Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

Martin O’Neill is to remain as Republic of Ireland manager.

O’Neill will stay in charge for Euro 2020, for which the Aviva hosts four games.


O’Neil says the outlook for the Irish game looks good

The Republic of Ireland host Moldova in a crucial World Cup qualifier tonight.

Ireland are without the suspended Robbie Brady and James McClean for this evening’s game at the Aviva Stadium.

Striker Scott Hogan, Sean Maguire and Aiden O’Brien could make their international debuts.

Kick off is at 7.45.

At the same time Pool leaders Serbia are away to Austria.

Wales take on Georgia in Tbilisi at 5.00.

England secured their place at next summer’s World Cup with a 1-nil win over Slovenia at Wembley last night.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane scored the winner in second half stoppage time.

Scotland are up to second place in Group F following a 1-nil victory over Slovakia at Hampden Park.

Ireland under 21 manager Noel King has expressed his satisfaction with last night’s European qualifier scoreless draw against Norway in Tallaght.

The result means the Irish have collected 7 points from a possible 9 so far in the group.

King says even though they didn’t win it was still a good display


GOLF

Paul Dunne holds a share of the lead heading into the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

Last week’s British Master winner begins the day on 5 under par, alongside Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts.

Shane Lowry is among those just a single shot behind.

Graeme McDowell has spent the night on 3 under.

Gavin Moynihan a further shot back.

Padraig Harrington is level par, Rory McIlroy 1 over.


RUGBY

Connacht and Ulster go head to head tonight, in the first of this season’s Pro 14 interprovincials.

The Westerners have recalled Captain John Muldoon and Kieran Marmion as they seek their first win in Belfast in 57 years.

Tommy Bowe is back on the wing for Ulster, who will want to bounce back from last week’s shock defeat to Zebre.

Ulster coach Les Kiss says his side can’t afford to make the same mistakes

Kick off is at 7.35.

Zebre are away to Edinburgh tonight.

Bernard Jackman’s Dragons meet Welsh rivals Cardiff Blues.

The Glasgow Warriors are in South Africa to play the Cheetahs.

Greyhounds

The Glin coursing meeting gets underway today.

The feature event is the Desmond Cup.

Starting time today is 11:30.

HORSE RACING

Irish championship leader Colin Keane takes a lead of four over Pat Smullen to Dundalk this evening where the first of eight races gets underway at 5.30.

Both riders were among the winners at Naas on Wednesday afternoon with nine-time champion Smullen bagging a brace there to leave him on the 76-winner mark while 22-year-old Keane scored aboard Who’s Steph for his boss Ger Lyons to register his 80th success of the current campaign.

Keane has a book of six rides on the night with three of those trained by Lyons including Poetic Light in the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Nursery (6.30). The gelded son of Poet’s Voice is bidding to supplement his Bellewstown maiden victory in August having his first start on the Polytrack.

Smullen has five booked rides including the Michael O’Callaghan-trained Militry Hill in the same race, also tackling this surface for the first time and seeking his first win under rules.

The €55,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Star Appeal Listed Stakes (7.00) is the feature event on the night with a field of seven facing the starter. Smullen is booked aboard the Michael Halford-trained Riyazan while Keane teams up with dual winner Lethal Steps, successful in his first two starts for Ger Lyons at Leopardstown and Killarney during the summer.

The going on the Polytrack at Dundalk is standard.