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Torrens leads tributes after death of former Ireland captain Monteith

CRICKET: Former Ireland captain and Irish Cricket Union president Dermott Monteith has passed away at the age of 66 following a short illness, writes Emmet Riordan.

The Lisburn native played 76 times for Ireland between 1965 and 1984, captaining his country 38 times, and his haul of 326 international wickets is still an Ireland record.

Monteith averaged a brilliant 17.37 with the ball, taking five wickets in an innings 27 times and recorded ten-wicket hauls in seven matches.

He also scored 1,712 runs, including nine half-centuries.

His highest score of 95 was achieved in his final international appearance against Scotland in Glasgow.

At the age of 38, Monteith spent a summer playing for Middlesex in 1981.

His his left-arm spin bowling provided cover for John Emburey and Phil Edmonds when the duo were on England duty.

He also played for the county in 1983 and in total took 24 wickets during eight matches at an average of 24.83.

He later became a national selector and was president of the Irish Cricket Union in 1999.

Former team-mate and current Ireland manager Roy Torrens led the tributes to Monteith saying: “Dermott was quite simply a magnificent cricketer, and he was a pioneer in many ways, being one of the first Irishmen in the modern era to make a mark in county cricket.

“He was great to have as a friend, and was marvellous company. My thoughts and prayers are with his family circle at this sad time.”

Stirling agrees Middlesex deal

CRICKET: Paul Stirling is the latest Irish cricketer to join Middlesex on a full-time contract after agreeing a three-year deal with the county, writes Emmet Riordan.

The 19-year-old from Belfast follows Ed Joyce and England star Eoin Morgan to Lord’s after impressing at underage and second-team level for the county. His contract allows him to be released for Ireland duty.

Stirling’s performances with the senior team last year impressed former England bowler, Angus Fraser, who is the Director of Cricket at Middlesex Fraser said: “We are delighted that he has now signed a full-time contract for the club.”

Clohisey in as illness floors Christie

ATHLETICS:Raheny Shamrock’s Mick Clohisey has replaced Mark Christie in the senior men’s team for next week’s European Cross Country Championships in Santry, Dublin on Sunday.

After discussions with his coach and the Ireland team management, Christie decided not to compete.

The Mullingar Harriers athlete had been suffering from illness and was unable to race at the Inter County Cross Country Championship in Kilbeggan two weeks ago.

No resolution as McNamara meets Clare hurlers

GAELIC GAMES: The long-awaited meeting between the Clare hurlers, manager Michael McNamara and a delegation of county officers took place last night without reaching resolution, writes Seán Moran. The postponed meeting heard exchanges between the sides and adjourned to consider the situation further.

There wasn’t a full turn-out of the hurling panellists but the majority were present. County board sources say that if necessary a meeting of the county board can be convened at short notice.

Players had been calling for McNamara to be replaced as manager after two years in charge. Yesterday was the first opportunity for the parties to meet and air the issues at the heart of the dispute.

In recent weeks the hurlers have made it clear that their stance on the issue going into last night’s meeting was unchanged.