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Young gets an A in Irish exam

CRICKET: Ireland pace bowling prospects Craig Young and Stuart Thompson have been awarded category A contracts in a list of 24 contracted players announced by Cricket Ireland.

The pair get their chance to cement a permanent place in the Ireland squad following the retirement of the legendary Trent Johnston. They are two of six players awarded Category A deals, with Kevin O'Brien, Alex Cusack, John Mooney and Max Sorensen the others.

Cricket Ireland Player Contracts 2014

Category A: Alex Cusack, John Mooney+, Kevin O'Brien+, Max Sorensen+, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young. Cat B: William Porterfield*+ (captain), George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andrew McBrine, Graeme McCarter, Tim Murtagh, Niall O'Brien, Stuart Poynter, Eddie Richardson, James Shannon, Paul Stirling, Andrew White, Gary Wilson. Cat C: John Anderson, Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Tyrone Kane, Andrew Poynter. *Denotes English county contracted player, +Denotes Two year contract


GOLF: World number one Tiger Woods double-bogeyed the final hole to finish down the field in the $600,000 Champions Challenge, which is the curtain-raiser to this week's Dubai Desert Classic.

The 14-time Major winner, who missed the third round cut at last week's Farmers Insurance Open in California, carded a one-under 71 at the Emirates Golf Club to trail joint winners Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello by five strokes.

Rory McIlroy shared third place with Spaniard Alvaro Quiros on 68. Organisers staged the Champions Challenge to mark the 25th anniversary of the European Tour event in Dubai.

All the former winners of the tournament proper, plus the late Seve Ballesteros' son Javier competed in the 18-hole event.