Friday 23 March 2018

Ireland breeze into play-offs

CRICKET: Ireland assured themselves of a place in the play-off stages of the ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers with a heavy win over Uganda in Dubai and followed that up with a 44-run win over Oman today.

Yesterday's win by 82 runs guaranteed a place in the top three of Group B.

Ireland made 179 for five, Will Porterfield (pictured) top-scoring with 53 in 43 balls, with Gary Wilson (30) and Kevin O'Brien (39 not out) also chipping in. Their opponents were blown away for 97.

Ireland defeated Oman today in their final group fixture, notching up a total of 160 for five in their 20 overs (Wilson top-scored with 52, not out). In response, Oman could only manage 116 for six.

Mullins: Voler a threat

Racing: Willie Mullins would rather Quevega did not have to tackle Voler La Vedette in the Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle at Punchestown.

The Colm Murphy-trained Voler La Vedette ran Big Buck's to a length and three-quarters in the World Hurdle, while Quevega made it four straight wins at Cheltenham when landing the OLBG Mares' Hurdle.

Mullins said: "Other people might want to see her take on Voler La Vedette but I'm not so sure!"

Meanwhile, no definite plans to retire 12-year-old Kauto Star have been made yet, according to trainer Paul Nicholls. "Any talk of retirement is premature," he said.

O'Brien ride So unclear

Racing: Joseph O'Brien has played down speculation linking him with the mount on So You Think in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday week.

Trained by his father, Aidan, So You Think is favourite for the race on the back of a solid first season in Europe after joining Ballydoyle from Australia.

With Ryan Moore apparently lined up to partner Planteur for Marco Botti or Silver Pond, many believe it paves the way for the youngster to take the most important ride of his career.

"As yet, we're not quite sure what's going and what's not going," said O'Brien, as the jockey revealed that none of his father's horses are definite runners yet.

Taylor to trouble Dutch

BOXING: World No1 Katie Taylor will lead the Irish women's team into a historic battle with Holland at the National Stadium this Friday.

Ireland meet the Dutch in the first full women's international in Ireland at the home of Irish boxing.

Lynne McEnery, Ceire Smith, Sinead Kavanagh, Sarah Close, Michelle Lynch, Michaela Walsh and Deirdre Duffy will also line out for Ireland, who meet the Dutch again in Cavan on Sunday night.

Taylor is due to meet American opponents at the Silver Springs Hotel in Cork on March 30 and in the Annual Peter Crotty Memorial Tournament at the Dungarvan Sports Centre on March 31.

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