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Saturday 16 December 2017

In brief: Harrington four off Els in Miami

GOLF: Pádraig Harrington sits four strokes off leader Ernie Els after finding his competitive edge in challenging conditions at the CA Championship in Miami.

After emerging from a howling gale on Thursday with an opening 70, Harrington's focus and short game were still sharp as he breezed into a tie for fifth on six-under.

Robert Allenby, Els' nearest rival on nine-under had yet another rollercoaster ride. After finishing his first round with four straight bogeys he swept into the lead with the first ever hole-in-one at the 232-yard 13th, fell back with a double-bogey six at 16, tied the lead again with an eagle three at the first, his 10th hole, but bogeyed his last hole.

Graeme McDowell finished his rain-interrupted round in style when he birdied his final two holes for a four-under-par 68, leaving him on two-under 142, while Rory McIlroy was five-over



Taylor shocked

BOXING: Katie Taylor's 42-bout unbeaten run was sensationally ended when she lost to former world champion Sofya Ochigava at the Usti nad Labem Gran Prix.

The Russian beat the Bray woman 8-1 in the semi-final, and the last time Taylor lost was to Turkish puncher Gulsum Tatar in Istanbul in May 2007.

Elsewhere, Irish champion Eric Donovan beat world lightweight champion Domenico Valentino 11-8 in last night's Ireland-versus-Italy clash in Dublin.

Ireland's World Youth champ Ray Moylette was also in top form, enjoying a 10-0 win over Vincenzo Manggiacapre.

Ireland sit 5-3 up with four bouts left and the two nations meet again tomorrow at the Donegal Celtic Club in Belfast.



Cook falls short

CRICKET: Skipper Alastair Cook fell short of a double century (173) but England remained in control of the first Test against Bangladesh, reaching 487-4 on day two in Chittagong.



Roche up to 13th

CYCLING: Nicolas Roche moved up to 13th place on the Paris-Nice leaderboard after yesterday's fifth stage to Aix-en-Provence.

Alberto Contador retained the yellow jersey.

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