Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has praised the professionalism of his players after a difficult three days.

His side couldn’t make a breakthrough against Wales at the Aviva Stadium, drawing 0-0 in their UEFA Nations League game yesterday.

The manager saw five players ruled out of the game, after one positive Covid-19 case saw four additional members of the squad deemed close contacts.

Kenny says he couldn’t ask more from his makeshift team, in spite of another scoreless result

The results of the latest round of FAI Covid-19 screening will be known later today.

The squad are due to travel to Helsinki tomorrow, ahead of their meeting with Finland.

Adam Idah will return to the squad, having missed Thursday’s draw with Slovakia in the playoffs.

He’s been given the all-clear to link up again, after the Covid-19 case which ruled him out of the game in Bratislava was deemed to be a “false positive”.

Dara O’Shea, Jason Knight, Ryan Manning and Ronan Curtis have also been called into the group.

Finland beat Bulgaria 2-0 last night in the other game in Ireland’s group.

Those results mean that Ireland are in third position in the table on two points, five behind leaders Wales.

The Premier League could be on a collision course with its biggest clubs over radical plans to shake-up English football.

Project Big Picture would reduce the number of teams in the top flight to 18, with EFL clubs receiving a bigger share of future revenues.

It would also give the so-called ‘big six’ greater powers.

EFL chief executive Rick Parry doesn’t think that’s a problem

TENNIS

Rafael Nadal has equalled Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 Grand Slam titles after he beat Novak Dokovic in the French Open final.

Nadal eased to a straight sets victory over the world number one to lift the trophy at Roland Garros for a thirteenth time.

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BASKETBALL

The 2020 NBA season came to a close overnight, almost four months later than expected.

The LA Lakers clinched a record-equalling 17th title, beating the Miami Heat 106-93 in Orlando for a 4-2 series win.

It’s a first championship in 10 years for the Lakers.

Their star LeBron James now has four NBA tites with three different teams.

HORSE RACING

Local racing today comes from Kilbeggan with an eight-race card down for decision.

The first race goes to post at 1415.