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Dunbar earns big bragging rights

GOLF: Alan Dunbar, one of four amateurs invited to compete in this week's Irish Open at Royal Portrush, has in his possession something which Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell were never able to win.

The 23-year-old from Rathmore became only the third Northern Irishman ever to win the Amateur Championship. Dunbar beat 17-year-old Austrian Matthias Schwab on the final green of the 36-hole final at Royal Troon. As a result he will be off to next month's Open Championship and next year's Masters and US Open.

Wash-out almost costs

Cricket: Ireland were just five minutes away from having to refund over €300,000 when the RSA 50-over Challenge match against Australia was rained off in Belfast on Saturday after only 10.4 overs. A near sell-out crowd of 5,000 at Stormont would have been due their ticket money back if there had been fewer than 10 overs.

Byrne boost in Longford

ATHLETICS: Olympic marathon qualifier Linda Byrne gave herself the perfect send-off by knocking over a second off her best time and finishing second overall in the Longford half-marathon yesterday. Only Carlow's Kevin Lawlor (71:31) was faster than Byrne (72:32).

Morrison recovers in end

TRIATHLON: Irish triathlete Aileen Morrison was 14th in her latest World Series race ahead of the London Olympics. The Derry athlete was 17 seconds off the leaders after the swim in Kitzbuhel.

She couldn't catch the lead group on the cycle and was part of a group nearly 90 seconds behind at the second transition, but her 35:02 in the 10km run saw her climb her way through the field.

MLB: Philadelphia 2 Tampa Bay 3, Cincinnati 3 Minnesota 4, Miami 9 Toronto 0, Baltimore 2 Washington 1, Boston 9 Atlanta 4, Pittsburgh 2 Detroit 3, Houston 7 Cleveland 1, Chi White Sox 1 Milwaukee 0 (10 innings), Kansas City 8 St Louis 11, LA Angles 5 LA Dodgers 3, Oakland 4 San Francisco 2, San Diego 2 Seattle 0, Arizona 5 Chic Cubs 1, Philadelphia 3 Tampa Bay 7, Texas 4 Colorado 2, NY Mets 5 NY Yankees 6.