Of the eight scheduled ties,  three are  all-Leinster affairs, another two are all-Ulster games including Lurgan against last year’s beaten finalists, Ards. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Cork Harlequins facing a long trip north to face Belfast Harlequins

Katie Taylor celebrates her win at the SSE Arena in Wembley over the weekend. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Bray boxer’s first pro match but was a straightforward, if understated, affair

Ards defeated Pembroke Wanderers 2-1 in the EY Women’s Hockey League at Newtownards last Saturday. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho.

Top-two sides Hermes-Monkstown and UCD can both expect wins as they continue to dominate

Kilkenny’s Denise Gaule: outstanding in her county’s  National League and All-Ireland title victories. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kilkenny camogie star and Cork footballer honoured for their exceptional campaigns

Hermes-Monkstown’s Anna O’Flanagan in action for Ireland against Spain earlier this year: the player bagged a hat-trick in Hermes’ 5-0 win over Ulster Elks.   Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho/Presseye

In-form Hermes clinch their seventh victory in row with 5-0 defeat of Ulster Elks

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen before his ding-dong battle with Claire McNamara. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Donncha O’Callaghan needed a gumshield – and he was only watching the game

Orla O’Shea of Harlequins with Anna O’Flanagan of Monkstown. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho/Presseye/

Ten players named in Graham Shaw’s training panel of World League 2 in Malaysia

 Mary Decker, Zola Budd and Maricica Puica (316) during the controversial Women’s 3000 Metres final at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Photo:  Tony Duffy/Getty Images

Athletes who fell out at the 1984 Olympics had a lot more in common than they thought

Liz McInerney had given Hermes a first quarter lead but by half-time they trailed 2-1 to  Cork Harlequins.Photograph: Inpho

Nikki Evans sealed Hermes’ sixth win in as many games with a reverse strike from the top of the circle

James McClean celebrates scoring Ireland’s winning goal against Austria in Vienna. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Vienna bogey busted even with Jim Beglin and George Hamilton tempting fate

Ireland won the three-match series against Scotland 2-0, 2-1 and 1-0. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Hermes-Monkstown and Cork Harlequins to vie for top spot in Hockey League

Kilkenny’s Denise Gaule in action against Cork during the All-Ireland final at Croke Park in September. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Player of the year targets another All-Ireland triumph after an outstanding 2016

 Laura Graham  celebrates completing the 2016  Dublin Marathon at Merrion Square in Dublin City.  Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

National marathon title win in Dublin a big surprise for Co Down mother-of-four

Ireland players celebrate beating the All Blacks. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

NBC and rugby are hardly a marriage made in heaven – but who really cares now

Ireland captain Megan Frazer will be out of action for several months witha knee injury. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Hockey League resumes with Cork Harlequins and Hermes-Monkstown protecting 100% records

Isobel Joyce in action for Tasmania during the WNCL match against Queensland at Allan Border Field in Brisbane, Australia. Photograph: Jason O’Brien/CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Ireland star prepares for World Cup qualifiers while plying trade in Australia’s top flight

The cover of Molly Schiot’s book.

Molly Schiot has produced a lovely work on trailblazers whose stories were never told

Paul O’Connell went viral as a result of his answer on A Question of Sport and is now known in parts of the world that might still not be aware that a game called rugby even exists

TV View: Ireland hero’s remarkable answer on show received the praise it deserved

Touch Judge Joy Neville during the Challenge Cup clash between Bath and Bristol. Photo: Inpho

The Limerick Grand Slam winner has moved into a role officiating the game

Padraig Harrington drives off the first hole during the last round of Portugal Master golf tournament at Oceanico Victoria golf course in Vilamoura. Photo: Getty Images

Sunday afternoons concluding with a Harrington triumph are the best Sunday afternoons

Leinster and Ulster shined in the  interprovincial tournament in Garryduff. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ulster’s 4-0 defeat of Connacht seals under-16 glory; Leinster prevail in under-18s contest

The Irish senior hockey squad are preparing for their two matches away to Belgium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne /Inpho

Ulster aim for under-18 three-in-a-row as Leinster target fourth successive under-16 title

Ireland’s Nicci Daly in action against the United States.  “Motor racing and hockey . .  They’re not jobs, they’re my hobbies, my passions.” Photograph: David Aliaga/Inpho

A career in motor racing is put on hold as she continues to pursue her World Cup dream

Railway Union’s Emma Smyth and Emma Lindsay of Lurgan. Photograph: Rowland White/ INPHO/Presseye

