Andy Murray:  played  professional tennis as though it was a form of torture through which he has no choice but to subject himself.  Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Sideline Cut: Injury-enforced retirement imminent for Scot who gave all he had to tennis

Reliable corner back ready to focus on new priorities after 14 years of consistent service

2018 Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup Semi-Final, Lee Valley Stadium, London, England 4/8/2018Spain vs IrelandIreland celebrate winning the shoot outMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Sandra Mailer

Feelgood stories of smalltown success went shoulder to shoulder with the darker side of sport

Croatia’s Luka Modric  scores his team’s second  during their Group D match with  Argentina  at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. Photograph:  Clive Mason/Getty

The shock of a 3-0 defeat to Croatia in Nizhny led to World Cup misery

Seán Mannion at the Mike Flaherty Boxing Club, Ros Muc. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Rónán Mac Con Iomaire’s eye-witness account of the last years of Irish-Dorchester from one of its most celebrated sons

Katie Taylor. The recent documentary about her is a reminder of how long she has been excelling and how her standards have never dropped. Photograph: Emily Harney/Inpho.

Sideline Cut: Bray fighter is a fitting successor to trailblazers like Jackie Tonawanda

The Connacht and Perpignan pack engage in the miserable conditions at the Sportsground during their European Challenge Cup match on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Province make it four wins in a row following hard-fought victory in torrential conditions

Bundee Aki during Connacht’s win over Perpignan in Galway. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Andy Friend’s side see off Perpignan and the weather to notch up fourth-straight victory

  It’s hard to measure the sense of local pride and energy generated by Mullinalaghta’s  success. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Tiny Longford club will face a huge task in their clash with Kilmacud Crokes on Sunday

Dublin chair John Costello advocates the idea of the Government working with sporting organisations – not just the GAA – to try and make some of the Nama-held sites available at a reasonable cost. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

County chair right to identify the importance of green spaces in a city under huge strain

Jim McGuinness has been named head coach of USL side Charlotte Independence on a three-year contract. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former Donegal GAA manager signs three-year deal with second-tier North Carolina team

Ghaoth Dobhair Kevin Cassidy and Eamonn McGee with Frank Caulfield of Scotstown in Sunday’s Ulster senior football championship final in Healy Park, Omagh. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ulster final winners put decade of underperformance behind them

Gaoth Dobhair’s Kevin Cassidy is tackled by Scotstown’s Emmet Caulfield during the Ulster club football final at Healy Park. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Substitute Shane Ferry’s late point in extra-time helps Donegal club pip Scotstown

Gweedore’s Kevin Cassidy  celebrates scoring against  Crossmaglen in  the  Ulster Senior Football Championship semi-final at Healy Park, Co Tyrone. Photograph: Declan Roughan/Inpho

Gaeltacht club’s revival could culminate in a first Ulster title for any Donegal club

Newly appointed Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy alongside FAI chief executive John Delaney. Photo: Gary Carr/Inpho

Perennial struggles of domestic game a major blot on chief executive’s record

 GAA headquarters Croke Park. Rule changes mean sideline balls can only be kicked forward rather than laterally or towards a team’s own goal

“Referees must have a degree in applied mathematics,” according to Eamon McGee

Republic of Ireland’s Andy Townsend in action against Belgium in November 1997. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Sideline Cut: On a night in November 1997, two Ireland teams set off on wildly different paths

 Portlaoise manager Malachy McNulty: “The dream is to bring this team all the way.”Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Portlaoise manager on taking the reins at club and the importance of a balanced team

Martin O’Neill: delivered some early success but things went rapidly downhill after the World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark last year. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty

Even the appointment of a respected coach won’t cure game’s deep-rooted problems

The All Blacks’ Kieran Read receives medical treatment after 35 minutes against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. The aristocrats knew by then the scale of the battle they faced. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

The crowd got louder and fiercer as a thunderous encounter unfolded at the Aviva Stadium

 TJ Perenara leads New Zealand in the haka ahead of the auyumn international against Ireland at the Aviva stadium. Photograph:  Phil Walter/Getty Images

First 35 minutes was key as Ireland came out and tore into the All Blacks from the off

Bundee Aki: will be the focus of special attention  when Ireland take on the All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Focused world champions will have Auckland-born Connacht star firmly in their sights

Ireland captain Willie Anderson faces up to New Zealand captain Wayne Shelford as the All Blacks preform the Haka at Lansdowne Road in 1989. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland and the All Blacks through the years: Anderson’s famous stance well remembered

Christian Cullen: brought a new dimension to the the traditional role of fullback in an outstanding All Blacks side. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Inpho

Ireland and the All Blacks through the years: Heavy defeat in 1997 heralded dark period

ew Zealand scrum-half Sid Going gets in his kick despite the attentions of Sean Lynch and Fergus Slattery (Ireland), watched by Ian Kirkpatrick (New Zealand) and Terry Moore (Ireland) during the 1973 clash at Lansdowne Road. Photo: Dermot O’Shea/The Irish Times

