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Premier joy for Murphy

SNOOKER: Irish international player Robert Murphy of Q Club Wicklow beat his clubmate and current Irish champion Michael Judge to win the third round of snooker's Premier Tour in the Ivy Rooms, Carlow.

In a superb finale to the tournament, Murphy only pulled away in the latter stages of the match to win 4-3.

Along the way, he had beaten Rodney Goggins and Colm Gilcreest, while Judge avenged his defeat by Borrisokane's David Hogan at the World Championships a week earlier when he beat him 4-2 in the semi-finals. Other highlights of the tournament included a 141 break by Hogan and the ousting of top seed Martin McCrudden by Philip Browne in the last 32. The next round takes place on January 19.

SWIMMING: Learn how to swim in 2014 by taking up Swim Ireland's Swim for a Mile Challenge with a free training programme, support and advice on offer for all wanting to take on the challenge.

A mile of swimming is the equivalent of a marathon in the water and is longer than any Olympic pool-based race, making it the ultimate test in the sport.

To help swimmers go the distance, Swim Ireland is offering free swim training programmes as well as free lane space and coaching at five event locations in Cork, Limerick, Galway, Bangor and Dublin from March 31 to April 4.

Double Olympian and European medal winner Melanie Nocher is helping Swim Ireland with the challenge. Further info at www.swimforamile.com.

VOLLEYBALL: Belfield is the venue from January 31 to February 2 for the annual UCD Volleyball Blitz – a fun, though still competitive, weekend of volleyball for teams of all standards. To register, email annafrango@yahoo.com or maha9440@mylaurier.ca.

BADMINTON: Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, will host the top players in Europe in February when the Thomas and Uber Cups as well as the new U15 European Championships take place.

Already selected for the Irish U15 team are Paul Reynolds, Adam McAllister and Kyle Magee of the boys and Clodagh Dunne, Rachel Woods and Beth Stephenson of the girls. In a busy month for juvenile badminton players, Irish underage teams will also travel to the Catalunya International in Spain in February.

SQUASH: Former Irish international squash player Eoin Ryan has won the first Squash Ireland Coach of the Year award.

Ryan, who is based in Sutton Lawn Tennis Club, Dublin, has coached at all levels for over 25 years.

He currently coaches over 120 junior players and over the years many of his charges have progressed to the national and international stage. Among them is his son David, already one of Europe's top junior players.


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