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Cricket: Morgan fireworks can't save England

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England's Eoin Morgan hits out during the Twenty20 World Cup Super 8 cricket match against the West Indies at Pallekele

England's Eoin Morgan hits out during the Twenty20 World Cup Super 8 cricket match against the West Indies at Pallekele

England's Eoin Morgan hits out during the Twenty20 World Cup Super 8 cricket match against the West Indies at Pallekele

DUBLINER Eoin Morgan smashed 71 from 36 balls but England fell 15 runs short against West Indies in their opening Super Eight match of the World Twenty20.

Morgan and Alex Hales (68) put on 107 for the fourth wicket, but were left with too much to do after England slumped to 0-2 in their first over.

Johnson Charles smashed 84 and Chris Gayle 58 in the Windies' 179-5.

Defending champions England face New Zealand in Pallekele tomorrow in their second Super Eight match; defeat could end their hopes of progress.

Morgan's innings, which included four fours and five sixes, was one of the great Twenty20 knocks, but he was let down by his team-mates earlier in the innings.

Ravi Rampaul removed Craig Kieswetter and Luke Wright for ducks in the first three balls of England's reply -- and it was all uphill after that.

GOLF

Four Irishmen will today strive to progress into the second qualifying stage of the European Tour School after three days of encouraging performances.

Royal Dublin's Neil O Briain was the big mover, sweeping up the leaderboard by 11 places after a fine three-under-par 68.

That gave him a 54-hole aggregate of 211, three-under-par and a reasonable display today will put him through to the next stage.

Limerick duo Cian McNamara (210) and Tim Rice (213) and Mallow-based Michael Collins are all in qualifying positions heading into today's final round.

O'Briain recorded birdie twos on four of the five par-threes.

McNamara fired a highly creditable 69 and it looked like being better until the climax when he had three birdies in the final four holes.

Collins returned a 70 for a 212 total and Rice a 73.

Slieve Russell twin Leona Maguire is spearheading the Irish challenge after the opening round of the World Women's Team Championship in Turkey.

The 17-year-old Irish champion fired a two-under-par 70 over the New Course at the Gloria Club in Antalya to help Ireland -- 11th two years ago in Buenos Aires -- to lie just off the pace with three rounds remaining.

Stephanie Meadow from Royal Portrush returned a three-over-par 75, while Paula Grant from Lisburn, given the selectors' approval ahead of Leona's sister Lisa, carded a disappointing 81.

With two of the three cards counting, Ireland posted a 145 total to lie in joint 14th place, four strokes behind leaders Sweden.

Maguire had two birdies in the closing four holes in an inward half of 33. Florida-based Meadow was one-under-par after seven holes and seemed to be coasting to a good score but crashed to a quadruple eight at the eighth followed by a bogey six.

Grant was completely off-colour with halves of 39 and 42, a double-bogey and triple-bogey ruing her back-nine score.

Irish Independent