Morning Sports Update

GOLF

Rory McIlroy has had a disastrous second round at the W-G-C H-S-B-C Champions event in Shanghai.

The Ulsterman lies 5 over par after a 77.


That leaves him 16 shots behind the leader Tony Finau.

GREYHOUNDS

5/2 shot Burnt Oak Beth won race 4 at Shelbourne Park for Patrick O’Sullivan by 1 and a half lengths in 29-12.

SOCCER

Arsenal have extended their winning streak to 11 games in all competitions

A Danny Welbeck goal handed the Gunners a 1-nil win over Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.

It means the London club retain their place at the top of Group E in the Europa League.

Arsenal are away to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday and Manager Unai Emery is determined to keep the momentum going

Chelsea remain top of Group L thanks to a 3-1 victory over BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge.

The win came courtesy of a Ruben Loftus-Cheek hat trick.

The England midfielder has struggled for game time this season, but feels he has become a better player since Maurizio Sarri took charge in the summer

Celtic are teetering towards a group stage exit.

Brendan Rodgers’ side lost 2-nil to R-B Leipzig in Germany.

Rangers drew nil all with Spartak Moscow at Ibrox.

The 2018 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season draws to a close tonight.

Champions Dundalk end their season with an away fixture at Bohemians.

Bray Wanderers’ stay in the top flight comes to an end away to Cork City.

There are also games between Shamrock Rovers and Sligo, St Patrick’s Atheltic and Derry City, and Limerick and Waterford.

Queens Park Rangers entertain Aston Villa in the Championship.

RUGBY

Johnny Sexton is adamant that the Irish Rugby team will still be successful after Joe Schmidt.

The Grand Slam winning coach is considering his future and will decide whether to extend his contract after the November Internationals.

Sexton says the players hope he will stay, but beating New Zealand is the current focus

Ireland 7s star Robert Baloucoune makes his Ulster debut tonight.

The 21 year old comes onto the wing as one of eight changes for the visit of Bernard Jackman’s Dragons to Belfast.

Connacht have recalled Bundee Aki and Kieran Marmion for their game against the Ospreys in Wales.

Quinn Roux and Finlay Bealham also start.


RACING

There is racing this evening at Dundalk.

The all-weather track hosts a seven-race card with the first underway at 6.00.

Dundalk has long been a happy hunting ground for Michael Halford and he runs four – Petticoat, Surrounding, Terzetto and Vivianite – in the mile feature, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cooley Fillies & Mares Stakes (8.00).

Could It Be Love, one of four Aidan O’Brien runners, landed her maiden over the course early in the season but has not won again despite finishing second to
Alpha Centauri in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

She showed encouraging signs on her most recent start when third in a similar event to this at Naas on Sunday and looks to be O’Brien’s number one hope.
Joseph O’Brien is represented by Dramatise, a 50-1 shot when scoring on her debut at Fairyhouse last month, and Damselfly, who finished second in the Naas Listed race where Could It Be Love was second.

Racing at Dundalk is underway at 6.00pm on Friday and the track is standard.

Thurles was not a track Aidan O’Brien thought he would be sending runners to in 2018 but he won’t have too many complaints after taking the first three races on the card on Thursday, a 19-1 treble which featured the ten-lengths success of Constantinople in the one-mile maiden for two-year-olds.

It was hardly surprising to see Constantinople sent off as short as 4-11 given that he had bumped into Madhmoon and ran in a hot Newmarket maiden on his previous two starts and he powered to a wide-margin victory over Counting Sheep in the hands of champion jockey-elect Donnacha O’Brien.

Donnacha wasted little time in securing win number 110 of the campaign as he swooped late on Madrid in the one-mile maiden for three-year-olds.

Wayne Lordan, who was one of the few riders on duty to have celebrated a previous winner at the track, was on board Aidan O’Brien’s opening winner – Mona Lisa’s Smile in the fillies maiden.