Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

Cork City have another chance to finally secure the S-S-E Airtrcity League Premier Division title tonight.

They will be crowned champions for the first time since 2005 if they defeat Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

Bohs midfidler Faud Sule has no intention of making things easy for the Leesiders

Finn Harps could be relegated if they lose away to north-west rivals Derry, and other results don’t go their way.

The first of those potentially impactful games sees Sligo go to Shamrock Rovers.

While the other is a relegation six-pointer at Eamonn Deacy Park where Galway United entertain St. Pat’s.

Tonight’s other game sees second place Dundalk welcome Bray to Oriel Park.

The Republic of Ireland under 17’s will look to build on their impressive opening to Euro qualifying Group 11.

Colin O’Brien’s side are away to Bulgaria, with kick-off at 4.30 Irish time.

The group’s other game sees Ukraine take on Azerbaijan.

The Championship resumes tonight with leaders Cardiff making the trip to struggling Birmingham.

Bristol City could go second tonight if they beat struggling Burton at Ashton Gate.

RUGBY

The European Champions Cup kicks off tonight.

Ulster have the honour of hosting the first game of the competition.

Les Kiss’ side welcome Wasps to Kingspan Stadium for their opening Pool 1 encounter.

Iain Henderson will captain his Province for the first time, as Rory Best heads up a lengthy list of absentees.

Wasps lie third from bottom in the English Premiership having lost four of their first six games, but the Ulster boss says they can’t be underestimated

Kick off in Belfast is at 7.45.

GOLF

Paul Dunne leads the Irish challenge heading into the second round of the Italian Open in Monza.

The Greystones man has spent the night on 4-under par, 3-shots behind a leading group of six players.

Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell are both 2-under.

Padraig Harrington is 2-over par.


CYCLING

After completing a hat-trick of stage wins yesterday, Sam Bennett may find things more difficult on today’s fourth stage of the Tour of Turkey.

The Carrick-on-Suir sprinter will likely surrender the leader’s jersey with today’s stage finishing on a tough climb to Selcuk.

HORSE RACING

Downpatrick stage a seven-race jumping card on Friday afternoon with the first race due off at 2.15pm.

The JP Corry Building Suppliers Hurdle (4.35) is the richest race on the card with just five runners going to post. Gordon Elliott is responsible for two of those including Dakota Moirette owned by Gigginstown Stud, also represented with the Henry de Bromhead-trained Peace News returning from a 230-day absence under Davy Russell.

Jack Kennedy, on board Dakota Moirette, also teams up with Poormans Hill for Elliott in the MB McGrady & Co. Accountants Handicap Hurdle (3.25) seeking his third consecutive win of the current campaign.

Ruby Walsh has three rides at the meeting starting with French import Sympa Des Flos trained by Willie Mullins in the opening Can You Believe It’s October Maiden Hurdle (2.15). He later teams up with recent Clonmel bumper winner Sois Gentil in the INH Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle (2.50) before riding Aretesone for his father Ted in the penultimate Frank Fitzsimons Memorial Beginners Chase (5.10).

The going at Downpatrick is currently yielding.

Colin Keane and Pat Smullen renew rivalry at Dundalk on Friday evening where the first of eight races gets underway at 5.30pm.

Keane (23) leads nine-time champion Smullen (40) by 84 to 81 in the Irish title race with both riders having a full book of seven rides at the meeting where the third race on the card is confined to apprentice riders.

The opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden (5.30) over 7f has attracted a field of eight runners including the twice-placed Andesh, the mount of Pat Smullen for trainer Mick Halford. Keane meanwhile teams up with Viscount Wilson, trained by his boss Ger Lyons, and both could figure prominently at the business end.

It’s a similar story in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden (6.00) where Smullen is on board the experienced Adaliya, also trained by Halford, with Lyons running newcomer Bring On The Band, the mount of his stable jockey.

The Al Basti Equiworld Carlingford Stakes (8.00) is the feature race on the card where Smullen teams up with Jaqen H’Ghar trained by Joseph O’Brien while Keane is on board Tennessee Wildcat trained by Lyons.

Both riders have solid claims also in the concluding Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey & Trainer Handicap (9.00) with the reigning champion teaming up with the Gordon Elliott-trained Jock Talk while the current championship leader is booked for Ben Rumson trained by Tom McCourt.

The going on the Polytrack at Dundalk is standard.