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Higgins grabs Tour card

GOLF: David Higgins got the perfect early birthday present after a nerveless final-round display earned him the 14th of 28 European Tour cards awarded at the dreaded final stage of the Qualifying School at PGA Catalunya Resort.

The Waterville man, 40 tomorrow, made the top 25 with two strokes to spare when he closed with a two-under-par 70, hitting six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course to finish seven under par and secure a full tour card for the first time since 2006.

"You only get one go at it and if you mess it up, that's it," he said.

Nevin into last 16 in Armenia

BOXING: Chris Nevin delivered a great result for Ireland in the 2012 AIBA World Youth Championships.

The Drogheda bantamweight stopped Croatia's Brec Mislav in the second round to book his ticket into the last 16.

Nevin will now meet Lin Sheng-Ling of Chinese Taipei on Sunday.

But Belfast light-welterweight Thomas Waites bowed out of the tournament after a preliminary round reversal to Eimantas Stanionis in Armenia yesterday.

The Lithuanian, a gold medal winner at the 2012 Brandenburg Youth Cup in Germany, secured a 14-6 decision in Yerevan.

Ireland hammer Poles

HOCKEY: Ireland began repaying the faith of the fans who paid for them to be in Argentina as they polished off Poland with a 4-0 victory in the quarter-finals of the Champions Challenge.

Ireland broke the deadlock on 45 minutes when Mikey Watt belted home a magnificent opener.

The Poles conceded a penalty corner four minutes later, converted by Conor Harte after a dummy by Shane O'Donoghue.

The routine was so good that they tried it again on 53 minutes with the identical result, as the Cork man again hit the target.

The Poles shipped a fourth, giving O'Donoghue room to collect, turn, dummy and shoot past the goalkeeper.

Kim leads in California

GOLF: South Korean Kim Meen-whee hit a stunning round of 63 to top the second-round leaderboard at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament in California.

After shooting an opening four-under 68, he went five better this time to sit 13 under and now looks in prime position to book his place on next year's tour.

Vaughn Taylor lies one stroke further back after signing for an eight-under 64 on the Jack Nicklaus Course and the American would have been tied for top spot had he not bogeyed on the 18th green.

Four rounds remain, with the top 25 - and ties - earning 2013 PGA cards.

NFL: Atlanta 23 New Orleans 13

NBA: Miama 105 San Antonio 100