Sport in Brief: Golf - Bright starts put Irish pair in mix
WALKER CUP man Kevin Phelan and Reeve Whitson started brightly in their attempts to overcome the opening hurdle in the scramble to secure European Tour cards.
Both Waterford's America-based Phelan, who played in all four rounds in the US Open in June, and the rapidly improving Whitson from Mourne fired highly respectable rounds of two-under-par 70 over the Ribagolfe course in Lisbon.
Phelan and Whitson are tied for 10th, five strokes behind round one leader Thomas Pieters.
Nicholas Grant has a lot of work to do following an opening 75, three-over-par after two double-bogeys.
Ireland got off to a flying start over the magnificent Royal County Down links in their quest to add the Seniors Home International title to the European crown they lifted earlier this month in Hungary.
They brushed aside hapless Wales on a weather-affected day, while defending champions England were held to a share of the spoils by Scotland.
Dense fog caused an early abandonment and when it lifted, Ireland annihilated Wales by winning all six singles for an overwhelming 7.5-1.5 triumph.
Garth McGimpsey led the way as he trounced Keith Stimpson 5&3 – and then it was just a procession.
Arthur Pierse and Tom Cleary both won to make sure Ireland could not be beaten and then a 5&4 win by Michael Quirke over Paul Bloomfield wrapped things up for the Irish before John Mitchell and Portmarnock's 2012 European seniors champion Adrian Morrow won for good measure.
KERRY'S Niamh Ball is through to today's quarter-finals at the AIBA World Women's Youth and Junior Championships following a stunning win in Bulgaria.
The Trojan BC featherweight beat Turkey's 2011 AIBA World junior champion Reyhan Cahir on a split decision at the Black Sea holiday resort of Albena. Ball, boxing in the youth class, will now meet Chi-Pi Ke.
Kristina O'Hara lost on a unanimous points decision to Indian light-flyweight Lahrih Lalenkawli.
Jacqui Lynch and Ciara Ginty toppled Asian opponents to join Amy Broadhurst and Ciara Sheedy in today's junior quarter-finals.
Ireland will face Denmark in the concluding game of their U-19 Women's European Championship first-phase qualifying competition at Tolka Park (5.0) tomorrow with the pressure off, having already progressed to the elite phase.
Comprehensive back-to-back victories over Kazakhstan (7-0) and Greece (3-1) in their opening pair of qualifiers over the last five days clinched Ireland one of the two berths into the next stage from the four-nation mini-group.
Tomorrow's shootout will decide which of the two already-qualified nations advances as group victors.