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Morrow leads Senior Open

Portmarnock's Adrian Morrow takes a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Irish Seniors Amateur Open in Athenry after carding a steady 73 on day two of the championship to lie on 143, three-over-par.

Scotland's Ian Brotherston carded a 75 and is the nearest challenger on 146, while Cork's Tom Cleary lies one further back on 147 with Bandon's John Carroll on 148.

Defending champion Hugh Smyth (Mourne) fell to an 80 on Day 2 and is well back going into the final round.

Ballymena's rising teenage star Dermot McElroy will fly the Irish flag in the Scottish Open stroke-play championship, which begins today over the challenging Kilmarnock (Barassie) course.

A clash with the East of Ireland championship, which starts at Co Louth tomorrow, has prevented more from crossing the Irish Sea.

McElroy could well challenge positively against the best that Scotland has to offer, while there is a strong overseas entry from South Africa, France, Australia, USA, Germany, Iceland and New Zealand.

A number of the overseas players will be playing in UK tournaments including the Amateur Championship at Troon during June.

Competitors play one round today another 18 holes tomorrow and then, after the cut, the final two rounds take place on Sunday.


IRELAND had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Israel in their last match of the U-19 Euro Championship elite qualifying group in Portugal.

The Irish went ahead five minutes into the second half through Millwall's Aidan O'Brien. George Smith and John O'Sullivan spurned chances to extend the lead and that caught up with them a minute from the final whistle when Shahar Hirsh equalised following a corner.

Mini-group hosts Portugal defeated Ukraine 3-0 in the other game to book a place in next month's finals in Estonia.

Ireland -- S McDermott (Arsenal); M Barker (Bohemians), N Byrne (Rochdale), T Hoban (Watford), D Williams (Aston Villa (L Byrne, Bohemians, 59); J O'Sullivan (Blackburn Rovers), F Sutherland (QPR), B Garmston (West Brom); G Smith (Southend (C Morrissey, Trieste, 87), A O'Brien (Millwall), A Forde (Wolves).


World record-holder Usain Bolt put his poor performance in the Czech Republic behind him with a new season's best of 9.76 seconds in the 100m race at the Golden Gala in rome last night.

Bolt ran a relatively slow 10.04 in Ostrava last week, raising questions about his Olympic preparations.

His previous season best of 9.82 was set at home in Jamaica this month.

While his start in Rome still wasn't exceptional, Bolt quickly pulled away. Former world record-holder Asafa Powell crossed second in 9.91 and European champion Christophe Lemaitre was third in 10.04 in virtually no wind.


Ireland's Camilla Speirs and her Olympic prospect, Portersize Just a Jiff, took the lead after dressage in the George Mernagh Memorial CIC 3-Star class at Tattersalls Three-day Event in Fairyhouse yesterday, WRITES LOUISE PARKES.

From a starting field of just eight runners, she heads Great Britain's Oliver Townend (Sonas Rovatio), while the Army Equitation School's Comdt Geoff Curran and Bolabaun lie third.

Great Britain's Ruth Edge (Rogersdale) and William Fox-Pitt (Bay My Hero) hold the top two places in the CCI 3-Star ahead of Ireland's Sarah Wardell (Killeenduff Boy) in third, while Aussie Chris Burton leads both the CCI 1 and 2-Star classes.

The Meath fixture has attracted riders from eight nations, many of whom are under scrutiny for Olympic selection.

Meanwhile, Ireland's show jumpers are under pressure at St Gallen, Switzerland today. Lying last on the FEI Nations Cup leaderboard after a dismal result in Rome a week ago, Shane Sweetnam (Amaretto Darco), Jessica Kuerten (Voss), Cian O'Connor (Blue Loyd) and Billy Twomey (Je T'Aime Flamenco) will be trying to improve in this third round of the eight-leg series.

Sweetnam and Twomey were on form at the Italian fixture, but O'Connor picked up an uncharacteristic 20 faults while Niall Talbot was eliminated. The team got the advantageous last-to-go spot in yesterday's draw.

Irish Independent