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IRISH PAIR IN SWEDEN LOSS

BADMINTON: Jonathan Dolan and Sam Magee, who only teamed up last autumn, made it as far as the quarter-finals of the men's doubles at the Swedish Badminton Masters in Uppsala.

In their opening match, the Irish pair beat Mathew Fogarty and Bjorn Seguin of the USA in straight sets. They then battled their way into the quarter-finals when they came back from a set down to beat Niclas Nohr and Nikolaj Overgaard of Denmark 18-21 21-12 21-17.

In the quarter-finals, they lost in straight sets to regular Irish visitors Jelle Maas and Jacco Arends from the Netherlands.

In the men's singles, 19-year-old Dolan narrowly lost to Swedish player Jacob Nilsson 21-23 21-19 15-21 in the opening round.

Locally, Joshua Magee made three finals at the Leinster Open in Baldoyle. Magee beat Liam O'Leary in the men's singles and paired up with niece Rachael Darragh to win the mixed doubles. In the men's doubles, paired with David Walsh, he lost to his brother Dan Magee and partner Niall Tierney.

SNOOKER: Martin McCrudden from Celbridge SC won snooker's fourth Premier Tour Ranking event at the Ivy Rooms in Carlow. It was a second win this season for McCrudden, who beat current Irish No 1 Robert Murphy from Q Club, Wicklow 4-1 in the final. In the semi-finals, Murphy had beaten David Hogan 4-1, while McCrudden dismissed John Sutton 4-2. Sutton's 105 was the highest break of the tournament.

Two Irish senior teams will compete at the EBSA Team European Championships in Romania next March. Team one is Robert Murphy and Michael Judge, while team two is Jason Devaney and Rodney Goggins.

SAILING: More than 100 Irish sailors began 2014 with training camps in Gran Canaria, Cadiz and Barcelona in Spain and Sardinia in Italy.

A total of 102 sailors from junior to Olympic class are now on Irish Sailing Association squads, where they receive regular coaching and medical back-up.

Top of the pile is the Providence Team IRL, made up of Annalise Murphy (Laser Radial), Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern (49er), James Espey (Laser) and John Twomey, Ian Costello, and Austin O'Carroll (Sonar). All but O'Carroll competed at London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

The big target this year is September's Olympic qualifier in Santander, Spain, where Ireland aims to qualify in all classes. In preparation, Annalise Murphy and the Sonar crew are already in Miami for the ISAF World Cup.

An Olympic development squad hopes to produce an Irish qualifier in the new women's 49er FX Olympic class, with Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey showing promise after pairing up last September. Also in contention for qualification are members of the Laser development squad – Philip Doran, Finn Lynch, Robbie Gilmore and Fionn Lyden.

VOLLEYBALL: DVC, now pulling away at the top of the women's Premier Volleyball League, face UCD, currently second in the table, in Belfield tomorrow. DVC, based in Clondalkin, had a decisive victory over big rivals Naas Cobras last month, although Naas still have an outside chance of taking the title. To do this, they must win all their remaining matches and a victory over the Tallaght Rockets tomorrow could see them leapfrog UCD and return to second place in the table.

In the men's premier division, table toppers Ballymum Patriots X, who remain unbeaten, play Amber Coast away today, while second placed UCD face Ballymum Eagles tomorrow.

Wheelchair and non-wheelchair users are welcome to the introductory Sitting Volleyball workshop on Sunday, February 2 (12-4pm) at the IWA, Clontarf.

DUATHLON: In the first round of the Butcher's Block Naas Duathlon Series at Punchestown, Irish duathlon champion Cathal Ó Donnabháin was a clear overall winner by five minutes.

His time of 52 mins 26 secs for the 3.5km run, 20km cycle and 3.5km run was a new course record. Last year's series winner Caroline Conway won the women's race, although she was pushed hard by Kitty Perle. The next round is on February 23.

HOCKEY: The Irish men's U21 hockey team play current U21 World Cup champions Germany at a Four Nations International hosted by Mossley Hockey Club in Newtownabbey from Tuesday, February 11.

The Irish open their campaign against Scotland and then play England, before facing Germany on Thursday, February 14.


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