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Tuesday August 20, 2019

Kerry’s CIifford gets all clear for Tyrone showdown

courtesy of RTE

David Clifford should be back in action this weekend

Kerry boss Peter Keane says David Clifford will be fit for Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final against Tyrone.

The star forward missed the Kingdom’s Super 8s win over Meath on Saturday with a back injury.

“David missed the game on Saturday night but he’ll be fine,” Keane told RTÉ GAA correspondent Brian Carthy.

“It was unfortunate and we missed him, equally so the previous week we lost David Moran for the game against Donegal, that’s just the nature of it.

“Fellows get knocks along the way and you just have to move on, next man in and see how he goes.”

James O’Donoghue, however, remains a doubt.

Keane said: “James, we’re not so sure. We’re back training [tonight] and we’ll see what position he’s in.”

All-Ireland football semi-final details

courtesy of RTE

Dublin beat Tyrone in Omagh at the same stage last year

If Dublin get a result in Omagh on Sunday week they will play in the first of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-finals six days later.

However, if the five in-a-row chasing champions lose they will have an extra day to prepare for their last four clash.

The GAA have announced fixture details for this year’s All-Ireland semi-finals and on Saturday, 10 August the winner from Super 8s Group 2 will face the runner-up in Group 1 with a 5pm throw-in at Croke Park.

Then on the Sunday, 11 August, the Group 1 winner will take on second place in Group 2, the action at GAA Headquarters getting underway at 3pm.

Dublin and Tyrone have already qualified from Group 2 and the only issue up for decision at Healy Park is who will top the pool. A draw would do the Dubs as they have a superior scoring difference.

In Group 1 things are less clear-cut, with Kerry, Donegal and Mayo all trying to squeeze through, with Meath the only team eliminated.

Kerry travel to Navan to take on the Royals on Saturday week, 3 August, and it’s a winner-takes-it-all clash between Mayo and Donegal in Castlebar. The winner of this group will have the longest break before their semi-final – eight days.

The All-Ireland minor semi-finals are Mayo or Dublin against Monaghan or Cork, and Kerry or Tyrone against Kildare or Galway.

One semi-final will be a curtain-raiser for either senior game, the day for each fixture will be confirmed by the GAA once the pairings at senior and minor are known.

Upcoming fixtures (extra-time to be played if necessary)
Saturday, 10 August
5pm, Group 2 Winner v Group 1 Runner-up, Croke Park

Sunday, 11 August
3pm, Group 1 Winner v Group 2 Runner-up, Croke Park

Ireland shock England with stunning bowling display in morning session

courtesy of RTE

Tim Murtagh put in one of the finest Test bowling performances at Lord's

Ireland’s first ever Test match against England began in stunning fashion as the visitors rolled the English top and middle order for less than 50 runs, and the home side were eventually all out for 85 at Lord’s.

Mark Adair was selected for Ireland to make his Test debut, having impressed in the one-day game with England in May, while Boyd Rankin became the first man to play for and against England since Mansur Ali Khan, aka Nawab of Pataudi, in 1946.

But it was Tim Murtagh who was the star of the show, claiming a remarkable five wickets for 13 runs.

Murtagh, bowling on his home Middlesex pitch, started the rout as he took the wicket of England one-day hero Jason Roy, who was making his Test debut.

Roy was caught by Stirling in the slip cordon, while Ireland debutant Adair followed up with his maiden Test wicket by trapping new batsman Joe Denley, leg before wicket.

England were shocked, sitting on such a low total of 36 for 2 as captain Joe Root came out to attempt to steady the ship, but what followed will send shockwaves around the cricketing world.

For the fledgling Test nation, Ireland, proceeded to take five wickets for the loss of just seven runs, as Rory Burns went for six as Murtagh claimed his second wicket, Gary Wilson making the catch behind the stumps.

And the captain soon followed as Root got trapped lbw for just two runs following more excellent and accurate bowling from Adair.

Jonny Bairstow never looked comfortable at the crease and the World Cup hero was out soon after for a duck as Murtagh claimed his third wicket, this time clean bowled.

Forty-two for five soon became 42-6 as Chris Woakes also walked for no score as Murtagh’s remarkable spell continued, trapping the middle-order man lbw.

Suddenly the tail end were in play, long before the end of the opening session as England were facing a home humiliation, and the home side could only manage one more run before Moen Ali went for their third duck of the innings, with Murtagh becoming the first Irish cricketer to record a five-wicket innings. Ali caught behind by wicketkeeper Wilson.