Leinster side defeat champions 7-0 at Jordanstown

The late Anthony Foley: “He was big in every way – a big personality, a big sense of humour, generous to a fault.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Friends and colleagues clearly felt blessed to have known the Munster rugby great

It promises to be a very busy 2017 for Graham Shaw’s  Ireland women’s international squad. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Head coach picks two panels for series of games against Belgium and Scotland

 Lynn Harvey: “It was only when I hit 30 that I began to blossom. Boxing has allowed me to do that. It’s so much more than a sport for me.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

The 35-year-old Dubliner conquered amateur ranks as a late starter before turning pro

 Katie-George Dunlevy  along with her pilot Eve McCrystal in action at the Paralympic Games in Rio.  Photograph:  Jean-Baptiste Benavent/Sportsfile

Dunlevy and McCrystal in tandem for gold medal glory at the Rio Paralympics

Shane Duffy had a moment to forget as Moldova equalised on the stroke of half time. Photogrpah: Reuters

Martin O’Neill’s side emerge unscathed despite moment of defensive self-destruction

A goal from Anna O’Flanagan gave Hermes-Monkstown victory over Loreto, the score coming in the third quarter of a closely fought game at Rathdown

November meeting in Dublin between Hermes-Monkstown and Cork Harlequins looking more appetising

James McClean  hits the crossbar during the World Cup Group D qualifier against  Georgia at Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Eamon Dunphy wonders why Martin O’Neill’s didn’t take the lift against Georgia

USA’s Patrick Reed and Europe’s Rory McIlroy shake hands after their singles match.  Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

TV View: Face-off captured the Ryder Cup at its gladiatorial finest

Anna O’Flanagan: scored against Pegasus with just seven minutes remaining. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho/Presseye

Women’s Hockey: Anna O’Flanagan keeps defending champions ahead against Pegasus

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire after the win over Mayo in the All-Ireland SFC Final  replay at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘All you could hope was that the goalie would win that competition Michael Lyster kept advertising for a trip to Abu Dhabi’

Monkstown’s Anna O’Flanagan (right) has scored nine goals in two games. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho/Presseye/

Women’s Hockey: Free scoring player has scored nine of Dublin side’s 15 goals in opening two games

The American Wags at Brookline in 1999. Photograph: Craig Jones /Allsport

Some say women will never be free until boyfriends and hubbies are also paraded

Cork’s Annie Walsh consoles Dublin’s Niamh McEvoy after the women’s All-Ireland football Final at Croke Park. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Cork triumph by the minimum but Dublin unhappy after score was flagged wide

Dublin’s Noelle Healy is pursued by Cork’s Aisling Barrett in the All-Ireland women’s football final in 2014. This season is 25-year-old Barrett’s ninth year on the Dublin panel. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dublin captain is not letting hard days against Cork dent her optimism

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor shakes hands with Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton during the coin toss at Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

We may have just witnessed the maddest half hour in the history of GAA football

Daráine Mulvihill, presenter of RTÉ’s Paralympics TV coverage. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A new baby, a new house. Oh and there’s the Paralympics to present on RTÉ, too

Annalise Murphy: “Every morning I wake up, I feel like I just dreamt about it”. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The sailor’s public recognition levels have soared, but the silver medallist keeps on an even keel

Kilkenny’s Lydia Phelan and Angela Kenneally celebrate after the All-Ireland camogie championship final at Croke Park. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cats banish the hurt after six All-Ireland final defeats in a row and no title since 1994

Anne O’Brien (pictured right, wearing the number nine) scoring one of her three goals in the 1975 French Cup Final. Photograph: Tony O’Brien

Anne O’Brien did the unimaginable in the 1970s – earn a living playing soccer

Ashling Thompson of Cork and Michelle Quilty of Kilkenny at Croke Park: Victory for Cork  on Sunday will  mean a 27th All-Ireland camogie title for the county. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Cork camogie captain knows final against Kilkenny is winnable but will be tough battle

John O’Dwyer of Tipperary celebrates scoring in their All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final clash witb Kilkenny. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

It was hard to find words to describe heroics of Tipp and Cork on an effing great weekend

Partisan US fans cheer during the four balls on the first day of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on Friday. Photograph: David J Phillip/Inpho.

All efforts to charm the shouty home crowd unravel as Darren Clarke’s men face fire of fury

Robbie Keane and  his sons Robert and Hudson are applauded off the pitch by team-mates at the end of the game.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Tear-inducing clips of little Robbie doing his thing over the years kicked off the night

Dublin’s Eoghan O’Gara and Dean Rock celebrate after defeating Kerry in the  All-Ireland senior football semi-final at  Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Joe Brolly suggests Jim Gavin’s side is single-handedly saving the sport

Jenny Egan competing for Ireland at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photograph: Sportsfile

Canoeist’s disappointment did not stop her having a very successful summer

Cliona O’Leary with rowing silver medalists Gary and Paul O’Donovan from Skibbereen.

