Lawrie well off Malaysia pace
GOLF: Peter Lawrie birdied his first and closing hole in a round of 71 to move to four under par but well off the pace after three rounds of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Once again, competitors and caddies battled stifling conditions in Kuala Lumpur with Welshman Rhys Davies (71) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (68) tied at the top on 11-under par.
Four players, including Ryder Cup star Soren Hansen, Korean KJ Choi and double Malaysian Open champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, all with 69s, are next best on 10-under par.
Lawrie put his second shot "stiff" at the first for birdie and then raised his right arm in delight at the last in holing a 30-footer for birdie.
"It was a great way to start and also to finish but what I need now is to get off to a flying start on the final day," he said.
TENNIS: Any belief that Ireland might struggle to replicate the lofty heights scaled by James McGee and Conor Niland in Friday's two singles matches was emphatically dispelled in the doubles contest in the Davis Cup showdown against Turkey.
McGee and new cap Barry King yesterday provided Sean Sorensen's side with an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match Europe-Africa Zone Group Two first-round tie at Dublin's Fitzwilliam Club, when they demolished Marsel Ilhan and Haluk Akkoyun 6-3 6-1 6-3 in under 90 minutes.
McGee served particularly well throughout and the first two sets were won with relative ease. The Turkish pair did put up some resistance in the third but King and McGee closed out the contest to progress to the next round where Britain look likely to be their opponents.
Ireland's Sam Barry yesterday qualified for his second ITF U-18 Circuit boys' doubles final within the space of seven weeks.
Limerick right-hander Barry and Tunisia's Slim Hamza -- who were playing as a partnership for the first time -- edged Italian duo Allesandro Colella and Edoardo Eremin 6-4 6-7 (9/11) 10-7 (champions' tie-break) in the semi-final of the Grade 2 Luxembourg Junior Open in Esch/Alzette.
Today, Barry and Hamza, the No 1 seeds, face the Eastern European No 2 seeds Poland's Maciez and Ukraine's Leonard Stakhovsky.
Boxing: World, European and European Union champion Katie Taylor chalked up her second win in 24 hours over Julia Tsyplakova of the Ukraine at the National Stadium in Dublin last night.
Both women met in special bouts on Elite National Senior finals night at the home of Irish boxing. Taylor, who received a walkover in the lightweight event, beat 2009 European finalist Tysplakova 10-2 on Friday night and she followed that victory up with a 19-4 last evening.
CYCLING: Philip Lavery came good again yesterday in the Mick Lally Memorial Trophy held over 92km in the Summerhill area of County Meath. This was Lavery's second victory in six days, after winning in Dundalk last Sunday.
The 20-year-old leaves for Belgium next week where he will team up with the Look Academy, but before that he'll be in action today in the Cycleways Cup.
HORSE RACING: Paul Nicholls strengthened his grip on the Grand National after Big Fella Thanks saw off stablemate Pasco in the Raymond Mould Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase.
The champion trainer's pair jumped the third-last fence in unison, but it was Big Fella Thanks which travelled the best under Barry Geraghty, who started to pull away on the level.
Ruby Walsh urged 5/2 favourite Pasco along but 8/1 chance Big Fella Thanks kept pulling out more and crossed the line with a length and a half in hand.
Sublimity has been ruled out of the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle due to a leg injury.
The 10-year-old claimed the hurdling crown three years ago and was fourth and 15th in the two subsequent renewals at the Cheltenham Festival. He had appeared to be back on top form this term, being placed in three Grade One outings, but a late setback means trainer Robbie Hennessy has had to call time for this season.
HOCKEY: Five goals from Timmy Cokram were the highlight of the Irish Hockey League yesterday when Lisnagarvey thrashed Three Rock Rovers 7-0.
Glenanne also made progress and picked up a bonus point with a 4-1 away win over Cork C of I.
In Pool A Monkstown went down 3-2 in their away joust against Cork Harlequins. It was all to play for at one stage with Andrew Ewington and Alex Barrett on target for the 'Town and Dan Hobbs and Mark Black the Harlequins marksmen. But when Gareth Watkins failed to beat Reinout Mensink in the Harlequins net from a penalty it was Paul Lombard who notched the winner for the home side.
In the Leinster Women's League, Loreto -- short their four internationals currently on duty in France -- drew 1-1 with Railway Union, for whom Jean McDonnell scored their equaliser in the last minute.
Basketball: Neptune can secure a home draw for next week's Play-Offs if they beat Moycullen today in their last game of the regular season.
Pat Price's men beat UCD Marian 90-62 last night to leapfrog Demons who need to better Neptune's result to take second spot when they face Belfast Star away.
Meanwhile, Glanmire won the regular season women's championship with victory over UL and face Killester in the last four with UL up against DCU Mercy in a fortnight's time.