Soccer Digest: Aiden McGeady ready for Euro challenge


Hooper  told the Scottish Sun, “There’s no rush as I am happy at Celtic. We have the Champions League next season which I am looking forward to.

“We have the qualifiers to come and at the moment I am looking to my two years at Celtic. But one day Premier League. One day England. And then one day, Barcelona. That is the aim for me.

“We are seeing where these contract talks go but as far as I am concerned I have two years left at Celtic.”
Airtricity Results
HOLDERS Sligo Rovers are out of the FAI Cup after a shock defeat at home to Monaghan United in the third round last Friday night.

Beaten finalists Shelbourne had to go to a replay to see off Bray while Shamrock Rovers were 1-0 winners over Limerick. St. Pat’s hammered local rivals Crumlin 3-0 while non-league Cherry Orchard shocked former winners Longford Town . . .

SPANISH manager Vicente Del Bosque has kept faith with Chelsea striker Fernando Torres in his Euro 2012 squad after a long term injury ruled Barcelona’s David Villa out of the tournament . . .
ITALY have axed defender Domenico Criscito from their European Championship squad after police confirmed he is under investigation in a match fixing scandal . . .

CROATIA continued their warm-up for their opening Euro 2012 fixture against Ireland when they beat Estonia 3-1 in a friendly on Friday night . . .

IRELAND’S under-21 side lost 2-1 to Denmark in a friendly in Tallaght Stadium on Monday night.

Leinster Loses
LEINSTER’S quest for a Heineken Cup and Celtic League double ended in heartache when they were pipped at the post by the Ospreys at the RDS on Sunday night.

A last gasp Shane Williams try and a Danny Biggar conversion sealed a one point win for the Welsh side in a dramatic Rabo 12 final.

It was the second time in 12 months that Leinster failed to add the Celtic League title to the European Cup, and coach Joe Schmidt summed up his team’s disappointment afterwards.

“We are pretty gutted obviously,” said the Blues boss. “We knew that it was going to be tough and we had to be in front in the back half of the game.

“There was going to be a little bit of fatigue, and I think you get more fatigue when you are down to 14 men twice in the half for yellow cards.

“That means you have to overwork a little bit. We fell off a couple of tight tackles and maybe just didn't have things bounce our way.

“I thought it was a superb kick by Dan Biggar from the edge and it was pretty much the same thing he did to us last time to get a one-point win here back in March.”
Sports Shorts

GOLF: Ireland’s Peter Lawrie had double cause for celebration last weekend. First he finished fourth in the prestigious PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday, then he won one of 11 places at the U.S. Open qualifier in Walton Heath on Monday.
British Open champion Darren Clarke is out of the U.S. Open on medical grounds after doctors ordered he rest a groin injury . . .

RUGBY: Leinster scrum-half Isaac Boss and Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris have been ruled out of Ireland’s forthcoming tour to New Zealand. Kevin McLaughlin of Leinster has been called up as a replacement for Ferris. A decision on Paul O’Connell’s fitness will be made on Thursday before the team fly to New Zealand . . .

ATHLETICS: Wicklow’s Fionnuala Britton made the Olympic qualifying time for the 5,000 meter at a race in Morocco on Sunday. She has already made the qualifying mark in the 10,000 meters and the 3,000 meters steeplechase . . .

BOXING: Ulster’s Carl Frampton added the vacant IBF inter-continental title to his Commonwealth super-bantamweight belt when he outpointed Mexican Raul Hirales in England on Saturday night . . .
RUGBY: Munster prop Darragh Hurley has been forced into early retirement after failing to recover from a back injury.