Tuesday 20 March 2018

In brief: Maguires secure knockout spots


Leona Maguire stormed up the leaderboard in the second qualifying round of the Spanish Ladies Open Amateur Championship yesterday to claim third spot in the match-play draw.

The Slieve Russell girl, who last month walked away with the Portugese Open title, posted a flawless level-par 72 for a 36-hole total of 146.

Leona's twin sister Lisa also made it quite comfortably into the knock-out phase on 150 having improved by four strokes yesterday on her opening round of 77.

Danielle McVeigh produced a stunning 71 to stay in contention and she now meets Lisa Maguire in this morning's first match-play round.

Leona faces Spaniard Mandy Goyos, who qualified with a score some seven strokes higher than her total.

Cork's Gillian O'Leary crashed out after rounds of 80 and 79. Thanks to the Maguires and McVeigh, Ireland finished third in the Nations Cup behind France and Germany.

Paul Dunne and Alan Dunbar held their nerve to qualify for the knockout stages of the men's event with a stroke to spare.

Both Dunne, the Irish youths champion from Greystones, and Rathmore's Dunbar were on the borderline after their opening rounds over the Real Club De Golf El Prat course, but steady Round 2 performances yesterday took them into the last 32.

Dunne posted a 76 to add to his opening 75 and Dunbar added a 77 to his 74. Dermot McElroy,the Irish Boys champion from Ballymena, made it by the skin of his teeth in compiling a second successive 76.

But there was bitter disappointment for Portstewart's Paul Cutler, who had been strongly fancied for a lengthy run.He never got going and could do no better than an 80 yesterday, following an opening 76.

Luke Lennox, Chris Selfridge and Richard O'Donovan also fell by the wayside. Leading the qualifiers on 143 was France's Gary Stal.


Shahid Afridi picked up his second five-wicket haul of the World Cup as Pakistan secured a surprisingly hard-fought 46-run victory against Canada at Colombo yesterday.

The Pakistan captain's figures of 5-23 helped turn the tide his team's way after Canada -- chasing just 185 for the win -- threatened to repeat Ireland's giant-killing heroics against their sub-continental opponents.

Batting first, Pakistan suffered a regular fall of wickets as Harvir Baidwan led the charge with 3-35, and only a 73-run stand between Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal brought some respectability to their total.

In reply, Canada looked on top of the run rate through a 60-run partnership between Jimmy Hansra (43) and Zubin Surkari (27), which saw them fight back from two early wickets.

However, Afridi's near-perfect spell in the midway stage toppled four batsmen -- only three Canadian players scored double figures -- and ensured Pakistan went top of Group A.

Irish Independent

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