Monday 18 December 2017

Sorry darling...Valentine's takes back seat to TV sporting feast

EARLY Valentine's celebrations will be put on hold today for a TV feast of sporting action.

Candlelight dinners, poetry reciting and general romancing are being postponed as the Dubs, the Ireland rugby squad, Manchester United and Liverpool are all in action.

Top of the bill tomorrow will be Declan Kidney's Ireland who travel to Paris for a showdown with Les Bleus.


Of the Irish match-day squad of 22, only Ronan O'Gara has had the pleasure of beating the French on home soil, converting Brian O'Driscoll's hat-trick of tries in our famous victory at the Stade de France in 2000.

France has been caught up in the cold snap that has wreaked havoc throughout Europe and an inspection of the pitch will go ahead at 6.15 tomorrow evening, with the match due to kick-off at 8pm.

After last week's defeat to the Welsh at the Aviva, the Irish squad will be aware that only victory will keep them in the race for the Six Nations crown.

Today's sporting feast begins at 12.45pm when Manchester United host bitter rivals Liverpool in the first meeting between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra since their 'racism' dispute at Anfield last October.

This powder- keg meeting of the English Premier League's most successful clubs is the most eagerly anticipated in recent memory. Having been knocked out of the FA Cup a fortnight ago by Kenny Dalglish's men and trailing their Manchester rivals City in the Premier League by two points, victory for the Red Devils is a must.

Sandwiched between these two massive fixtures is a Division 1 meeting between Pat Gilroy's Dublin and Mayo in Castlebar.

A less-than-impressive display from the boys in blue last week at Croke Park saw them lose out to Kerry in what was an extremely disappointing beginning to their league campaign.


Mayo already hold the advantage over Dublin having defeated Laois in their opening weekend clash and James Horan's men will be fired up to take on the reigning All-Ireland champions.

Pat Gilroy has resisted the urge to bring the Brogan brothers back into the frame but both will be itching to make an impact from the bench.


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