Morning Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

Dublin have opened their Division One Football League campaign with a win over Kildare.

Brian Fenton and Dean Rock scored the goals in their 2-17 to 2-10 victory at Croke Park last night.


Shane Kingston’s early goal helped Cork defeat Kilkenny by 1-24 to 24-points in Division One A of the Hurling League at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

In Division One of the Football League this afternoon Monaghan host Mayo and Tyrone travel to Galway.

All-Ireland hurling champions Galway open their Division One B Hurling campaign against Antrim at Salthill.

SOCCER

Having booked their place in the League Cup Final midweek, Premier League leaders Manchester City look to advance to the last-16 of the F-A Cup this afternoon.

Pep Guardiola’s side make the trip to a Cardiff side who are currently third in the SkyBet Championship at 4.

The lunchtime game is an all top-flight affair with Chelsea hosting Newcastle at half-one.

Last night West Brom got a shock 3-2 win against Liverpool at Anfield.

Newport came close to beating Spurs – but drew 1-all after Spurs scored a late equaliser.

Rangers can cut Celtic’s lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to eight-points if they win at Ross County.

GOLF

England’s Justin Rose is in contention to win the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines in California – after a solid third round.

He’s 8-under-par, three shots behind Swedish leader Alex Noren.

Tiger Woods is 3-under in his first competitive event of the year.

HORSE RACING

Naas racecourse unveil their new cylindrical design Feature Building ‘The Circle’ today where a seven-race card gets underway at 1.20pm.

The new facility looks out onto the track and is part of a €3.2 million HRI Capital Development Scheme and a project that aims to bring Naas up to the standards of the very best smaller tracks in Ireland and Britain.

The Grade 3 Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase (2.20) over 3 miles has attracted a field of five including two Gordon Elliott-trained runners. Mossback, the mount of recent Goffs Thyestes Chase winning rider Jack Kennedy, is joined by stable companion Jury Duty bidding to resume winning ways after finishing runner-up in a Grade 1 event at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Champion trainer Willie Mullins runs his Cork beginners chase winner Livelovelaugh while Navan trainer Noel Meade is represented by Moulin A Vent who slammed Thyestes winner Monbeg Notorious when winning his beginners chase at Fairyhouse in December.

The Grade 3 Limestone Lad Hurdle (1.50) over 2 miles also includes a brace of Gordon Elliott runners, Limerick Grade 3 winner over Christmas Duca De Thaix and French import Destin D’anjonc who trailed home last of six on his Irish debut also at Limerick over Christmas. Willie Mullins introduces another French recruit and winning hurdler Dolciano Dici who has missed a few prior engagements since coming to Ireland. He is joined by stable companion Sandsend with Paul Townend notably booked to ride while Michael Mulvaney’s dual purpose campaigner On The Go Again is seeking his fifth consecutive victory under both codes since last August.

The going at Naas is currently soft to heavy, soft in places.

BASKETBALL

“This is all I wanted and everything I dreamed of,” said an overcome Black Amber Templeogue star, Lawrence (Puff) Summers this evening as his side were crowned Hula Hoops National Cup champions with a 68-62 point win over UCD Marian at the National Basketball Arena.

“I lost a final with Kilkenny here four years ago,” he continued, “and I have a photo of my daughter crying because Daddy lost. I can’t wait to go home and put this medal around her.”

Indeed, the huge win for Templeogue over their south Dublin rivals saw them complete a memorable double of Cup wins in one day, with their Under 18s overcoming Neptune in their decider earlier in the day. In the big showdown this evening though, UCD threatened to take the lead with less than a minute remaining, but two vital steals from veteran Michael Bonaparte stemmed their momentum and MVP Lorcan Murphy – who took the game high with 23 points – broke clear with an opportunity to slam his first dunk of the game in the dying seconds, but elected to fire the ball into the rafters of the National Basketball Arena in sheer joy as his side enjoyed their second title in three years.

Earlier in the day, Templeogue Under 18 Men’s team also stormed home to National Cup glory as they closed out a thriller against Neptune. This game was also in the melting pot right up until the closing seconds as Neptune came back from a 10-point deficit at the end of the third quarter to tie the game level at 64 points, but leadership from Templeogue’s Kris Arcilla in the dying seconds saw him keep cool, calm and collected from the free throw line to close out a 72-68 point victory.

Meanwhile, DCU Mercy’s domination of underage basketball continued as their Under 18 side claimed their second Hula Hoops Women’s Cup in less than 24 hours with a 74-42 win over Brunell. For today’s winning coach Damien Sealy, credit belongs with a very special group.

“It all comes down to the girls,” he said. “There wouldn’t be a club without them and they showed how good they were today. Some of our best players never knew what it was like to win at underage. Now some of them don’t know what it’s like to lose.”

In the first game of the day meanwhile, Blue Demons held onto their NICC Men’s Cup title for another year as they overcame BC Leixlip Zalgris in an enthralling final. MVP Liam Carmody provided a shooting masterclass as he proved valuable on both sides of the basket, while Dalius Tomosauskis and Marzvydas Cepliauskas once more putting in a solid performance for Leixlip making sure to always keep their side within 10 points.