Lunchtime Sports Update

GOLF

Shane Lowry has moved into contention into the weekend at golf’s Turkish Airlines Open.

The Open champion has moved to seven-under-par after carding a superb second round 65.

He’s four shots behind the clubhouse leader Ross Fisher.

Padraig Harrington is two-under with three holes left of his round.

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Tiger Woods has named himself as one of his wild card picks for golf’s Presidents Cup.

The match play event sees a USA team take on one from the rest of the world – minus Europe.

Woods also added Tony Finau, US Open champion Gary Woodland and Patrick Reed to his 12 man team.

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Lisa Maguire says she’s ready for the next chapter in her life after retiring from professional golf.

The 24-year-old Cavan woman represented Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup and the Junior Ryder Cup and had been playing on tour for the last 18 months.

Maguire was 120th on the European Ladies Tour’s Access Series this season and will now make the move into golf management.

SOCCER

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has been appointed the new boss of Championship side Stoke City.

He’s signed a three and a half year contract with the Championship club but will remain in charge of the national team for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Holland and Germany.

He’ll also see over any play-off tie that they might need to play in March.

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There’s a meeting of the Premier League’s bottom two tonight.

Watford – who’ve failed to win any of their first 11 top flight matches this season – go to Norwich.

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Windsor Park is the venue for this evening’s first leg of the Unite The Union Champions Cup.

Northern Irish Premiership champions Linfield host double winners Dundalk, where there’s a quarter-to-eight kick-off.

RUGBY

The first inter-pro clash of the Guinness PRO14 season takes place this evening.

Connacht host reigning champions Leinster at the Sportsground at twenty-five-to-eight.

Both teams are in good form, Leinster have won their first five games while Connacht are on a run of four straight victories.

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Peter O’Mahony is back in the Munster team for tomorrow’s visit of Ulster to Thomond Park.

Fellow Irish internationals Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, O’Mahony and CJ Stander also start for the Reds.

Jacob Stockdale and Jordi Murphy will make their first appearances of the season for Ulster.

Marty Moore and Jack McGrath come into the front-row while John Cooney starts at scrum-half.

CRICKET

Andrew Balbirnie has been appointed the new captain of Ireland’s Test and One-Day cricket sides.

The 123 times capped international succeeds Will Porterfield, who had been skipper for 11 years.

Balbirnie says it’s an “absolute honour” to take on the role – while Porterfield is aiming to keep playing cricket for his country.

RACING

Dundalk hosts an eight-race card this evening.

The first goes to post on the all-weather at a quarter-past-five.