Evening Sports Update

RUGBY

Munster head coach Johann van Graan is facing a headache with his selection for scrum-half for Saturday’s Champions Cup trip to Exeter.

Alby Mathewson suffered a knee injury in the Pro 14 defeat to Leinster and is a major doubt for the opening Pool 2 game at Sandy Park.


Conor Murray is still sidelined with a neck injury, leaving Duncan WIlliams as their only real option at scrum-half.

Munster are yet to win away from home this season, and it’s something Van Graan is keen to put right

Jordan Larmour is back in contention for Leinster’s Pool 1 meeting with Wasps at the RDS on Friday.

The versatile back missed the win over Munster with a hip injury.

Jamison Gibson-Park is the chief doubt for Leinster, as the scrum-half rolled his ankle on Saturday and will be further assessed.

SOCCER

Dundalk will finally discover their FAI Cup final opponents tonight.

Cork City play host to Bohemians in their replayed semi final.

Kick off at Turner’s Cross is at 7.30.

Shelbourne take a 1-nil lead back to Tolka Park tonight for the second leg of their First Division playoff with Drogheda United.

Kick off is at 7.45, and Finn Harps await the winners.

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen is unlikely to face the Republic of Ireland in Saturday’s meeting at the Aviva.

The Tottenham playmaker was excluded from the Danish squad named last week for the Nations League encounter and the Danes’ friendly with Austria.

Eriksen is suffering from an abdominal injury, and Denmark head coach Age Hareide (PR: Aw-geh Har-ed-eh) says they are unlikely to give him a late call-up.

Meanwhile, Matt Doherty has been named the PFA Player of the Month for September.

The Wolves full-back received 39 per cent of the vote, beating Chelsea’s Eden Hazard into second position.

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the latest names to be added to the nominees for this year’s Ballon d’Or – as he hopes to win the award for the third year running.

He’s joined by Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino in the latest announcement.

Ronaldo is currently at the centre of a rape allegation which he strenuously denies.

Gareth Bale, Sergio Aguero and Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson were also named on the list earlier today.

The 30 nominees are being revealed throughout the day.

The winner will be named at an award ceremony in Paris in December.

Leanne Kiernan and Harriet Scott have been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland’s friendly with Poland tomorrow.

Both players are missing through injury.

It’s a double blow to manager Colin Bell following the recent retirements of Karen Duggan and Aine O’Gorman.

BASKETBALL

The Elite Performance Committee (EPC) at Basketball Ireland in conjunction with the Men’s National Competitions Committee (MNCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Keenan as Head Coach of the Ireland Senior Men’s team.

Mark will begin the appointment from January 1st, 2019 and will coach the squad up until the conclusion of the 2020 FIBA European Championship for Small Countries.

Coach Keenan is currently the head coach of Men’s Super League team, Templeogue, and has enjoyed considerable success with them over the years, most recently winning two Hula Hoops National Cup titles and a Basketball Ireland Men’s Super League title.

Speaking about the news he stated: “I feel very honored, delighted and excited to be given the opportunity to be part of our senior men’s national team. I believe we will have a very talented group of players to work with and am looking forward to the prospects and challenges ahead.”

Chair of the EPC and MNCC Bernard O’Byrne commented: “We are delighted to appoint Mark to this prestigious position given his tremendous career to date in Irish basketball and his great knowledge of the sport. We look forward to working with him over the next period and assisting him to be as successful as possible. We also wish to thank the other high quality candidates who applied for the position and wish them well.”

GAELIC GAMES

Cork duo Chloe Sigerson and Orla Cotter have been nominated for the Camogie Association / WGPA Players’ Player of the Year.

The All Ireland-winning pair are joined on the shortlist by Kilkenny’s Anne Dalton.

Cork also dominate the Intermediate Player of the Year shortlist, with Amy Lee and Saoirse McCarthy joined by Niamh Mallon of beaten finalists Down.

While the Junior Player shortlist sees Dublin duo Deirdre Johnstone and Caragh Dawson joined by Kerry’s Patrice Duggan.

The winners will be revealed at the All Star banquet on Novermber 3rd.

YOUTH OLYMPICS

Mona McSharry and Niamh Coyne will both swim in this evening’s final of the 50-metre breaststroke in Buenos Aires.

Coyne was second in her semi final, and McSharry third.

The final is due in the pool at 10.14 tonight, Irish time.

Georgia Drummy is through to the second round of the tennis.

The Dubliner was a 2-sets to 1 victor over Valentia Ivanov of New Zealand.

And Nhat Nguyen made it two-wins from two in the Badminton singles.

The Irish number 1 beat Argentina’s Mateo Delmastro 21-8, 21-5.

RACING

There seems to be no stopping Joseph O’Brien right now and the 25-year-old’s fine run continued in the opening Join The Tipperary Supporter’s Club 2019 Maiden Hurdle with Choungaya coming home strongest under Mark Walsh.

On paper, Gigginstown House Stud’s Monbeg Worldwide looked to have a better chance, and was supported into the 11-8 favourite before the off, but it was the lesser-fancied Choungaya who stormed home at odds of 8-1 for the champion owners.

Fresh from riding a double at Tipperary on Sunday, Rachael Blackmore repeated the trick on her return to the track this afternoon, scoring on Young Turk and Ellie Mac respectively.

After winning on Young Turk in the beginners’ chase for Joseph O’Brien, Blackmore quickly doubled up aboard Henry de Bromhead’s Ellie Mac in the following rated novice chase.

The win was made extra special by the fact Ellie Mac was carrying the colours of the Niccolai Schuster Horse Racing Club, which comprises of friends and family of the late student, who died in the Berkeley balcony tragedy in 2015.