Picture the scene; Six Nations 2030, a packed stadium of 50,000 cheering fans, a large green pocket of Irish travelling fans surrounded by maroon shirts. Hold on, Maroon? It’s not that the Welsh shirts had a France shirt mixed up in the wash, it’s Georgia.
Shirley McCay says she is “not one for the spotlight” but there is something extra special about the big stage that awaits her 300th international cap today in Ireland’s Olympic qualifier against Canada at Energia Park (7pm, live on RTÉ2).
There is no talk of winning or losing in the Irish or the Russian camps this week. Nobody doubts which way the result will fall when they meet in Kobe tomorrow. This game will be about so much more than the numbers beside each nation’s name at the final whistle.
It concludes a tough spell for the side with the Dutchman taking on the role just over a year ago, taking over the reins from Craig Fulton who left the job for a role with Belgium who have subsequently gone on to win World Cup and European titles.
After a shaky opening, Dancer reverted to a high press and it paid instant dividends. Diminutive defender Beth Barr continued her hot streak in front of goal with an 11th minute tap in from McCay’s powerful cross for 1-0.
Just two days after breaking her own Irish Grand Prix record score to help Ireland qualify a dressage team for the next Olympic games, Judy Reynolds smashed her Irish Grand Prix Special record to advance to the Freestyle final at the European Championships in Rotterdam yesterday evening.
Hungary has won a court fight with EU regulators over a tax on advertising, in another setback for Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s crusade against countries she says are taking advantage of state aid-rules to give select companies an unfair advantage over rivals.
This week Portugal hosts a round of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) as the action moves to the coastal venue of Estoril. Irish riders Bertram Allen, Michael Duffy, Denis Lynch, Darragh Kenny, and Mark McAuley will all be in the hunt for individual purses as well as appearances for their respective Global Champions League (GCL) teams.
Belgium are currently the number one ranked side in world football, overtaking superpowers like Brazil who they eliminated from last year’s World Cup. Simply put, no country per capita is remotely producing as many top footballers as they are. So what’s their secret?
Having watched the epic unfold on television in the squad’s City West base, Irish U17 international Josh Giurgi took an important lesson away from Liverpool’s staging of the ‘Miracle Of Merseyside’ against Barcelona on Tuesday night and, in particular, the fact they pulled it off without any input from two of their most important players, Mo Salah and Roberto Firminho.
Ireland manager Colin O’Brien is talking about the progress being made by Gavin Bazunu, the precocious goalkeeping talent who joined Manchester City from Shamrock Rovers earlier this year, when he offloads a timely reminder of the still tender years of all the players who are now busily gearing up to represent their country in the U17 European Championship finals which kick off in Dublin on Friday.