Morning Sports Update

SOCCER

The Republic of Ireland are just one win away from automatic qualification for Euro 2020.

Mick McCarthy’s side host Denmark at the Aviva Stadium tonight, knowing that victory will send them straight through to next summer’s finals.

Anything less will resign them to the play-offs.

With Seamus Coleman out through suspension Shane Duffy is set to captain the Boys in Green for the first time.

The Derry native is confident that the gravity of such an occasion will not weigh on him

England won their final qualifier yesterday evening, beating Kosovo 4-nil.

Gareth Southgate’s side had already secured their place at the finals prior to the win and will be among the top seeds next summer.

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Irish captain Katie McCabe provided the assist for Vivianne Miedema to score the second as Arsenal beat Spurs 2-nil at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Women’s Super League.

38-thousand-262 fans were in attendance, setting a new crowd record for the Women’s domestic game in England.

RUGBY

It was a successful opening weekend for the Irish sides in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Ulster beat Bath by a single point at the Rec on Saturday afternoon before Leinster brushed past Benetton 33 points to 19 to secure a bonus point.

Munster also collected a bonus point as they saw off Ospreys 32-13 on Saturday evening.

And Connacht beat Montpellier by three points at the Sportsground yesterday to make it four wins from four.

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It’s understood Saracens are to drop their planned appeal against a breach of the Premiership’s salary cap.

The European champions were fined 5-point-4 million pounds and deducted 35 points earlier this month.

At the time, club chairman Nigel Wray described the punishment as “absolutely devastating”.

Today is the deadline for them to officially serve notice of appeal.

GAELIC GAMES

St. Mullins of Carlow reached the Leinster Club Senior Hurling final yesterday after beating Rathdowney-Errill 2-17 to 1-19 at Netwatch Cullen Park.

It’s the first time in six years that a Carlow team has reached the decider where they’ll face All-Ireland champions Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Down’s Kilcoo beat Derrygonnelly of Fermanagh 1-8 to 9 points yesterday at the Athletics Grounds to set up an Ulster Club Football decider with Donegal’s Naomh Conaill.

A late four point blitz from Tipperary’s Clonmel Commercials saw them get past Clare’s Miltown-Malbay by two points to advance to the Munster Club Football final.

They’ll meet Nemo Rangers of Cork in the decider after they breezed past Kerry representatives Austin Stacks at Pairc Ui Rinn where 2-17 to 5 points was the final score.

SNOOKER

Judd Trump retained his Northern Ireland Open crown with a 9-7 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall last night.

The world champion hit four centuries as he repeated his 2018 win over O’Sullivan to secure his third ranking title of the season.

GOLF

Shane Lowry sits fourth in the Race to Dubai rankings after Tommy Fleetwood won the Nedbank Challenge after a playoff at Sun City in South Africa yesterday.

The Open champion is just less than 12-hundred points behind leader Bern Wiesberger of Austria.

Englishman Fleetwood is second, ahead of Irish Open champion Spaniard Jon Rahm.

TENNIS

Stefanos Tsitsipas won the ATP tennis finals title last night after he beat Austrian Dominic Thiem in a deciding set tie-break in London.

It’s the Greek’s biggest tournament win of his career on his debut at the end of season event.

MOTORSPORT

Joint reigning Hewison champion Guy Foster scored his third win in a row this season to increase his lead in the National Autotest series. His Mini Special finished TDC’s Howard Wilde Memorial event at Arklow seven seconds clear of the saloon version of Daniel Byrne, with another Mini Special driven by Northern visitor James Wilson a further 19 seconds down in third place.

Anthony Culleton won the Specials class in the Birr MC Autocross at Moneygall, Co Offaly, with Mike O’Connor Senior taking the saloon section, while Fergil Gregory won the Leinster Millard Cup Sporting Trial at Glendalough, three marks ahead of Siobhan McCann, who beat Percy Pennefather in a tiebreak for runner up position.