Finn Harps want to continue momentum

Finn Harps bring the curtain down on the first quarter of the 2014 campaign when they make their shortest away trip of the First Division season on Saturday as the face First Division title favourites Longford Town at the City Calling Stadium (kick-off 7.45pm).

Longford come into the game on the back of a shock defeat against Shamrock Rovers ‘B’ last weekend, but Harps boss Ollie Horgan still knows they will prove a formidable opponent on Saturday.

“Longford have the best panel of players in our Division,” said Horgan of his fortcoming opponents. “The fact that they lost last day out makes no difference other than we might suffer a backlash from them.

“They have serious players all over the field and on the bench too,” he said. “Stephen Rice, Pat Sullivan and Pat Flynn all won the league with Shamrock Rovers just a couple years ago. David O’Sullivan, Gary Shaw and Don Cowen amongst others give them power and pace up front. They also have Kevin O’Connor and Sean Russell who they have signed from Premier Division teams.”

Last Friday, Harps had to fight back for a 1-1 in a game that turned on the sending off of defender Keith Cowan in the first half.

Sligo & Dundalk to meet at Tallaght Stadium

The FAI Cup winners will be looking to add more silverware at Tallaght Stadium on 10 May
The 2014 Setanta Sports Cup Final between Sligo Rovers and Dundalk will take place at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday, 10 May.

This will be the fourth time Tallaght Stadium has hosted the final having previously staged the 2010, 2011 and 2013 finals.

Sligo Rovers will be appearing in their first Setanta Sports Cup final having lost at the semi-final stage in each of the last four years, while Dundalk lost 2-0 in the 2011 final to Shamrock Rovers.

Ireland WU17s beats Scots in friendly

Scotland 0
Republic of Ireland 2

MEGAN Connolly maintained her remarkable goal-scoring record for the Republic of Ireland Women’s U17 side as they beat Scotland 2-0 in a friendly at Ainslie Park, Edinburgh, tonight.

Connolly’s first half brace took her tally to 15 goals in 13 games at this level as the Irish beat a Scottish side that reached the UEFA finals at this level.

Dave Connell’s side took the lead when Connolly raced onto a long delivery by goalkeeper Brooke Dunne, outstripped the home defence and slotted home clinically.

College Corinthians striker Connolly’s second goal came after excellent build up play down the left. Hayley Nolan found debut girl Niamh Prior on the flank and she delivered a great first time ball for Connolly to head over the advancing Scottish keeper.

“It was a very good performance. Even though we scored our goals in the first half we also played very well in the second half,” said Connell.

“We were rock solid again in defence. Brooke Dunne had only one save to make.

“It was very pleasing for the likes of Niamh Prior and Aislinn Meaney who both did well on their debuts. We also had a lot of players including Lucy McCarton, Jamie Finn, Sara McKevitt and Evelyn Daly who are eligible again next season.

“Overall I’m just pleased with a very good performance. Scotland’s U17 team are strong. Our U17 girls are carrying on where the U19 girls produced last week. We’ll look forward to the second game on Friday now.”

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Brooke Dunne, Jamie Finn, Nicole Gordon, Keeva Keenan, Savannah McCarthy, Hayley Nolan, Evelyn Daly, Lucy McCarton, Sarah McKevitt, Megan Connolly, Niamh Prior. Subs: Aislinn Meaney for McKevitt 53 mins; Sara Jane McDonald for Gordon 60; Eleanor Ryan Doyle for McCarton 66; Courtney Higgins for Prior 70; Emma Byrne for Daly 75.

Setanta Sports Cup Final venue to be decided on Thursday

There will be a new name on the Setanta Sports Cup this year after Dundalk knocked out holders Shamrock Rovers to set up a final meeting with Sligo Rovers on Saturday, May 10.

The Setanta Sports Cup Tournament Committee will meet on Thursday to decide the venue and the kick-off time for what will be the competition’s ninth final and seventh time it has been won by a club from the SSE Airtricity League.

This will be Sligo’s first ever appearance in the final while Dundalk were runners-up to Shamrock Rovers in 2011.

