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Harry Diamond sparkles in North of Ireland glory bid

By Peter Hutcheon

Harry Diamond and Chris Selfridge are both still in the running for what would be, for either, a first North of Ireland crown.

The Ulster pair are through to today's quarter-finals in the weather-delayed championship at Royal Portrush which will go into a sixth unscheduled day tomorrow when the final will be contested, after late afternoon sea mist knocked the tournament off course earlier in the week.

There were no such problems yesterday, but the effects of the delays are still being felt with three third round matches still to be completed before the quarter-finals can get completely under way today.

After seeing off Shandon Park's Chris Carroll five and four in the first round, Diamond – close pal of Rory McIlroy – cruised past Ballycastle's Francis McGinn in the second by seven and six.

The third round clash with Lurgan's David Sutton was a much closer run thing, the Belvoir player coming through by one hole in the end.

His quarter-final opponent Sharvin has been quietly impressive in his run to the last eight, beating Stephen Speirs from Brunston Castle one up in the first round and then seeing off Cairndhu's Ryan McKinstry four and three in the second.

And he was always in control of his third round clash with Rathmore's Ben Best, winning out three and two.

Moyola Park's Selfridge takes on Headfort's Brian Casey – the man who finished leading qualifier – in the first of the quarters, while Belvoir Park player Diamond faces Cormac Sharvin from Ardglass.

The line-up for the other two quarter-finals have yet to be decided.

Selfridge has been in sparkling form all week and after edging past Royal Portrush's Jamie Richardson in the first round, two and one, he had a much more comfortable four and three win over Lisburn's Ryan Symington in the second round.

In the third round he faced an in-form Michael Sinclair from Knock, who had beaten Carrickfergus player Graeme Arthur four and three in the second round, but he came unstuck against the Moyola man, going down by six and five.

Casey has had a couple of five and four wins en route to the quarter-finals, making this the toughest assignment yet for the Ulsterman.

Tullamore's Stuart Grehan saw off Warrenpoint's Colm Campbell in the first round comfortably enough, four and three, and then beat County Louth's Gerard Dunne three and two in the second round.

Robbie Cannon from Balbriggan was his third round opponent and he came through that one three and one.

He will face either Portmarnock's Geoff Lenehan or Rosslare's Gary Collins in the quarters.

Galgorm Castle's Michael Reid and Knock's Simon Miskelly are both still in the mix.

Reid was one up after 16 on Matt McKnight, representing LPGA International, in their third round match which is due to be completed first thing this morning.

Miskelly, though, has an uphill battle ahead of him when his third round match with Gary Hurley from West Waterford/NUIM resumes as he is three down with 11 holes left to play today.

Belfast Telegraph


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