Wednesday 22 November 2017

In brief: Barry faces tough French opener


Ireland's Sam Barry has been handed a very difficult draw in the opening round of the French Junior Open.

The 83-ranked Limerick right-hander, who reached the semi-finals of last week's ITF U-18 Belgian International Junior Championships, will have to overcome American Mitchell Frank, seeded No 15, to clinch a place in the second round.

And Frank was placed as high as No 5 in the world rankings last January.


However, Barry will take some encouragement from the fact that Frank has not competed in a world-ranking tournament since reaching the last 16 of the Australian Junior Open in mid-January.

Dubliner Patrick McKenna, the holder of the Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year Award, dominated the third round of the USF2000 National Championship at O'Reilly Raceway Park, Indianapolis.

Held on the eve of the world-famous Indy 500, McKenna won the 50-lap race by a clear seven seconds from American Sage Karam.

Later in the meeting, Conor Daly, the son of former Irish Formula 1 driver Derek Daly, kept his unbeaten record in the Star Mazda series by winning his third race in a row.

Corkman Keith Cronin, the defending British Rally champion, finished third in the Jim Clark International Rally in Scotland despite losing time when he hit a bank on the opening day of the two-day event.


Rebecca Coakley was the only Irish finisher at the Ladies European Tour Slovak Open over the weekend as she ended up tied for 58th in a disappointing weekend for Ireland's ladies.

The Australian-born Carlow woman just about made the halfway cut, but had a disappointing weekend, shooting 78 and 75 respectively.

Spanish rookie Maria Hernandez, meanwhile, claimed the top prize in just her second Ladies European Tour event as a professional.

The 24-year-old from Pamplona finished at eight under par for the tournament at Gray Bear Golf Course after a two-under-par 70 on her final round.

Australian rookie Kristie Smith was the runner-up and finished one shot back after a final round of 72, with England's Laura Davies (69) a shot further back in third.


Samoa were crowned World Sevens champion for the first time yesterday after their win in Edinburgh in the last leg of the eight-tournament series.

Stephen Betham's side clinched the title by beating England following a period of sudden-death extra-time in the semi-finals in the Scottish capital, ensuring that they could not be caught by closest challenger New Zealand.

Irish Independent

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