Ireland and the All Blacks through the years: Barry McCann’s kick put into perspective in 1973

The New Zealand All Blacks, the first rugby team to undertake a tour outside of Australasia, who became known as ‘the originals’ when they toured Britain, France and the United States in 1905-06. Back row (left-right): Gillett, Casey, McGregor, McDonald, Roberts. Next row, standing: Harper, O’Sullivan, Seeling, Deans, Johnston, Nicholson, Corbett, Cunningham, Newton, Duncan (coach). Seated: Abbott, Wallace, Tyler, Gallagher (captain), Dixon (manager), Stead, Mackrell, Glasgow, Glenn. Seated on ground: Hunter, Mynott, Smith, Booth and Thomson. Photo: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Ireland and the All Blacks through the years: Little known force changed the face of rugby

New Zealand on the attack during their  6-5 win over Ireland in 1963.

Ireland and the All Blacks through the years: Low scoring affair in 1963 almost brought a win

Chris Henry in action for Ulster against Connacht in the 2017 Pro14. Photograph: Inpho

Chris Henry’s retirement causes brief pause for reflection ahead of glamorous autumn Tests

Aidan Harris Lgiehon in Dublin in August 2017. Photograph: Tom Honan.

Aidan Harris Igiehon is on the cusp of joining basketball’s NBA elite

Crossmaglen stalwarts John McEntee and Oisín McConville. Photograph: Declan Roughan/Presseye/Inpho

The mid-Ulster marvels are part of the autumnal furniture of Gaelic games

“For the majority, this guy seemed to speak a common person’s language,” says Independent Cllr Shaun Cunniffe of Peter Casey. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Peter Casey gained traction in Galway East – were his Traveller remarks a big factor?

Laois captain Ross King received a serious facial injury playing for his club Rathdowney-Erril against Camross earlier this month. Photograph: Paul Dargan

Club games offer very best of GAA culture, but occasionally rivalry becomes poisoned

Cora Staunton: “We wanted the LGFA and the Mayo County Board to investigate these [issues]. I am not going to speak for girls who have very difficult experiences. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘Game Changer’ is a story of sporting excellence set against family bereavement

US athletes Tommie Smith (c) and John Carlos (r) raising their gloved fists to protest against  racism in the US on the podium in  the Mexico Olympic Games,  October 16th, 1968. Photograph: Getty

Tommie Smith and John Carlos saw their lives altered by the gestures but what is the legacy?

 Ireland players dejected at the final whistle of the  Uefa Nations League at the  Aviva stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Harry Wilson’s strike seemed symbolic of diverging paths for Ireland and Wales

Mayo football manager James Horan at the GAA media event in the  Greenway Cafe, Lough Lannagh, Co Mayo. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

New football manager James Horan to lead senior team’s hot pursuit of All-Ireland in 2019

Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The old togetherness and giant-killing triumphs already seem a very long time ago

Jose Mourhinho: boasts an enviable record of several league titles won in four  countries – the last one with Chelsea as recently as 2015. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Special One looks likely to join the list of men unable to revive the club’s fortunes

Five new proposals could change the face of football. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Standing committee will discuss the five proposals with one limiting handpassing

Leinster’s Sean Cronin scores his side’s second try despite the efforts of Connacht’s Paul Boyle and Kieran Marmion at the Sportsground in Galway. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Visitors prove a different proposition to the side that shipped 47 points on last visit West

Leinster’s Seán Cronin celebrates scoring his side’s second try during the  Guinness Pro 14 game against Connacht at  The Sportsground. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tries from Garry Ringrose and Seán Cronin and Connacht red card helps champions pull clear

Sportswriter James Lawton: ‘He seemed to travel to everything – the golf Majors, the teeming football derbies, England’s cricket glories and debacles and the fights, always the fights’

Writer who has died aged 75 was able to bottle the temporary magic that is live sport

Cuala celebrating last March after winning the  All-Ireland club senior hurling championship in  O’Moore Park,  Laois, against  Na Piarsaigh. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Division four teams make up a quarter of all intercounty sides yet continually have to fight against the sense they are irrelevant

JP McManus has gifted €100,000 to each county board to be shared out between clubs. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

There are GAA people out there who will want nothing to do with the billionaire’s money

Tyrone’s manager Mickey Harte and Kevin McStay, manager of Roscommon at the All-Ireland senior championship quarter-final. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Era of long-term inter-county manager has passed due to the growing demands

  Khabib Nurmagomedov  and  Conor McGregor during their  UFC  press conference at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Photograph:  Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The Irish fighter’s verbal energy seems to be locked into a shrinking worldview

