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In brief: Pakistan prove too good for Irish

The Irish men's team lost 2-1 to Pakistan at Belfield yesterday evening, but no-one was too vexed by the result, WRITES DAVID MEDCALF.

The hosts in the Four Nations tournament were already assured of their place in today's final -- against Pakistan again.

All mathematical doubt about Irish qualification was removed when China beat France in the earlier game at the UCD venue.

While they could relax, the Asian champions required at least a draw and their greater urgency brought first-half rewards.

First Waseem Ahmed put a silky deflection on a cross from the left and then Sona Abbas fizzed a drag flick past 'keeper David Harte.

The reply came five minutes into the second half, Mikey Watt playing a delightful one-two with Timmy Cockram before converting from close range.

The Irish women's team bounced back from defeat by the United States to beat Azerbaijan in the play-offs for fifth place at the ESB Electric Ireland Champions Challenge last night.

Cliodhna Sargent belted home the only score of the windswept evening in UCD from a penalty corner ten minutes into the second half.

The result propels the winners into tomorrow's fifth place decider against South Africa (11.30).


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GLASSON stalwart Colm Moriarty was Ireland's top performer after 36 holes at the Scottish Hydro Challenge, back-to-back rounds of 69 lifting him to four-under par, seven behind front-runner Chris Doak.

The Scotsman yesterday added a three-under-par 68 to Thursday's 63 to lead Jose-Felipe Lima by one after the Portuguese compiled a second-round 64 at The Macdonald Spey Valley Country Club.

Agonisingly, Gary Murphy missed the cut by one stroke on one-under-par when he followed-up on Thursday's impressive 67 with a second-round 74. Simon Thornton also headed home after a 75 left him five-over at the European Challenge Tour event.

Des Smyth and Denis O'Sullivan were tied-10th on one-under after rounds of 71 in the opening round of the Van Lanschot Senior Open at Royal Haagsche in Holland.

The Irish duo lie two shots off the pace set by Scotland's Sam Torrance and Gordon Brand Junior, Jose Rivero of Spain and Japan's Katsuyoshi Tomori. Eddie Polland opened with a 75.

LIMERICK'S Tim Rice, the only Irishman to make the cut, earned £700 in a tie for 10th place at the Rusty's Travel Classic at Longhirst Hall in Northumberland. A five-over-par 75 left Rice at two-over for the 54 holes EuroPro Tour event, five behind winner Graeme Clark of Doncaster, who beat fellow Englishman James Busby on the first tie hole.

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