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Ireland to take on Australia A

CRICKET: Cricket Ireland have confirmed they will play an Australia A side in a four-day contest this summer, with the fixture pencilled in for June 14-17.

The game has been arranged to give the Australians match practice ahead of the Ashes campaign, with their side expected to feature many of the Test stars not involved in the ICC Champions Trophy.

Ricky Ponting is a strong candidate to captain the Australians, with players of the calibre of Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon and Ed Cowan also likely to be involved.

Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth said: "It's a tremendous boost for all involved with Irish cricket that we've secured such a high profile first-class fixture in Ireland."

Schuey exits

FORMULA 1: Michael Schumacher heads into retirement for a second time this weekend determined to savour his farewell.

Six years ago Schumacher faced an end-of-season showdown in Brazil hopeful of claiming an eighth world title before saying goodbye, only to lose out to Fernando Alonso, but circumstances are different this time.

"Interlagos is the right place to round off my career because so much of the fascination of Formula One is rooted there," said Schumacher.

"It's simply a great circuit which has seen many memorable events. For me, it's also the circuit that brings back my memories of Ayrton (Senna)."

O'Keeffe call

GOLF: Peter O'Keeffe has been handed a last minute call-up for the final stage of the European Tour's Qualifying School.

The Corkman (31) lost out in a play-off for the last qualifying spot at a Murcia qualifier.

He ended up ninth alternate for the battle for 25 cards which begins at the PGA Catalunya Resort, near Girona, on Saturday.

But the withdrawal of Swede Niklas Lemke has given him a second chance alongside Waterville's David Higgins, Newcastle's Simon Thornton, Dubliner Niall Kearney, Lurgan's Gareth Shaw and Ballymena's Chris Devlin.

NBA: Kobe Bryant scored six of his 25 points in the final two minutes as the Los Angeles Lakers hung on for a 95-90 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

The Knicks extended the New Orleans Hornets' losing streak to four games as Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points in New York's 102-80 win. And the Philadelphia 76ers rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 106-98.