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Roche targets a top 10 finish

CYCLING: Nicolas Roche was fifth overall heading into today's time trial at the Tour de Suisse.

The Ag2r La Mondiale leader finished yesterday's sixth stage three seconds back, rolling in as part of the main bunch behind the day's winner Peter Sagan (Liqugias Cannondale).

The Slovakian sprinted to a staggering fourth stage win in six days.

Portugal's Rui Costa was the general classification leader.

"I really want to be in the top 10 on Sunday," said Roche, referring to the end of the race in two days' time.

Moriarty's two off lead

GOLF: Athlone man Colm Moriarty celebrated his 33rd birthday earlier this week and will be hoping for a late gift at the €500,00 St Omer Open in France.

He carded a two-under-par 69 for his opening round, leaving him in joint seventh place, two shots off the pace.

Simon Thornton was joint 23rd after a level-par 71.

Meanwhile, Portmarnock's Adrian Morrow swept into the lead at the European Seniors International Championship in Austria.

He fired a one-under-par 70 over the Achensee course to take a one-stroke lead over Switzerland's Markus Frank.

Slick Nadal wins in Halle

TENNIS: French Open champion Rafael Nadal marked his return to grass in style with an emphatic 7-5 6-1 win over Slovakia's Lukas Lacko in the second round of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.

Five-times former champion Roger Federer also reached the last eight but the Swiss second seed did not have it all his own way en route to defeating Germany's Florian Mayer 6-4 7-5.

Ireland gets top event

ATHLETICS: Athletics Ireland's bid to host the 2013 European Team Championships (First League) has been successful. Apart from the Cork City Sports (July 17 this year), few Irish events can attract high-quality foreign athletes, so hosting what used to be called the 'European Cup' should prove a big attraction next June.

Irish men edge out Spain

HOCKEY: Newcomers Drew Carlisle and Davy Carson were on the mark as Ireland levelled their three-match series against Spain with a 3-2 victory in Santander yesterday. Conor Harte scored Ireland's first goal before Carlisle volleyed home. Carson chimed in with his first goal for Ireland in the second half.

MLB: Cincinnati 12 Cleveland 5, Tampa Bay 6 NY Mets 9, Chicago Cubs 3 Detroit 5, Colorado 2 Oakland 8, San Francisco 3 Houston 6, Baltimore 12 Pittsburgh 6, Texas 3 Arizona 11, Kansas City 4 Milwaukee 3, Minnesota 1 Philadelphia 6, St Louis 5 Chicago White Sox 3, Seattle 2 San Diego 6.