O'Riain shot down in most emphatic fashion


SPORTS DIGEST: Studying for a career in politics has got in the way of Elsa Ó'Riain's tennis game. That was the explanation offered by the 22-year-old Cork woman after she shipped an unprecedented hammering in the semi-finals of the David Lloyd National Indoor championships at the Riverview club last night.

Being outgunned, without salvaging a single game, by Welsh top seed Rebecca Llewellan was a remarkable experience for a player who won All-Irish underage championships, before gaining early international recognition. "It's maybe because I haven't got the same interest in Irish tennis due to studies," said Ó'Riain. She added a love-and-love defeat seems terrible, but it was not as bad as it looked "because I had at least eight or nine game points in each set".

Llewellan was more persistent in the rallies which saw her steely conviction enabling her to generally retrieve the extra ball for the point. She meets Rachel Dillon, a winner over Ann Marie Hogan, in today's final.

Munster's pride was duly restored by Conor Niland's expected advance into today's men's final. Greater match awareness was always going to be the Limerick full-timer's crucial advantage over Barry King, a factor suitably borne out in his straight sets win.

Men's semi-finals: C Niland bt B King 6-2 6-3, E Heavey bt D McLoughlin 2-6, 7-6, 6-0.

Women's semi-finals: R Llewellan bt E O Riain 6-0 6-0, R Dillon bt AM Hogan 6-3 6-4.