Evening Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship will undergo one of the biggest changes in the competition’s history from next year.

Delegates at today’s GAA Special Congress have narrowly approved a radically new structure, which sees the Munster and Leinster Championships played in a five-team round robin format.


The top two contest the provincial finals, with the winners reaching the All-Ireland semi-finals and the losers playing in the quarters.

A new Tier 2 competition featuring six counties will also be played in a round robin format.

The top two teams there will play the 3rd place teams in the provincial championship for a place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Elsewhere a motion that sees Galway and Ulster teams play in the Leinster Under 21 Hurling Championship has also been passed.

The semi-finals have been retained, with the provincial finalists in Munster and Leinster qualifying for the last four.

Meanwhile in the minor championships, the quarter-final stage will now feature a mini round-robin containing Galway and the beaten provincial finalists.

SOCCER

Manchester United are the new Premier League leaders, for now – after a 4-nil win over bottom side Crystal Palace.

Earlier Tottenham moved into third after thumping Huddersfield 4-nil.

Elsewhere West Ham got a vital 1-nil win over Swansea.

West Brom drew 2-all with Watford, while Stoke defeated Southampton 2-1.

It was goalless between Bournemouth and Leicester.

Aberdeen are level on points with Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership – after beating St Johnstone 3-nil.

The champions drew 2-all at home to Hibs – managed by former boss Neil Lennon.

Franny Kiernan reports

Elsewhere – Owen Coyle won his first match in charge of Ross County – beating bottom side Kilmarnock 2-nil.

Motherwell hammered strugglers Partick Thistle 3-nil – while Dundee beat Hearts 2-1.

RUGBY

Ulster have suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Italian side Zebre in the Guinness PRO14.

Les Kiss’ team lost 27-23 in Italy, with the tries coming from Andrew Trimble in the 1st half and Darren Cave in the final minute.

GOLF

Rory McIlroy, Paul Dunne and Shane Lowry are all well in contention heading into the final day of the British Masters.

Dunne is in a tie for 2nd on 11 under after hitting a 65, with Tyrrell Hatton the man to catch one shot ahead.

McIlroy and Lowry also also well placed on 10 under after rounds of 64 and 66 respectively.

Graeme McDowell is back on 4 under.

HORSE RACING

The Gordon Elliott-trained A Toi Phil led home a Giggisntown-owned one-two in the feature PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park today, as the 6-1 shot had over six lengths to spare from the 11-8 favourite Balko Des Flos at the finish.

A Toi Phil was under pressure rounding the home bend but he responded for pressure under Jack Kennedy and ran out a comfortable winner in the end.

Just a half an hour after Clemmie won the Cheveley Park Stakes, Aidan O’Brien completed a Group 1 double as U S Navy Flag led home his stable mate Fleet Review in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.

U S Navy Flag had just a half a length to spare from Fleet Review at the winning line. The winner was returned a 10-1 shot and he was ridden by Seamie Heffernan.

Gordon Elliott’s Beckford ran a respectable race back in fifth under Pat Smullen.