Morning Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

The Munster Senior Hurling Championship gets underway this afternoon – with a repeat of last year’s final.

Holders Cork welcome Clare to Pairc Ui Chaoimh at 4 as the competition moves to a new round robin format.


Before that, neighbours Limerick and Tipperary meet at the Gaelic Grounds at 2.

Meanwhile, League champions Kilkenny will be looking to make it two wins from two when they host Offaly in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship.

Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford open their campaign by welcoming Dublin to Wexford Park.

Both of those are at 3.

At 4 today, Tyrone begin their pursuit of a third successive Ulster Senior Football title.

Mickey Harte’s side welcome Monaghan to Omagh.

Ex Monaghan player Dick Clerkin previews the tie

Fermanagh await the winners in the semi-finals after their five-point win over Armagh last night.


SOCCER

Chelsea have won the FA Cup for an eighth time.

Eden Hazard’s early penalty proved decisive in their 1-nil victory over Manchester United in the final at Wembley.

Chelsea fan Ger Walsh

In the S-S-E Airtricity League Premier Division, it was nil-nil between Sligo and Shamrock Rovers at the Showgrounds.

Longford and Shelbourne drew 1-all in the First.

Leicester have announced the signing of Porto defender Ricardo Pereira and say the deal will be officially completed early next month.

The Portugal international – who’s part of his country’s World Cup squad – has agreed a five-year contract.

No transfer fee’s been revealed by either club.

(1400 start)

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has brought a reduced squad of 18 to Glasgow for their match against Celtic in Scott Brown’s testimonial.

Conor O’Malley, Shaun Williams and Graham Burke will be among the players looking to catch the eye ahead of upcoming friendlies against France and the U-S-A.

Burke played for Shamrock Rovers in last night’s scoreless draw at Sligo Rovers.

In the First Division it was 1-all between Longford and Shelbourne.

Former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini could be confirmed as West Ham’s new manager later.

Chinese club Hebei China Fortune have confirmed that the Chilean has been released from his contract and he’s now expected to travel to London for talks with the Hammers.


BOXING

Josh Warrington is the new IBF world featherweight boxing champion after winning an all-British fight against Lee Selby in Leeds.

Backed by a hometown crowd at Elland Road stadium, Warrington caused a major upset to win by split-decision on the judges’ scorecards and inflict Selby’s first defeat in nine years.

It’s widely expected that a bout against former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton in Belfast now awaits in August.

Two-time Olympic champion Nicola Adams continued her steps into the professional ranks with a first-round knockout of Soledad del Valle Frias.


RACING

Rhododendron has given trainer Aidan O’Brien a second victory in the Group One Lockinge Stakes following a thrilling finish to the Group One showpiece over a mile at Newbury.

It is a Sunday to savour at Naas as the popular track plays host to Royal Ascot Trials Day and Ladies Day. It is a day not to be missed.

It is The Broghie Man rather than the bogeyman that the O’Briens should be scared of in this sprint as Adrian Keatley’s improving speedster is all that stands in their way of success in the feature Group 3 Goffs Lacken Stakes (4.15) over six furlongs.

Aidan O’Brien and his son Joseph are responsible for six of the seven runners in this six-furlong contest, but neither should take anything for granted as the The Broghie Man is fresh from a Listed success at Navan where he bravely fended off the stubborn challenge of Speak In Colours.

Last year’s Norfolk winner Sioux Nation, the choice of Ryan Moore, spearheads a three-pronged attack from Ballydoyle. Aidan O’Brien won this race last year with Caravaggio en route to Commonwealth Cup success at Royal Ascot and a similar path is being paved for Sioux Nation.

Aidan O’Brien said recently that the improvement some of his string make from first to second start can be “out of this world”, and that was most definitely the case with Sergei Prokofiev, who followed up a narrow defeat in a Dundalk maiden with a seven-and-a-half-length success at Navan. That wide-margin win over a previous Naas maiden winner promoted him to favouritism for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. His biggest price for that is 9-2, but that could tumble if he continues his rapid progress in the Coolmore War Command Rochestown Stakes (3.15).

The eight-race extravaganza at Naas starts at 2.05 and the going is good to firm.

There is jumping action at Limerick where the first of eight races is due off at 1.55,

The most valuable contest on the Limerick card is the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Chase (4.35), worth €25,000, and it could be treacherous for punters as the top two in the market have run in the last week. Asthuria proved a bitterly disappointing favourite at Punchestown on Wednesday, trailing in seventh of the nine runners behind Supreme Vinnie. She is back against her own sex but looked to have had a hard race there.

Thanks For Tea traded very short in running in the Killarney National but was reeled in close home by Icantsay. That was only six days ago, so can she reproduce such a cracking effort after having such a short time to recover?

The going at Limerick is good.

For the first time, the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris and the Grande Course de Haies – France’s Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle equivalents – are run on the same card at Auteuil this afternoon and Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins is well-represented in both races.

The Closutton maestro has previously won the Grande Course de Haies (3.55) on four occasions and has four chances to add to that record in a race which is run over an extended three miles. Yorkhill and Killultagh Vic come here with their trainer hoping for a change of fortune following disappointing campaigns over fences while Coquin Mans and Bapaume complete the Irish raiding quartet.

Mullins has yet to finish better than seventh in three previous attempts at the €820,000 Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris (3.15) but he believes Djakadam – runner-up to Bellshill in the Punchestown Gold Cup last month – represents his best chance of lifting the prize to date in the hands of his nephew David Mullins.

Mullins said: “I’m really looking forward to it and it’ll be a great experience for David. Even though he has his Grand Nationals behind him already, he’s a young jockey starting out and I think he’ll enjoy the challenge of Auteuil.”