Morning Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

Tipperary and Kilkenny will meet for the 21st time in an All-Ireland hurling final next month.

Brian Cody led the Cats to their 16th decider with him as manager by beating Limerick by a point on Saturday.

While, the Premier overcame Wexford yesterday by 1-28 to 3-20 at Croke Park with the goal coming from Seamus Callanan.

Wexford boss Davy Fitzgerald was disappointed to come up short

It will take place on August 18th, while the curtain raiser will be Galway versus Kilkenny in the Electric Ireland minor hurling final.

=====

GOLF

Rory McIlroy let his lead slip to lose out on golf’s WGC St Jude Invitational title to American Brooks Koepka.

He went into the final round ahead by a shot – but ended up five strokes behind Koepka on 11-under-par.

English pair Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick finished level with McIlroy.

==

Bernhard Langer won his fourth Senior Open last night at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s.

He finished up with a two stroke cushion on six under par.

Meanwhile, Darren Clarke finished on level par.

In the rest of the Irish, Mark McNulty ended on two over par, while Paul McGinley was on seven over par.

=====

RACING

The 150th Galway Races begin later.

The Galway festival’s opening day feature is the Connacht Hotel Handicap (7.40) and it is a race all of Ireland’s amateur riders want to have on their CV. So far the prize has eluded 11-time champion Patrick Mullins who will be hoping to add the event to his list of big-race triumphs when he partners Legal Spin, trained by his father, Willie, who bids to win the race for the third year running.

The four-year-old was runner-up under Ryan Moore in a premier handicap at the Curragh on his reappearance last month, and is one of four representatives for Mullins who also runs Mr Adjudicator, Royal Illusion and Great White Shark.

Only one rider involved in this year’s renewal has previously won the contest. Derek O’Connor, who rides Baba Boom for JP McManus and Johnny Murtagh, was successful on Rapid Deployment in 2003.

The Harry Kelly-trained Great Trango, the mount of Jamie Codd, is the only course-and-distance winner in the line-up. That win was achieved at the same meeting a year ago and he has not run on the Flat since.

Elsewhere on the card the opening Galwaybayhotel.com & Galmont.com Novice Hurdle (5.20) is always a fascinating affair and Willie Mullins has won it for four of the last five years. This time around he runs impressive Punchestown winner, Authorized Art.

The first of seven races at Galway on Monday is due off at 5.20 and the going is good on the National Hunt course and good to yielding on the Flat track.

=====

CYCLING

Colombia’s Egan Bernal becAme the youngest ever winner of the Tour de France in over 100 years last night.

He took the yellow jersey into yesterday’s final processional stage through Paris and sipped champagne with his Team Ineos team-mates during the ride.

Defending champion Geraint Thomas finished second in the general classification.

BASKETBALL

So close and yet so far was the motto of the day for the Ireland Under 18 men as they lost out a thriller against Ukraine 74-63, in their third group game at FIBA U18 Men’s European Championship Division B in Romania.

The boys in green came back from 16 points down to close the margin back to four points in the early stages of the fourth quarter, but Ukraine’s size and sharp shooting outside the arc down the stretch was ultimately the difference.

There were stand out performances for the boys in green across the floor though, most notably from CJ Fulton, Sanmi Fajana and Kerry’s Rapolas Buiyvdas. Fulton continued to impress with some superb assists throughout and added 11 points for the side, while Fajana put in a huge first half to finish quarter two with 19 points to his name (and finished the game with 22), while a massive second half from Buiyvdas saw him secure a big double double of 22 points and 12 rebounds.

“I’m proud, frustrated, disappointed and exuberant,” said head coach Paul Kelleher afterwards. “I’m thrilled with the performance, I think when you take on a team like Ukraine it’s fine margins and I think we did a much better job from the middle of the second and our transition defense was a little bit better. We won the turnover battle and the offensive rebound battle, we missed a few throws and some lay ups but those are the margins. Our boys were magnificent – the performance, the execution – so just a few more shots, these are the things we need to figure out going forward.”

In Finland, the Ireland Women’s Masters team got their 2019 FIMBA World Championships F40+ campaign underway with an opening day battle against Mexico. The game ended in favour of Mexico who took the win 55-44 after an extremely close affair. A full report from this game including reaction will be up available on the Basketball Ireland website later tonight.

Back in Dublin meanwhile the Ireland senior men came from behind to secure a second consecutive victory against Luxembourg, winning out 90-83 to win the two-game friendly international series.

Trailing for the opening three quarters, a stunning fourth quarter from Ireland saw them turn the tide of the game from the midway point. Roe dictated the pace of the Irish attack to perfection, driving hard at the basket for crucial Irish scores, while Ireland’s top scorer, Lorcan Murphy got a superb steal for a breakaway dunk, and momentum was firmly in Ireland’s favour and they outscored Luxembourg by 10 points in the quarter to take the win.

Speaking after the game, head coach Mark Keenan stated: “It was nip and tuck for most of the game – four points at half-time, three at the end of the third, the last four minutes of the game were just incredible. The intensity was fierce throughout and it got a bit feisty at the end. We just got the right bounces at the right time to give us momentum for that last three, four minutes. It’s just super to be able to close it out. So many times, games would have gone against an Irish side, but this time the players showed great composure, especially after winning yesterday as well – it’s always tough to repeat that. We’re just delighted to get back-to-back wins against them.

“This is a brilliant positive note to finish the summer programme. We have to realise the level where we need to be starting our programme next year. We’ll be trying to pick up where we left off today and hopefully the players will have a good season with their clubs.”

SOCCER

Arsenal boss Unai Emery says Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil had to miss yesterday’s game with Lyon due to the week’s stressful events.

Kolasinac fought off two moped robbers who were armed with knives when he and team-mate Ozil were targeted on Thursday.

==

Waterford make the almost 350 kilometre trip to the north-west to take on Derry City in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

The game kicks off at the Ryan McBride Brandywell at 7.45pm.

Yesterday, Shamrock Rovers could only draw away to Cork City, meaning Dundalk’s lead at the top of the table has been cut to seven points.

MOTORSPORT

Monaghan’s multiple rally champion Sam Moffett and his co-driver James O’Reilly improved on their overnight second place to take victory in the Cork MC CFF Group Jim Walsh Forest Rally at Mallow, bringing their Fiesta R5 to the finish 21 seconds ahead of Saturday evening leaders Barry McKenna and Andy Hayes in another Fiesta.

McKenna, also from Monaghan, won this rally last year with a different co-driver, and led by seven seconds after the first day. However, Moffett upped his pace yesterday and was well clear by the last of the fourteen stages.

James Wilson, the holder of the Billy Coleman Young Driver of the Year Award, had a good run in a Hyundai i20 to finish third on only his second drive in a powerful R5 car, while fourth for Cathan McCourt’s Fiesta gives the Tyrone driver the lead in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship with just one round left.