Category: Archive

Irish Sports Desk Collins eyes June for ring returnBy Sean Creedon

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Steve Collins will return to the ring in Cardiff on June 5. An opponent has yet to be chosen for the 34-year-old Dubliner, who retired from boxing in October 1997. Earlier this year, Collins said he had agreed a deal to box Roy Jones Jr., but the Jones camp didn’t follow up on the offer. If Collins comes through his June bout, he is being lined up for a September fight with Welshman Joe Calzaghe and the chance to win back his old WBO super middleweight crown. After that a fight heavyweight bout against Jones is possible.

English guides Tipp toward top

It’s a well-known fact that good players don’t necessarily become good managers. But it looks like Nicky English, one of the great Tipperary hurlers of recent years, is going to be a good boss. In what is his first season in charge of the Premier County, English has already led Tipp to the new South East League title. And he has not been slow to drop any players who didn’t make the required fitness targets. Others were dropped from the squad after interviews about their lifestyle.

On Sunday, the former corner forward will take charge of the men in blue and gold against Galway in the Hurling League final in Ennis.

Under English, Tipperary have won 13 of their 15 games, and after their hard-fought semifinal win over Munster rivals Clare, they should be confident against Galway. However, the men from West definitely took the League very seriously, winning all six of their divisional games and got through to the final thanks to a lucky late goal against Kilkenny.

Unlike Tipp, who face Clare again in the Munster championship in a few weeks, Galway don’t have a championship game until July 3, when they play Roscommon in the Connacht final and they can afford to take the League very serious. As a player English had some tough games against Galway and defenders like Sylvie Linnane. The current Galway side will not make it easy for the new man in the Tipp dugout.

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Bad day for Keane, Irwin

These are bad days for the Irish players with Manchester United, who are still in with a chance of winning the treble of European Cup, FA Cup and FA Premiership. Captain Roy Keane will miss the European Cup final after picking up a second yellow card in the semifinal win over Juventus. And, last week, his fellow Corkman Denis Irwin was unfortunate to be sent off in the League game against Liverpool. Irwin had an early shower after getting two yellow cards from the controversial referee, the first time in his career that he has been sent off. Now he will miss the FA Cup Final against Newcastle United on May 22. Elleray seems to have something against the Corkmen, he has already sent off Keane a few times.

O’Cuinneagain to captain ruggers

South African-born Dion O’Cuinneagain will captain the Irish rugby team, which will tour Australia next month. O’Cuinneagain, who has 10 caps, takes over from Paddy Johns.

"We could no longer guarantee Paddy his place in the side, so it is providing him with the opportunity to concentrate on his own game," said coach Warren Gatland. The party, which includes five uncapped players, will leave Dublin on May 24 and will play New South Wales twice before the tests against Australia, on June 12 and 19.

Rovers drop Reid

Four days after helping Sligo Rovers stay in the Premier division, manager Nicky Reid was sacked by the club. Naturally, Reid was disappointed.

"After helping the club stay in the top flight under difficult circumstances, I was hopeful of receiving at least a one-year extension to my contract," Reid said.

The "difficult circumstances" to which Reid refers to occurred a few weeks back when some of Sligo best players left the club and returned to England.

Meanwhile, the other Rovers, Shamrocks, are also looking for a manager. Last week, The Hoops sacked Mick Byrne, after a disastrous end to the season. Former Shelbourne manager Damien Richardson and Irish international Liam O’Brien, who is due to finish with Tranmere Rovers this summer, are believed to be the two candidates for the job.

Kerry, Westmeath in U21s

On Saturday evening, Kerry and Westmeath meet in the All-Ireland under 21 football final in Limerick. The game will be shown live on RTE and will probably also be available in the United States. I hope that everybody from the Rathmore area is tuned in to see goalkeeper Kieran Cremin hopefully become the first man from the foot of the Pap Mountains to win an all-Ireland medal. While, Kieran plays for the Dr. Crokes club in Killarney, his roots are near the famous city, and he is a relation of Mickey Moynihan, a Rathmore man who was a star with New York in his day.

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