England and France into World Cup quarter-finals; Shane Walsh gives another masterclass

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

England will face France in next weekend’s World Cup quarter finals after both secured impressive last-16 victories on Sunday. England recovered from a slow start against Senegal to win 3-0 with Jude Bellingham to the fore and Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka grabbing the goals. Earlier Kylian Mbappé gave a masterclass and Olivier Giroud broke France’s all time scoring record in a 3-1 win over Poland. This afternoon Japan and Croatia meet in the day’s first last-16 clash (kick off 3pm Irish time), before Brazil take on South Korea (kick off 7pm).

Shane Walsh gave another Croke Park exhibition with the Galway forward scoring nine points as Dublin champions Kilmacud Crokes retained their Leinster club football title with a seven point win over The Downs. Galway champions Moycullen proved too strong for Sligo’s Tourlestrane in the Connacht decider. In hurling, Ballyhale Shamrocks won a fourth Leinster title in a row after holding off Kilmacud Crokes’ spirited comeback, and Tony Kelly scored 0-11 but couldn’t prevent his Ballyea team from losing 0-17 to 1-23 against Ballygunner in the Munster final. In the Ulster final Dunloy ended Slaughtneil’s reign with a 2-12 to 0-15 victory.

With Leinster due to meet Racing 92 in Le Havre for their first Champions Cup match on Saturday, the Irish province will face an anxious wait over the coming days to know if Cian Healy will escape sanction following his red card against Ulster. The brutal URC league game between the provinces on Friday night in the RDS, which Leinster won 38-29 also saw Ulster’s John Cooney and Iain Henderson depart the action with head injuries. Johnny Watterson has all the latest here.

Meanwhile, Joanne O’Riordan interviews Irish Aussie Rules coach Mike Currane, who’s responsible for funnelling many of the Irish players currently in the AFLW. After another season with Irish players to the fore he expects even more to follow in 2023: “At this very early stage of planning for 2023, it’s looking like somewhere close to 10 new players I am working with could be signed for next season. There’s a long way to go, but that would be an early indication.”