Archive for October, 2009

Jumps for fun

Posted in Cheltenham, Dunguib, Hurricane Fly, Mouse Morris, National Hunt, Sizing Europe, Venalmar, Willie Mullins on October 27, 2009 by Ronan O'Keeffe
TheFly

Champion Hurdle favourite Hurricane Fly

As a flat season that produced one of the great colts of the past fifty years draws to a close all eyes refocus on the National Hunt arena. The warm, heady days of summer are forgotten as hardy jumps fans trudge around the country taking note of bumper starlets, maiden hurdle winners and novice chasers making their way over the larger obstacles. It is a transition that most racing fans make with ease, as one code takes a break while the other kicks into gear with all roads leading to the Cheltenham Festival. Continue reading

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Money talks in the Big Apple

Posted in A-Rod, Baseball, Jeter, Sport, Uncategorized, Yankees on October 22, 2009 by Ronan O'Keeffe
Yankee captain Derek Jeter

Yankee captain Derek Jeter

It’s common for sports fans on this side of the Atlantic to sometimes sneer at the games Americans hold so dear. For many of us it is simply unfathomable that any sport could last for three hours and be interrupted endlessly for the benefit of television. Our staples like soccer, hurling and rugby follow a format we are all comfortable with, a simple break being taken in between two often pulsating halves of end to end action. Conversely the Americans have never really taken to the beautiful game, despite the best efforts of David Beckham. Rugby is an amateur sport stateside and hurling is ours and ours alone. Continue reading

Vodafone All-Star awards

Posted in Canning, Gaelic football, Galvin, Hurling, Miskella, Shefflin, Uncategorized on October 17, 2009 by Ronan O'Keeffe
King Henry

King Henry

As another season of championship action drew to a close the usual arguments sparked up as to who should make the Vodafone All-Star teams in hurling and football. We got our answer on the hurling front during the week and last night the 15 All-Star footballers were announced at a black tie ceremony at Citywest. It’s fair to say, as in any other year, that there are some choices that may strike followers of the GAA as strange. But when all is said and done every man chosen has reached standards of excellence in their play in 2009. Their arrival into this elite group is a fitting way to reward them. Make sure to check out all the action from the event by clicking here. Continue reading

Do we need the luck of the Irish?

Posted in Arshavin, Domenech, Gekas, Henry, Karagounis, Nani, Pavlyuchenko, Ribery, Ronaldo, Trappatoni, Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 by Ronan O'Keeffe
Will his luck hold?

Will his luck hold?

Second place it is then. After a long and winding qualifying campaign Giovanni Trappatoni and his Irish team did what was expected of them and finished as runners up in Group Eight behind Italy. Suddenly the dark days of the Staunton era seem like a lifetime ago. Although certain notables are still absent from the international setup our wily Italian boss has done what was asked of him by his paymasters at the FAI. So now we wait for Monday’s draw to determine which of the four seeded sides we will face for a spot at next summers World Cup in South Africa. Time to take a look at how France, Russia, Portugal and Greece are shaping up. Continue reading

No need to panic but improvement needed

Posted in Cheika, De Villiers, Heineken Cup, Leinster, McGahan, Munster, O'Driscoll, O'Gara, Sexton on October 12, 2009 by Ronan O'Keeffe
Exiles too strong on the night

Exiles too strong on the night

How quickly things change. It was only last week that a consensus was forming with a number of observers claiming that Munster and Leinster were clear favourites for Heineken Cup glory again this season. The argument put forward was that the Magners League was a second rate competition, thus allowing the Irish provincial powerhouses the chance to rest key players at certain stages. By this logic all the star Irishmen would be fresh and firing when the real business of European action came around, whereas the cut throat nature of the English and French domestic leagues demanded a weekly sacrifice from the players featuring in them. After a weekend that saw both Munster and Leinster fall to defeat at the hands of Premiership opponents it stands to reason that this particular opinion will carry less weight. Continue reading

Once in a lifetime

Posted in Dancing Brave, Fame and Glory, John Oxx, Mick Kinnane, Mill Reef, Nashwan, Prix de l'Arc, Vaguely Noble on October 5, 2009 by Ronan O'Keeffe
Magnifique

Magnifique

On September 8th I wrote of my experience in witnessing Sea The Stars romp to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes. I thought then that whatever Sea The Stars went on to achieve in future races would not be surpassed by his efforts that day over the 10 furlong course. I’m glad to say I was wrong. Continue reading

AC Milan: The team that time forgot

Posted in Baresi, Leonardo, Nesta, Onyewu, Pato, Pirlo, Ronaldinho, Seedorf on October 1, 2009 by Ronan O'Keeffe
A side in decline?

A side in decline?

Another mundane week of Champions League group stage fixtures has passed and for the most part the natural order has been maintained. Powerhouses like Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Arsenal all won. Continental rivals Bayern Munich and Juventus played out an entertaining draw at the Allianz Arena. Liverpool were humbled by an impressive Fiorentina but La Viola are formidable at home. There was one result from Game Week Two though that really stood out. It came from the San Siro where seven times champions AC Milan were beaten 1-0 by the minnows of FC Zurich. Continue reading