SPORTS COLUMNISTS

DONAL LENIHAN: Foley achieves all that was asked as Thomond rocks again

Thomond Park hasn’t exactly rocked of late, a point not lost on Edinburgh or Ospreys who seized their moment to bag rare wins in their respective Guinness Pro12 outings in Limerick last month.

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LIAM MACKEY: United take the role of giantkillers

Manchester United versus Chelsea at Old Trafford — tomorrow’s game, as we’ve come to expect, is being billed as a ‘Super Sunday’ occasion, one of those blue-chip Premier League match-ups, two big title rivals of the modern era going head to head again in of the great football theatres of the world.

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PAT KEANE: Is the French way the right way?

The more you study the manner in which French stewards interpret their rules the more one is inclined to the view that the way they do things is the right way.

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LARRY RYAN: Football can beat downturn

From time to time, I become convinced that professional sport, as we know it, will cease to exist within my potential lifetime. Will decline, anyway.

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RUBY WALSH: Captain Carolcan go one better

I’m sure most people are delighted with the mild and dry weather we have been experiencing for a while now, but for those of us in the racing game, at least the National Hunt end of things, it is really annoying.

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KIERAN SHANNON: The weekend interview: McGrath’s numbers game

Clare might have made an underwhelming fist of defending their All-Ireland title but 2014 has still been a very special year for Conor McGrath, confirming the 23-year-old’s status as one of the country’s leading hurlers.

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TONY CONSIDINE: Hogan my hurler of the year to lead alternative All Stars

THE GAA-GPA All Stars have become elitist and does not recognise the contribution of hurlers who fail to reach the All-Ireland semi-final stage.

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RONAN OGARA: It’s time hookers and props turned stool pigeon

I know nothing. I really don’t. 130 tests later, if you haven’t it all figured you’re dumb, writes Ronan O'Gara

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Can you call yourself a ‘true’ sports fan?

Brian O’Driscoll’s latest book supposedly makes for an interesting read when digested in large chunks, but the extracts have fallen well short of Roy Keane’s on the Richter scale.

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PADDY HEANEY: We are all remembered by how we played the game

Years after he hung up his boots, the late Brendan Mulholland was asked to assess himself as a footballer.

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TONY MCENTEE: Donegal’s McHugh desperately unlucky to miss out

The year 2002 was a difficult one for me as I spent most of it injured with a complicated ankle problem, writes Tony McEntee.

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Ian Keatley

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Keatley Irish selection at Jackson’s expense a major call by Schmidt

Ian Keatley’s inclusion and Paddy Jackson’s absence will prompt much of the debate surrounding the squad Joe Schmidt has chosen to do battle with South Africa, Georgia and Australia next month.

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David Villa

JOHN RIORDAN: Cosmos thinking big as Raul looks the real deal

Tomorrow is Pele’s birthday — or maybe it was yesterday. Depends on where you fact check.

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Barry Kelly (ref)

JOHN FOGARTY: Kelly a great ref, says O’Neill

GAA president Liam O’Neill has defended Barry Kelly in the wake of the Central Hearings Committee’s (CHC) decision not to punish Brian Cody for his remarks about the referee.

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Jessica O'Dwyer, Jamie Lyons, Max Lyons and Emmet O'Dwyer yesterday. More than 5,000 fans will see the Irish squad put through their paces at a Halloween open training session at Aviva Stadium on  October 31. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.ie

DONAL LENIHAN: Provinces prove value of character

WHEN reviewing the performances of the three Irish provinces on the opening weekend of Europe’s new Champions Cup, one word springs to mind for Donal Lenihan: character.

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SEAMUS OTUAMA: Hubbard overcomes Buckley to take victory in Ballinacurra

David Hubbard scored the line in 15 great bowls at Ballinacurra where he beat Paul Buckley by almost a bowl.

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Sean Potts

MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Player burn-out focus of ‘very hard-hitting’ GPA report

GPA head of communications Sean Potts revealed yesterday that the player organisation will release a "very hard-hitting" report on player burn-out in the coming weeks, reports Michael Moynihan

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IN FOCUS: Alan Dillon poses for a photo with a fan after Ballintubber's victory over Castlebar Mitchels in the Mayo SFC final in MacHale Park, Castlebar.

JOHN FOGARTY: Dual counties feel the fixture squeeze

Nobody can deny the appeal of finishing the club season in the calendar year. It’s neat, it’s tidy, reports John Fogarty

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Carlo Ancelotti

DAVID SHONFIELD: With Barca on Real’s mind, Pool can spring a surprise

Winning in Europe at the same time as winning at home is an art, and even experience does not guarantee success.

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Liam O'Neill

KIERAN SHANNON: Club players need to be offered more championship action

At this time of year, we’re supposed to be entering rugby country for the next while, but really, can a month that hosts so many county finals be more GAA than October?

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COLUMNISTS: European Tour looking beyond Dubai

Europe’s best golfers may still be jockeying for position on the 2014 Race To Dubai, with the season’s climax at the DP Tour Championship still five weeks away.

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TONY LEEN: Historic title win for Ballincollig began with a sit down

The night after Ballincollig surprised everyone by stepping over Nemo Rangers into a first Cork county football final, manager Michael O’Brien sat his management team, some players and members of the club’s executive down, writes Tony Leen. This story is enriched with multi-media content

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DONAL LENIHAN: This will work wonders for Munster morale

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Different tournament, same drama. Munster are simply incapable of doing things the easy way.

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ENDA MCEVOY: Don’t come gunning for me, I’m only an All Star selector

"It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills.

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RUBY WALSH: Lyrical Theatre can take centre stage

I go to Cork tomorrow to ride two horses, the first of them being Bosman Rule for Willie Mullins.

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LIAM MACKEY: Critics have no answer for O’Neill

Now that we’ve all just about re-entered earth orbit after that ‘I-saw-it-with-my-own-eyes-and-I-still-can’t-believe-it’ final act in Gelsenkirchen, it’s time to draw breath and ponder a couple of the deeply philosophical questions posed by Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Germany.

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LARRY RYAN: A little bit of history repeated

Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was.

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