Robbie Brady and Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane at Friday’s training session at Gannon Park in Malahide ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier  against Poland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Hull player would ‘give it 110 per cent’ if asked to play left back

Stephen Quinn has played in three of Ireland’s four European qualifiers so far. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Hull midfielder not taking place for granted after years in the international wilderness

 Megan Frazer and her Ireland team-mates celebrate winning  the World League Two final at UCD last week. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Leinster champions meet underdogs Ulster Elks in novel final clash

James McClean says will be happy to play anywhere for Martin O’Neill. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Winger hungry for victory at Aviva Stadium before he returns to relegation battle

Harry Arter training with the Republic of Ireland squad at Gannon Park, Malahide. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The Bournemouth midfielder is relishing his call-up to the full Republic of Ireland squad

The first half was lively. The second? Well, usually some of us would have enjoyed yesterday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final a bit more than your average rugby half, but, okay, yes, it was a bit good. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Wales, stampeding England and Yoann Huget had us gnawing at our elbows

Jared Payne of Ireland is tackled by Taulupe Faletau of Wales during the  Six Nations match at the  Millennium Stadium  in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Our Grand Slam dreams may be dead but all’s not lost if we can beat Scotland

The Irish women’s hockey team begins its qualification campaign for the Rio Olympic Games. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ukraine the opening opponents in World League at Belfield

Just five years after taking up the game Sophie Spence was a member of Ireland’s Grand-Slam winning team. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Lock has been the cornerstone of Ireland’s phase play in this year’s Six Nations

John Inverdale: “This is looking at it through rose-c**ted … eh, eh…. rose-rose-tinted glasses from the past … I, I, I apologise there for a slip of the tongue….. but Lizzie your love of the sport just shines through.”

BBC man produces mother of all bloopers

Ireland’s John Mooney: endless reruns of his foot near Pepsi sign a godsend for company. Photo:  Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

It’s not cricket when a soft drinks company gets so much free coverage

‘Kool and the Gang’: Keith Wood was full of praise for Mike Ross during Ireland’s Six Nations defeat of England at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Tom McGurk and George Hook, on the home stretch, were happy not to pull any punches

 Niamh Small’s goal secured Loreto’s 3-1 win against Ards in the Irish Hockey League pool B. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Hermes take Leinster title with victory over Loreto as UCD pay price for ineligible player

UCD have work cut out on both fronts to retains titles

Clare players go through a warm up drill before the game against Cork. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Cork v Clare in Pairc Ui Rinn, quick rasher sandwich, then off to Dunedin for the cricket

Gillian Pinder is one of five UCD players in Darren Smith’s Ireland squad. Photograph: Inpho

World Hockey League II in Dublin is the first step in Olympic qualification process

Gráinne Dwyer of Team Montenotte Hotel in action in the National Cup final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Team Montenotte Glanmire star was MVP in National Cup final

The Gray brothers, Richie and Jonny, singing ‘Flower of Scotland’ before the match against Wales. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Pundit up in arms over suggestion that anyone on French team is fat

 Caitríona  McGilp  was on target in Hermes’ 3-1  victory over Trinity. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

UCD and Railway Union remain in the hunt for first division crown

Pegasus’s Grace Irwin in action against Andrea Desneaux of Ulster Elks during the recent Irish Hockey League clash. Photo: Rowland White/Inpho

Pembroke meet Railway Union in crucial top of the table clash

Ireland’s win  in Italy puts the achievements of Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King in the ha’penny place.  Photograph: Ryan ByrneINPHO

Mandela, Gandhi and Rory Best the stars of RTÉ’s Six Nations ‘Generation Game’

After a 10-week break the Irish Hockey League returns tomorrow with the penultimate round of pool matches. Photograph: Inpho

Hermes, Pegasus, Loreto and UCD in top positions for second-last round of pool matches

Jeamie Deacon in action for Blackrock.

Mary Hannigan talks to the former UCD star and Irish hockey international about her belated switch to rugby and call-up to Tom Tie(...)

Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning the  Australian Open in Melbourne. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Champion’s smile is getting bigger too – please take note, Mr Moody Murray

The  top five teams in the Leinster first division scored 22 goals without reply against the bottom five. Photgraph: Ryan Byrne /Inpho

Railway Union, UCD, Loreto and Pembroke also secure wins without conceding goals

Hermes play bottom club North Kildare twice before end of season. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Second-placed Railway three points behind with game in hand

Andy Murray: took grilling over his forthcoming wedding in good spirits.  Photograph:  Issei Kato/Reuters

Meanwhile, rugby pundit O’Driscoll may have gained a few grey hairs

Leinster league leaders should prove too strong for Belfast Harlequins

Jockey Brian Hughes celebrates onboard Katie T after winning the BoyleSports Hurdle. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Foxrock sent Walsh into the clouds as Henry brought va-va-voom to Sky

Hermes haven’t tasted defeat since their first their first league game of the season and  they now  look to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games when they take on Old Alexandra at Milltown. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Second-placed Railway Union are host to bottom of league club North Kildare

Ann Marie McGlynn (left) with the bronze medal-winning Ireland team at the European Cross Country Championships. Photograph: Inpho.

Ireland’s cross country team captain had retired over illness of baby son

‘Stephanie got 1.1 million votes, which meant at least 3.5 million failed to get to the polls’

Railway Union’s Sarah Hawkshaw: was on target in her club’s 3-0 victory over Old Alexandra. Photo: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

Leaders Hermes remain out in front following a 1-0 win over Corinthian

Team kit of the year: Well, on learning that the gear was designed by the same people who create John Daly’s pants, Loudmouth Golf, it wasn’t a huge surprise that the outfit was, eh, eye-catching. But still, the Norwegian Winter Olympic Curling team’s suits were something that we can never, ever unsee.

Mary Hannigan celebrates some of the more offbeat sporting stories from the last 12 months

“Okey-doke, goodnight and God bless.” Bill O’Herlihy signs off after a 49-year broadcasting career

Fond farewells, World Cup shocks and on-air swearing, 2014 had it all

Cork’s Briege Corkery: has won an astonishing total of 14 senior All-Ireland medals in Gaelic football and camogie. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The battle to elevate women’s sport to where it deserves to be is still ongoing

Students deducted three points to put them fourth in Leinster First Division

Soccer player Stephanie Roche of Peamount United, who is shortlisted for Fifa’s Puskas Goal of the Year Award,  was joint winner of the Sportswoman of the Month Award for November. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Peamount United player and triathlete join impressive list of monthly winners

Savannah McCarthy won The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman Award for April. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

International defender the rock on which Irish success is being built

UCD’s Anna O’Flanagan: her hat-trick all but sealed the points for her side against Railway Union after the break when she got her third goal.  Photograph: Inpho

Anna O’Flanagan hat-trick helps to seal victory against Railway Union

Both players have switched codes, signing sevens contracts with the IRFU. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Sportswomen from other codes offered the chance to take up sevens, which will feature in the 2016 Olympics

League leaders hoping to bounce back from cup defeat against struggling North Kildare

World and Olympic champion Ilya Ilyin of Kazakhstan. Photograph: Getty Images.

Kazakh weightlifting superstar leaves rivals on the lurch

 Emma Smyth of Railway Union who scored in Railway’s defeat of UCD in the second round of the Irish Senior Cup. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Four Ulster sides and one from Munster also win in second round of Irish Senior Cup

Republic of Ireland’s Stephanie Roche: will be up against some of the top stars in the game for Fifa’s Goal of the Year award. Photograph: Inpho

Irish woman’s wonder goal sees her face off with Van Persie, Ibrahimovic and Costa

 Referee Milorad Mazic speaks to Roy Keane, assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland, during the EURO 2016 Group D qualifier  at Celtic Park. Photograph:  Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Richie ‘The Kid’ Sadlier took senior analyst’s place as the panel got their hopes up

UCD player Leah Ewart: will be in action tomorrow when her side clashes with Railway Union in Belfield. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Student side hopes to build on flawless start

Stephanie Roche: “It’s great for women’s football”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Stephanie Roche’s wonder goal attracted 2½ million YouTube views

Maria McCambridge crosses the line in second place in the women’s race at the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon 2014. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Second place finish and personal best performance in Dublin Marathon earns award

Things never change: women of bygone years look gleeful while rolling around in giant hamster wheels and positively ecstatic while attached to walls by vibrating belts.

