St John's into promo decider

GAELIC GAMES: Ballinteer St John's ambitions of a return to the top flight remain intact following their 3-10 to 0-13 victory over Raheny in their Dublin AHL Division 2 promotion semi-final at Ballinteer CS last night.

The hosts received the dream start when Aodhán Clabby netted inside the opening two minutes but Raheny responded with Ger Coady impressing at centre-back and they took the lead through scores by Dave Heffernan, David Henry, Greg Bennett and Eoghan Smyth.

Crucially, St John's ended the half in the ascendancy with their full-back line of Ronan Collins, Cormac O'Brien and Frank O'Donoghue to the fore and a superb point by Joey Maher confirmed a 1-6 to 0-6 interval lead for Ballinteer.

Ciarán Lane's 34th minute goal extended Ballinteer's lead and despite Raheny eating into their deficit through points from Smyth and Heffernan, St John's ensured a final clash against Naomh Fionnbarra this Sunday through a goal by Fearghal Duffy.


BOXING: World youth silver and bronze medalists Christine Desmond and Kurt Walker will be in action in the finals of the National Intermediate Championships at the National Stadium tonight.

Desmond, 17, from Cork, is gunning for a ninth successive title. The Macroom BC boxer takes on Offaly's junior international Grainne Walsh, who is looking to add to a 2013 haul that includes World and EU silver and bronze (youth) medals and three Irish belts.

Walker, a silver and bronze winner at the 2013 European and 2012 World Youth Championships, meets Kilkenny's Noel Kehoe in the featherweight final.


GOLF: England's Richard Finch was making the most of a sponsor's invitation as the Alfred Dunhill Championship continued at Leopard Creek today.

Two-time European Tour winner Finch lost his card and failed to regain it at the qualifying school, but received an invite to compete in South Africa. A first round of 68 left the 36-year-old Hull three shots off the overnight lead held by Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen, but that was overturned thanks to five birdies in his first 12 holes.

Finch picked up shots at the sixth, seventh and ninth to be out in 32 and also birdied the 10th and 12th. That took him to nine under par and one shot ahead of Madsen, who was enduring a rollercoaster round as he looked to claim back-to-back wins.