Donegal GAA clarification on drug tests

CLG Dhún na nGall wish to clarify that no players from the Donegal senior football team received fines for failing to turn up to a mandatory drugs test last year.
The headlines which appeared in one online publication is totally untrue. It is also misleading to claim that three players have been identified. CLG Dhún na nGall co-operate fully with the Irish Sports Council at all times in arranging drugs tests, and the normal practice is that two players are randomly selected to participate in the drugs tests.
The facts of the matter are that representatives of the Irish Sports Council attempted to carry out a drugs test on CLG Dhún na nGall Senior Footballers at Robert Emmet Park, Castlefin on April 4th 2013 at 6.40pm. On that particular evening, training had been moved from Castelfin to MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey, at the last minute, and the ISC had not been notified of the change of venue.
As a result CLG Dhún na nGall received a fine of €750.​

Leitrim GAA results

LEITRIM: ACL D1 – Drumkeerin 0-13 Dromahair-St Patrick’s 3-10; Drumreilly 1-6 Glencar-Manorhamilton 1-18; St Mary’s-Kiltoghert 1-8 Mohill 2-10; Annaduff 2-7 Gortletteragh 1-7; Aughawillan 1-10 Melvin Gaels 0-4; Aughnasheelin 1-12 Ballinamore-Sean O’Heslin’s 0-8; ACL D2 – Leitrim Gaels 2-16 Mohill 3-7; Kiltubrid 0-13 Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher 1-10; Allen Gaels 1-13 Fenagh-St Caillins 0-5; Carrigallen 3-10 Bornacoola 0-5; Cloone 2-10 Dromahair-St Patrick’s 0-5; Ballinaglera 0-9 Glencar-Manorhamilton 0-13;

Finn Harps hope to bounce back

Finn Harps v Wexford Youths
SSE Airtricity League, First Division
Finn Park, Ballybofey
Friday 11th April 2014 – Kick-off 8.00pm

After suffering a first defeat of the season last weekend, Finn Harps will be looking to get back to winning ways again when Wexford Youths visit Finn Park on Friday evening (kick-off 8.00pm).

Shane Keegan’s Youths will provide a stiff test for Harps and come into the game having beaten Waterford United and Shamrock Rovers in their last two games to jump above Harps into second place.

“We have a huge game ahead against Wexford this weekend,” said Harps boss Ollie Horgan who watched his team lose for the first time since taking the hot-seat at Finn Park prior to the start of the season.

“They have won their last two games and are ahead of us in the table. Wexford are considered to be the fittest and biggest side in our Division and excellently organised. This is the best squad that they have assembled and will take some beating.

“They have added the talents of Ben Ryan from Waterford and especially Danny Furlong from Cork City who scored three goals last weekend. Then you can throw in the likes of Aiden Keenan, Shane Nolan and Dean Broaders and you can see that this will be a massive test for us in a number of areas.”

UCD look to bounce back against Dundalk

Kick-off: 7.45pm, Friday 11th April
UCD’s good run of recent results came to an end on Monday Night with a 2-0 defeat away to Shamrock Rovers. Despite this result, manager Aaron Callaghan remains positive with his team going into this clash against the inform Dundalk FC.
“After the defeat against Rovers, we will be looking to bounce back against Dundalk. As injuries begin to hit the squad it will give some of the other players a chance. Our performances lately have been very good, but we are now in a tough run of fixtures, however we are confident of picking up some points and maintain our good position in the league.”
Aaron will be particularly pleased with the form of his goalkeeper after Conor O’Donnell put in another fine performance on Monday night.
Friday night will see the return of another of last season’s top performers for UCD, as David McMillan returns to the UCD Bowl with his new side. David left UCD last July for Sligo Rovers, however he looks to have regained his form since moving to Dundalk over the close season, scoring in his last two appearances.

New European Rugby deal

BT and Sky have reached an agreement in principle concerning arrangements for the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup competitions, both of which would be broadcast jointly by BT Sport and Sky Sports.

The pool matches would be shared equally, both will show two quarter finals each, one semi-final each and the final would be broadcast by both live. The 4 year agreement is subject to contract.

Simon Green, Director of BT Sport said: “It is fantastic news for rugby fans that we have reached a deal with Sky Sports. The game of rugby had to come first and both companies have recognised that by showing a high degree of maturity and flexibility. We are delighted with the deal that has been struck and are hugely excited about bringing live action from both tournaments to our TV customers.”

Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “This is a good day for rugby. The agreement offers clarity for European rugby and enables the clubs to plan for the future. With these new competitions, we’re delighted our viewers can look forward to even more top-class European coverage across our platforms.”

Geldof death sadly confirmed

“At this stage, the death is being treated as an unexplained and sudden death,” said a statement from Kent Police.