Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

It was a case of “job done” for Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy following their 2-nil win against Gibraltar in their Euro 2020 qualifier last night.

Robbie Brady scored a late header to add to a first-half own goal to extend their lead to five points at the top of Group D.

But McCarthy admits it wasn’t their best performance

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Northern Ireland will look to make history in their Euro 2020 qualifier in Belarus this evening.

Victory would make it four wins in a row for Michael O’Neill’s side – which would be their best ever start to an international qualifying campaign.

They go into the game on top of Group C – 3 points clear of Germany.

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Wales will hope to get their campaign back on track following defeat to Croatia when they play Hungary away.

Scotland take on the world’s number one team Belgium.

RUGBY

Warren Gatland looks set to be named the Lions head-coach for the 2021 tour of South Africa.

Gatland’s set to step down as Wales boss after the World Cup later this year and has reportedly reached a verbal agreement to coach the Lions for a third successive time.

The former Ireland head-coach guided the Lions to victory in Australia in 2013 and a drawn series against New Zealand two years ago.

Ryan Baird has been cleared to play for Ireland in tomorrow’s final Pool B match against Italy at the under-20 World Rugby Championship.

The Leinster lock was sent off for a high tackle in last weekend’s loss to Australia but that red card has been overturned on appeal.

Ireland need a bonus-point victory over the Azzurri to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals.

GAELIC GAMES

Waterford’s Brian O’Halloran has retired from inter-county hurling.

The 28-year-old spent a decade on the Deise panel, winning a Munster title in 2010 and the National Hurling League in 2015.

O’Halloran started in Waterford’s defeat to Cork last weekend where their Championship campaign came to an end.

HOCKEY

Ireland look to seal their place in the semi-finals of the F-I-H Series Finals, where Olympic qualification is on offer, this afternoon.

Having beaten Malaysia and the Czech Republic, the world cup finalists look to make it three wins from three when they face Singapore in their final game in Pool A.

Tip-off at Banbridge is at 2pm.

RACING

The Connacht National Handicap Chase takes centre stage at Roscommon this evening.

Shark Hanon’s Rewritetherules looks set to go off the favourite in the feature race at 10-past-8.

The first of seven races goes to post at twenty-to-six.

CRICKET

Former England cricketer Mark Butcher has supported Cricket World Cup organisers and doesn’t blame them for the disruption to play at the tournament.

Yesterday’s tie between South Africa and the West Indies was abandoned due to rain – and further delays have affected today’s game between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – leading to questions being asked of whether enough time has been given to complete the games.