12 sporting events to enjoy on TV this Christmas

Larry Ryan's guide to the best sports on television.
12 sporting events to enjoy on TV this Christmas

Racing from Leopardstown (RTE 2)

Dec 26-28, 1pm

A festival at this annual time of high emotion and notoriously poor judgement? No wonder the bookies call it Christmas.

Match of the Day (BBC 1)

Dec 26, 10.30pm

This crazy campaign could just have one more surprise up its sleeve… Might LVG’s lads get a goal at Stoke?

Munster v Leinster (TG4, Sky Sports 4)

Dec 27, 4.30pm

Due to lack of interest, nobody knows yet if they will continue playing rugby into 2016, so best catch this while you can. Leinster face a derby visit to Thomond Park with vital Pro12 points at stake, it says here. Once upon a time, that would have read ‘Fortress Thomond’.

Thank GAA It's 2015 (RTE 2)

Dec 27, 6.30pm

In truth, there wasn't a lot to be thankful for in 2015, in GAA circumstances, as Effin Eddie’s famous interviewee would put it. Still, the Thank GAA It's Friday slot regularly took the bare look off things. This rounds up some of its best bits, with appearances from Jim McGuinness, Seamus Coleman and Dan and Maurice Shanahan.

Field of Dreams (RTE 2)

Dec 27, 3.30pm

Show it and they will watch.

Cúil na Bliana (TG4)

Dec 27, 3.40pm

Featuring the best hurling and football goals of the year. In the good old days, the winner could hope to be immortalised in an advert for a substance that combatted liver fluke.

Manchester Utd v Chelsea (BT Sport 1)

Dec 28, 5.30pm

If United have lost at the Britannia two days earlier, expect Jose Mourinho to be parachuted into the Old Trafford hot seat before kick-off, perhaps taking out Cesc, Costa and Hazard with his landing.

Sunderland v Liverpool (Sky Sports 1)

Dec 30, 7.45pm

If Tony Pulis can annoy Kloppo into a post-match parade of honour over a 2-2 draw with West Brom, count on an open top bus parade if Pool can sneak a win over Big Sam.

Sports Quiz of the Year (RTE 1)

Dec 31, 6.30pm

Watching any kind of sports quiz on RTE still feels like a callow betrayal, but with Know Your Sport’s inexplicable exile now nearing two decades, perhaps it's time to move on. Here Jacqui Hurley puts Ruby Walsh and Shane Byrne through their paces and doubtless there will be bantz. But there will be no umbrellas.

Apres Match of the Day (RTE 2)

Jan 1, 10.45pm

The best bits from the best show of 2015. There is a genuine danger this might actually be too good.

Valencia v Real Madrid (Sky Sports 3)

Jan 3, 7pm

If you are already barely able to contain your anticipation for Euro 2016, crank up the excitement another notch for a Battle of Britain dress rehearsal; the Gary Derby, Neville v Bale.

PDC World Darts Championship (Sky Sports 1)

Jan 3, 7pm

The decider from the Ally Pally. Stand up if you love the darts, or sit down and watch it, if you prefer.

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