As Cheltenham celebrations continue locally this week, let’s take a look at some of the stories making headlines on Scoreline.ie and KCLR for your Tuesday morning.
Beginning with Gaelic Games and the throw-in days and times for this weekend’s Allianz Hurling League semi-finals have been confirmed. It’s an all-Munster clash in the first semi-final as Division 1B table-toppers Tipperary take on defending All-Ireland champions Limerick at the TUS Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening at 7.30pm. Then on Sunday it’s a 4pm throw-in as Cork come to UPMC Nowlan Park to take on Kilkenny. Extra time will be played on the day if needed with winners settled this weekend.
Ahead of the game, Kilkenny manager Derek Lyng has been telling KCLR that while more names are set to return from layoffs, there’s plenty of work to do before we get near the championship. You can hear his interview in this week’s Scoreline Extra podcast.
One player who’s grasping the chance to play for Kilkenny this league campaign is Galmoy’s Billy Drennan who’s in the running for the GAA.ie Player of the Week. Voting closes on the GAA’s Instagram stories at 10am.
Kilkenny’s minor hurlers are also set to start their season this weekend when they take on Laois in Round 1 of the Electric Ireland Leinster minor hurling championship. Throw-in there as at 2pm in Laois Hire O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.
In football, there’s been a venue change for tonight’s clash between Old Leighlin and Tinryland in Division 1 of the senior football league. That game now goes ahead at 8pm in Tinryland.
At inter-county level there has also been a change of time for Carlow’s Allianz Football League closer against Wexford. Originally slated for 1pm this Sunday, that game will now take place at 5.30pm on Saturday evening with tickets available now from usual outlets.
Ahead of that one, manager Niall Carew has been telling KCLR that while Wexford is a big game, it’s the ideal testing ground before taking on Wicklow in the first round of the championship next month.
Tonight sees Carlow take on Laois in the opening round of the Eirgrid Leinster Under 20 Football Championship. Throw-in at Netwatch Cullen Park is 7.30pm.
A sort of homecoming
There’s a celebration of the Cheltenham variety taking place in Leighlinbridge later as Willie Mullins puts his Gold Cup-winning star Galopin Des Champs on parade between five and six this evening. Mullins had six winners at this year’s festival to be crowned the top trainer again, watching on with Paul Townend on board as Galopin Des Champs took the Gold Cup by seven lengths in the end. He has confirmed plans to defend the Gold Cup next year but the celebrations continue with his homecoming this evening.
Cup final heartbreak
SETU Carlow suffered cup final heartbreak last evening as they went down 1-0 to NUI Maynooth In this year’s CUFL Premier Final, Maynooth scored the only goal of the game with 15 minutes of normal time remaining. They do have the CUFAI Perpetual Cup to look back on as they close the chapter on a great year of soccer for the technological university.
Attention now turns to the women’s team who take on DCU today in the semi-final of the Intervarsity Kelly Cup. Kick-off at TUD Grangegorman is at 3pm.
Captain, oh captain
There’s good news out of Kilkenny College as well this week with the local school’s Stephen Smyth from Form 6 set to captain the Ireland Under 19 rugby squad this Wednesday when they take on Japan. Sean Naughton, also of Form 6 also made the team and will start on the bench where we’ve heard there’s a possibility of him entering the game early in the second half.
Two of the school’s fifth-year students have also been included in the Ireland Under 18 clubs and schools squads – hats off to Paddy Bramley and Adam Watchorn.
Conte gone, Roy’s return?
Tottenham Hotspur are expected to sack manager Antonio Conte this week. The Italian launched an extraordinary rant at his players in the press conference after Saturday’s draw at Southampton. Conte’s contract expires in the summer, but the club are set to act now with Ryan Mason potentially taking temporary charge until the end of the season. Spurs lie fourth in the Premier League, two points clear of Newcastle United and five ahead of Liverpool, but both clubs have two games in hand.
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace have reappointed Roy Hodgson as their manager until the end of the season. The 75-year-old ex-England boss was in charge of the Eagles between September 2017 and May 2021. Hodgson replaces Patrick Vieira, who was sacked last week – on St. Patrick’s Day of all days. The club lie three points above the Premier League relegation zone. Irishman Paddy McCarthy will act as Hodgson’s assistant.
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