Clohessy says he's 'lucky to be alive'


SPORTS DIGEST/RUGBY: Peter Clohessy said yesterday he is lucky to be alive after being burned in an explosion at his home on Monday evening.

Clohessy (36), who played his final game for Ireland on Saturday, will see a plastic surgeon in Galway today having received burns to his arm and face when a garden bonfire he was tending at his Limerick home caused an explosion.

"I am lucky to be alive after my horrible experience. I was burning rubbish when there was a loud explosion and the flames burned my arm and the side of my face.

"I rolled around the garden to extinguish the flames but by then they had burned into my skin."

Characteristically, Clohessy found time to make light of the incident, joking: "My wife Anna told me to go out with a bang before the French match but I don't think she wanted me to go out this way."

Clohessy said he was unlikely to face Castres in Munster's Heineken Cup semi-final on April 27."At this stage I would have to say I am extremely doubtful for the match. I am a quick healer, but it all depends on what the plastic surgeon says."

TENNIS: It was a second day of straight-sets wins for Ireland in their Federation Cup qualifying event in Pretoria. Elsa O'Riain beat Finland's Maarit Nieminen 6-4, 6-0, while Kelly Liggan took the second 6-1, 6-1 against Emma Laine.

In the doubles pairing, Claire Curran and Yvonne Doyle defeated Nieminen and Piia Suomalainen 6-2, 6-2. Ireland face Egypt today in the final match of their round-robin pool phase.

BOXING: Brian Magee has pulled out of his IBO super-middleweight title defence on Saturday night at the Everton Park Sports Centre.

Magee was to have fought Puerto Rican Brian Barbosa, but, after agreeing to the fight, he has decided that the former North American champion was not the right opponent at this stage of his career.

CRICKET: The Irish Cricket Union (ICU) is introducing a new-style senior representative series this summer, involving three sides which will play a series of one and two-day matches during May, June and July.

The contestants will be teams representing the Northern Cricket Union (NCU), the North West Cricket Union (NWCU) and a Southern team of players drawn from the Leinster and Munster Cricket Unions.

ONE-DAY MATCHES: May 11th: NCU v Southern X1, Lurgan. May 18th: Southern X1 v NWCU, Malahide. June 9th: NWCU v NCU, Beechgrove.

TWO-DAY MATCHES: June 22nd/23rd: NCU v NWCU, Stormont. June 29th/30th: NWCU v Southern X1, Eglinton. July 13th/14th: Southern X1 v NCU, Castle Avenue.