Morning Sports Update

TENNIS

Serena Williams has the chance to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title this afternoon.

The seven-time former winner faces Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon women’s final – in a repeat of the 2016 decider.


Williams won that final in straight sets.

Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic will also complete their men’s semi-final.

Djokovic leads by 2 sets to 1 after play was suspended at 11 last night.

Play gets underway at 1 o’clock on centre court.


GAELIC GAMES

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald will be looking to plot the downfall of his native Clare in the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship this afternoon.

The Models knocked out then All-Ireland champions Clare after a replay in the qualifiers in 2014.

Throw-in at Pairc Ui Chaoimh is at 3.

Also today, Tyrone and Roscommon meet at Croke Park in the first-ever match in the new Super 8s of the All-Ireland Football Championship.

Throw-in is at 5.

At 7, it’s the seventh ever Championship meeting between Dublin and Donegal.

Kilkenny are without forward Walter Walsh for Sunday’s All-Ireland Hurling quarter-final against Limerick.

He was forced off with a groin injury in the Cats’ loss to Galway in last weekend’s Leinster Hurling Final replay defeat to Galway and Walsh is not part of the panel for this Sunday.

He’s replaced by Colin Fennelly while manager Brian Cody has brought in Martin Keoghan for John Donnelly.

Limerick have also made two changes – with Sean Finn and Darragh O’Donovan in for Richie McCarthy and William O’Donoghue.

Monaghan are the new Ulster Minor Football champions.

Donnacha Swinburne’s goal from a 53rd minute penalty helped them defeat holders Derry by 1-9 to 9-points at the Athletics Ground.

Kildare will play Meath in the Leinster Minor Football Final, following the Lilywhites’ 2-12 to 1-13 victory over Wicklow in the semi-final replay.


SOCCER

Chelsea have confirmed the appointment of Maurizio Sarri (pron: sar-ee) as their new head coach.

He replaces fellow Italian Antonio Conte, who was sacked yesterday after months of speculation he was to leave.

Sarri’s signed a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

He’s been in charge of Napoli for the past three seasons – they finished second behind Juventus in Serie A (pron: ah) in the most recent campaign.

Having lost to Croatia in the semi-finals midweek, England have the chance to secure a third place finish at the World Cup this afternoon.

Front-runner for the golden boot Harry Kane looks set to start for England against Belgium but wing-back Kieran Trippier is expected to miss out with a groin injury.

Belgium welcome back defender Thomas Meunier from suspension as Roberto Martinez’ team aim to beat England for the second time at this year’s tournament.

Kick-off is at 3.

There’s one game in the S-S-E Airtricity League First Division this evening with Cobh hosting Galway at a quarter-to-eight.

Last night Sligo Rovers eased their relegation worries with a 3-nil victory at Bohemians.

First Division table toppers U-C-D got their first victory in three games, beating Wexford 3-nil.

Liverpool have signed Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke on a “long-term contract” for an undisclosed fee.

The Switzerland international reportedly had a release clause of around 13-million-pounds following Stoke’s relegation from the Premier League.

Huddersfield have brought in a versatile World Cup winner ahead of the new Premier League season.

German international defender Erik Durm has signed from Borussia Dortmund for an undisclosed fee.

The full back, who played at the 2014 World Cup, has agreed a one-year deal.

ATHLETICS

Having been second fastest across the heats yesterday, the Irish women’s 4-by-100 metres relay team will be targeting a podium finish at the World under-20 Athletics Championships later.

The team of Molly Scott, Gina Akpe-Moses, Rhasidat Adeleke and Patience Jumbo-Gula have their final just after 2 Irish time.

Scott is also in the 100-metres hurdles final this lunchtime while Orla and Niamh O’Connor go in the 10-kilometre walk this morning.

Darragh McElhinney has his 5-thousand metres final at twenty-past-one.

GOLF

Graeme McDowell resumes his bid to qualify for the Open Championship this lunchtime.

He’ll tee off his third round at the Scottish Open from five-under par at 11.35, that’s eight shots behind the half-way leader Robert Rock.

McDowell needs a top-10 finish if he’s to have any chance of sealing a spot at Carnoustie next week.

Paul Dunne, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington all missed the cut.

