Evening Sports Update

SOCCER

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out say greater action must be taken to safeguard James McClean and his family.

The Republic of Ireland winger was subject to more anti-Irish and sectarian abuse during Stoke’s draw with Millwall on Saturday at the Bet 3-6-5 Stadium.

Kick It Out say they’ve informed the FA of the latest incident, but say the abuse McClean receives shames the game.

====

Limerick United will take part in this season’s underage leagues, it’s been confirmed.

They replace Limerick FC, whose place in the SSE Airtricity First Division went to Shamrock Rovers Two.

It’s hoped the underage presence will be the first step towards returning a Limerick club to the league in 2021.

Meanwhile, the President’s Cup clash of Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers has been confirmed for Oriel Park on February 9th.

The domestic season’s traditional curtain-raiser will have a 3pm kick-off.

====

Multiple sources in Catalunya claim that Ernesto Valverde is no longer head coach at Barcelona.

The 55-year old has been in charge since the summer of 2017, but his position was subject of intense speculation over the weekend.

Barca club legends Xavi and Ronald Koeman are both reported to have turned down the job.

PARA-ATHLETICS

Double Paralympic Games medallist Orla Barry has announced her retirement from paralympic sport

Barry won bronze in the F57 discus at London 2012 and a silver at Rio 2016.

The Cork athlete set a world record in 2013 and won nine medals at major championships in all.

SNOOKER

Mark Allen begins his 2020 Masters campaign at Alexandra Palace tonight.

The 2018 champion faces Dave Gilbert from 7pm.

Currently at the table, Neil Robertson leads Stephen Maguire by 5-frames to 3 with the Aussie just a frame away from victory.

RUGBY

England head coach Eddie Jones has appointed Simon Amor and Matt Proudfoot as his new assistant coaches.

Proudfoot will become forwards coach, with Steve Borthwick moving to skills coach.

Amor joins from the England sevens team and will be the attack coach.

RACING

Tomorrow’s meeting at Fairyhouse will be subject to an 8am course inspection.

8 milimetres of rain has fallen at the County Meath course today with more promised.

Today’s planned card at Punchestown fell victim to the weather and has been re-arranged for Wednesday.

The Jack Kennedy and Gordon Elliott combination took the opening beginners’ chase at Thurles on Friday where Elwood landed the spoils in convincing fashion. Backed from 10/1 to 9/2, the six-year-old led over the final fence and stayed on to win by two and three parts of a length from the Henry De Bromhead-trained 11/8 favourite Mormon.

Gavin Brouder backed up his Limerick Christmas Festival on the James Nash-trained Alohamora when guiding the six-year-old to an easy win in the 3m handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse on Saturday. He won by eight and a half lengths to give the Listowel conditional his 15th career success.

Tralee jockey Phillip Enright was also on the Fairyhouse scoresheet as he won the rated novice chase with At The Acorn. Trained by Tony Martin and owned by the Here For The Craic Syndicate, the 3/1 favourite had loads in hand as he beat the Philip Dempsey-trained The Long Mile by two and a half lengths.

Enright was back in the winners’ enclosure at Punchestown on Sunday where he rode his first winner for County Wexford trainer Paul Nolan. Enright was onboard as My Club Colours scored a four-length win in the mares’ handicap hurdle. The six-year-old carries the colours of Gaels Racing Club and was an easy winner at the line.