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Talty and Mullins’ unlikely friendship; Liverpool return to winning ways

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

In the 1983 All-Ireland football final, Brian Mullins swung back his arm in pursuit of a high ball and clocked Galway counterpart Brian Talty in the jaw. Talty hit the deck, Mullins was sent off and the incident served as a flash point in the game, so much so the duo had to sort it out in the car park afterwards. Since then, the pairing formed an unlikely friendship, meeting constantly in a café in Raheny, only 1983 was never discussed. Gordon Manning spoke to Talty after the untimely death of his friend, Dublin legend Mullins: “Of course I’ll miss him. It’s sad to think that you can’t pick up the phone and ask, ‘do you want to go for a coffee?’ And that’s nothing to do with football really, it’s much more than that.” Seán Moran’s column this morning once again deals with the GAA split season, arguing that it has been a good thing for the club game.

Liverpool returned to winning ways last night, seeing off Rangers in the Champions League. There was a welcome return to goal-scoring form for Mo Salah, while Trent Alexander-Arnold’s stunning free-kick was the undoubted highlight of the evening. In the other action featuring an English team, Spurs were held to a frustrating draw away to Eintracht Frankfurt.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” That was the message coming from Mike Prendergast as he spoke to media yesterday. The new Munster attack coach has seen his side struggle for form in the opening rounds of the URC, particularly in attack where basic errors have been an issue and the set-piece/maul was a lone source of scoring opportunities against Zebre. Friday’s interpro vs Connacht offers an opportunity for Prendergast and co to once again try to right the wrongs of the early season. In the Connacht camp, Andy Friend is hoping the province’s new 4G pitch can help them rediscover some form after a poor start to the season of their own: “We want to be a team that plays fast and this allows us to play fast, so we’re excited by it. It’s a massive investment by Connacht Rugby and, I think, a brilliant investment, and let’s hope Friday night is the first of many good wins on it.”

Unsurprisingly since he broke the Irish 100m record at the European Championships, Israel Olatunde has peaked the interest of various US colleges, raising the prospect of him joining Ireland teammate Rhasidat Adeleke stateside. However, in as Ian O’Riordan outlines, Ireland’s new fastest man outlines his desire to stay and finish his computer science degree at UCD, especially with the college’s impressive new track available to him.