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In brief: Niland misses out on Nadal chance

Conor Niland yesterday failed to clinch a possible showdown against world No 1 Rafael Nadal.

In a marathon three-setter lasting two hours and 49 minutes, the Irish No 1 lost out on a main draw place in the ATP World Tour top-tier event at the Queen's Club in London, after a 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (8/6) defeat by Australia's Matthew Ebden in the final round of qualifying.

The winner of today's first-round match between Ebden and India's Somdev Devvarman faces newly-crowned French Open champion Nadal in the second round of the grass court event.

Limerick native Niland had enough chances to avoid having to go to a tie-break in the final set, having conjured up seven break points, but he managed to convert only one.

Elsewhere, Ireland's unseeded Amy Bowtell pulled off a surprise 6-2 6-3 win over the No 7 seed Emma Flood of Norway in the first round of the ITF Circuit event in Amarante, Portugal.


Regular top-five finisher Caitriona Jennings (Sportsworld) finally won her first Flora Women's Mini-Marathon (10k) title in Dublin yesterday, pipping Borrisokane's Siobhan O'Doherty in 35 minutes 28 secs.

O'Doherty came home in 35.31 and Aoife Talty of Raheny Shamrocks was third in 35.54, followed by Cathy McCourt (North Belfast, 36.15) and Fiona Roche (Raheny, 36.41).

Elsewhere, Sergiu Ciobanu won the Cork City Marathon in a record time of 2:25.34. The Moldovan, who runs for Clonliffe Harriers, beat the official record he set last year by 20 seconds.

Angela McCann of Clonmel AC finished in 2:53.31, beating last year's time of of 2:54.41 set by Lucy Brennan, to win the women's event.


Two young Dubliners took podium places in British races at the weekend.

Sixteen-year-old Niall Murray, the winner of last year's Ginetta Junior Ireland Championship, was second at the eighth round of the British Ginetta Junior series at Oulton Park, while Cormac O'Neill (21) was third in the Bert Ray Trophy Champion of Brands race at Brands Hatch.


The Miami Heat recovered from their Game Two meltdown in the NBA Finals to beat Dallas 88-86 on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead over the Mavericks in the best-of-seven series.

Chris Bosh -- who had been a big disappointment in the first two games -- provided the winning margin for Miami on a 16-foot jump shot with 39.6 seconds left to restore home-court advantage to the Heat.

Dirk Nowitzki carried the Mavericks in the final quarter with 15 of his 34 points but his game-tying 18-footer at the buzzer hit the rim and bounced away. The series continues tonight.

Irish Independent