Cathal Dervan's sports digest


Dunne Wanted

Sunderland have upped the ante in the chase for Manchester City’s Irish defender Richard Dunne, with chairman Niall Quinn keen to land his former international teammate.

“Richard is a player who is an excellent footballer but he is a Man City player until they say any different and we stand in a line,” Quinn told the Daily Mail.

“We are not the only admirers, but if there is a chink of light we will get through it if we can. We probably need a few men and spirited people to lift what we have and of course Richard Dunne would fit the bill.”

Kenny Suspended

Former Irish goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has been suspended by Sheffield United pending further action after he failed a drugs test following the Championship playoff against Preston at the end of last season.

Kenny’s sample is believed to have tested positive for the banned substance, ephedrine, which is believed to have been contained in a cough mixture that he is understood to have bought over the counter.


Ireland Again

Ireland assistant boss Marco Tardelli has confirmed that Giovanni Trapattoni intends to sit down with maverick midfielder Stephen Ireland in the near future.

“He’s an important player for Ireland, but we also have other important players and they have worked very hard. If he wants to come back, then we are happy, no problem,” said Tardelli.


Soccer Shorts

Bohs want to keep on loan Celtic winger Graham Carey at Dalymount Park until the end of the League of Ireland season as he contemplates a new contract offer at Parkhead . . .

The FAI have announced losses of some €16.2 million for 2008, but chief executive John Delaney is adamant they will return to profit in 2009 . . .

Shamrock Rovers have offered free scoring striker Gary Twigg a new improved contract following his successful move from Scotland . . .

Irish defender Damien Delaney has joined fellow Corkman Roy Keane at Ipswich Town after completing a move from QPR . . .

Sheffield Wednesday expect to complete the transfer of Irish midfielder Darren Potter from Wolves in the coming days . . .

Manchester United have signed Ireland under-17 international defender Sean McGinty from Charlton Athletic . . .

Waterford United have signed former Irish under-21 international Stephen Grant from local side Tramore AFC . . .

New Floriana boss Roddy Collins wants to bring Irish striker George O’Callaghan with him to Malta . . .

Cardiff City are the new favorites to sign Irish midfielder Liam Miller after he was released by QPR . . .

Scottish side Hibs have failed in a bid to sign Irish striker Anthony Stokes on loan from Sunderland . . .

Irish winger Alan O’Brien has moved to Swindon Town after his release from Hibernian.


Lions Win

The Lions finally found a winning formula to defeat South Africa in the meaningless third test in Johannesburg on Saturday, but captain Paul O’Connell was still a proud man afterwards.

O’Connell told Sky Sports, “It was a very tough week mentally for everyone. We just really dug deep. Some guys produced some serious form and produced some great scores. We were determined to dig as deep as we could.

“I think anyone works very well with their backs to the wall. We’ve probably never had our backs to the wall as much!

“With Jamie (Roberts) and Brian O’Driscoll out, they have probably been our best two players so it was going to be very tough for us.

“The guys are very conscious of the Lions ethos and wanted to do it proud.

“The first test we could have won, the second we should have won... we were eager that kind of memory wouldn’t be upset by a poor performance today, knowing we were beaten and throwing in the towel.’

“I hope people don’t misconstrue our lap of honor. We’re under no illusions we lost the Test series. But a lot of people paid a lot of money to come out here, we wanted to thank them."


Rebels Hang On for Narrow Win

Limerick gave Cork an almighty fight before the Rebels held on for a 2-6 to 0-11 win in the Munster SFC final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Saturday -- not that winning boss Conor Counihan was surprised by the challenge presented to his side.

“I mentioned last week this would be a tough game and that Limerick would put it up to us,” said Counihan.

“The fact that the media were putting us up on a pedestal after beating Kerry too, I equally said that we weren’t that good and I said that Kerry weren’t that great.

“Today had a lot to do with Limerick’s performance. We dealt with it as best we could on the day but we were extremely lucky.