Paul Conroy (Enniscorthy) maintained his overnight lead to win the Munster Boys Amateur Open at Waterford Castle today. Conroy had a two shot lead going into the final round, and after three birdies on the front nine he had extended his lead over Max Kennedy to three shots. A bogey on the 12th was followed by a birdie, but a triple bogey on the par three 16thcould have derailed the Enniscorthy man. He recovered with a birdie on the 17th and at that stage he was three clear of the field. Conroy signed for another one under par 71, finishing the tournament on -7. Max Kennedy (Royal Dublin) finished in second place on -4 and Ronan Cowhey (Elm Park) was third on -1. Kennedy also claimed the Under 17 trophy. Munster Golf Chairman Jim Long thanked everyone from Waterford Castle for hosting the event, and he thanked tournament directors Kevin Murray and Margaret Sugrue for their hard work in planning and running the event. The event was hosted by Waterford Castle Golf Club and again sponsored by Gleeson Sports Scene Limerick.

RUGBY

The I-R-F-U have returned to profit, one year ahead of schedule.

Boosted by Grand Slam success and Leinster’s Champions Cup victory, Irish Rugby’s governing body have made a profit of 1-point-2-million-euro.

They had been planning for a 4-million loss.

CYCLING

Ireland’s Dan Martin remains in 21st place after seven stages of this year’s Tour de France.

He’s 90 seconds behind the leader Greg van Avermaet of Belgium.

Defending champion Chris Froome finished safely in the pack as Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen beat favourites Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan in a sprint to win the stage.

SHOWJUMPING

Cork’s Billy Twomey has won the 200-thousand Euro five-star Longines Falsterbo Grand Prix on Kimba Flamenco.

It’s Twomey’s third win in 24-hours.

The Irish under-18 team took bronze at the European Championships in France.

Irish Racing Previews

NAVAN
Saturday, June 14
First race: 2.00pm (7 races)

Navan stages a seven-race Flat card on Saturday with prize-money totalling €106,000.
The most valuable event of the day is the Foran Equine Irish EBF Fillies Auction Maiden (2.30) in which eleven go to post. Ger Lyons’ Sakura was third on her debut over 6f at Naas, and the drop-back in trip could bring about an improvement to the filly.
Ascot Dreamer was beaten well by Royal Ascot second Gossamer Wings on her last outing, however based on that fillies recent exploits, it could put Murray’s two-year-old into contention.
Elsewhere at 4.05pm, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race is over a mile and two furlongs. Two of the four runners are fresh off a win so it’s sure to be a competitive affair. Joseph O’Brien’s Ming won at Gowran in June and has been successful over this distance previously, so is not one to discount.
Godolphin’s Change of Velocity, trained by Jim Bolger, was an impressive winner at Gowran and clinched the Magners Ulster Derby at Down Royal, but his last outing at the Curragh was disappointing as he finished sixth in the Ragusa Handicap. Bolger will now be hoping that the two-week break will spark the three-year-old back to winning ways.
A step up in trip is on the cards for recent Leopardstown winner Spanish Point. This Aidan O’Brien trained colt has never raced over this distance, and O’Brien will be looking for a big run following his win in the Leopardstown “Club 30” Maiden in June.
Racing gets underway at Navan at 2.00pm and the going is currently good-to-firm and firm in places with watering taking place around the clock.

LIMERICK
Saturday, July 14
First race: 2.10pm (8 races)

Jumps fans will be in clover at Limerick on Saturday evening with eight races on the card.
The Cliona Hagan Plays Live July 26th Chase (4.25) is this evening’s main event, with four runners contesting this three-mile chase.

Henry de Bromhead is responsible for Nick Lost, who completed two on the bounce at Punchestown and Limerick in May, and will be looking to make it a hat-trick.
Cote Tete for Noel Meade was an impressive winner on his chasing debut at Down Royal, and Meade will be hoping for the gelding to continue his impressive form of late.
Peter Fahey’s Mine Now was third on his latest venture out over fences, and after an excellent career over hurdles, a step-up in trip may benefit the ten-year-old.
Elsewhere the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap Chase (5.30) sees ten go to post
including Fairymount Boy from the Michael Hourigan stable. The son of Beneficial was successful on his last outing at Downpatrick last month and is not one to discount.
Robbie McNamara’s Lake Takapuna carries top weight with Brian Cooper in control of the reins, he will be vying to collect the geldings first win since December 2016.
Racing gets underway at Limerick at 2.10pm and the going is currently good-to-firm with watering to take place.