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McLaren keen to let Lowe go

McLAREN have dismissed suggestions they could have done more to prevent technical director Paddy Lowe from leaving.

For the second time in five months McLaren have fallen prey to the Mercedes' ambition with Lowe set to follow Lewis Hamilton out of the exit door.

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale insists money was not an issue, and although Lowe was under contract, there was nothing they could do to prevent him from walking away.

"If someone rolls up and says 'I don't like being here' or 'you're not paying me enough money', even if you've a water-tight contract to tie them in – and in this case we did have a very good contract – you don't want them in the team anyway," said Neale.


Duffy on double

RUGBY: It took two final-quarter tries from flanker Robert Duffy to maintain St Michael's College's grip on the Leinster Schools Junior Cup quarter-final at Donnybrook.

You had to sympathise with a gallant CBC Monkstown team as they threw down the gauntlet to the holders in a 13-7 defeat.

CBC took a 7-0 lead when Dan Casey shot through a hole in midfield and went over for a superb try at the posts, with the conversion following.

Barry Fitzpatrick responded with a penalty when CBC were too slow to roll away at a ruck in the 35th minute.

Casey went close from two difficult penalties. But it would fall to Duffy to provide the killer blow in the 62nd minute.


Khan to face Diaz

BOXING: Amir Khan will fight in Britain for the first time in two years after it was confirmed the light-welterweight will face Julio Diaz in April.

The former world champion will meet the tough Mexican in Sheffield on April 27 in his first bout on English soil since his controversial win against Paul McCloskey in 2011.


Bell hits century

CRICKET: Ian Bell stroked an unbeaten century as England amassed 357-7 at the end of the day one of their match against a New Zealand XI in Queenstown today. Bell (127 not out) anchored the innings after England lost three early wickets.


Nadal advances

TENNIS: Rafael Nadal needed just over an hour to beat Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-2, 6-2 last night to advance to the second round of the Mexican Open.

NBA: Philadelphia 84 Orlando 98, Indiana 108 Golden State 97, Miami 141 Sacramento 129 (OT), Chicago 98 Cleveland 101, New Orleans 97 Brooklyn 101, Dallas 90 Milwaukee 95, Phoenix 84 Minnesota 83 (OT), LA Clippers 106 Charlotte 84.