SPORTS COLUMNISTS

LIAM MACKEY: Keeping up with the changes at No. 1

Should next Saturday’s Champions League final resolve itself into a head to head contest between Ronaldo and Gianluigi Buffon, the outcome might not only decide the game but also the winner of this year’s Ballon d’Or.

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PAT KEANE: Himmah should not have been allowed to run after pre-race antics

If you backed the Kevin Prendergast-trained Himmah to win a five furlongs two-year-old maiden at Navan last Saturday then you were more than entitled to feel especially piddled-off with Irish racing.

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LARRY RYAN: Blessed are the brand builders

With the Champions League revenue stream secured, there was still business to take care of for Liverpool this week.

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ANTHONY DALY: Why did Cunningham take a wrecking ball to the Dubs?

On Wednesday night I took out a pen and paper and wrote down an alternative Dublin team to the one that is selected for tomorrow in Tullamore.

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COLM COOPER: "The costliest point I ever scored came in an All-Ireland Club semi-final in 2014"

In the first of a series of Championship insights, our new football columnist Colm Cooper empathises with those injured, frustrated and worst of all, forgotten.

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PM O'SULLIVAN: The heat is on as Cork have thrown open championship

If Galway progress in a business-like manner, it will augur well for more than a Leinster semi-final, writes PM O’Sullivan.

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RONAN O'GARA: What happens when the stuff you’ve studied doesn’t come up in an exam?

Scarlets’ Jonathan Davies is staggeringly underrated in Ireland, perhaps because he will always be the one who ‘took’ Brian O’Driscoll’s Lions jersey four years ago in Australia, writes Ronan O’Gara.

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Carlow supporters Ava and Sean O'Brien stepping it out ahead of the match between Carlow and Wexford at Netwatch Cullen Park.

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Counties like Carlow deserve home comforts

It’s Carlow - the town, the county and its people - who will suffer because of the Leinster Council’s scattergun approach, writes Brendan O’Brien.

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US middle distance runner Ashley Higginson running with kids on Global Running Day last year.

PAUL ROUSE: This is your chance to take a step in the right direction

Ireland’s incidence of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and colonic cancer (to name just three) is way above the European and global average, writes Paul Rouse.

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DONAL O'GRADY: Galway won’t replicate Tipperary showing, but winning ugly will do until September

The provincial championship in Leinster presents what is essentially a three-horse race this summer, writes Donal O’Grady.

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KIERAN SHANNON: Cork hurlers high performance driven by Gary Keegan effect

They’re not half-pregnant now. For years there, that’s essentially how the Cork senior hurlers were going about the place. 

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DAVID SHONFIELD: David Shonfield: Ajax young bloods impress old Wesley Sneijder

There are men with a foot in both camps for tonight’s Europa League final. Daley Blind is one, another is Wesley Sneijder.

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SEAMUS O'TUAMA: James Cooney steals the show with big win over Murphy

James Cooney was the star of the Munster Junior A action last weekend, beating Michael Murphy by three bowls after a scintillating 10 shot salvo at Whitechurch on Sunday.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Red alert as Munster on mission to scratch a seven-year-itch

Across a season of 31 competitive games, Leinster registered 23 wins, a single draw and only seven defeats, writes Donal Lenihan

Donal Lenihan

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DONAL O'GRADY: Proud Kingston won the tactical battle

Kieran Kingston mentioned on these pages last week the Cork management wanted a performance that would make them proud. After 20 minutes in Semple Stadium on Sunday, that had been achieved.

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MIKE QUIRKE: Time to cut O'Shea some slack

It’s rare you can identify precisely when a game of football turns against you. It’s usually a series of small incidents that culminate in a shift in momentum you just can’t reel back in.

 

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JOHN FOGARTY: Obsession with Mayo is now a sickness

Slamming Mayo is now fashionable and the more outrageous the statement, the better, writes John Fogarty

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THE SECRET FOOTBALLER: And the TSF award goes to...

Our super sleuth recognises the moaners and chancers and spoofers and stars of the season with his inaugural awards ceremony, writes The Secret Footballer.

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ANTHONY DALY: Cork’s acorns grew into oak trees yesterday

Donie Walsh is a Cork man but he’s a Garda based in Limerick who hurls for the Clarecastle Junior B’s. He is a diehard Chelsea fan, writes Anthony Daly.

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MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: The ancient art of sportswriting

Dan Barry of the New York Times picked up an award recently for a stunning in-depth study of a boxer’s struggles, but if I’d been on that jury, a different venture would have won him that particular gong, writes Michael Moynihan.

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