Thursday, 25 October 2012

Thursday Morning Headlines


As expected all Ireland champions Donegal dominate the GAA/GPA Opel All Star team for 2012.

Beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo have been awarded four while Cork have two and Dublin have one.

Paul Durcan, Neil McGee, Karl Lacey, Frank Mc Glynn, Neil Gallagher, Mark Mc Hugh, Michael Murphy and Colm Mc Fadden are the 8 players rewarded for the champions.

Laois midfielder Brendan Quigley had been nominated but the midfield spots went to Neil Gallagher and Aidan Walsh

+++Team: 1. Paul Durcan (Donegal); 2. Neil McGee (Donegal), 3. Ger Cafferkey (Mayo), 4. Keith Higgins (Mayo); 5. Lee Keegan (Mayo), 6. Karl Lacey (Donegal), 7. Frank McGlynn (Donegal); 8. Neil Gallagher (Donegal), 9. Aidan Walsh (Cork);10. Paul Flynn (Dublin), 11. Alan Dillon (Mayo), 12. Mark McHugh (Donegal); 13. Colm O'Neill (Cork),14. Michael Murphy (Donegal),15. Colm McFadden (Donegal)+++

Shane Sullivan, Alan McNamee and Anton Sullivan are expected to be fit to start for Rhode's Leinster Club Championship opener against Louth's St Pats this Sunday

The 25 times Offaly Senior football winners followed up their Dowling Cup success by adding the league title last weekend

Sunday's game throws in at 2.30 and we'll have commentary on the Inside Line with thanks to Ryan's Pharmacy, Rhode and Aut Even Hospital, Kilkenny

The Irish Independent reports that Kilkenny and Galway will receive €50,000 each from the All-Ireland Hurling Final Replay

That would represent less than 2 per cent of the €3m gate


Shane Lowry has shot a level par opening round 72 at the BWM Masters in China

The Portugal Masters champion carded four birdies but also had a triple bogey on the third and a bogey on 17

Michael Hoey and defending champion Rory McIlroy at five under, that's five behind leader Jamie Donaldson

Graeme McDowell closed three under, Darren Clarke is one over while Paul McGinley goes into day two at two over.

Padraig Harrington is celebrating following his win at the Grandslam event in Bermuda, he finished one shot clear of Webb Simpson in the 4 man event after a final round of 67.


Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini accepted it would take a "miracle" for his team to reach the Champions League knockout stages after Wednesday night's costly defeat at Ajax.

A 3-1 loss has left them bottom of Group D at its midway point.

City next face Ajax again at the Etihad Stadium in a fortnight before hosting Real Madrid and then travelling to Borussia Dortmund.

"It is very difficult to qualify now," Mancini said. "It would be a miracle."
Mancini sought to deflect attention from his under-performing players by blaming himself for the loss.
The Italian said: "It is my fault. I didn't prepare well for the game and I take the blame.

"I thought in one way and it was different. When you prepare in one way and it is a different game, it is difficult.

"We had more chances to score and in the Champions League you need to score. It is my fault, I repeat."
In the other game in the group Borussia Dortmund won 2-1 against Real Madrid

Arsenal slumped to a 2-0 home Champions League defeat against Schalke - their first in the competition at Emirates Stadium since 2009.

Jan Klaas Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay found the net in the closing 15 minutes to give the Bundesliga side the win and top spot in Group B, one point ahead of the Gunners

Olympiakos won 2-1 away to Montpellier in the group’s other match

Malaga extended their lead at the top of Group C to three points as they beat AC Milan 1-0, Joaquin grabbing the only goal of the game in the 64th minute from a through-ball by Manuel Iturra.
Also in Group C, Zenit St Petersburg emerged as serious contenders with a 1-0 win over Anderlecht in Russia.

Alexander Kerzhakov netted a 72nd-minute winner from the penalty spot after Milan Jovanovic fouled Alexander Anyukov in the box.

In Group A, Porto maintained their 100 per cent record with a 3-2 win over Dynamo Kiev in Portugal.

The visitors twice struck back from behind with Oleg Gusev and Ideye Brown cancelling out strikes from Silvestre Varela and Jackson Martinez respectively, before Martinez's second won the game 12 minutes from time.

Also in Group A, PSG moved clear in second place with a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring on 32 minutes and Jeremy Menez made it two before half-time.

Tonight in the Europa league Liverpool host Anzhi Makhachkala while Newcastle host Clubbe Brugge and Spurs travel to Maritimo.

The Tottenham game starts at 6 while the other two start at five past eight.

Nani has admitted that he does not know if he has a future at Manchester United, claiming "only God knows what awaits me".

The Portugal international has started just five games so far this season and is rejecting claims fitness issues are keeping him out of the team, "I am in perfect condition - I am physically good and feeling confident. I am the same Nani as always,"

Alan Curbishley is the favourite with the bookies to be the next Ipswich manager.

The club are searching for a replacement for Paul Jewell, who left the Championship strugglers yesterday.

Harry Redknapp, Mick McCarthy and Owen Coyle are also contending.


Westmeath's Joe Clarke says Ireland are determined to finish the job in the second leg of this year's shinty international with Scotland in Ennis on Saturday

The Castletown Geoghegan clubman was on the Irish team along with Offaly's Shane Dooley and his Lake County teammates Eoin Price and Brendan Murtagh in their 3-10 to 2-9 win over the Scots at Inverness last weekend

Clarke admits Scotland's two late goals leaves things in the balance

Laois youngsters Nathan Unwin and Patrick Flynn and Westmeath forward Niall O'Brien are part of the Ireland Under 21 team to face Scotland in Ennis tomorrow night (7pm throw in)


On Saturday evening Tullamore rugby club begin their defence of the All-Ireland Junior Cup title with a home tie against Ballymoney

Tullamore go into the game in fine form ahead of the game with the Antrim side having won their first 5 games in Division One A of the Leinster League to establish a six point lead

Kick off at Spollenstown is 5.30pm

It's also a Saturday night light's game at Dubarry Park as Buccaneers host Dungannon in Division One B of the All-Ireland League

The Tyrone men, who narrowly missed out on promotion last year, did the double over Buccs last season

The Pirates have one win and one defeat so far this season while Dungannon are searching for their first win

Kick off at Dubarry Park is 7pm

We'll have updates from both games on In Play here on Midlands 103


Ballymore Olympian Joseph Murphy will be among the athletes set to be based at the new National Sports Campus at Abbotstown

Horse Sport Ireland and Pentathlon Ireland are developing facilities at the 520 acre site next Spring

Murphy competed at his first Olympics in London this summer


England Test cricket captain Alastair Cook says it's time to move on from the recent controversy surrounding Kevin Pietersen.

The batsman was dropped from the squad after sending texts to opposition players during the recent series against South Africa.

He's returned for the upcoming tour of India, and Cook says it's great to have him back.


The changes to next year's Tour de France route mean defending champion Bradley Wiggins is no longer the favourite.

The Tour includes more up-hill and mountain stages to celebrate the centenary of the event, which puts the Spanish climber Alberto Contador as the bookies' current pick.

Mark Cavendish believes that cycling is among the cleanest and most-tested sports in the world at the moment, but the sprint specialist did call on Lance Armstrong to admit his involvement in doping.


Thurles plays host to an eight-race National Hunt card this afternoon, beginning at 1.45pm.

The going is yielding, yielding to soft in places.


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