Irish trio progress


GOLF/British Amateur Championship: Michael McGeady led the Irish charge into the matchplay stages of the Amateur Golf Championship at Royal Porthcawl in south Wales yesterday.

The City of Derry player added a 73 to his 72 of the previous day for a 145 total and a position in the top 20 of the qualifiers, albeit some eight strokes adrift of the runaway leader Richard Finch, the Yorkshire champion from Hull. He was one of three Irishmen who made it into the knock-out phase, the others being Cork's Padraig Dooley and Tim Rice of Limerick.

McGeady dropped only one stroke to par in a round which was a model of consistency.

Dooley put himself in a very strong position by recording a one-under-par 70 on Monday at the nearby Pyle & Kenfig course. He struggled a little yesterday but a 78 at Porthcawl was sufficient to see him through with a stroke to spare.

For the second successive day, Rice took 74 - this time at Pyle & Kenfig. He had his moments of anxiety as he dropped strokes on three holes in a row from the third. He finished brightly with a birdie three at the last.

There were some Irish disappointments with four players missing out by a stroke. Athlone's Colm Moriarty, Justin Kehoe of Birr, Waterford's Gavin McNeil and Scrabo's Andy McCormick were all on the 150 mark.

The qualifiers were led by Finch who had a second round of 10-under-par 61, a new course record for Pyle & Kenfig. He was five strokes clear of the English international Graeme Clark and Spaniard Alejandro Larrazabal.

QUALIFIERS FOR MATCHPLAY STAGES: (Porthcawl scores first): 145 - M McGeady (City of Derry) 73,72; 148 - P Dooley (Cork) 78,70; T Rice (Limerick) 74,74; Non-qualifiers: 150 - J Kehoe (Birr) 73,77; A McCormick (Scrabo) 77,73; G McNeil (Waterford) 74,76; C Moriarty (Athlone) 76,74; 151 - D Jones (City of Derry) 79,72; 153 - M Campbell (Stackstown) 82,71; G Wardlow (Shandon Park) 75,78; 160 - M McDermott (Stackstown) 81,79; 162 - J Foster (Ballyclare) 83,79.