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Dillon Quirke funeral takes place in Tipperary; Shamrock Rovers guaranteed Conference League at the worst

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

“No one really wants to “celebrate” — in that dauntingly final context — the life of a 24-year old but once the dreadful reality that the bright and promising future came to a full stop in Semple Stadium sinks in there is amid the sadness a life of some achievement.” The funeral of Dillon Quirke, the Tipperary hurler who tragically collapsed and died while playing last week, took place on Tuesday. Seán Moran reports this morning, finding some solace in his achievements while lamenting how much more he would have achieved. “If the epicentre is his family, grief spreads concentrically through the Clonoulty Rossmore club and West Tipperary. They have lost a long-term champion — one of their own who had made it to the top.”

After a dramatic battle to get the game broadcast in Ireland, LOITV secured a last-minute streaming deal, Shamrock Rovers secured a famous win over KF Shupki to progress to the final Europa League qualifier. They are up against Ferenvváros with the first leg taking place in Budapest in nine days. The worst case scenario for Stephen Bradley’s men is a place in the group stages of the Europa Conference League, should they fail to get past their Romanian opponents. Mary Hannigan has a TV column this morning on the coverage of the game (admittedly not shown on TV, but on an online stream), pointing out that “Con Murphy and Graham Gartland begged to differ on the pronunciation of Shkupi, Con opting for Schko-pee, Graham for Schoo-pie, but other than that they were as one, hailing this as a very special night for Rovers.”

“Serena Williams did not surpass Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam titles and by that metric, with 23 big singles wins, she falls one short (unless she is an unlikely winner of the upcoming US Open). But along the way the tennis player from the Los Angeles ghetto made herself the most significant and best tennis player of the professional era.” After the news emerged on Tuesday that Serena Williams will retire from Tennis following the US Open later this year, Johnny Watterson pays tribute to one of the greatest to ever grace the court. “Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis towards other things,” she told Vogue magazine, explaining the word “retirement” is not one she has come to love. That she chose Vogue, a fashion, not a tennis magazine pointed to where her future might take her in the “what next” phase of her life.

In America, three LIV Golf players were dealt a blow in their bids to play in the PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoffs as a federal judge decided that the players would not suffer “irreparable harm” if they were not allowed to play, a vital legal standard to secure a temporary restraining order to overturn their bans. The decision was an early, if narrowly tailored, victory for the PGA Tour’s efforts to undercut LIV Golf, which has spent recent months draining the more established tour of some of the star power it relies on to draw fans, television money and sponsorships.