THE TRADITIONALISTS WILL tell you that April is when the sporting year really gets going. The Masters in Augusta, the Grand National in Aintree — opportunities abound for modern greats to write their name into the history books.
And that’s before we even get to the Cricket World Cup final, the National Football League final, the Champions League semi-finals and so on and so forth.
Here’s how it went down in April.
Nina Carberry: Carberry kept it in the family as she partnered uncle Arthur Moore’s Organisedconfusion to victory in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. She became only the second woman ever to win the race, joining father Tommy and brothers Paul and Philip on the list of Grand National winners.
India’s cricketers: It’s difficult to fully appreciate just how much it meant to India to win the Cricket World Cup on home soil. The day’s hero, Guatam Gambhir, used his post-match victory speech to dedicate the win to the victims of the 2010 Mumbai bombings.
Shane Horgan: It was 200 not out for “Shaggy” as he made it a double-century of appearances in the blue of Leinster when he lined against Munster in the Magners League.
Rory McIlroy: In search of his first Major, Rory took a four-shot overnight lead into the final day’s play at the grandaddy of them all — the Masters at Augusta. It wasn’t the ideal time to suffer a crisis of confidence and implode but that’s what seemed to happen the Hollywood kid as a wake of wayward drives cost him his chance in the most heartbreaking fashion possible. Still, time heals all wounds, right?
Paul McCloskey: The Dungiven fighter was left speechless when his WBA light-welterweight title fight against Amir Khan was waved off after six rounds following an accidental clash of heads. “Dudey” and promoter Barry Hearn vowed to pursue a rematch against Khan but they’re still waiting.
Dublin’s footballers: The wheels threatened come off the annual Dublin bandwagon earlier than usual this year when Pat Gilroy’s men squandered an eight-point lead to gift Cork the National Football League title. It’s a long aul’ summer though.
Jason McAteer & Stephen Cluxton: The Dublin keeper and the ex-Ireland international didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory when they came to blows during a charity match in aid of Autism Ireland. Now lads…
Highlight of the month
The first leg of Real Madrid and Barcelona’s Champions League semi-final threatened to ruin the beautiful game forever as the two teams kicked, dived and moaned their way around the Santiago Bernabeu. Thankfully, that little Argentine genius Lionel Messi popped up three minutes from time to restore our faith in football.
YouTube Credit: AJohannes93
Headline of the month
Can you hear the rumours, Fernando? As Fernando Torres entered his third scoreless month as a Chelsea player, speculation began to mount that he might be sold on by Roman Abramovich before he ever got a chance to open his account for the club. It’s not every day that we get to use an ABBA pun in our headlines.
Picture of the month
Floyd Mayweather likes to fraternise with Fiddy and BowWow in his spare time? Anything to dodge that fight against Pacquiao, I suppose…
Sporting viral of the month
Kevin Na introduced golf fans to a new word after his record-breaking meltdown at the Texas Open. A duodecuple bogey is the official term for when you finish a hole 12 shots over par, as Na did with this 16 at the par four 9th.
YouTube Credit: pgatour
Tweet of the month
Oh Darron, we hardly new ye. The Manchester United midfielder’s brief foray into the world of Twitter only lasted a couple of hours such was the volume of abuse he got, mostly from irate United fans. Rio Ferdinand attempted to explain the whole mess later that evening.