In Brief: Lohan magic not enough for Irish
SINEAD LOHAN produced a five-star performance, but the absence of Amy Bowtell proved crucial for Ireland in their Fed Cup tie in Moldova.
The 18-year-old from Tramore pulled off a shock against world No 721 Anastasia Vdonenco, winning 6-3 6-4 in the top singles rubber in the Europe-Africa Zone Group Three event in Chisinau.
But instead of lining out in her fourth Fed Cup campaign, Irish No 1 Bowtell was at home in Greystones studying for next month's Leaving Certificate.
Ireland coach Yvonne Doyle was made to rue Bowtell's unavailability as her charges lost the two other contests to blow their chances of promotion.
In the opening contest, Jenny Claffey came up short against Gabriela Porubin 6-2 6-1.
And Moldova finished 2-1 winners when, after a tremendous opening set, Dublin duo Claffey and Rachael Dillon succumbed 0-6 6-2 6-2 to Porubin and Vdonenco in the deciding doubles rubber.
Ireland now take on Malta to decide the minor placings.
KATIE TAYLOR is back in full training and sparring ahead of her EU title lightweight defence in Hungary next month, WRITES BERNARD O'NEILL.
Taylor injured her left hand in training and missed the recent Ireland versus France elite internationals in Cork and Dublin.
But during the week, she sparred with England's Michael Rooney, who was slated to make his pro debut in Birmingham last night, at Irish middleweight Matthew Macklin's gym in Marbella, Spain.
Taylor, the reigning Olympic, World and European champion, will be aiming for her fifth title in a row at the EU Women's Senior and Junior Championships, which will be held in Kesthely, Hungary, starting June 30.
Meanwhile, Eric Donovan's Astana Arlans will take a one-bout lead into the second leg of today's World Series of Boxing final following yesterday's 3-2 win over the Ukraine Otamans in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The Arlans need to win three of today's five bouts to clinch victory. Donovan, of St Michael's Athy BC, meets Ukrainian lightweight Vyacheslav Kyslytsyn this afternoon.
Jane Roberts of Kilkenny SC set an Irish junior record of 30.01 seconds to win the 50m backstroke on the opening day of the Celtic Tri-Nations in Scotland.
Olympian Barry Murphy finished fourth in the 100m breaststroke in 1.04.97.
Fourteen-year-old Niamh Kilgallen, who qualified for the European Youth Olympic Festival earlier this year, took bronze in the 100m breaststroke.