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Perry has tex-factor

SQUASH: Irish No1 Madeline Perry rolled back the years to beat Natalie Grinham of the Netherlands at the Texas Squash Open and take an 11th tour title. In recent weeks, Perry has also won the Irish Open in Dublin and helped Ireland to silver at the European Team Championships.

On her way to the final, Perry put out top seed Joelle King of New Zealand, who is world No6. Falling by the wayside was Aisling Blake, who went out in the opening round to No2 seed Jenny Duncalf of England.

Perry's fitness proved vital in the decider when she held on for a win in the fifth and final game against a visibly tiring Grinham, who had put out Duncalf in the semi-finals. It was a notable victory for 36-year-old Perry who, this year, celebrates 15 years as a top squash professional.

TABLE TENNIS: Gavin Maguire and John Murphy both won their opening matches at the World Table Tennis Championships in Paris last week. Maguire beat Khudaiberdive of Kyrgystan, but then lost to Mkutis from Lithuania. Murphy held his nerve to beat Jamaica's Webb 4-3, and then lost to Canada's Theriault.

Not so lucky was Irish national champion Paul McCreery who had the toughest draw of the three and, in his opener, lost to Canada's Pinta in the seventh set.

In the mixed doubles, Murphy and Sarah Timlin were eliminated by Sri Lanka pair Jayasingha and Vithange. Playing at her first world championships, Timlin lost both her qualifying matches.

Murphy and McCreery paired up for the men's doubles, making the second round, but losing out to a strong Bahrain pairing.

* Teresa Devaney warmed up for the forthcoming European Championships by winning the Over-50 singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the VETTS National Championships in Birmingham, England. The European Championships start on May 27 in Bremen, Germany.

SNOOKER: No shocks at the opening weekend of the RIBSA Irish Snooker Championships with all the top seeds safely through to finals weekend starting next Friday, May 24 (7pm) in Carlow.

First to book his place in the quarter-finals was longtime pro Michael Judge, now returned to the amateur ranks. He was soon followed by David Hogan, currently top of the Irish rankings. Also making it through on the opening day of play were Johnny Williams and Rodney Goggins. A day later, Martin McCrudden, Robert Murphy, Brendan O'Donoghue and Robert Redmond completed the quarter-final line up.

The draw is: Hogan v Williams, Goggins v Judge, Murphy v McCruddan and Redmond v O'Donoghue.

* The Ivy Rooms, Carlow is the venue tomorrow for the RIBSA National Doubles Snooker Championships.

BADMINTON: Clondalkin badminton club An Caislean Nua just missed out on the 'D' grade title at the Badminton Ireland Inter-Clubs finals held in the Baldoyle and Terenure last weekend. The club, which plays its badminton in the Roadstone Centre at Newland's Cross, beat eventual winners Galway LTC 4-3 in their match, but lost out on the total of matches won over their two draws. In grade C, Old Bawn fought bravely in their two matches, but lost out to UCC and Sligo LTC.

Connacht, the smallest of the three provinces in terms of numbers, took four of the six titles on offer. A strong squad from Oranmore won the F division, beating University of Limerick, and also won the H division.

Near neighbours Galway LTC took the G grade, beating St Mary's Dunmanway.

Under the round robin format of the tournament, each team played two ties and the total number of matches overall counted for victory.

SAILING: No sooner had Olympic sailor Annalise Murphy won the single-handed Laser Radial class at the Italian Olympic Week on Lake Garda than she hit the road for the Netherlands where the second race in the Eurosaf Series starts next Tuesday. In a busy few weeks for the Dun Laoghaire-based sailor, that's followed by Sail for Gold in Weymouth, starting on June 8 and then Kieler Woche a fortnight later in Germany. Finals round in the series is the Semaine Olympique Francaise in La Rochelle in September.


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