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Murphy expects even faster times

SWIMMING: Dublin's Barry Murphy is confident that he will do even better in 2013 after just missing out on a place in the final of the 50m breaststroke at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul.

Murphy had qualified fourth fastest on Saturday night with 26.76 but could only manage 26.82 in the semi-finals, which left him in 10th place overall, two places shy of the final.

Murphy, who made a final at the European Championships two weeks earlier, said: "Overall I am very pleased with how I performed, considering that I didn't have the best preparation - it was a patch-up job after the Olympics.

He said: "If I had done my Irish record time I would have been in the final, and I know that with a good solid block of training at the NAC with Paul Donovan I'll be able to do some very fast times."

Barney safely through

DARTS: Former champion Raymond van Barneveld put last year's shock opening-round exit behind him with a superb performance last night to thrash Michael Smith 3-0 and progress through to the second round of the World Darts Championship.

The experienced Dutchman was the victim of a huge upset 12 months ago when he was beaten 3-0 by James Richardson but he had no such concerns last night as he whitewashed Smith in just 18 minutes with a brilliant three-dart average of 108.31.

Gary Anderson, the 2011 finalist, had to battle hard before securing his spot in the second round with a 3-1 win over Finland's Jani Haavisto.

Brendan Dolan defeated debutant Mark Jones 3-0 and will next face Van Barneveld.

Saints ground Eagles

BASKETBALL: Top of the table UL Eagles lost 76-63 to DCU Saints in a shock defeat in the penultimate weekend of the SuperLeague.

UL Eagles centre Jason Killeen got in early foul trouble, and went on to score just four points overall.

Saints enjoyed a clear size difference as the newly formed inside combination of Conor Grace and Martins Provisors combined for 31 points. Pat Sullivan proved a valuable player for Moycullen as he scored 39 points in their 75-72 victory over Dublin Inter.

Neptune's Darren Townes converted two late steals against Killester to snatch an impressive 80-78 victory at the IWA, Clontarf.

England on the brink

CRICKET: Jonathan Trott's second Test century of the year and Ian Bell's second 50 in India put England on the brink of a famous series victory.

Trott (143) and Bell (87 no) made a stand to 208 as England reached 310 for four at tea, and a lead of 314, on the final day in Nagpur.

NFL: Chicago 13 Green Bay 21, Atlanta 34 NY Giants 0, New Orleans 41 Tampa Bay 0, St Louis 22 Minnesota 36, Cleveland 21 Washington 38, Miami 24 Jacksonville 3, Baltimore 17 Denver 34, Houston 29 Indianapolis 17, Arizona 38 Detroit 10, San Diego 7 Carolina 31, Buffalo 17 Seattle 50, Dallas 27 Pittsburgh 24 (OT), Oakland 15 Kansas City 0, New England 34 San Francisco 41.

NBA: Toronto 103 Houston 96, Philadelphia 98 LA Lakers 111, Sacramento 97 Denver 122, Portland 95 New Orleans 94.