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In brief: Muldoon top seed for Ballina SC bout

SNOOKER: After last weekend's senior ranking President's Cup, Under-19 and 21 players take centre stage at Ballina Snooker Club today and tomorrow.

Maynooth's Vincent Muldoon is the top ranked U21 player, while Jason Devaney of the Savoy club leads the U19 rankings. Former European champion David Hogan beat Muldoon to win the President's Cup at the Ivy Rooms in Carlow with a 5-3 victory.

Two Celbridge players had made the semi-finals, with Muldoon beating Martin McCrudden 4-3, and Hogan scoring a 4-2 victory over Colm Gilcreest, who has moved to the top of the senior rankings.

Highest break prize went to Gilcreest with a 129.

Logue leads Leinster's Open assault

TABLE TENNIS: Sam Logue leads the Leinster entry at this weekend's Connacht Open in Castlebar.

Players from Wales, Poland, Hungary and Latvia as well as Ireland have entered the tournament.

Latvian Vladislavs Agurjanovs, 20, who lives in New Ross, is favourite to win the men's singles.

Welsh girl Naomi Owen, Hungarian Rita Kacsandi and Ulster's Amanda Mogey are the big names in the women's competition. Next weekend, the IWA Clontarf will host the Leinster Junior Close.

Evans back for Baldoyle showdown

BADMINTON: Top players from all over Europe as well as from US, Canada, Malaysia, Peru, Russia, Israel and South Africa have signed up for the Yonex Irish International Badminton Championships, which take place at Baldoyle from December 9-12.

Denmark's Hans Kristian Vinninghas, recent winner of the Norwegian Open, is top seed, with Ireland's Scott Evans at No2 for the men's singles. England's Elizabth Mc Cann and Susan Egelstaff from Scotland are the top seeds for the women's singles.

Christmas clashes to define season

HOCKEY: Little has separated Glenanne, YMCA, Monkstown and Pembroke over the past few weeks and the remaining matches before the Christmas break could prove crucial.

After their showdown with Monkstown today, YMCA will travel to Tallaght to play Glenanne next week.

Pembroke have an easier run of matches, although Three Rock Rovers next week may prove tricky.

Equally close at the top of the women's table are Loreto, Hermes and UCD, with defending champions Railway Union struggling. All face easy enough assignments for the next two weekends.

VOLLEYBALL: Ireland's first ever sitting volleyball tournament will take pace in Coláiste Bhríde in Clondalkin tomorrow (2-5pm). By eliminating jumping, sitting volleyball allows disabled and able-bodied individuals to play together. All are welcome -- young, old, men, women, girls, boys, disabled and able-bodied. Among those lining out will be members of the Irish men's volleyball squad.

CANOEING: Due to low water conditions and the threat of snow at nearby Lugnaquilla mountain, tomorrow's wildwater races will take place on the river Slaney and not at Aughrim as originally hoped. Start (12.0) is at Tullow and finish in Aghade.