Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Former Republic of Ireland international Damien Delaney believes there’s a lot more to come from young Irish midfielder Will Smallbone.

The 20-year-old started his third Premier League game for Southampton in their win at Watford yesterday.

He’s been capped at underage level for Ireland and while he’s played on the right for the Saints – Delaney feels he will eventually play in his preferred central role

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There’s a mid-table clash in the Premier League this evening.

Crystal Palace host Burnley at 8PM.

GOLF

Dylan Frittelli has become the latest player to withdraw from a PGA Tour golf event after receiving a positive result today for coronavirus.

Frittelli says he’s not had any symptoms but he’ll now have to self-isolate for 14 days and will miss this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

Last week Cameron Champ and Denny McCarthy withdrew from the Travelers Championship following positive results.

Graeme McDowell and Brooks Koepka did not participate after their respective caddies returned positive tests.

RUGBY

Winger James Lowe has confirmed that he’s signed a new three-year deal with Leinster.

The province announced 28 new senior contracts for next season.

Lowe confirmed on Twitter today that his new deal will keep him in Ireland until 2023 at least.

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Meanwhile Saracens captain Brad Barritt will face Leinster in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals.

The South African was due to leave this summer but has signed a contract extension to take him through to the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

Leinster and Saracens are due to play that European fixture in mid-September.

RACING

There’s an eight race card in Limerick today where the going is Good-good to firm in places.

The first goes to post at ten-past-one.

The first race of an eight race card in Kilbeggan goes to post at 4:35PM.

Paddy Kennedy was among the winners as jump racing returned to the roster for the first time since racecourse action resumed at Limerick on Monday. It was also the first day of the 2020/2021 National Hunt season and Kennedy celebrated when landing the second division of the maiden hurdle on the Tom Foley-trained Rebel Gold which proved seven lengths too good for Jon Ess at odds of 20/1. Kennedy said, “That’s my first winner for Tom and I work with his son Pat at Jessie Harrington’s. The Foleys have done a good job with the horse. He was very free in his younger days and Pat put all his work into settling him and it has worked. He told me he’d go close today and he was right. He loves that ground and should improve again. He’ll be a nice summer horse and there might be a nice novice for him at Galway. It was nice to get the season started with a winner.”

Bryan Cooper landed his first success of the new season when partnering the Paul Nolan-trained Quamino to take the 2m5f handicap hurdle at Roscommon on Wednesday. A fair sort over fences, the seven-year-old took advantage of a far lower handicap mark over hurdles to beat the Gavin Cromwell-trained Mutadaffeq by a comfortable four lengths. The winner was returned at odds of 2/1 while the runner-up was the 7/4 favourite.