Thursday Evening Sports Update

HOCKEY

Ireland’s women have qualified for the World Cup quarter finals for the very first time.

A Shirley McCay shot from a short-corner, was deflected into the net, off the stick of Anna O’Flanagan in the first quarter, for a 1-nil win over India.

Ireland are now assured of top spot in Pool B, regardless of what happens in Sunday’s final game with England.

CYCLING

Arnaud Démare has won today’s 18th stage of the Tour de France.

The French rider beat his compatriot Christophe Laport in a sprint finish into Pau (PR: Poe).

Geraint Thomas stays in yellow, maintaining his near two-minute lead over Tom Dumoulin.  

ATHLETICS

Tributes are being paid to Rob Heffernan following the announcement of his retirement from race walking.

The 40-year-old Cork athlete was a five-time Olympian during a career that spanned three decades.

He finished fourth at the London Olympics in 2012 and was later upgraded to third.

Heffernan was crowned World Champion in Moscow in 2013 and claimed a bronze medal at the European Championships in Barcelona in 2010.

SOCCER

The Director of Competitions with the FAI, Fran Gavin has conceded there are trust issues between his organisation and the PFAI.

Yesterday, the association announced plans for an emergency fund for League of Ireland clubs, which would see equal contributions from the FAI and the players’ association.

PFAI General Secretary Stephen McGuinness says they were never consulted about the proposal, and accused the association of point scoring.

But Fran Gavin is refusing to engage in public problem solving.


Dundalk welcome A-E-K Larnaca to Oriel Park tonight in the second qualifying round of the Europa League.

The Cypriots knocked Cork City out of the competition last year.

Kick off at Oriel Park is at 7.45.

Elsewhere this evening, Aberdeen play host to Burnley.

While Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are away to Croatian side Osijek (PR: Ozzy-ek).


Drogheda United are getting a new stadium.

An agreement between Louth County Council and the F-A-I to build a new 3-thousand capacity stadium has been reached.

The plans have scope to increase capacity to 10-thousand in the future.

One of the key contributors to Cork City’s double success last season has left the club.

Achille (PR: Ash-eel) Campion has left Turner’s Cross by mutual consent.

The French striker had fallen down the pecking order since the start of this season.

His highlight with the Leesiders will be his equalising goal that forced extra time in last season’s FAI Cup final.

GOLF

Seamus Power’s made a bright start to the R-B-C Canadian Open.

The Waterford golfer has carded a blemish-free 68 of his opening round and is in the clubhouse on 4-under par.

Power is currently five-shots off the lead of Robert Garrigus.

Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry both tee off in Oakville after 6pm Irish time.

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The American, Bryson Dechambeau leads on the opening day of the Porsche European Open.

He carded a 6-under par opening round of 66 today.


RACING

Champion Trainer Willie Mullins has outlined his potential runners for next Thursday’s Guinness Galway Hurdle.

Mullins has won this race on two occasions in the past and is hoping that he will be well represented in next week’s renewal…