Deputy head of television sport says event should never have been held in Rio

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt was pretty happy with his work in Rio. Photograph: Getty Images

‘I don’t need to prove anything. What else can I do to prove to the world I’m the greatest’

Mo Farah with his two gold medals for Britain, and indeed they are very proud of him. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Clare Balding showed us that medal table more times than we’ve had cups of tea

 Pat Hickey: news of his arrest  ended any prospect of a quiet  day for pundits.  Photograph: RollingNews.ie

Ireland deserve a gold medal in the biggest headline-generating small nation category

 Katie Taylor makes her way to the ring with coach Zaur Antia: “Nobody can convince me that Katie lost this fight.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Boxer is at a loss over Olympic bout, but coach Zaur Antia is still full of fighting talk

Ireland’s Paul and Gary O’Donovan at the press conference after collecting their medals. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Over to Brazil for a bit of craic, shteak and spuds, like extras from The Quiet Man

Scott Evans of Ireland is now eyeing up a spot in the last 16. Photograph: Harry Engels/Getty Images

Player becomes first Irishman in history to win an Olympic badminton contest

Jackie Neville, aunt of Olympic rowing brothers Gary and Paul O'Donovan  pictured in Skiberreen, west Cork watching the live broadcast as they qualified for the final of the Rio Olympics men's lightweight double sculls.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

O’Donovan brothers are officially cult heroes at this point, thanks largely to RTÉ interview

Sanita Puspure is consoled by physiotherapist Sarah Jane McDonnell after finishing fourth. James Crombie/INPHO

‘ROW ROW ROW’ we shout at Sanita Puspure. If only she heard our words of wisdom

Samuel Carmona Heredia of Spain lands a left on Ireland’s Paddy Barnes during then men’s Light Flyweight fight. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Double sculls row to the rescue after Simon Porloe falls flat on his face

Irish gymnast Kieran Behan who dislocated his knee in action at the Olympic Games in Rio. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

No shortage of carnage as the gory Games again

Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan have been enjoying themselves winding McIlroy up from Rio.

Golfer responds to Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan tweets about his absence

Fireworks go off above the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro to mark the beginning of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA

The theory of women forgetting the pain of childbirth could apply to George Hamilton and Olympic opening ceremonies

London-born Ellis O’Reilly will become the first female gymnast to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

Irish women represent what is the enduring best attributes of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’

Cristiano Ronaldo in a slightly better mood after Portugal’s 1-0 win over France in extra time. Photograph: Afp

Viewers dealt a selection dilemma for Euro 2016 final as Eder lights up a damp squib

England goalkeeper Joe Hart didn’t quite make it to the quarter-final. Photograph: PA

‘The Russian team is soft - we need a Stalinist mobilisation. Mental, physical severe power’

France’s Antoine Griezmann, center, celebrates with his team-mate Olivier Giroud and Moussa Sissoko after scoring his side’s second goal against Germany. Photograph: Frank Augstein/AP Photo

Antoine Griezmann, the glue that makes everything tick, seals it for the host nation

Chelsea and Ireland defender Niamh Fahey. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

All-Ireland football winner returns to natural habitat having spent time on pundit’s couch

Wales’ Chris Gunter celebrates after beating Belgium to reach the Euro 2016 semi-finals. Gunter will now miss his brother’s wedding to play in the match. Photo: Reuters

English media’s relentless Sterling bashing. Iceland selection policy and more

Maria Dunne, Olivia Mehaffey and Leona Maguire share the Sportswoman of the Month award for June after their part in Great Britain and Ireland’s Curtis Cup victory. Photograph: Inpho/Colm O’Neill

Leona Maguire, Olivia Mehaffey and Maria Dunne share award for Curtis Cup exploits

James McClean’s tweet, which was hastily deleted, after the Brexit result. Photo: Twitter

Powerlifter gives it to Ronaldo, how Ibrahimovic conquered Sweden and more

Eurotrash: Mary Hannigan on the weird and wonderful of Euro 2016

 Wayne Rooney of England: pundits had varying opinions as to his worth as a midfielder.  Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Visiting Alien: Are there two Wayne Rooneys? Fair question.

