Monday 20 November 2017

Flanagan puts Irish on front foot

Ireland go into the second day of their boys' international against Wales at Rosslare today leading 4-5-3.5 with 12 points at stake.

They were fast out of the starting blocks and won three of the first four singles, but Wales came back strongly and took the honours in tight games at the bottom of the order.

Co Sligo's Sean Flanagan was in fine fettle at the top, overcoming Otto Mand 3&2. Matthew Kane and David Byrne also delivered, while Castle's Jack Walsh recovered from three down to halve with Tim Harry.

In the U-16 quadrangular tournament, Ireland proved too strong for hosts Wales at Southerndown.

They took the foursomes 2-5-1.5 and then made victory certain by winning five of the first six singles.

Karl Eccles of Clandeboye was in fine form, first combining with Conor Purcell to sweep to a 4&3 foursomes success and then trouncing Dan Pickering 6&5 in the singles.

Tennis

Andy Murray stumbled into the last 16 of the Sony Open in Miami after overcoming a determined display from Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov.

The second seed was under the cosh for much of the opening set but turned things around to win 7-6 (7/3) 6-3.

Murray's next opponent will be Italian 16th seed Andreas Seppi, who also came through a tough encounter against Thomaz Bellucci 7-5 4-6 6-2.

In the women's event, top seed Serena Williams staged a tremendous fightback to see off Dominika Cibulkova 2-6 6-4 6-2.

Williams' quarter-final opponent will be fifth seed Li Na, who saw off Spanish wild card Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (8/6) 6-2. Third seed Maria Sharapova, who was beaten in the last two finals, beat Klara Zakopalova 6-2 6-2.

snooker

John Higgins and Judd Trump both suffered shock defeats in the first round of the China Open, the final event before the World Championship.

Four-time world champion Higgins led 3-1 and 4-3 against Robert Milkins but the world No 19 fought back to to take the last two frames for a 5-4 win.

World No 1 Trump was then beaten 5-3 by his good friend Jack Lisowski, the 21-year-old ranked 42 in the world.

Matthew Stevens became the third member of the top 10 to crash out – the Welshman succumbed 5-2 to Rory McLeod, the world No 40. Defending champion Peter Ebdon also made an early exit, beaten 5-3 by Scot Marcus Campbell.

rugby

London Welsh's appeal against a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player has been turned down by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel.

It leaves the Exiles five points adrift at the bottom of the English Premiership.

Irish Independent

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