Whether Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane stay or leave won’t change the realities of football in Ireland.   Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The age of the big persona leading limited Ireland to improbable glory has passed

Ciarán Kilkenny: Dublin’s playmaker has been nominated for the Footballer of the Year award.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Total of 11 counties represented but not a single player from Mayo or Roscommon

Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy celebrates a goal in the 2014 All-Ireland final victory over Donegal at Croke Park.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Star’s easy-going nature off the pitch belied a fiercely ambitious competitive streak on it

Ireland assistant manager, Roy Keane, speaks with Martin O’Neill during the Nations League defeat to Wales. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Rift with Harry Arter and Jon Walters come across as a bit lame given they were friendlies

Dublin’s Philly McMahon lifts the Sam Maguire in front of Hill 16. “Why would we not want to win an All-Ireland? Why would we not want to win six or seven?” Tyrone. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Gavin’s side absorbed Tyrone’s very best in the first quarter – then duly took control

Dublin fans celebrate as their team defeat Tyrone at Croke Park to make it four All-Irelands in a row.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tyrone left chasing shadows as Jim Gavin’s men poised to chase mythical five-in-a-row

Niall Scully celebrates scoring Dublin’s second goal in their All-Ireland final win over Tyrone. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side defend All-Ireland title at a canter as all roads now lead to number five

Mickey Harte is exactly the man to work out a plan to beat Dublin. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

No one is giving Tyrone a prayer but that’s exactly the reason they can do as they please

Tyrone celebrate Niall Sludden’s late goal which proved pivotal in the semi-final defeat of Monaghan at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Surrounded by close football rivals, the county remains unloved – North and South

A woman attends a vigil at the site of the Tuam babies graveyard where the bodies of 796 babies where uncovered at a site of a former  home for unmarried mothers and their children in Tuam. Co Galway. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Names of 796 infants buried in Tuam read aloud at site of former Mother and Baby home

Galway’s Cathal Mannion and Dan Morrissey of Limerick in action during the All-Ireland final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Keith Duggan: Or will it always be the same eight-nine counties at the banquet?

Limerick’s Shane Dowling celebrates scoring his side’s third goal in the  All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Shrewd guidance of John Kiely ensured this young team shook off baggage of the past

Limerick’s Cian Lynch and Pat Ryan celebrate. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Keith Duggan: Final minutes reminded the world of hurling’s mysterious powers

Limerick’s Kyle Hayes collides in the air with Galway’s Joe Canning during the All-Ireland SHC Final at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Keith Duggan looks at the key incidents as Limerick ended a 45-year wait for glory

Joe Canning after the victory over Clare in Thurles. “We had a lot of doubters outside our group, even in our home county. It’s just great that we could quieten a few today.”  Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Long years of frustration ensure Tribesmen feel they have unfinished business to attend to

Galway goalkeeper Michael Connelly blocks the ball to keep the Limerick attack at bay during the 1980 All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Victory over Limerick signalled Galway’s arrival as an enduring hurling force

Galway captain David Burke lifts the Liam McCarthy Cup alongside minor captain Darren Morrissey with the Irish Press Cup at Galway’s triumphant homecoming in Ballinasloe last September. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Streamlined approach at national school and underage level yielding desired results

Cian O’Sullivan of Dublin and Damien Comer of Galway. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

No clouds in Dubs’ blue sky as hungry reigning champions look untouchable

Tyrone’s Peter Harte and Matthew Donnelly celebrate at the final whistle. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Cruel Tyrone goal late on in tight affair leaves Monaghan in mood of bitter reflection

Ironically the highly-paid controversialist had way more to give than acerbic one-liners

Galway’s Damien Comer checks on the injured Paul Conroy as he is taken from the field following the horrific injury suffered against Kerry at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Untimely injury against Kerry has robbed Tribesmen of one of their leading lights

Michael Murphy of Donegal makes a run at Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Roscommon’s Kevin McStay could find himself in hot water after altercation with linesman

Donegal’s Michael Murphy  scores a free during the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final Super 8s game against Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Glenswilly man scores nine points in masterclass at Dr Hyde Park

Tyrone players leave the field dejected after their All-Ireland SFC semi-final defeat to Dublin last year. Photo: James Crombie/\Inpho

After their heavy defeat to Dublin last year, the Ulster men look renewed and potent

 Clones, Co Monaghan, the spiritual home of Ulster football and sure to provide a testy atmosphere for visiting Kerry fans. Photograph: Presseye/William Cherry

Super 8 stage may ignite with eagerly anticipated clash between Dublin and Tyrone

Galway’s Patrick Sweeney fires home his side’s goal against Kerry at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Hard to know if new competition will invigorate championship or kill it stone dead

Dublin’s Niall Scully scores his second goal past goalkeeper Donegal goalkeeper Shaun Patton during the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final Super 8 game at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tyrone’s scoring spree adds to sense that Omagh clash will define Group 2

