Morning Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

James Horan and Jim McGuinness are the early front-runners to succeed Stephen Rochford as Mayo football manager.

Rochford stepped down last night after nearly three-years in charge citing a lack of support from the county board.


He was seeking to have Breaffy pair Peter Ford and Shane Conway added to his managerial ticket for 2019.

Officers of the county board executive were set to discuss plans for 2019 with Rochford this week, but the outgoing boss says he saw no reason for such a meeting.

G-A-A writer with the Irish Independent Colm Keys thinks the request for Rochford to have his new management team together by the end of this month put him under pressure

RUGBY

Munster have confirmed the short-term signing of New Zealand scrum-half Alby Mathewson.

Mathewson will join the province, subject to being granted a valid work permit, for four months as injury cover for Conor Murray who has been ruled out for the short-term period with an injury.

The 32-year-old Kiwi scrum-half has made five appearances for the All Blacks.

At the beginning of the 2017/18 season he joined Toulon and played for the Top 14 club on 19 occasions, including the Champions Cup quarter-final against Munster.


SOCCER

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has refused to criticise his side after they suffered a second defeat in three Premier League games.

Tottenham were 3-nil winners at Old Trafford last night, to lift them to second in the early-season table.

Mourinho felt his team played well despite the result – and didn’t take kindly to questions suggesting otherwise

It’s the first time since 1992 that United have lost 2 of their opening 3 games of the season.

Republic of Ireland winger James McClean has criticised Declan Rice for ‘deliberating’ over whether he wants to play for England or Ireland.

Rice has been left out of the Ireland squad for the upcoming games against Wales and Poland as he is taking time to ponder his international future after contact from England.

McLean says it should be an ‘honour and a proud moment’ to represent your country.

Rice has played three friendly games for Ireland and former Irish international Kevin Kilbane says it’s a slap in the face to the Irish setup

Ajax are looking to reach the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in 4-years tonight.

They take a 3-1 lead into the second leg of their playoff round tie away to Dynamo Kiev.

Elsewhere, A-E-K Athens hold a 2-1 lead over Hungarian champions Vidi ahead of their second leg in Greece.

While Dinamo Zagreb and Young Boys are tied at 1-apiece.

Ten Premier League clubs enter the Carabao Cup at the second round stage tonight.

There’s one all-top flight tie with Chris Hughton’s Brighton entertaining Southampton.

Among tonight’s other standout ties, West Ham make the trip across London to face Wimbledon.

Huddersfield travel to Championship side, Stoke City,

Crystal Palace go to Swansea

Leicester play host to Joey Barton’s Fleetwood.

And Championship high-flyers Leeds entertain Preston.


TENNIS

Andy Murray’s return to Grand Slam tennis was a positive one, as he beat unseeded Australian James Duckworth in the first round of the US Open.

Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal also went through after opponent David Ferrer retired due to injury.

Serena Williams progressed in straight sets.


RACING

There’s a seven-race card at Ballinrobe this evening with the first off at 5 o’clock.

Listen Dear returns to the scene of her debut chase success of two seasons ago when she tackles the feature Hollymount Nursing Home Chase (7.00) over the same 2m1f trip for Willie Mullins, Paul Townend and the Supreme Racing Syndicate.

The ‘pocket rocket,’ as she’s affectionately known, ran a terrific race on her return from a 441-day absence when second in a 2m2f handicap chase at Galway, where she bowled along for much of the race before giving way deep inside the closing stages.

Along with Listen Dear, the race has attracted the high-class Jessica Harrington-trained chasers Don’t Touch It and Rock The World, both of whom are owned by JP McManus.

The ground is yielding.

Gordon Elliott enjoyed another fruitful afternoon at Downpatrick by sending out a double at the northern track.

Elliott struck first when Davy Russell galvanised Present In Court to get going late and narrowly land the 2m5f maiden hurdle while Jack Kennedy steered Caltex to a bloodless victory in the beginners’ chase a half an hour later.

On an afternoon where Kerry commentator Jerry Hannon called numerous exciting finishes at Downpatrick, Noel Meade’s Jack Slade produced a terrific late surge to clinch the victory in the penultimate handicap chase by just a nose.

Deputising for stable jockey Sean Flanagan, who is nursing a broken leg, Jonathan Moore was the man punching out Jack Slade to the narrow victory over Gentleman Duke in second.