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Irish T20 hopes hit by shock loss

CRICKET: Ireland's shock 18-run defeat by Papua New Guinea, in their final warm-up match in Dubai, has destroyed any illusions that qualification is assured for the World T20 finals.

PNG's total of 161-8 proved too good as Ireland were restricted to 143-7. Skipper William Porterfield will be wary of a similar slip-up when his side take on Namibia tomorrow in their first group game. "It may look an easy task to qualify, but we are taking nothing for granted," Porterfield said.



GOLF: Kevin Phelan spearheaded a day of Irish success at The European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage at PGA Catalunya Resort, Girona, as the Waterford native's hopes of promotion remained on track, while David Higgins and Ruaidhri McGee also made the cut after four rounds.

All three are now guaranteed their place on the European Challenge Tour, but will be entirely focused on finishing in that all important top 25 and ties to gaining European Tour promotion come the conclusion of the six-round marathon tomorrow in Spain.



CRICKET: Cricket-crazy India will have a lump in the throat as its favourite son, Sachin Tendulkar, walks out for one last time this week to play the game he has dominated for nearly a quarter of a century. The 40-year-old will finish a glittering 24-year career when he plays his 200th test match, against West Indies, at his home ground starting today.



BOXING: John Joyce joined Frankie Cleary in winning at least bronze at the the European Junior Championships. The St Michael's Athy light-welter scored a unanimous decsion over Armenia's Yurik Darabyan to advance to the last-four in Anapa, Russia. Earlier, Galway light-fly Cleary had an impressive quarter-final win over Georgia's Gagig Pozoyan.