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McGee proves Ireland's hero

IRELAND retained their place in group two of the Davis Cup for the fifth year on the trot after James McGee produced a heroic performance yesterday in the deciding singles rubber of the relegation play-off against Egypt in Cairo.

With the countries tied 2-2, McGee's contest against Egyptian No 2 Sherif Sabry had to be deferred from Sunday because of fading light, with the 24-year-old Dubliner leading by two sets to one.

Sabry threw the match, and the tie, wide open by levelling at two sets all when play resumed, but Irish No 2 McGee dug deep to pull off a thrilling 6-2 5-7 7-5 3-6 6-4 victory.

cycling

Dutchman Dennis Bakker took overall victory at the four-day Kerry Group Ras Mumhan after winning stage four in Killorglin yesterday.

Having begun the day just 44 seconds off the yellow jersey of Ryan Sherlock, Bakker was part of a three-man group that went clear on the final finishing circuits, and he sped to stage victory two seconds clear of fellow Dutchman Silvan Buis and 17 seconds ahead of Donegal's Sean McFadden.

At the front of the peloton, Sherlock knew he needed to close the gap in the final kilometres if he was to win the race outright, but in his bid to save the yellow jersey he overshot a corner in the wet roads and crashed. He eventually lost the race outright by just 11 seconds.

Felix English took the final stage at the P&O Ferries Tour of the North in a mass sprint into Broughshane. British pro James Moss retained his yellow jersey on the final day.

Daniel Kirwan of Lucan took overall honours at the An Post Gorey 3-Day after Matt Flynn won yesterday's final stage.

hockey

The Irish men's team went down 3-2 to European champions Germany in Mannheim yesterday.

Johnny Bruton put Ireland ahead, but the hosts quickly levelled through Matthias Witthaus. Thilo Stralkowski and Jan Philipp Rabente then struck, before Cookstown's Ian Sloan pulled one back.

EQUESTRIAN

RICHARD HOWLEY and Peter Smyth made it an Irish 1-2 in the Gold Tour Derby inArezzo, Italy.

From a starting field of 25, Howley returned the fastest time of 97.36 seconds on the nine-year-old mare Witch, which is owned by Michael Whitaker, with Smyth less than a second behind on Martin Kenny's Irish-bred gelding Corrib House.

Irish Independent