When the sisters start torturing me with tales of their fitness equipment, I call time

Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray tackle Jean de Villiers at the Aviva on Saturday. So formidable was the visitors’ reputation that it seemed beating them was even beyond St Jude. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

TV View: George Hook’s mea culpa was almost as extraordinary as victory on the pitch

Ireland recorded three wins over Scotland – 1-0, 2-1 and 4-0. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

But it’s back to league action this week as Hermes look to make it four wins in a row

St Patrick’s Athletic  fans celebrate their side’s second goal against Derry City in the FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

No more harping on about 1961 as St Pat’s end their drought

It’s round two of the Irish Hockey League tomorrow with UCD hosting Munster champions Cork Harlequins. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Unbeaten Hermes and Pegasus meet in Belfast in pick of the pool A ties

 Neymar celebrates scoring against Real Madrid on Saturday. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Just as Scott was praying nothing would happen, Guillem let out a roar

 Brian O’Driscoll, the former Ireland centre now BT Sport rugby pundit looks on during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Leinster and Wasps at the RDS Arena. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

BOD, need it be said, was the stallion, poor old Ben Kay having to content himself with the nag tag, but he knew his place

Leinster under-16s draw with Munster to win interprovincial title

Next up for Darren Smith’s charges a three-game series in Dublin against Scotland in November

Cork football captain Briege Corkery. Photograph: Donall Farmer/©INPHO

Joint award for September for captains who led teams to all-but-impossible victories

 John O’Shea races away in celebration with his teammates after scoring the Republic of Ireland’s equaliser at Arena Auf Schalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Photograph: EPA

You. Could. Not. Write. The. Script. You couldn’t, you absolutely totally utterly couldn’t

Lurgan’s Kerrie Burns congratulates goalscorer Sara McClure in the Irish Hockey League Women’s Pool A game against   UCC at the weekend. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho

No joy for away teams, except Pegasus, in opening round of Irish Hockey League

Roddy Doyle and Roy Keane walk onto the Aviva Stadium pitch for the launch of Keane’s biography The Second Half. Photograph: Alan Betson.

Booker Prize winning author felt challenge was to make book seem like a monologue

Roddy Doyle and Roy Keane with copies of  ‘The Second Half’ at the Aviva Stadium yesterday. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

Former Ireland captain’s eyes narrowed when told his old manager was in town

A Tesco store in Burnage, Manchester, put Roy Keane’s latest autobiography, The Second Half, on sale yesterday, three days ahead of its official release. Photograph: PA

At this point you picture Roddy saying to Roy: 'Could you cut down on the expletives a bit, my readers will be offended.'

Rory McIlroy sports a kilt  and little else following Europe’s famous victory in the Ryder Cup.

That season is nigh, yet again, and it’s time to focus on the bread and butter of sport

Railway celebrate their Irish Senior Cup final win over UCD at the National Hockey Stadium, UCD in 2013. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

First round clash pits together winners of 2013 against winners of 2010

One of the few things that Briege Corkery (above) hasn’t won is the ploughing championships,” said Daire O’Brien, at which point she commandeered a tractor. So, that’ll be next. Photograph: Alan Betson

Gobsmacking comebacks meet hyperbolic pundits as Europe, Cork and others celebrate

Europe’s Martin Kaymer  and Sergio Garcia  share a joke during the opening ceremony prior to the start of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Perthshire. Photograph: EPA

Mary Hannigan: TV view of emotional opening ceremony

Megan Frazer: Ireland captain is in favour of an expanded IHL.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Chief concerns centre on the impact on their own league, schools’ hockey and travel costs

Martin O’Neill: “You might say ‘it’s only Gibraltar’, but for me I have to really focus on that game before Germany. Take your eye off it and you find yourself in a bit of trouble.” Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Manager announces provisional squad of 37 for the games against Gibraltar and Germany

Martin O’Neill: “I am looking forward to meeting up with the squad in two weeks-time and preparing for two very important matches.”

