Thursday Morning Sports Update

GAELIC GAMES

James Horan has handed out two debuts for Mayo’s opening Allianz Football League meeting with Roscommon on Saturday night.

Brian Reape and Conor Diskin both start in the full forward line for the game at Elverys MacHale Park.

The match is the first of Horan’s second spell in charge of the county.

TENNIS

Petra Kvitova is through to the Australian Open final.

The two time Wimbledon champion beat the unseeded American Danielle Collins in straight sets in Melbourne this morning.

It is the first time Kvitova has reached a Grand Slam decider since being stabbed in the hand in 2016.

She will now play U-S Open Champion Naomi Osaka, who has beaten Karolina Pliskova in straight sets.

GOLF

Two bogies on the back nine have blotted Shane Lowry’s scorecard on the opening day of the Dubai Desert Classic.

The Offaly man is back in action just days after his Abu Dhabi Championship victory.

He carded four birdies to lie three shots behind the early leader Tongchee Jaidee of Thailand, but bogies on the 15th and 16th holes of his round leave him at 2-under playing the last.

Paul Dunne teed-off a short while ago and was 1-under par after two holes.

Tiger Woods returns to action this evening in his first PGA Tour golf event of the year.

He joins a field in San Diego that includes Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.

The tournament is being played at Torrey Pines Golf Club – a venue that Woods knows well.

SOCCER

Pep Guardiola is relieved Manchester City secured their place in the League Cup final without suffering any injuries last night.

Guardiola branded Burton Albion’s pitch “dangerous” after City won 1-nil at the Pirelli Stadium, but 10-nil on aggregate.

The City manager denies they went easy on their League One opponents.

City will now meet the winner of tonight’s semi-final between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

Spurs hold the upper hand having won the opening leg 1-nil.

Kick off is at 7.45.

Kilmarnock are up to second in the Scottish Premiership after beating Rangers 2-1.

Celtic are now one point clear at the top after thrashing St Mirren 4-nil.

Oran Kearney’s side drop to the foot of the table after Dundee stunned Hearts to win 2-1 at Tynecastle.

Fourth-placed Aberdeen are now level on points with Rangers after a 3-nil win over Hamilton.

St Johnstone beat Livingston 1-nil and Motherwell beat Hibernian by the same scoreline.

RACING

Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy makes his return to action after 10-months out today.

Last year’s R-S-A Chase winner will go off the favourite in the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park.

It’s the 8-year old’s first outing since last year’s Cheltenham Festival.

The first on a seven-race card goes off at 12.45.

In the UK they run at Weatherby, Southwell and Chelmsford.