England fans watch Croatia v England in Trafalgar Square, London. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Deep down, the English probably know that the past few weeks were a glorious blip

It is difficult not to become excited about the idea of Kerry football supporters venturing into the dipping streets of Clones for their fixture against Monaghan. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Controversial new format offers mouth-watering series of matches from today

Galway’s Shane Walsh in action against Roscommon in the Connacht Final at  Dr Hyde Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Four years on from his startling arrival, Walsh is flourishing within the collective

Donegal manager Declan Bonner celebrates with Caolan Ward after beating Fermanagh last month in the senior football championship at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Manager has changed mentality of squad and transformed them into an attacking unit

Gareth Southgate, England’s bespoke coach, seems incapable of uttering a graceless remark or behaving with anything other than class.  Photograph: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty

Our neighbour threatening to win a World Cup still raises the hackles of many Irish

Niall Grimley celebrates Armagh’s victory over Clare in the qualifier at the Athletic Grounds. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Victory over Roscommon would seal McGeeney’s men a coveted place in the Super-8s

 Gareth Southgate applauds the England fans after their 1-0 defeat to Belgium. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Decision to rest players could come back and haunt Gareth Southgate

 England fans celebrating victory over Panama at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on June 24th. Photograph:  Alex Morton/Getty Images

Visitors to Russia’s host cities have responded to the local warmth and pride

 Adnan Januzaj scores for  Belgium   past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the World Cup Group G match at Kaliningrad Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Gareth Southgate gets drawn into playing Russian roulette with his team’s chances

Fans attend Kaliningrad Fan Fest ahead of the England v Belgium Group G clash at the 2018 World Cup. Photograph: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

England play their final group game in the Russian enclave which has a strange history

Gareth Southgate: “We want to keep on winning football games and develop a winning mentality.” Photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

Gaffe-free manager’s message is simple: England will go out to beat Belgium

Iago Aspas scores Spain’s second aganist Morocco - which secured top spot in Group B. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty

Spanish come from behind twice in Kaliningrad to set up last-16 clash with Russia

Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku both scored twice as Belgium thrashed Tunisia 5-2 in Moscow. Photograh: Yuri Cortez/AFP

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard both score twice in five-star rout of Tunisia in Moscow

 Argentina’s  Lionel Messi waits to kick off after Croatia scored their opening goal during the  World Cup Group D clash at  at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.  in Nizhny Novgorod on June 21, 2018. Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty

Victory over Nigeria now could see Sampaoli’s disjointed side grasp a lifeline

Russians, celebrating here after their win over Egypt, have been swept up in the carnival atmosphere of this World Cup. 
 Photograph: Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

This World Cup has shown that it’s possible to separate Putin’s Russia from the people living in it

Croatia tear Argentina to pieces and leave them facing early group stage exit

  Niznhy Novgorod’s transformation in three decades has been disconcertingly swift. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Most fans have been sideswiped by how their prejudices about Russia have been stripped away

Argentina’s Lionel Messi taking part in a training session at the team’s  camp near Moscow. Photograph: Getty Images

Sampaoli hopes to exploit magnetism of his superstar in crunch clash with Croatia

 Russian soldiers guard the Fan Fest area in Nizhny Novgorod. There was no sense of the city coming to a standstill. Photograph: EPA

In Nizhny Novgorod there was no sense this was Russia’s ‘a nation holds its breath’ moment

Mexico’s defender Edson Alvarez celebrates after the final whistle of the Group F football match between Germany and Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Mexico manager says they ‘played for the love of winning, not fear of losing’

Hirving Lozano scores Mexico’s  goal in the World Cup Group F game against Germany at the  Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Hirving Lozano’s first-half goal shows up poor Germany defending in Moscow

 Hannes Halldorsson of Iceland saves  Lionel Messi’s penalty during the 1-1 draw in Moscow.  Photograph: EPA

Lionel Messi misses penalty as Iceland eke out famous draw in Moscow

Soccer fans gather near Red Square in Moscow. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

The city is too big, too haughty, too fast to be knocked out of synch by a mere World Cup

  Iceland’s Aron Gunnarsson during training on Friday. Photograph: EPA

Saturday’s match against Argentina the most important in Iceland’s history

  Yuri Gazinskiy  celebrates scoring Russia’s opening goal with team-mates in the World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Photograph: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

Vladimir Putin shares his congratulations after five-star opening night performance

Argentina fans in high spirits  outside the Kremlin in Moscow in advance of the start of the  2018 World Cup. Photograph: Vasil Maximov/AFP/Getty

Doubts and concerns about the host nation are being consigned to the periphery

Laois’ John O’Loughlin under pressure from the Carlow defence during the Leinster SFC semi-final  at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Laois made to work hard for openings against organised and physical Carlow side

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