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Minority Sports: Rock key to Three Leinster semi-finalists

HOCKEY: At least two Leinster teams are sure to qualify for the semi-finals of hockey's Irish Senior Cup from today's quarter-finals. In two Leinster derbies, Pembroke Wanderers play their near neighbours YMCA in Sandymount, while Monkstown are hosts to Railway Union at Rathdown School. Also through to the quarter-finals, after eking out a narrow win against Instonians last week, are Three Rock Rovers. They play the dangerous Ulster side Kilkeel at Grange Road.

In the final match, defending champions Cork Harlequins hope to repeat their victory of last year over Banbridge.

BADMINTON: With the Yonex Irish Open taking place next month, former Olympian Tom Reidy was in Dublin last week to coach at Badminton Ireland's High Performance Centre in Marino College.

Reidy, from Adare, Co Limerick, was one of the country's top junior players in the 1980s. When he finished school, he went first to England and then to the USA.

"I went to the USA not for my sport but to get a job and a future. I was lucky -- the badminton association there looked after me and I qualified for the men's doubles at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, competing for the USA."

He then played pro badminton in Sweden for two years before he "fell" into coaching. Among those who trained with him was Chloe Magee, who qualified for Beijing after her stint in Sweden. Although he gave up full-time coaching last year, Reidy was delighted to come to Dublin.

"I'm impressed. I think the set-up here is very good and I'm seeing lots of talented players -- the challenge for them is to keep going."

VOLLEYBALL: Clondalkin-based DVC remain top of the women's league after a straight-sets win over Tallaght Rockets last week.

It means that the Rockets fall from second on the table to fourth behind Santry who, like DVC, are unbeaten so far this season. In third place are the Naas Cobras. Struggling at the bottom of the table are former champions UCD, who play Naas in Belfield today. In the day's other match, DVC play Ballymun Patriots.

Defending champions UCD top the men's premier division after a decisive victory over close rivals, Ballymun Patriots X last week. Aer Lingus moved into second place after beating former champions Munster Thunder in four tight sets. UCD play the second Ballymum Patriots team today, while Aer Lingus face Amber Coast, currently fourth on the table.

SNOOKER: Josh Boileau made it a double home victory when he won both the U19 and U21 ranking tournaments, hosted by his club CYMS in Newbridge. A 79 break in the final frame saw him beat Dylan Scully in a tense U19 final, while in the U21 decider, he got the better of his CYMS clubmate Daniel Dempsey. Boileau competes in this weekend's second senior ranking tournament in Letterkenny having made the final in the opening tournament of the season. Top seed is David Hogan from Nenagh.

KICKBOXING: Kickboxer Barbara Delaney of Fightclub rounded off a spectacular year last month when she added the European low kick title to the four world titles she has won in the past year. Not bad for a woman who was told she would never fight again after a serious back operation three years ago.

Delaney's latest title came in a rematch with Ana Roxo, WKA Portuguese and European Thai-boxing champion in Portugal. Roxo had asked for the rematch after narrowly losing to Delaney in a WIMAAO world -50kg title fight last February in Dublin. This time, the fight followed low-kick rules, not Delaney's speciality.

Delaney always had the edge and by the time the fight ended after five tough rounds, she had a clear six-point lead.


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