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Murphy hopes to make waves

SAILING: European Laser Radial champion Annalise Murphy (pictured) leads a large Irish sailing squad in Majorca next week at the first sailing World Cup of the season. Joining her are Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern and James Espey of the Irish senior squad and Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey from Irish Sailing's development programme.

A big target this season is the first Rio 2016 Olympic qualifier, taking place in Santander, Spain next September. Murphy will join the fleet of 105 in her Laser Radial race, among them Croatian world champion Tina Mihelic.

In the men's two-man 49er class, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern face a gruelling 15-race series, followed by three more races for the top 10 boats. Representing Ireland in the women's 49erFX class is the crew of Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey, who competed together for the first time at last September's World Championships. In the Laser class, James Espey is part of a massive 16-strong entry. Dublin sailor Ross Hamilton goes in the Finn class.

HOCKEY: After four packed weekends of Irish Hockey League action, today's final round will decide the make-up of next weekend's semi-finals in Banbridge.

In the women's competition, Railway and UCD, who have qualified from Pool A, play each other this afternoon, while Pegasus and Loreto, the qualifiers from Pool B, also face each other.

Only in men's Pool A is there a place to fight for, with unbeaten Pembroke Wanderers topping the table, followed closely by Lisnagarvey and Three Rock Rovers. If Rovers beat Pembroke and Lisnagarvey get the better of Cookstown, Lisnagarvey will top the table thanks to their bonus point. In Pool B, Monkstown and Banbridge have already booked their semi-final places.

BADMINTON: Chloe Magee is ranked at number two for the women's singles at next week's Finnish Open in Vantaa. Magee has also entered the mixed doubles with brother Sam. In the men's singles, Scott Evans is ranked seventh, with Jonathan Dolan competing in the qualifying draw. Dolan and Sam Magee pair up for the men's doubles.

Baldoyle is the venue for the first ever All-Ireland Graded Individual Championships next weekend. The inaugural event gives players of all levels the opportunity to become an Irish champion, with men and women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles in grades B to G. Not included are the elite and A grades.

SQUASH: Sutton's Conor Moran won the U13 title at the recent German Junior Squash Open in Nuremberg, one of the top junior opens in Europe. Playing Jared Carter from England in the final, Moran dropped the opening game, but recovered quickly, winning 4-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11-9.

David Ryan, also from Sutton, was seeded first in the U19 age group, but was carrying an injury and went out in the quarter-finals. Stephanie Ryan finished 10th in the girls' U17 section. In the boys' U17 class, Nikita Gilevskiy finished 12th and Oisín Dunne 21st. Alessia Osborne, competing in her first international tournament, came fourth U13, losing to the eventual winner in the semi-finals.

ROWING: Lightweight sculler Claire Lambe has pulled out of this weekend's World Cup regatta in Sydney with a hamstring injury. The Dubliner, who had been training and competing with Melbourne University Boat Club over the winter, returns to Ireland in the next week or so. Taking place today on Inniscarra Lake, Cork is this season's first round of outdoor trials. Places on the home international team are at stake.

PARA TABLE TENNIS: Christine Doyle won the Class 5 singles title at the recent Hungarian Para Table Tennis Open held in Eger, Hungary.

In her most successful outing ever, Doyle also took team bronze with Hungarian Ilona Kovacs. Colin Judge suffered from a tough draw in a high standard men's competition, but managed to beat Israeli Alon Nigri. Next up are tournaments in Spain and Romania, building up to the World Championships later this year.


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