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Fury as Ireland are withdrawn

HOCKEY: Ireland's men's hockey team were left seething yesterday after the board of the Irish Hockey Association withdrew them from next month's Champions Challenge I in Argentina.

FOLLOWING the retirements of coach Paul Revington and manager Peter Jackson, the IHA said they were taking the decision because the squad would be unprepared without a managerial team in place.

The consequences of this decision are far-reaching, including the loss of at least 80 potential world ranking points, potentially pushing them outside the world's top 16. Ireland would have to participate at an extra tournament in the Olympic cycle 2014, should they drop back into the first tier of the World League.

Meanwhile, the Irish women's team's hopes of a high finish at the Electric Ireland Champions Challenge took a big dent when they lost 3-1 to the USA at Belfield.

Schoolboys boxing clever at the Euros

BOXING: Ireland claimed four wins from six outings on Day 1 of the 10th European Schoolboy Championships yesterday.

Francie Stokes, Oliver McCarthy, Matthew Davis and Christopher O'Reilly chalked up preliminary round wins in Anapa, Russia. O'Reilly registered an impressive 13-3 decision over Alexandru Carnasov of Moldova.

Conor Quinn and Aaron McKenna also gave good accounts of themselves but lost out to Turkish opponents.

India fall short of Twenty20 semis

CRICKET: India's one-run victory over South Africa in Colombo was not enough to give them a place in the World Twenty20 semi-finals.

With Pakistan's win over Australia earlier in the day having ended South Africa's hopes of qualification, India needed a large margin of victory to seal their passage and deny Pakistan a place in the next stage. India reached 152-6, but were unable to restrict South Africa to a score of under 122 in order to qualify.

Lee will not face criminal charges

SNOOKER: Stephen Lee will not face criminal proceedings over allegations of match-fixing.

The 37-year-old, from Trowbridge in Wiltshire, was arrested by police as part of an investigation into suspicious betting patterns in February 2010.

However, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) released a statement this morning which said no charges would be brought against Lee.


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