This promises to be a great day for Irish sport; Mayo will have no fear of Rochford

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

The Ireland cricket team during a training session at Lord’s Cricket Ground this week. Photograph: Inpho

The Ireland cricket team during a training session at Lord’s Cricket Ground this week. Photograph: Inpho

The first England v Ireland Test match promises to be one of the great days in Irish sports history, no matter what happens on that green field in St John’s Wood today. No visiting nation has won on its first appearance at Lord’s, and usually received a hammering. Australia, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were all beaten by an innings, India by 158 runs. Andy Bull thinks English cricket should follow the British Open’s example and discard Irish disdain: “Maybe if the Irish win this one we’ll finally let them play a five-day game.”

Shane Lowry is eyeing up Olympic success after his Major breakthrough. His win in Portrush has jumped him to 10th in the updated Olympic men’s qualifying rankings: “I missed the last one (in Rio de Janeiro in 2016). I got a lot of stick for that. I had my own reasons. This (win) has gone a long way to putting me on the plane for Japan.” Thousands thronged the centre of Clara in Offaly yesterday evening for the triumphant homecoming of the British Open winner.

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