SPORTS COLUMNISTS

WHIP HAND: Bishops Road (right)  beats Heathfield in somewhat controversial circumstances at Leopardstown last Sunday.

PAT KEANE: Here’s one ‘rule’ that is just plain stupid by any standards

At Leopardstown last Sunday Bishops Road beat Heathfield by a head in a modest handicap chase.

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RUBY WALSH: Open Eagle set tofly high

Two rides at Fairyhouse today and four at Punchestown tomorrow make up my weekend, says Ruby Walsh.

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Páirc Uí Chaoimh

MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Cork County Board may sell Páirc Uí Chaoimh naming rights

The Cork County Board estimates that it will face a debt of just over €5 million when Páirc Uí Chaoimh is redeveloped, while officials will consider naming rights as a revenue stream for the stadium as well as a premium ticketing scheme.

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FIRED UP: Aaron Kernan believes modern players must learn how to properly prepare, play, win — and lose.

KIERAN SHANNON: The Kieran Shannon Interview: Aaron Kernan, former Armagh footballer

Aaron Kernan’s retirement at 30 years of age disappointed many, including Joe Brolly. But it wasn’t because the Armagh great was some kind of indentured slave. It was just time to re-prioritise his life.

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Isn't it Mickey Harte's philosophy to win every competition? He knows that winning a competition amasses more benefits than any training or match.

TONY MCENTEE: League may be true barometer of success for many counties

"Hardfacts . . .Do you really believe anyone other than a Division 1 league team will win a provincial championship."

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James Horan

DARA O'CINNEIDE: The dream begins again for brave Mayo

Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.
— Brendan Kennelly

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LIAM MACKEY: Team spirit key to José Mourinho’s mind games

The self-styled ‘Special One’ has been able to manipulate some of the biggest egos in football in large part by having the most well-developed ego of them all, says Liam Mackey.

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LARRY RYAN: Window closes on the Deadline Day warriors

They can never again say I don’t make the big calls, says Larry Ryan.

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Bryan Keane

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Swim. Cycle. Run. Three is a magic number for Bryan Keane

Even a serious training accident hasn’t dented Bryan Keane’s passion for triathlons.

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The town of Mallow, Co Cork.

JOHN FOGARTY: Mallow targeting more big games

Mallow’s GAA Sports Complex is capable of hosting several provincial fixtures, according to its general manager Liz Foley.

As the venue prepares to stage tomorrow evening’s Waterford Crystal Cup final, Foley is hoping it will pave the way for more games, such as Munster Club finals and provincial U21 and minor championship matches.

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HOME THOUGHTS: "Cork was my preference over any other team. It was a very easy decision to come home," said Liam Miller. Picture: Larry Cummins.

LIAM MACKEY: Liam Miller: Homecoming ‘easy decision’

"We did forty press conferences last year and the crowd was never as big as this," said John Caulfield with a grin at Cork’s International Airport Hotel yesterday, as a big media contingent turned up to greet Liam Miller on his official touchdown for Cork City. This story is enriched with multi-media content

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Ian Madigan practicing his goal kicking.

RONAN O'GARA: Things kickers think of to relieve pressure

All the talk before tonight’s Ireland Wolfhounds clash with England Saxons has been about who might do enough to break into the full squad for the Six Nations, writes Ronan O’Gara.

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BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Final place in sporting jigsaw about to fall into place

IT’S 20 years since this column sat down to complete the Leaving Cert – for a second, excruciating time – but it is probably some sort of twisted pseudo-tribute to that daunting time in all our lives that scraps of the information we had to learn by rote occasionally jostle their way back to the forefront of the mind when least expected, writes Brendan O’Brien.

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JOHN FOGARTY: Super-fit Tommy ready to let rip

He’s declared himself fit to play this Sunday. So fit, he hints he’s up to playing in a more physically-demanding role than 2009.

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Ian Madigan training yesterday.

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Richie Murphy trusts Ian Madigan to bounce back

Ian Madigan endured a tormenting day with the boot for Leinster against Wasps last weekend but the man who knows his kicking abilities best has backed him to bounce back against Italy on Saturday week, says Brendan O’Brien.

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NEW ERA: Last night's Cork  County Board meeting, the first of 2015 and the first meeting to take place away from Páirc Uí Chaoimh since 1976, at Nemo Rangers, Trabeg.

JOHN FOGARTY: UCD report puts a cloud over Sky deal

Claims by the GAA’s hierarchy that the Sky Sports deal has been good for the association have been contested by a leading sports academic, says John Fogarty.

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Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with fans after defeating the Arizona Cardinals 35-6 in the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 21, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.

JOHN RIORDAN: Talking over as New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks set to raise hell in Arizona

How much more hype from over here can you stand? says John Riordan.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Champions Cup a qualified success

News last week the appointment of a chairman and a director general have had to be put on hold for the time being offered a timely reminder of the difficulties faced in satisfying the diverse interests of the stakeholders on the board of European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), says Donal Lenihan.

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THAT'S MY DAD: Captain Seán Cavanagh  shows off the  Dr McKenna Cup with his four-year-old daughter Eva  after Tyrone's win over Cavan at the Athletic Grounds on Sunday. Picture: Sportsfile.

JOHN FOGARTY: League promises thrills but not quality

For the first time since the return of the four divisional format in 2008, four Ulster teams make up half of Division 1, writes John Fogarty.

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SLAM DUNK: Basketball Ireland Secretary General Bernard O'Byrne presents Saint Mary's College, Galway captain Sean Kelly with the trophy after they won the U-19 B Boys All-Ireland final in Dublin. Picture: Inpho/Donall Farmer

KIERAN SHANNON: O’Byrne lays out his Hoop dreams

Another January afternoon out in Tallaght and the National Basketball Arena is throbbing, writes Kieran Shannon.

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DAVID SHONFIELD: China enters the ball game

Forget the London clubs. Forget Manchester. Forget Paris, Monaco and Rome. The most significant foreign investment in European football came last week and it’s not Russian, Arab or American but Chinese, writes David Shonfield.

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Dara Ó Cinnéide

DARA O'CINNEIDE: Time to lay down the groundwork for summer

They say nobody remembers the league but the truth is we all face into the spring competition hoping for something memorable.

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Paul OConnell in action against Sale Sharks on Sundays. Pic: Inpho.

CHARLIE MULQUEEN: Scrap academy and return to club values, pleads Munster hero Ginger

Scrap the academy and give power and resources back to the clubs and you will help to solve some of the problems besetting Munster Rugby, writes Charlie Mulqueen

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PAT KEANE: Mullins gets it right with Outlander

Mullins, what a day he enjoyed at Leopardstown yesterday, was on the mark again when Outlander proved a very impressive winner of the Grade 2 Nathaniel Lacy And Partners Solicitors’ Novice Hurdle, writes Pat Keane.

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KIERAN SHANNON: Indomitable Leesiders are truly a class apart

Wherever she goes, it seems he has to follow, writes Kieran Shannon.

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Munster's Paul O'Connell in action against Sale Sharks. Pic: Inpho.

DONAL LENIHAN: Munster would be delighted to have Leinster’s problems

There were different agendas at play for Leinster, Munster and Ulster approaching their final pool games in the inaugural Champions Cup over the weekend, writes Donal Lenihan.

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MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: The next stage in sports coverage

Over the weekend I got chatting to an acquaintance about stadia and it put me in mind of an event I attended a few ago., writes Michael Moynihan.

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