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Lithuania flying at Fitzwilliam Scots await in final Cricket: Ireland will play Scotland in the World League Division 1 final today after completing a clean sweep of five qualifying matches with a 39-run victory over the Netherlands in Amsterdam. Vettel backs Schuey

TENNIS: Lithuania put Ireland very much on the back foot when they won both singles rubbers to take a 2-0 lead in the Davis Cup tie at Fitzwilliam last night.

Unsurprisingly, Irish No 2 James McGee went down to Lithuanian No 1 Ricardas Berankis, but the 522-ranked Dubliner turned in a very gutsy performance before his 132-ranked opponent prevailed 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

But a huge disappointment was that Irish No 1 Conor Niland, ranked at 162, suffered a 6-2, 6-3 defeat by Lithuanian No 2 Laurynas Grigelis, placed at 444 in the world rankings.

"I played to a good standard against a player of his calibre, but that does little to ease how down I still feel about losing the match," McGee said.



Scots await in final



Cricket: Ireland will play Scotland in the World League Division 1 final today after completing a clean sweep of five qualifying matches with a 39-run victory over the Netherlands in Amsterdam.

The Scots squeezed past Afghanistan by two wickets to claim their place in the final, but it will take something special from them to derail this Ireland bandwagon.

Even without the rested Trent Johnston and Alex Cusack -- and defending a paltry total of 178 -- Ireland were able to comfortably defeat their hosts in Amstelveen.



Vettel backs Schuey

Motor Sport: Sebastian Vettel believes Michael Schumacher is still "something special" despite the seven-times world champion enduring a torrid time in his comeback year.

Schumacher has accumulated just 34 points from nine races this season, and ahead of tomorrow's British Grand Prix the legend of the sport trails championship leader Lewis Hamilton by 93 points.

"Michael has been criticised a lot lately in Germany, England, everywhere," said Red Bull Racing's Vettel. "But he is still doing a very good job. I don't think it's easy to stop for three years and then come back, but if anybody can manage it, he can."

Golf: Steve Stricker leapfrogged past Paul Goydos despite his stunning, first-round 59 to take a one-stroke lead over his fellow-American after yesterday's second round of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois.

Defending champion Stricker followed his own sizzling opening-round 60 with a five-under-par 66 to reach the halfway mark at the TPC Deere Run course at 16-under-par 126. "I'm in good shape for the weekend," he said.

MLB: Detroit 7 Minnesota 3, Washington 8 San Francisco 1, Philadelphia 9 Cincinnati 7 (10 innings), Toronto 3 Boston 14, Tampa Bay 3,Cleveland 9, Atlanta 4 NY Mets 2.


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