Mary Hannigan rounds up the weird and the wonderful from Euro 2016

Republic of Ireland’s James McCarthy and  Sweden’s  Kim Kallstrom vie for the ball during the Euro 2016 group match at  Stade de France. Photograph:  Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Conor McGregor lined us all up for an epic occasion. He wasn’t far off the mark.

Peter Shilton and Chesney Hawkes hit the recording studio.

Save us Peter; 1966 and all that; Iceland’s empty; Kane’s cornered; Sleepy Welsh fan

Robbie Savage: jumbled his  words as he watched his beloved Wales defeat Slovakia. Photograph:  Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Wound-up commentator declares “it’s getting tasty - fliers tackling in!”

Kick-off: Darragh Maloney  made a schoolboy error: he asked Eamon and Liamo if they were excited too. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Mary Hannigan: Panels are great, but the action turns out to be more interesting

Kellie Harrington with her silver medal she won at the World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan last month. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

No longer boxing shadows in the shadows as frustration leads to ambition

The usual suspects: RTÉ Sport launches its coverage and team at the French ambassador’s residence on Ailesbury Road, Dublin. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Mary Hannigan: Just about every retired player will be on analysis duty for this event

Sharon Hutchinson: “If an alien from outer space arrived on earth and read the newspapers they wouldn’t even know that women play sport.” Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Former hockey international launched sportswomen.ie to cater for women’s sports

Wexford Youths’ Kylie Murphy with the FAI Continental Tyres Women’s Cup, one of three titles claimed by the side. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Wexford Youths captain delighted to seal the treble with National League title victory

 Rory McIlroy hits his second shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

With so much sport on TV, bloopers were – mostly enjoyably – inevitable

ScrumQueens.com founder has moved from playing and promoting the women’s game to fighting Brexit

Andrea Bocelli  waving to the crowd in the King Power Stadium  as Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri looks on. Photograph:  Reuters

If you’d recounted the scene to a Garda you’d have been told to step out of the car

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri is now just two points away from leading his team to a miraculous first Premier League title. Photo: Reuters

Claudio Ranieri is winning hearts all around though World Snooker certainly is not

Hermes haven’t won a national trophy since their All-Ireland Club Championship success in 2008. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

In-form Dublin club this week announced their merger with Monkstown

Hermes’ Emma Gray: “Playing top quality games week in week out has been exciting.” Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

‘The league is exposing a wider group of players to better hockey,’ says ex-Ireland goalkeeper

British astronaut Tim Peake running the route of the London Marathon while strapped to a treadmill at the International Space Station. Photo: European Space Agency/PA Wire

Charlie Long set the record for the fastest marathon dressed as a bottle in London

Former U-19 Ireland captain Chloe Mustkai is slowly getting her life back following a serious illness Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Former U-19 Ireland captain is slowly getting her life back following her serious illness

Ashling Thompson: “If it wasn’t for camogie I probably wouldn’t be here right now. It saved my life.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Sports can be a life saver, thanks to the kindness of good team-mates

Geraldine McLaughlin is chaired shoulder high after scoring 3-8 in Termon’s win over  Cork side Mourneabey in the All-Ireland club final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Donegal star a huge factor in the success of her college, club Termon and county

It’s now left to Pegasus, Railway Union and UCD to battle it out for the last two places in the season’s finale. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Pegasus, on 32 points, in pole position to join the already-qualified Hermes and Ulster Elks

Nina Carberry celebrates as she comes into the winner’s enclosure on On The Fringe after winning the Foxhunter Chase on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images

Outstanding female jockey rewarded for another Cheltenham Festival success

Cliodhna Sargent in action for Ireland.

Ireland hockey stalwart is third Irish woman to reach double century

 Ireland’s Cliodhna Sargent won her 200th cap in New Zealand on Sunday, where the Irish finished fifth in the Hawkes Bay Cup. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Fifth place finish for spirited Irish squad in Hawkes Bay Cup

Easy does it: US golfer Jordan Spieth lines up a putt on the 18th green  in Augusta. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

If Jordan Spieth was on board Rule the World, he’d still be lining up that first Aintree fence

Ireland goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran was in fine form for Ireland against Australia but couldn’t prevent a 3-0 defeat. Photograph: John Cowpland/Inpho

Ayeisha McFerran excels as Ireland beaten by the third best team in the world

Savannah McCarthy has captained her country at every underage level. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Kerry woman has achieved her childhood goals and is now eyeing U-19 Euros

Nicole Lynch became the first Irish female rider to compete in the World Superbike Championship when she took part in the European Junior Cup in Spain. Photograph: Silver Image

‘You’re there to race, you’re there to go fast, you can’t let a crash set you back’

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