Friday, September 29, 2017

By Eamonn Normanly


1 Carlow senior hurling championships semi-finals

The senior hurling championship is at the business end of the season as the semi-finals take place on Sunday at Netwatch Cullen Park.
At 2.30pm Ballinkillen face Naomh Eoin and at 4pm Mount Leinster Rangers face St Mullins. All teams will fight hard for a place in the final but only two will succeed.

Diarmuid Byrne of Mount Leinster Rangers is chased by Seamus Murphy and Jason O’Neill of St Mullins during the clash between the sides in this year’s group stages

Ballinkillen and Naomh Eoin has the makings of a great match after they served up a top-class encounter in their last group game: Naomh Eoin came out on top by 0-18 to 1-14. Naomh Eoin’s Paraic Nolan scored 11 points that day while Ballinkillen’s young gun Ciaran Whelan scored 10 points. Mount Leinster Rangers look favourites to beat champions St Mullins after they finished on top in the group stages, winning all four matches.
However, when the teams came face to face in the group St Mullins put up a great fight and only lost by a single point. St Mullins have struggled somewhat this season and secured only one convincing win over Erin’s Own. They are seeking a fourth county title in a row but Rangers will do whatever they can to stop them.


2 Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang

The 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix takes place this Sunday at the Sepang International Circuit in Selangor. The race will mark the 36th year of the event, and the 19th time as a world championship event.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes is still the man to beat

This is also the last scheduled Malaysian Grand Prix as the race is not contracted for next season and beyond. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton enters the round with a 28-point lead over Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship. Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas is in third place, a further 23 points behind Vettel. In the constructors championship, Mercedes hold a lead of 102 points over Ferrari, with Red Bull in third place a further 143 points behind.


3 NFL in London, Wembley Stadium

The New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins face each other in Wembley Stadium on Sunday. The game is part of the NFL International Series and it’s the fourth time Miami will play in London, while the Saints are visiting for the first time since their win over the San Diego Chargers in 2008.

Jay Ajayi of the Miami Dolphins will look to impress in the city of his birth

The Dolphins squad includes London-born running back Jay Ajayi, who last season became just the fourth player in NFL history to rush 200 yards in back-to-back games. The Saints are favourites to come out on top in Sunday’s clash as Miami have struggled in their last few games, but Miami could spring a surprise.


4 AFL Grand Final

The Australian Football League Grand Final between Adelaide Crows and Richmond Tigers takes place in the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) at 2:30pm local time Sunday.
The MCG is a massive Oval Stadium with a capacity of 100,024 which is why it is said to be one of the most atmospheric stadiums in the world.

Taylor Walker of the Adelaide Crows and Trent Cotchin of the Richmond Tigers pose with the Premiership Cup during the 2017 AFL Grand Final Parade ahead of Sunday’s game

Adelaide finished first in the league and it is their first Grand Final since appearance since 1998. Richmond finished third in the ladder. It is their first Grand Final appearances since 1982. Adelaide are favourites as they come into the game in blistering form but both teams will be hungry for the win after being deprived of a Grand Final for so long. It is certain that the underdogs will not lie down easily.

5 Premier League: Chelsea v Manchester City

League leaders Manchester City travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday to play last season’s Premier League winners Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City have been in unstoppable form scoring 16 goals and in their last three games and keeping clean sheets in each of them. But Antonio Conte’s side will be worthy opponents after a good 4-0 win over Stoke last time out.

Alvaro Morata has been in flying form since arriving at Chelsea

Man City may suffer the loss of their star forward Sergio Aguero after he broke several ribs in a car crash in Amsterdam on Thursday. Striker Alvaro Morata has proved himself for Chelsea, scoring a hat-trick against Stoke, and he will surely be looking to add to his tally of six league goals. This has the makings of a very good game and I predict a 2-2 draw.

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