Still no word from West Ham’s Mark Noble and no place for Apoel frontman Cillian Sheridan

Chloe Watkins, who was among scorers for UCD in their 4-0 victory over TCD. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

UCD, Cork Harlequins and Pegasus all open the defence of league titles with wins

Members of the Cork Senior Camogie team celebrate victory over Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final in Croke Park. Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

Long wait continues for Kilkenny despite ‘hare and hound’ battle

Cork’s Aoife Murray: “I’ve  had great days, I’ve had terrible days, so I’ve seen both sides of the coin”.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Cork camogie goalkeeper Aoife Murray is all set for her eighth senior All-Ireland final

Fiona Coghlan poses with the World Cup ahead of the competition this 2014 summer. Photograph: Inpho

Representative of side that rose to the occasion and captured imagination of nation

Meanwhile, earlier in Croke Park. The ESPN man: “This place can seat 82,000 for sawker!” As if the hurt wasn’t deep enough, like. Photograph: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile

Joe was struggling to let ‘Croke-Park- Unavailable’ bygones be bygones

Kerry supporters celebrate the equalizing point: “Breathless was the only word, really, for that second half”. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Limerick does not seem to be a popular choice for semi-final . . . not to be insulting

Cork’s Alan Cadogan and Paddy Stapleton of Tipperary clash in yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Alas, yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final at headquarters didn’t live up to the billing

Peamount’s Chloe Mustaki: Awarded the Sportswoman of the Month award for her own performances and for leading the Republic of Ireland’s U-19 squad to wins over Spain, England and Sweden.  Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Chloe Mustaki and gallant Irish U-19 squad punch well above their weight

Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke in action at  Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. “There’s Darren Clarke,” said Peter Alliss, “well, what’s left of Darren Clarke”.

Alliss’s gets all culinary as Garca hits a paella of an approach shot

We’ll Leave It There So – broadcasting legend Bill O’Herlihy – with the panel of John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady – ahead of the World Cup Final as he prepared for his final broadcast for for RTÉ Television. Photo: Steve Langan/Inpho

Farewell to a monumentally magical month and . . . a great broadcaster

Nigel de Jong was seen by Johnny Giles as the only plan to stop  Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Photograph: Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters

Tears from country and western fans, Argentinians and Brazilians – it’s been emotional

Ill-advised: Neymar appears in an ad for 7-UP. Oh dear.

Mary Hannigan looks at the fallout from that Brazilian defeat to Germany

A Brazil fan reacts while watching a broadcast of the  World Cup semi-final against Germany at the Fan Fest in Brasilia. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Is this the worst Brazil side ever, they asked before kick-off. We soon had our answer

Ireland’s Katie Taylor (red) on her way to defeating Estelle Mossely of France to win the 2014 European Elite Women’s Championships 60kg final at the Polyvalent Arena, Bucharest, last month. photograph: Octavian Cocolos/Inpho

Dual winners for June Sportswoman of the Month after spectacular achievements

Victoria Beckham and Samuel L Jackson: Wimbledon buddies. Photograph:  Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic was second to George Hamilton for the weekend’s top performance

 Argentina’s Lionel Messi during yesterday’s game against Switzerland at the Arena de Sao Paulo. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

The Hamman man predicts France will (Thomas) muller them in quarter-finals because Germany are rubbish

Colm Cooper: Dreams of playing for Costa Rica. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Cunningham continues to paddle his own canoe to the bafflement of his fellow panellists

What is it with airlines and Twitter and the World Cup?

Uruguayan Luis Suarez leaves the team training centre in Natal after being given a four-month ban from football as well as a nine-match international ban by Fifa. Photograph: Ney Douglas / EPA

Eamo puts the boot in on his British peers while Gordon on ITV depresses all with his game devoid of morals

All Kay wanted to know was whether anything could be done to help Suarez stop chomping

Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay’s Luis Suarez. Photo: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Only one topic up for discussion as Teethgate dominates the airwaves

Brazils’ Fred, a favourite of the RTÉ panel,  celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during against Cameroon at Estadio Nacional. Photograph: Reuters

Mary Hannigan rises to challenge of trying to watch two matches at the same time

You can’t keep a Cavan man down, not even on Rio’s famous beach

Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica celebrates scoring what proved to be the winner against Italy in  their World Cup Group D match   at Arena Pernambuco  in Recife, Brazil, and thus ensured England’s elimination. Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Mario’s blank saves Queen’s blushes as Costa Rica send Roy’s boys home

Bullets over Glenn Hoddle and rockets over Joe Hart as Suarez outguns Rooney

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