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Kerry ladies smash hoodoo

GAELIC GAMES: Kerry are through to a first TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football championship final since 1993 following yesterday's 1-13 to 1-7 victory over Connacht champions Galway.

The Kingdom, beaten at this stage of the competition in 2010 and 2011, finally smashed their semi-final hoodoo to set up a final showdown with holders Cork or League champions Monaghan on September 30.

William O'Sullivan's Kerry breezed into the showpiece decider as they ruthlessly disposed of Galway at St Brendan's Park, Birr.

Kerry led by 0-5 to 0-4 at the break but it was the second half onslaught, which included a goal from midfielder Lorraine Scanlon, which booked their berth in the decider.

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CYCLING: Joaquim Rodriguez increased his lead in the Spanish Vuelta by outlasting Alberto Contador to win the 14th stage yesterday.

SaxoBank rider Contador, a former winner, attacked with 5km to go on the final climb, but Rodriguez showed his excellent form by catching and passing his fellow Spaniard to win the 150km mountain stage.

Alejandro Valverde of Movistar was third.

Ireland's Nicolas Roche, racing for the AG2R team, finished in tenth spot, 1min 17sec behind the winner. He is placed seventh overall.

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GOLF: World No 1 Rory McIlroy surged into a two-shot lead midway through the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship yesterday after firing a second consecutive six-under 65.

American Ryan Moore was in second place on 10-under 132 after shooting a 68 at the FedExCup series event.

Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell both just made the cut at two-over par, Harrington needing a final-hole birdy to claim his place in the final two days.

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RICHIE RAMSAY of Scotland shot a 64 to lead at 11 under after the weather-affected third round of the European Masters yesterday.

Ramsay, who had six birdies and didn't drop a shot, holds a one-stroke lead over fellow Scot Paul Lawrie (67) and Danny Willett (68) of England. Second-round leader Julien Quesne of France is a further shot back after going round in level-par 70.

Heavy overnight rain forced organisers to reduce the par-4 sixth to a par-3.

Fog then forced play to be suspended approaching midday for nearly two hours, just as the leaders prepared to start their rounds.

Lawrie, who won at Gleneagles last week, led until driving out of bounds at the par-5 14th for a double-bogey.

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TENNIS: Andy Murray survived a near four-hour epic against Spain's Feliciano Lopez to reach the fourth round of the US Open in sweltering conditions in New York.

The match was tight from the start and Murray looked in trouble in the fourth set as he began to struggle in the heat.

But he hung tough and eventually edged his third tie-break of the match to come through 7-6 7-6 4-6 7-6 and set up a clash with either Milos Raonic or James Blake.

Fourth seed Serena Williams thrashed Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets to move into the fourth round of the US Open last night -- and gain revenge for her Australian Open elimination.

Makarova ended Williams' challenge in Melbourne at the start of the year, but the American made no mistake this time, winning 6-4 6-0.

Second seed and Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska beat former world No 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-3 7-5.

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IRISH ace Sam Barry yesterday crashed to his third quarter-final defeat in as many weeks on the ITF Men's Futures circuit.

Playing in the outdoor claycourt event in Rotterdam, the 20-year-old rank outsider from Limerick came up short on a 6-4 6-2 scoreline against No 2 seed Gerard Melzer of Austria.

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MOTORSPORT: Jenson Button ended a three-year wait for pole position by finishing fastest in Belgian Grand Prix qualifying, while defending champion Sebastian Vettel will start today's race from 10th place.

Button, who won the season's opening GP in Australia, overcame earlier balance problems to grab his first pole of the season yesterday, the eighth of his career and his first ever in his 50th race for McLaren. Button, vying for his 14th GP win, is seventh in the championship.

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CRICKET: The Hills ran out surprisingly easy winners of the Bob Kerr Irish Senior Cup final at Clontarf yesterday, easing past Merrion's target with eight wickets and 10 overs to spare.

The Dublin 4 club opted to see off the Hills' spearheads Max Sorensen and Naseer Shaukat, but scored just 10 off the first 10 overs. Dom Joyce and John Anderson got things moving eventually but a controversial dismissal put the Fingal side on top.

Joyce was stumped by Klaas Pretorius off Luke Clinton for 51 but there were many who insisted the keeper's gloves broke the stumps first. Anderson soon followed for 47.

At 122-2 Merrion were well placed to post 200 but the middle order lost its way and collapsed to 153 all out, with Shaukat taking three tail-end wickets for 16 off his 10 overs.

Three an over was a handy target and The Hills were never threatened, with Daryl Calder unbeaten on 64 and useful knocks from Jono Andrews (36) and Mike Baumgart (24).

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A century partnership between Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni gave India hope of establishing a first-innings lead in the second Test against New Zealand in Bangalore.

The tourists turned their overnight 328-6 into 365 -- but battled back strongly to have India teetering on 80-4.

However, Kohli (93 not out) and Suresh Raina (55) led the revival, which was continued when Dhoni arrived at the crease, as India closed the second day on 283-5 -- a deficit of 82 runs.

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JAMES SHANNON will captain Ireland 'A' in their final fixture of the season when they take on Sussex II in a three-day game starting Tuesday.

The squad has a youthful look with three of the Ireland U-19 side which recently competed in the U-19 World Cup in Australia named -- in total, nine of the squad have played for Ireland at U-19 level.

There are first appearances at this level for Donemana opening batsman Ryan Hunter and Merrion leg spinner Alex O'Brien.

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ICE-SKATING: On his Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating debut, Conor Stakelum nabbed more Irish records for a male figure skater for his free skating and competition overall total in Lake Placid, New York.

Stakelum, 19, received a score of 65.96 points for his free to finish with 97.48 points in 17th place.

Sunday Indo Sport