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Horan return to action put on ice as frost bites hard

The return to competitive action for Munster and Irish prop Marcus Horan failed to materialise yesterday.

Horan was due to play some part in Shannon's Munster Cup semi-final against UCC at Tom Clifford Park but the game fell victim to the inclement weather.

Horan has not played since he retired during Munster's Heineken Cup tie against Benetton Treviso on October 17 and was found to be suffering from a minor heart ailment.

Shannon have a seconds game scheduled for today but Horan is not eligible to play in that game and a choice will have to be made by Munster coach Tony McGahan as to whether he will afford Horan game time when Munster host the Scarlets in the Magners League next weekend. Alternatively, Horan could line out for Shannon, who travel to play St Mary's College in the AIL.

For the second time, efforts to play the Garryowen-Dolphin AIL game, postponed originally on November 14, were unsuccessful when Dooradoyle was also unplayable due to frost.

In the west, the Magners League game between Connacht and Leinster scheduled for the Sportsground was called off following a second pitch inspection.

The game was given the green light at 12 noon but a subsequent inspection by match referee Peter Fitzgibbon, accompanied by Connacht coach Michael Bradley and Leinster coach Michael Cheika, led to the game being called off just two hours before the scheduled start.

Michael Bradley said both sets of players were disappointed. "We were all looking forward to the match and a huge effort was made since Thursday to try and make sure the game went ahead but it was not to be," said Bradley.

Cheika said that his side were anxious to avenge last year's defeat and they were fired up for the game."Nevertheless, the correct decision was made,"

With the country firmly in the grip of a prolonged cold snap, the two other AIL games scheduled for yesterday, in Clonakilty and Co Carlow, were also postponed.

And in racing, today's meeting at Naas was cancelled after an inspection yesterday morning, while in England, yesterday's meetings at Sandown and Folkestone were abandoned.

Sunday Independent