GLASGOW lightweight Tanveer Ahmed is to fight for the British title following yesterday's news that Tooting's Michael Ayers has given up the crown after a two-and-a-half year reign.

Ayers, 32, has been forced to hand back the championship because of delays to his WBO title fight against Russia's Artur Grigorian, which has been postponed twice this year but is now set to go ahead in Germany on October 11.

Former jockey Colin Dunne, who lost a title challenge to Ayers in a storming fight last November, will meet leading contender Ahmed for the vacant championship by November 30, by order of the Board of Control. Ayers beat Preston's Paul Burke to win the vacant title in February, 1995, and defended it four times.


Penicuik'S Craig MacKellor has been handed the chance to claim a dream trip to South Africa. The Border League left arm seamer is the only new name in Scotland's Under-19 side to face England at York next week in the last competitive outings before the World Youth Cup in Cape Town next January. The Scots will play a two-day match and a one-day match against the English. Squad:

R Mitchinson (captain), G Butchart, N Caplan, S Dempsie, C MacKellor, A Duncan, A Gul, G Maiden, N Millar, A Speirs, E Stubbs, F Watts.

American football

London, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, and Edinburgh have all been earmarked as venues to stage Arena football - an indoor version of American football - when a European League is created in 1999.


AT the Celtic Watersports Festival which finished yesterday near La Corruna in Spain Scotland took fourth place behind the winning host region's team Galicia. Buoyed by a victory in the J24 keelboat class by Ian Jameson, Scotland's best results were third places in the Windsurfing - both Funboard and Mistral classes, and in dinghy sailing's 420, catamaran and Laser single hander. Top British team were Wales in third.


SWEDE Robert Eriksson last night handed Edinburgh a pre-cup final boost by declaring himself fit for the showdown against Oxford.

The Monarchs' No.1 has won his battle to return for the two-legged final after breaking his collarbone three weeks ago.

Eriksson came through a rigorous fitness test over the weekend and will line-up in his usual top slot in Friday's first leg at Cowley.


BRENDA Murphy (Prestonfield) will meet Fiona Rennie (Dundas Parks) in the 18-hole final of the Midlothian Women's County Champion of Champions' tournament at Royal Burgess on Sunday, September 7 (tee-off 12.0). Results:

Quarter-finals - B Murphy (Prestonfield) beat M Quigley (Craigmillar Park), at 19th; E McCowan (Lochend) beat K Horne (Dalmahoy), 4 and 3; N Fenton (Merchants of Edinburgh) beat L Fraser (Kingsknowe), 2 and 1; F Rennie (Dundas Parks) beat E Bruce (Baberton), 1 hole.

Semi-finals - Murphy beat McCowan, 5 and 4; Rennie beat Fenton, 4 and 2.

IN THE Scottish Veteran Ladies' Golf Association Western Division championship at Renfrew yesterday, Heather Anderson (Troon) beat Pat Hutton (Lanark) by 3 and 2.

NEWMACHAR'S director of Golf Peter Smith made light of a suspected broken bone in his left wrist - the result of a heavy fall while out jogging - to tie with Clober's new tour pro, Alan Tait, on 67, three under par, in the Schlumberger pro-am at Royal Aberdeen yesterday.

Tait, out in 33, looked set to win until he lost a ball at the eighteenth and finished with a double-bogey 6.

That left the door open for Smith, playing behind him, to steal a share of the thunder by getting a par 4 at the last to come home in 33 for a 67. Leading scores:

67 - A Tait (Clober), P Smith (Newmachar). 69 - Brian Marchbank (Marchbank GE), C Ronald (Torrance House), D Thomson (Kings Links), C Gillies (unattached), F Mann (Musselburgh). 70 - G Weir (Braid Hills). 71 - W Guy (Buchanan Castle), G Harvey (Grangemouth). 72 - R Stewart (Cruden Bay), FJ Coutts (Deeside), A Crerar (Downfield).

Team: 126 - G Simpson (Newmachar), P Tavy (16), C Bird (12), D Crowley (18).

SCOTS Janice Moodie, from Glasgow, and Turnberry's Mhairi McKay made a splendid start to the LPGA Qualifying School sectional qualifier at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Florida, yesterday.

Moodie and McKay both shot two-under-par rounds of 70 to be lying joint third in a huge field of 210. Each reached the turn in 35 and came home in 35.

American Curtis Cup player Kelli Kuehne set the pace with a 68 (34-34).

Marnie McGuire, the New Zealander whose parents come from Motherwell and who won the British women's open amateur championship in 1986, had a 70.