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Leader finds his range for Eagles

Fourteen points from the boot of out-half Tadgh Leader inspired Connacht Eagles to an impressive 19-15 victory over Munster 'A' in Dooradoyle.

Munster dominated possession in the opening exchanges, but Jerome Harimate's try put Connacht ahead on seven minutes.

The Eagles extended their lead to 10 points after 19 minutes with a penalty from Leader.

Three points from Scott Deasy got Munster off the mark, but they missed a glorious chance to draw level when Ronan O'Mahony dropped a Corey Hircock pass when a try beckoned.

Munster did equalise on the hour mark, when Duncan Casey touched down, with Deasy adding the extras.

Two more penalties from Leader had Connacht six ahead, but after more Munster pressure, Barry O'Mahony scored his side's second try with five minutes left. With a chance to give Munster the lead, Deasy pushed the conversion to the right and wide.

Leader put the gloss on a fine Connacht performance late penalty.

MUNSTER 'A' -- J Holland; R O'Mahony (R Mullane, 71), C Hircock, C Bohane, D Moroney; S Deasy, C Sheridan (capt) (N Cronin, 8 (blood)); D Kilcoyne (C Condon, 62), S Henry (D Casey, 57), J Ryan; P Donnellan, C O'Flaherty (S Rennison, 55); B Hayes, B O'Mahony, S Buckley.

CONNACHT EAGLES -- S Macauley; C Finn, J Harimate (C Boland, 55), F Gormley, M Healy; T Leader, M Walsh (C Lilly, 66); F Bealham, K Haupt (J Dever, 63), JP Cooney (R Sweeney, 50); J Gardiner (A Conneely, 50), D Qualter; TJ Anderson (capt), E Grace (C Kindregan, 76), D Heffernan.

FORMULA 1

With Lewis Hamilton continuing to keep everyone guessing over his future, the 2008 world champion prefaced yesterday's press conference by stating firmly he would not be taking questions on the subject as there was "no more news" -- speculation regarding who might replace him at McLaren dominated conversation.

Hamilton holds the key to the silliest of silly seasons in many a year. Should he respond to Mercedes' overtures -- and many believe he has already agreed a £60m deal but is desperate to keep it under wraps -- it could trigger a chain reaction all the way down the grid. It could bump Michael Schumacher into retirement.

Sergio Perez is thought to top the list of possible replacements at McLaren.

SNOOKER

Antrim's Mark Allen threw away two-frame lead as world No 2 Judd Trump won five frames in a row to reach the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Trump was 2-0 down, but found his form with a century break in the third and then took control.

Elsewhere, Ali Carter made a return to form with a 5-0 win over Stephen Maguire. In the quarter-finals, he will face John Higgins, who thrashed Ryan Day 5-0.

Two-time world champion Mark Williams also advanced to the last eight with a 5-2 victory over Ricky Walden; he will face Joe Perry, who defeated 2010 world champion Neil Robertson 5-0.

cricket

Jacques Kallis starred with the ball as South Africa cruised to a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in their World Twenty20 opener in Hambantota, sealing their berth in the Super Eights in the process.

Kallis took 4-15 off his four overs as Zimbabwe were limited to 93-8 and South Africa's openers Richard Levi (50 not out) and Hashim Amla (32no) easily knocked off the target with 44 balls remaining.

The result means South Africa and Sri Lanka have both qualified for the Super Eights from Group C as Zimbabwe bow out, having also been heavily beaten by hosts Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Irish Independent