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King Kenny closes in on a tenth Irish crown in a row McGarry's Winter ends in disqualification McGee and O'Brien fight to Futures final Wilson birdies way to share of Phoenix lead

BOXING: Ken Egan is a mere nine minutes away from winning a historic 10th consecutive Irish title after recording a landslide win over Denis Hogan in the semi-finals of the Elite National Senior Championships at the National Stadium last night.

The 2008 Olympic silver-medallist, who had beaten his Grangecon light-heavyweight opponent twice in 12 months prior to last night's bout, was 3-1 up at the end of a a low-tempo first round.

Egan, though, upped the pace to stretch his lead to 12-1 by the end of the second and added another nine points to his tally in the final frame to claim a 21-2 decision.

The Neilstown southpaw will now meet either Tommy McCarthy or Michael Ward -- who meet tonight -- in next weekend's 81kg final.

"I'm flying at these Championships and now I'm just looking forward to getting in the ring next weekend," said Egan.



Ferrerro could be going loco in Acapulco

TENNIS: Juan Carlos Ferrero moved a step closer to a hat-trick of ATP Tour titles after reaching the final of the the Abierto Mexicano Telcel tournament in Acapulco.

The former world No1 has been victorious in Costa do Sauipe and Buenos Aires in the past fortnight and will play in a third consecutive final after Juan Monaco retired from their semi-final with an abdominal strain. Ferrero, who will meet David Ferrer in an all-Spanish final, had won the opening set 7-5 when Monaco called an end to the match after calling for the trainer.

"I didn't play very well in the beginning but little by little I was putting myself back in the match. I feel bad for Juan - he's a good friend of mine and I hope he can recover fast," he said.

Defending champion Venus Williams was forced to battle for the second successive match to book her place in the final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel tournament, where she'll meet Polona Hercog.



McGarry's Winter ends in disqualification

WINTER OLYMPICS: Kirsten McGarry's Winter Olympics ended on a sour note last night when she was disqualified from the slalom after one of her skis was adjudged to be one millimetre too thick at Whistler Creekside.

The Dubliner completed her first run in foggy conditions in a time of 59.28 seconds, but the judges' ruling means no participation in the second run. McGarry finished 50th in the giant slalom yesterday.

Canada moved top of the Olympic gold charts with two days to go on Friday and their beloved ice hockey team got out of a close scrape to set up a mouth-watering closing day final with arch rivals US.



McGee and O'Brien fight to Futures final

TENNIS: Ireland's James McGee and Colin O'Brien yesterday displayed outstanding mental toughness as they qualified for the men's doubles final in the ITF Futures final in Sarajevo.

The Dublin duo beat fellow unseeded opponents, Russian pair Ilya Belyaev and Evgeny Danskoy, and they were forced to go to the 20th point in a tie-break to claim the first set.

But an early service break in the second set provided McGee and O'Brien with the crucial momentum and they subsequently held their own serve before going on to win 7-6 (11/9) 6-4.



Wilson birdies way to share of Phoenix lead

GOLF: American Mark Wilson birdied his last four holes to grab a share of the lead with Camilo Villegas after the second round of the Phoenix Open on Friday. Wilson capped his brilliant run with a 24-foot birdie putt to finish with a five-under 66 and join overnight leader Villegas on 11-under for a total 131 after the Colombian Stumbled with a bogey on the last hole.

cricket: Ireland will host Bangladesh in two one-day internationals in July. The games will take place at Stormont on Thursday, July 15 and Friday, July 16, following Bangladesh's tour of England.

And Ireland coach Phil Simmons is relishing the chance to test his side against strong opposition. He said: "It's great that we have a chance to play them on home soil. We lost to them badly in 2008 in Bangladesh, but on our home turf, I'd be confident of doing well."

RUGBY: New Zealand winger Doug Howlett will remain with Munster until the end of next season at least. It has been confirmed that 31-year-old, who won his 49th competitive Munster cap last weekend, has agreed terms for the coming season with an option for a further season. "I'm delighted to be remaining on here with Munster," he said.

NBA: Toronto 118 Cleveland 126 (OT), Washington 116 NY Knicks 118 (OT), Atlanta 103 Dallas 111 (OT), Chicago 115 Portland 111 (OT), Memphis 89 Charlotte 93, New Orleans 100 Orlando 93, Oklahoma City 109 Minnesota 92, Houston 109 San Antonio 104, Denver 107 Detroit 102, Sacramento 103 Utah 99, LA Lakers 99 Philadelphia 90, Phoenix 125 LA Clippers 112.


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