Athletics: Britton out of European Teams
Ireland's prospects of making a strong bid for honours at the European Team Athletics Championship have taken a serious hit with the news that Fionnuala Britton has withdrawn from the women's 5,000 metres with a chest infection.
The double European cross-country champion will be replaced by the experienced Kerry Harty from Newcastle AC, who recently recorded a lifetime best for the 3,000m with a time of 9:11.66.
STUART POYNTER gave Ireland fans something to cheer with a breezy 63 in Belfast before Australia A completed a comfortable 93-run victory in the final session of a four-day game at Stormont.
A heavy defeat looked on the cards yesterday as Ireland slipped to 112-7 chasing 301 to win, but 22-year-old wicketkeeper Poynter and 21-year-old all-rounder Stuart Thompson delayed the Aussies with an eighth-wicket stand of 70 to help the hosts reach 207 all out.
Poynter struck nine fours in a 79-ball innings after any hopes Ireland had of pulling off a win disappeared when Andrew White and James Shannon were both caught at short leg off Nathan Lyon. Skipper Kevin O'Brien and John Mooney fell cheaply but Thompson made a solid 27 to support Poynter.
Richard O'Donovan defied ferocious conditions to grab a share of top spot in the first qualifying round of the Amateur Championship on the Kent coast, WRITES CHRIS SMART.
The 22-year-old former East of Ireland champion from Lucan fired a stunning two-under-par 70 over the Princes course to continue his impressive run of form.
Rathsallagh's Jack Hume (19) maintained his splendid form with a level-par 71 at Cinque Ports and Irish Close winner Cormac Sharvin matched the par of 72 at Princes.
Castlerock's Aaron Kearney and Stackstown's Richard Bridges both performed well, returning scores of 73 at Cinque Ports, and Reeve Whitson of Mourne did likewise at Princes but Dermot McElroy put himself under pressure with a 78.
scores in factfile
Ken Doherty crashed out of the Wuxi Classic in the first round after a 5-3 defeat to fellow veteran Alan McManus.
But the shock of the opening round in China saw Jimmy White defeat defending champion Ricky Walden 5-2.
IRELAND'S James McGee failed to drive on from an early service break as he crashed out in the first round of the Wimbledon Championships qualifying to Chile's Paul Capdeville.
The 26-year-old Dubliner edged 2-1 in front with the first break but thereafter it was nearly all downhill for 243-ranked McGee, with his 155-ranked opponent breaking back in the next game before going on to prevail 6-3 6-4 after just 55 minutes.