Thursday morning means the bank holiday weekend is just about within reach and if you’re planning on catching games locally, you’re going to need tickets in advance. But let’s take a look at some of the headlines of the day first.
A big crowd is expected in UPMC Nowlan Park on Sunday afternoon for the meeting of Kilkenny and Galway. If you haven’t been to a Leinster game this year and you’re planning on bringing juveniles, you’re being reminded that there is a €5 charge this year on juvenile tickets (the rule of U16s go free does not apply) and they must be accompanied by an adult ticket at the time of purchase.
We’ve got ticket details online this morning – you can also buy yours here – but ahead of the game we’ve been asking Aidan Fogarty for his thoughts and you get the feeling the game against Westmeath will pale in comparison to what will unfold on Sunday or be “a totally different kettle of fish” as he’s been telling KCLR. More on that one for you later. Tickets for Kilkenny’s minor clash with Wexford on Monday are also on sale, priced €10.
Carlow bow out of minor championship
In football last night, Carlow put up a good showing against Wicklow in the final round of the Leinster minor football championship group stages. Carlow were trailing by a point with just a minute to go in normal time but ultimately ended up on the wrong end of a 3-11 to 2-6 score with the neighbours going on a late blitz to make sure of their place in the knockouts.
Later this morning we’ll see St. Kieran’s College in Kilkenny face St. Peter’s College (Wexford) to decide the Leinster schools senior hurling ‘A’ league final. Throw-in out in Inistioge is at 11.30am. In Carlow tonight, Kildavin Clonegal host Carlow Town in the Bolger Shield at a quarter past seven. Tinryland take on Erins Own in the senior football league division 1 at eight while at the same time in the Bolger cup it’s Naomh Eoin against Bagenalstown Gaels in Myshall.
Yesterday saw a huge upset on day two of the Punchestown Festival. The Willie Mullins-trained Gallopin des Champs was odds-on favourite for the Gold Cup but was beaten into second place by the Martin Brassil-trained Fastorslow with JJ Slevin on board.
Mullins did have more success on the day though and will fancy fancy his chances later in the Barberstown Castle Novice Chase, a race dominated by the Carlow trainer with eight of the last ten winners coming from his yard. Having taken the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown and the Arkle in Cheltenham, it’s no surprise El Fabiolo is 2/7 for the 6.35pm race.
Those hoping to have seen Shark Hanlon’s Hewick will have their chance in Sandown this weekend with the fan favourite looking to defend his bet365 Gold Cup won this time last year, a race that kicked off the run for the Galway Plate and American Grand National last year.
Jockey Jordan Gainsford has enjoyed a fine season and he could have a very big day at Punchestown today when he partners Teahupoo for Gordon Elliott in the Ladbrokes Stayers Hurdle. Racing gets underway today from 3.40pm but if you’re heading along you might do well to pack the umbrella in the car.
Carlow’s Finn Lynch showed some of his better form on the water yesterday to secure a place in the Gold fleet for the next two days at French Olympic Sailing Week. It’s likely his current score won’t see him reach Saturday’s medal race final with the regatta this week being treated more like a training event to improve on form. It’s all taking place Hyeres on the Cote d’Azure and you can find details online at scoreline.ie.
The Republic of Ireland’s amateur team will have a local face on the pitch when they line out next. Evergreen’s Lee Delaney has been handed his first callup by team manager Gerry Davis for a friendly against the Basque Region next week. Davis says the training camp and game will be a chance for players to shine and put themselves in the shop window for the final tournament squad this summer, so we wish Lee all the best.
The Premier League title race looks like it’s fully swung in the favour of Man City after last night’s results.
Two goals from Kevin De Bruyne sandwiched a John Stones header on the stroke of halftime as City beat Arsenal 4-1 at home, Erling Haaland putting the icing on the cake with the long hair flowing on the 95th minute. That cuts the gap at the top of the table to two points but City still have two games in hand.
Then Forest went and beat Brighton 3-1 to send Leicester back into the relegation zone, Liverpool held out for a 2-1 win away to West Ham and Chelsea’s woes went from bad to worse with Brentford winning 2-0 at Stamford bridge.
There are there more games tonight with Everton hosting Newcastle, fresh off a 6-1 win over Spurs while Southampton take on Bournemouth – both of those at 7.45pm. Spurs host Man United 8.15pm.