Morning Sports Update

ATHLETICS

Phil Healy and Ciara Neville are through to the semi-finals of the women’s 60 metres at the European Indoors in Belgrade.

Ciara Mageean and John Travers are both in 1500-metres finals this evening.

Travers last night successfully appealed after being distracted by a starting gun mid-race – and was put through to the final.

While Mageean, a European outdoor bronze medal winner, will hope to improve on her showing in the heats where she finished fourth.

GOLF

Rory McIlroy is top of the leaderboard after the second round of the WGC Mexico Championship.

The former world number one – who hadn’t played since January due to a rib injury – is two shots clear of the rest of the field on 9-under.

Lee Westwood is five strokes behind McIlroy – having been the joint leader after round one.

The HSBC Women’s Champions is being headed by Michelle Wie.

At 14 under she’s two better off than Lydia Ko, Sung Hyun Park and Ariya Jutanugarn.

RUGBY

Leinster will look to return to the top of the Guinness Pro-12 tonight.

They’ll do so with a victory over the Scarlets at the RDS.

The Ospreys moved to the summit with their 13-9 win at Edinburgh last night.

Munster are in Wales to play Cardiff at 5.15.

Last night Connacht got a bonus-point 33-3 home win over Zebre while Ulster beat Treviso 19-7.

Connacht boss Pat Lam says their goal remains Champions Cup qualification

Ulster’s hopes of making the top four are still alive thanks to a 19-7 success over Treviso.

Ireland centre Jared Payne got a try on his comeback from injury with Sean Reidy and Charles Pitau also crossing for the Ulster men – who have won four games in-a-row.

GAELIC GAMES

There’s a repeat of the All-Ireland Senior Football Final at Croke Park this evening as Dublin tackle Mayo in Division One of the National Football League at 7.

Dublin are unbeaten in their last 32 matches across League and Championship – stretching over two years.

If the All-Ireland champions avoid defeat in their next two games it would see them equal Kerry’s record and Mayo star David Bray thinks that could be playing on their minds

There’s two Ulster derbies in the top-flight as well.

At Breffni Park Cavan host Donegal while Tyrone face Monaghan at Omagh.

Limerick host London at 6.30 in Division Four.

Limerick take on Offaly in 1B of the Hurling at the Gaelic Grounds at 5.

It’s also a 5 o’clock throw-in at Croke Park where Dublin go up against Waterford in 1A.

SOCCER

Manchester United will be aiming to move into the Premier League’s top-four this lunchtime.

Jose Mourinho’s without attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan for their clash with Bournemouth at Old Trafford – he remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Mourinho’s respectful of today’s opponents

Kick-off is at 12.30.

Leicester look to build on their win over Liverpool when they host Hull at 3.

In the other afternoon kick-offs, Stoke host Middlesbrough, Burnley go to Swansea, West Brom take on Crystal Palace and Watford play Southampton.

The 5.30 game could prove key in the race for the Champions League places with Liverpool welcoming Arsenal to Anfield.

In the Airtricity League Premier Division this evening, holders Dundalk travel to the Showgrounds to face Sligo at 7.45.

Longford host Cobh in the First at 7.45.

Leeds have kept their tilt at promotion to the Premier League on track.

Garry Monk’s side won 3-1 at Birmingham in the Championship – to move within a point of third-placed Huddersfield.

Gianfranco Zola’s only won two of his 16 games in charge at the Blues.

Video referees could be in action in next season’s FA Cup – as FIFA tries to get the system ready for the World Cup in Russia.

The plan for a trial was announced after football’s lawmakers met at Wembley.

The International Football Association Board also approved sin bins for yellow card offences at lower levels of the game.

BOXING

Katie Taylor has her third professional fight this evening.

The former Olympic champion faces Italian veteran Monica Gentili at London’s 02 Arena on the undercard of Tony Bellew versus David Haye.

DARTS

Ireland’s Willie O’Connor missed double-12 for a perfect 9-dart leg, as he eased into the 4th round of the Coral UK Open.

The 30 year old from Cappamore would’ve won a share of 20 thousand pounds had he hit the double, in his 10-3 victory over England’s Mick Todd.

Derry’s Daryl Gurney joined him in the last 32, thanks to a comfortable 10-2 win over Alex Roy, but the big story was tournament favourite Gary Anderson’s deciding leg defeat to amateur qualifier Paul Hogan.

Two more rounds will be played on Saturday to determine the quarter-final line-up, with O’Connor up against veteran Ronnie Baxter, and Gurney taking on former Lakeside winner Mark Webster.

HORSE RACING

Newmarket trainer Robert Cowell made a successful raid on Dundalk last evening when his charge Visionary ran out a decisive winner of the feature 32Red.com Race.

Champion jockey Pat Smullen took the ride on the Dream Ahead colt in this four-runner contest, and after a good scrap from two furlongs out he asserted inside the last to hold off the Ger Lyons pair Rock In Peace and well-supported favourite Tuff Love by upwards of a length-and-a-quarter. Smullen was impressed with the winner and sees him as being a horse that will improve when he races on grass.