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Net yourself a national team!

VOLLEYBALL: Want to sponsor an elite Irish sporting team? The Irish men's team have just re-launched their ingenious raffle with sponsorship of the European Cup team the top prize.

For just a couple of euro, the winner has the chance of getting their company's name printed on the team uniform.

They will also receive their own personalised jersey and become an honoured guest at all Irish matches.

Two years ago, the squad first used this method of raising funds.

So successful did it prove that they are again using this means of funding their trip to next year's European Cup qualifying.

p Tickets for the raffle from any member of the Irish squad (see Facebook), with the raffle taking place in the Goat Grill, Dublin, on November 13.



Delay for Descent over

CANOEING: Over 700 hardy paddlers have taken to the waters of the Liffey for today's annual Liffey Descent -- a month later than usual. Water levels at Blessington lakes reached a record low this summer, forcing a postponement of the race. Last weekend's deluges meant sighs of relief when levels at Blessington rose by half a metre.

Race of the day should be the men's K2 class, traditionally the fastest. Leading the entry are home-grown heroes Peter Egan and Neil Fleming who, after teaming up earlier this summer, went on to win the British Marathon Championships. They are taking on, among others, South Africans Brett Irvine and Julian Callebaut.

Leading the men's K1 entry is many time champion Gary Mawer of the Salmon Leap club, while expected to dominate the women's race is wildwater specialist Liz Shouldice. Thrills are expected all along the 17-mile route with the refurbishments at Palmerstown weir expected to claim many victims. All good, clean fun!



Goggins gets off to flyer

SNOOKER: Rodney Goggins from the 147 SC Wexford beat Celbridge's John Sutton 5-3 to win the RIBSA Classic, the opening ranking tournament of the season, at the Ivy Rooms, Carlow.

Sutton had a great tournament, beating former pro Brendan O'Donoghue from New Institute in the quarter-finals before toppling Maynooth's Vincent Muldoon 4-2 in the semis. Goggins had a narrow 4-3 victory over Colm Gilcreest of Celbridge in the semi-finals. The high break prize went to Celbridge's TJ Dowling with a superb 122.



Mitchell soars in Slope

SKIING: Junior skier Matthew Mitchell proved best of the locals when he finished seventh in the international race at the Irish Dry Slope Championships at Kilternan, Co Dublin. Just one place behind Mitchell was another junior, Cillian Worrall, while in 10th place was senior Shane McShera.

Finishing 11th in the women's Irish Open was 16-year-old Lauren O'Riordan, with her Ski Club of Ireland club-mates Niamh Lyons and Meabh Byrne close behind. Brian Byrne finished fourth in the men's Irish Open, with Shane McShera eighth.



Irish pair take on World

TRIATHLON: Olympic hopefuls Aileen Morrison and Gavin Noble are in Mexico for Sunday's Huatulco World Cup. Morrison is ranked no2 for the race after her season's best fourth place in the Yokohama World Championship Series race last month. Noble is aiming to get back on track after dropping out in Yokohama.

Also in action on Sunday is Conor Murphy who competes in the Mombasa Triathlon African Cup in Kenya.