Sunday 25 February 2018

In Brief: Clarke backs Warner's return

CRICKET: Australia captain Michael Clarke believes David Warner could make a quick return to the first team, ahead of the first Ashes Test on Wednesday.

Warner has served his suspension for punching Joe Root in a bar and Clarke, even though he is no longer a selector, indicated the fact Warner had missed both warm-up matches would not prevent him from being chosen for the Trent Bridge clash.

"He has served his punishment, and now it is about working out our best team," Clarke said. "He has been in the nets every day. Looking at him, he is a lot fitter than he has been. The selectors will take into consideration the fact he has not played cricket but the type of player David is it is more about his mind being clear. If he is in the right place then I have confidence he can walk straight out in the first Test and make a hundred."

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, Andre Botha continues his quest for a sixth Irish Senior Cup winners medal tomorrow when Clontarf head north-west to face Fox Lodge, one of only three Ulster teams left in the competition, in their quarter-final tie.

Clontarf are favourites to progress, as are holders The Hills, who travel to Stormont to play Civil Service North, and Merrion who face Waringstown. North County will take on YMCA.


EQUESTRIAN: Irish showjumping team manager Robert Splaine has announced a long list of riders for the European Championships, which take place in Herning, Denmark at the end of August.

The list includes Cameron Hanley, named with Antello Z, who has shown remarkable form on his return to the sport after a two-year break. Dermott Lennon, who produced a great performance from Loughview Lou-Lou in the Nations Cup at Aachen, Germany last week, is listed with both that mare and Hallmark Elite, which yesterday topped a class at Geesteren, Holland for the Banbridge man.

Also included are Shane Breen (Balloon and Cos I Can), Alex Duffy (Corona), Capt Michael Kelly (Annestown), Richie Moloney (Ahorn van de Zuuthoeve, Carrabis Z and Slieveanorra), Conor Swail (Lansdowne and Martha Louise), Shane Sweetnam (Amaretto Darco), Niall Talbot (Nicos de la Cense and Loro Piana Cartella) and Billy Twomey (Tinka's Serenade and Diaghilev). On Thursday, Swail and Martha Louise finished fourth in the Progress Canada Cup at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, while Sweetnam landed third with Cyklon in the Zoetis Cup.


GOLF: Garth McGimpsey brilliantly sealed a third successive Irish Seniors Amateur Close Championship title with a superb final-round 69.

A curling, downhill, 45-foot putt from the back of the 18th green ensured the triumph after McGimpsey had started the day two shots behind Michael Quirke (Doneraile) and Hugh Smyth (Mourne).

Arthur Pierse (Tipperary) clinched the over-60s trophy, while Peter Cowley (Cork) won the over-65s prize and Alastair Smith (Blainroe) took the over-70s.

Irish Independent

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