Wednesday 13 December 2017

Maguire knocks out world No 2

Lisa Maguire produced one of the finest performances of her fledgling career to storm into the third round of the Ladies British Amateur Open Championship in South Wales, WRITES CHRIS SMART.

And the 18-year-old Curtis Cup player from Slieve Russell attributed the upturn in her form this season to a return to her former coach Shane O'Grady at the Black bush Club near Dublin.

"A change of coach last year did not work out, but now I have returned to Shane and he has got the swing right and things are much better," said Lisa after she had beaten world No 2 Su-Hyun Oh 6&4.

Maguire, who was never behind in earlier beating Shannon Aubert of France 2&1, got off to a flier against the Korea-born Australian and was five up after eight holes. She lost nine and 10 but wins on three of the next four holes saw her home – she will meet Italian Roberta Liti this morning for a place in the quarter-finals.

While the Maguire victory was a great fillip for the Irish, they suffered a blow later in the day when defending champion Stephanie Meadow fell by the wayside on the home green in round two, beaten by France's Justine Dreher after being two up at the turn.

Right at the end of the proceedings, Lisa Maguire's twin sister Leona, after trouncing Australian Adriana Brent 6&4 in the opening round, squeezed through on the home green against Italian Laura Lonardi.

IRISH fans will get an early chance to see some of the stars of the upcoming Ashes series in action in Belfast over the next four days when Ireland take on a very strong Australia 'A' side at Stormont.

A formidable attack of James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon will be warming up for the five-Test series in England against a home side shorn of its best players due to county cricket commitments.

Paul Stirling has been released by Middlesex, but with six other experienced Ireland players missing, captain Kevin O'Brien knows his side face a tough test against a side that thrashed Scotland by 360 runs last week.

"It's going to be hard work for us against a world-class Australian attack," O'Brien said. "We saw that they were ruthless in beating Scotland last week and we don't expect anything less from them over here."

Squads in factfile

Ireland took a hard-earned point from their first match at the World League semi-final in Rotterdam in a see-saw 4-4 draw against India.

A brilliant solo strike by Alan Sothern and a brave diving effort from Peter Caruth had cancelled out Aklashdeep Singh's opener to put Ireland ahead at the break but the lead promptly changed hands on the resumption courtesy of Rapinderpal Singh and Shivendra Singh.

Ireland bounced back through a Conor Harte penalty corner and Andy McConnell then gave them the lead, however Rapinderpal denied them a famous victory. The Irish play New Zealand tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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