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Healy and McConnell back for women's triple Belgium test

HOCKEY: The Irish women's hockey team play three matches against Belgium this weekend at Belfield, with a couple of changes from the experimental squad that faced Scotland a few weeks ago.

Goalkeeper Louisa Healy of Loreto is back in the squad, along with Kate McConnell of Pegasus.

After a six-week break, the Irish men's hockey team get back to work with a training camp from August 14-17 followed by four matches against Malaysia from August 18 at Belfield.

After that comes a Five Nations Tournament in Paris from August 29, where Malaysia will also be playing alongside teams from Poland, Scotland and host nation France.

Players do battle for World tour position

SNOOKER: Currently under way in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, are the World U21 Championships, with Ireland represented by Vincent Muldoon, Sean Conway, Jason Devaney, Tony Moore, Greg Casey, David Cassidy, Stephen Reddington, Gareth Boyle, Daniel O'Regan, Daniel Dempsey and Josh Boileau. Among the 74 entries are players from Australia, Thailand, Libya, Israel, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and all the European snooker nations. Play will continue until August 11, with €4,000 and a place on the professional World Snooker Association main tour for the winner.

Former winners include Ken Doherty, China's Ding Jun Hui, England's Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Allen from Northern Ireland and new world champion, Australia's Neil Robertson.

Determined jumpers claim silver medal

SHOWJUMPING: A young Irish team has taken silver at the European Pony Showjumping Championships at Bishop Burton in England.

Bertram Allen, Tom Foley, Shane Kenny and Emma O'Dwyer won a jump-off for second place after they finished their two rounds tied on 12 faults with Belgium. Germany took the gold medals on four faults.

A double clear round from Bertram Allen, riding Acapella Z, and a clear by Tom Foley, with Dibidoe, had given Ireland a place in the top three.

Cancellation hurts Descent preparations

CANOEING: With next weekend's Upper Liffey Marathon cancelled, paddlers in training for the 51st Liffey Descent on September 4 have only the Great Outdoors Lower Liffey Marathon on Sunday, August 15 (12.0) to practise their skills before the big day. Starting from the Salmon Leap Canoe Club on Leixlip lake and finishing nine miles and seven weirs later at the Garda boat club in Islandbridge, this is the final qualifying rough water race for 'the Liffey'. Entry is €10 per seat (€5 juniors) and T-shirts go to the first 200 finishers. Details at www.canoe.ie

Taking place on Thursday evenings (7.0) until August 26 is a series of 10km races on the Liffey organised by the Wildwater club at Glenmaroon. Also scheduled is a 1,000m fun course for beginners.

Results vary for Irish in English clashes

OLYMPIC HANDBALL: Irish U16 boys and girls Olympic handball teams had mixed results at the recent youth internationals in Warrington, England. Ireland were taking on their nearest neighbours in handball at this age level for the first time.

With the game catching on in the UK, the host nation could name two squads for both the boys and girls tournaments. Ireland travelled with teams mixed with players with experience of playing abroad and first-time travellers. Both Irish teams started well with wins against England B. Against England A, they narrowly lost both matches.