SPORTS COLUMNISTS

PADDY HEANEY: A long journey but Lynch now fulfilling promise with Derry

Before coaching became such an integral part of football, the best managers were essentially natural-born sports psychologists.

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JOHN RIORDAN: Corkman Crowley building a reputation in Empire State

Bryant ‘Peewee’ Cruz’s life changed when a local policeman took him off the Port Chester streets and hand delivered him to a boxing gym called Champs in New Rochelle, just north of New York City.

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Simon Zebo

DONAL LENIHAN: Penney must keep his stars under wraps

Having already lost inspirational captain Peter O’Mahony for the business end of the season, Rob Penney will be mindful of making sure his key personnel are fresh and raring to go when Munster set out to upset the odds once again by toppling Heineken Cup champions Toulon in Marseille on Sunday week.

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Dr Hans Geyer, Managing Director of the Centre for Preventive Doping Research of the German University of Cologne, in attendance at the Irish Sports Council's Anti-Doping Review for 2013. Royal College of Physicians, Kildare Street, Dublin.

DERVAL OROURKE: Wouldn’t it be amazing to watch an Olympic 100m final knowing each athlete had a catalogue of samples frozen in a lab somewhere that will be re-tested in the future?

Both at home and further afield, it’s been a busy few day in the world of anti-doping.

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DAVID SHONFIELD: Horror of Hillsborough disaster still resonates today

No one who went to a football match in England on Saturday, April 15, 1989 is likely to forget what happened that day.

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JOHN FOGARTY: Lack of segregation such a blessing for the GAA

This writer was nine years old when 96 lives were lost in Hillsborough this day in 1989.

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KIERAN SHANNON: Putting a perspective on success on fringes of the Major league

It’s torture and in a way he’s tortured, but Pádraig Harrington has the good grace and awareness to realise he’s still one of the lucky ones.

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RAY SILKE: Second-half collapse will alarm Rebel management

1 - Cork have a lot to improve on

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MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Marking my card on the black peril

They say the new black card system in football has shaved away a good deal of the cynicism. I decided to have a look yesterday at the game I was covering, Derry-Mayo in Croke Park, to see if the evidence bore out the presumption.

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James Horan

MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Mayo must break free of shackles

The temptation is always to look for the deeper meaning, of course. The extra layer.

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DARA OCINNEIDE: Observing Rebels rising

We were stationed behind the scoring goal in Austin Stack Park for Kerry’s capitulation against Cork last weekend.

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JOHN MCHENRY: Winner needs impeccable credentials

Can anyone tell me why it is that watching golf being played around Augusta National by the world’s best players is so much fun?

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LIAM MACKEY: An Irish rhythm to Mersey beat

Tomorrow’s meeting of Liverpool and Manchester City is probably the most eagerly anticipated Premier League game for neutrals this season, as England’s two highest-scoring teams meet in a game which will go a long way to deciding the outcome of the 2014 title race.

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KEITH ANDREWS: Brilliant Bayern still the team to beat

Now that the draw for the Champions League semi-finals has been made, I have no doubt we will see two very different match-ups when Real Madrid face Bayern Munich and Chelsea come up against Atletico Madrid.

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RUBY WALSH: Don’t delay, get it started first time

I have to start this week with last Saturday’s Grand National and the furore concerning the false start.

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LARRY RYAN: Jose stars in his own theatre of the absurd

A mixed week at the upper echelons of the bullshit trade. We lost one of the greats. It says much about the business The Ultimate Warrior was involved in that many people took time to be convinced he was really dead and that the announcement wasn’t a stunt.

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PAT KEANE: Style and substance to Vautour form

The Punchestown festival will see the end of the National Hunt season in the dying days of this month and into early May.

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POINTING THE WAY: Munster skills coach Ian Costello directs the players during squad training at UL, Limerick. Picture: Sportsfile

RONAN OGARA: Reds can rattle the best

Things that surprise: Toulouse’s Thomond no-show; their body language; that they were surprised by the intensity of the occasion is a surprise in itself.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Tadhg’s try-outs testament to how all storms pass

I was five when I ended a brief dalliance with Bobby Robson’s Ipswich Town, swayed by the history of the Busby Babes, Munich, the Fifth Beatle and The King.

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PADDY HEANEY: Games have never been as available or free as some think

The Heaney house on the Fair Hill in Maghera wasn’t exactly a palatial spread, but it did the job.

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