Sam Curran was England’s only bright spark in the morning session as he went after the change of bowler with Stuart Thompson getting hit around the ground in his first over.

But Ireland struck again as Stuart Broad was done by the other new bowler as Boyd Rankin secured his first Irish Test wicket, another caught behind by Broad.

Shane Lowry admitted it felt like an “out-of-body experience”

courtesy of RTE

Shane Lowry admitted it felt like an “out-of-body experience” after defying miserable conditions to win the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

Roared on by a sell-out crowd, Lowry carded a closing 72 to become the fifth Irish player to lift the Claret Jug after Fred Daly, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

“I’m feeling unbelievably calm, to be honest,” Lowry said. “I don’t know why. It’s not going to sink in for a couple of days, is it?

“It’s just incredible to be sitting here with a trophy in front of me. Look at the names on it. I couldn’t believe that it was me. I couldn’t believe it was happening.

“I think a lot of people made the last-minute journey up here because I was leading and it was great out there today.

“It’s funny, I sometimes struggle to play in front of the home crowd and have done in the past, but not over the last few days. I played lovely.

Lowry with the Claret Jug
“Obviously I had a nice healthy lead going out and I hit a ropey tee shot on the first. Then you’re standing on the first green, Tommy has a great chance of birdie and I’m putting for bogey from eight feet.

“There’s a potential three-shot swing. He misses, I make, and there’s only one-shot difference. Then when I was struggling around the turn I had a look at a few leaderboards and saw everyone else was struggling too and that settled me a lot.”

With none of the chasing pack able to mount a charge, Lowry recovered from three bogeys in the space of four holes from the eighth with a crucial birdie on the 15th and was able to savour the walk down the final hole before embracing his wife Wendy, daughter Iris and parents Bridget and Brendan on the 18th green.

Lowry fought back tears as he thanked his parents, adding: “They sacrificed so much for me when I was younger and I’m so happy that I can hand them this trophy tonight.

“My wife and my little girl, to have them here today is just extra special.

“My wife knew no matter what to have Iris there waiting for me because if things didn’t go to plan, at least she would have consoled me a little bit. To have her there, winning, obviously it’s very special.

“I’m going to be coming back to play another 27 Opens (champions are exempt to the age of 60). She’s going to be nearly 30 when I play my last one. That’s going to be nice.

“She’ll be able to see those pictures in years to come and it will be a nice memory to have.”

Mayo make three changes for Meath showdown

courtesy of RTE

James Horan has chopped and changed since last week's defeat

Mayo have made three changes to their team following the 10-point loss to Kerry in Killarney last week, though goalkeeper David Clarke retains his place in goal from Rob Hennelly.

Seamus O’Shea, Eoin O’Donoghue and Ciaran Treacy all come into the side with Chris Barrett, Kevin McLoughlin and James Carr making way.

O’Shea slots in at midfield with Aidan O’Shea advancing to the half-forward line in place of McLoughlin. O’Donoghue, from Belmullet, is a straight swap for Barrett, while Treacy is named at wing forward with Jason Doherty moving into the corner instead of the deposed Carr.

Mayo have not beaten Meath in summer since the 1951 All-Ireland final and defeat for James Horan’s side would likely hasten their exit from the championship.

Mayo: David Clarke; Stephen Coen, Brendan Harrison, Eoin O’Donoghue; Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Keith Higgins; Donal Vaughan, Seamus O’Shea; Fionn McDonagh, Aidan O’Shea, Ciaran Treacy; Cillian O’Connor, Darren Coen, Jason Doherty.

Jack Sherwood comes into the Kerry team for Sunday
James O’Donoghue is the notable absentee from the Kerry team named for their clash with Donegal on Sunday.

The Killarney Legion player is believed to have picked up an ankle injury during the comfortable 1-22 to 0-15 defeat of Mayo last Sunday, and Graham O’Sullivan is named in his place. The only other change sees Jack Sherwood come in for Shane Enright.

Kerry: Shane Ryan, Jason Foley, Tadhg Morley, Tom O’Sullivan; Paul Murphy, Gavin Crowley, Gavin White; David Moran, Jack Sherwood; Adrian Spillane, Sean O’Shea, Graham O’Sullivan; David Clifford, Paul Geaney, Stephen O’Brien.

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