisokane's Siobhan O'Doherty.

O'Brien seals place

SNOOKER: Fergal O'Brien will compete in the televised stages of the World Championship for the first time in three years after beating Glaswegian Alan McManus 10-4 in the final qualifying round last night.

Former champ Ken Doherty faces Belfast's Joe Swail today.

Roche off the pace

CYCLING: Adam Armstrong, making his debut in the Eurobaby/ Eurocycles colours, edged out his breakway companion Neil Delahaye to win the Cycleways Cup near Navan, while in the first stage of the Paris-Nice, Irish cousins Nicolas Roche (AG2R) and Daniel Martin (Garmin) were both 53 seconds off prologue winner Lars Boom of Holland.

Spain into quarters

TENNIS: Champions Spain reached the Davis Cup quarter-finals with a 4-1 victory over Switzerland.

Spain now meet France in the quarters, who beat Germany 4-1.

Irish lose Celtic Cup

HOCKEY: Ireland just missed out regaining the Celtic Cup, losing 2-1 to Scotland in a tight encounter in France.

NBA: Toronto 101 Philadelphia 114, Orlando 96 LA Lakers 94, Detroit 110 Houston 107 (OT), Boston 86 Washington 83, Sacramento 102 Oklahoma City 108.