Tuesday 24 April 2018

In brief: Grace elated at Connacht switch


Connacht have signed former Munster academy flanker Eoghan Grace from Exeter Chiefs in a two-year deal.

And Eric Elwood has also been boosted with the versatile Mike McCarthy -- called into the Irish squad recently by Declan Kidney -- agreeing a new two-year deal.

McCarthy is in his second spell with Connacht and has played over 100 matches for them.

Waterford native Grace (23) left Munster during the summer but has enjoyed little game time with Exeter and is looking forward to coming back to Ireland. "It's a great opportunity to come back to Ireland. It is a positive step in my career," said the former Shannon flanker.

Grace won an U-20 Grand Slam in 2007 under Elwood and has also featured for the Irish Sevens side.


Mark Allen will be out for revenge after being drawn against Matthew Stevens in the first round of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.

The Antrim player lost 13-9 to the Welshman in a second-round encounter at the Crucible in 2007.

Defending champion Neil Robertson is set to face Judd Trump in the first round, while Ronnie O'Sullivan is drawn against Dominic Dale, and John Higgins faces a real test from Stephen Lee.

Two-time champion Mark Williams faces qualifier Ryan Day.


France's Raphael Jacquelin ended a four-year wait for his third European Tour title yesterday.

The 36-year-old took the Sicilian Open by one shot at Donnafugata after a duel with Londoner Anthony Wall that spilled into an extra day because of thunderstorms.

The pair resumed with six holes to play and, after twice drawing level, Wall's double-bogey six at the 421-yard 17th cost him dear.

Wall came back with a closing birdie, but Jacquelin's par made him the champion with a three-under-par 68 and 12-under aggregate of 272.

Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara dropped into a tie for third with Swede Joel Sjoholm after a closing double-bogey.


IRELAND'S boxers will take a 1-0 advantage into their second meeting with China at the Dungarvan Sports Complex in Waterford tomorrow evening.

World Senior and Youth champions Katie Taylor and Joe Ward both recorded wins as Ireland won nine bouts out of 12 in the first leg in New Ross on Sunday night. Darren O'Neill, Katie Rowland, Michael Conlon, Michael McDonagh, John Joe Nevin, Patrick Corcoran and Sinead Kavanagh also won.

Drimnagh super-heavyweight Sean Turner was edged out on a double countback by Zhilei Zaifula, who claimed silver at the 2008 Olympics.

European Union champions Con Sheehan and David Oliver Joyce and Adam Nolan will be named in the team for the Dungarvan clash.

Meanwhile, Ken Egan and John Joe Joyce have been named in the Irish squad for Friday's final meeting with China at the National Stadium in Dublin.

Egan and Joyce were both in action for Miami in last Friday's win over Los Angeles in the World Series of Boxing Americas group.

Irish Independent

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