It’s sort of the calm before the storm at the moment in the world of sports with the Premier League and Champions League fast approaching in football as well as the Rugby World Cup and a load of GAA.

First up, the Ireland under 19 soccer team deserve a shout out for their performances at the under 19 European Championships. The Boys in Green reached the semi finals of the competition before eventually losing out to the very talented Portuguese. Along the way, Ireland  drew with Norway, beat the Czech Republic and narrowly lost to France in the group stage. They also had a notable win over the Netherlands in the qualifying round. While the 4-0 defeat to Portugal was a disappointing, it should be noted that Ireland were mixing some big players including star strikers Adam Idah and Troy Parrot, who were both involved for their respective teams Norwich and Spurs while Southampton’s Jonathan Alofabi and Lee O’Connor of Manchester United were both suspended for the fixture.

In the semi finals of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship, it was Tipperary and Kilkenny who emerged victorious, both by a single point. Tipp beat Wexford by 1-28 to 3-20 while the Cats narrowly overcame Limerick by 1-21 to 2-17. The final between Tipperary and Kilkenny will take place on Sunday the 18th of August.

Last week Shamrock Rovers made another step towards Europa League qualification by beating Apollon Limassol 2-1 in the Tallaght stadium. Stephen Bradley’s side travel to Cyprus for the second leg on Thursday.

In Champions League qualification, Dundalk drew 1-1 at home to Quarabag and will face a trip to Azerbaijan for the second leg. Let’s hope for an Irish team in both the Champions League and Europea League next season!

Finally, there was first Colombian victor in the Tour de France as Egan Bernal stormed to victory in Paris. Both Irish riders had respectable finishes as well with Dan Martin finishing in 18th place while Nicholas Roche finished 45th. Out of 155 riders to finish the race and over 200 in total, that’s pretty darn good.

Image- Fox (San Diego)