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Kenny upbeat after heavy loss

HARRY KENNY insists his Ireland U-17 girls' team will do all they can to reach the European Championships in Nyon in May, despite yesterday's crushing 4-0 defeat to France in their opening elite-stage qualifier.

Ireland need to win both of their remaining group games -- against hosts Norway tomorrow and Poland on Saturday -- and hope the French lose at least one of their last two fixtures.

Captain Sandie Toletti,

Griedge Bathy Nka, Alexandra Atamanuik and Lea Declercq did the damage at the Briskebyen Stadium in Oslo .

"France were the better team," said Kenny. "It was pleasing that we matched them for so long and credit must go to our players for doing so against one of the best in Europe.

"As only the top team from the group qualifies, we've a job on our hands to finish ahead of France, but the priority now is to win our next game against Norway and see what happens."

Ireland -- J Maloney; S Newman (C Johnson 74), M Fitzpatrick, L Dwyer, C O'Connell; C Mustaki, A O'Connor, L Bowles; K McCabe (S Rowe 78), A Barrett (M Farrell 67), C Shine.

Hockey

UCD took the Jacqui Potter Cup at Grange Road yesterday with a convincing 3-1 win over Hermes to erase some unhappy memories.

The students lost last season's final 5-1 to Railway Union, but this time they defeated their erstwhile tormentors at the semi-final stage and then made no mistake in the decider.

Jamie Deacon and Anna O'Flanagan put UCD in control. Jenny Burke pulled one back for Hermes, but Leah Ewert eventually put UCD out of sight.

In the Leinster men's league, Monkstown were the only team among the top five to collect full points after edging past Corinthians 2-1.

Leaders Glenanne conceded a last-minute equaliser to UCD, Pembroke Wanders drew with Railway Union and YMCA shared six goals with Fingal.

American football

PEYTON MANNING is poised to sign with the Denver Broncos.

The 11-time Pro Bowl quarter-back and four-time NFL Most Valuable Player, who missed the 2011 season after neck surgery and turns 36 this month, was cut by the Indianapolis Colts earlier this month after a 14-year stint where he smashed the franchise's major passing records and won a Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, tickets go on public sale this morning for the game between Navy and Notre Dame, which will be held in the Aviva Stadium on September 1.

The American College Football game is one of the longest-running rivalries in American sports, with over 25,000 tickets already sold in the United States market for September's game.

Irish Independent