Irish Sea

World No 1 title eludes exhausted McIlroy

Rory McIlroy won the battle but lost the war. Having shot down Lee Westwood in yesterday's morning's World Match Play semi-final grudge match, McIlroy got held up and ambushed 2&1 in the desert by Hunter Mahan in the final.

Frustrated O'Connell raring to go

Paul O'Connell, the Ireland captain, is champing at the bit to get back into the action against Italy in Dublin today, and says his side's enforced three-week lay-off nearly drove him crazy.

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Quel Esprit jumps to head of Ireland's Gold Cup hopefuls

The novice chasers who did look the part last season have largely failed to do so since entering open company. Yet the one who finally made the grade, at Leopardstown yesterday, failed to get round in three of his first four steeplechases. For all that Quel Esprit did not beat a vintage field in the Hennessy Gold Cup, then, he may yet continue to confound expectations.