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Griffin out of Winter squad Mack's LA move Sorensen loses Trio take NZ lead

WINTER OLYMPICS: Ireland's Winter Olympics team was named yesterday, but there was no place for rower-turned-cross-country skier Paul Griffin.

The Killarney man's dream of competing in both the Summer and Winter Games was dashed when PJ Barron, a Scot who declared for Ireland in 2008, got the nod.

Shane O'Connor (alpine slalom), Kirsty McGarry (alpine slalom), Pat Shannon (skeleton bobsleigh) and Ireland's first women's bobsleigh team, Aoife Hoey and Claire Bergin, were also named.

Dubs crash out

SNOOKER: The sport's first world ranking event of the year has given little indication of recovery in the hopes of Dublin's top men.

Fergal O'Brien and Michael Judge both fell at the first hurdle of the Welsh Open in Newport yesterday -- a tournament Ken Doherty failed to qualify for.

After swift exits from the Shanghai Masters, Grand Prix and UK Championship earlier this season, O'Brien had high hopes of a turnaround in Wales, but he failed to keep up with Mark Williams, who pulled away to win 5-2 and reach the last 16.

Judge, languishing at 52nd in the rankings, suffered a similar fate, losing to John Higgins 5-2.

Mack's LA move

boxing: European middleweight champion Matthew Macklin will team up with US trainer Freddie Roach as he bids for a world title.

The Irish boxer enjoyed the best year of his career last year.

However, the 27-year-old -- to make the first defence of his European belt against Dmitry Pirog in Birmingham in April -- insists the chance to move to Roach's Wild Card Gym was too good a chance to turn down.

Sorensen loses

TENNIS: Louk Sorensen was brought back down to earth yesterday after last week's heroics at the Australian Open when he crashed out in the first round of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Germany 6-2 6-3 to Switzerland's Stephane Bohli.

Next up for Sorensen is the Challenger tournament in Kazan, Russia, where Conor Niland will also compete.

Trio take NZ lead

GOLF: American Robert Gates, New Zealand's David Smail and Australia's Andrew Dodt shot seven-under 65s today to share the first-round lead at the New Zealand Open near Queenstown.

NBA: Cleveland 109 Minnesota 95, Indiana 96 LA Lakers 118, Toronto 111 Miami 103, Detroit 93 Memphis 99, New Jersey 103 LA Clippers 87, Milwaukee 91 Philadelphia 88, Oklahoma City 86 Chicago 96, Houston 92 Denver 97, San Antonio 105 Atlanta 90, Portland 95 Utah 106, Golden State 110 New Orleans 123.