Italy's team in perform their technical routine during the Synchronised Swimming Qualifying Event at the Olympics Aquatics Centre, London. PA Wire/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Rise and shine

The Morning Score: Friday

Friday at last, that means another big weekend of sport is just hours away.

Grab your coffee, grab your Morning Score, it’s the perfect way to start the day.

1. #ROYAL RUMBLE This one could be our saga for the summer. Last night’s instalment saw former manager, Eamonn Barry, brand the Royals as ‘the laughing stock of the country’.

The vultures are circling. Not only is Seamus McEnaney under pressure from within Meath, but this morning, Wicklow manager, Harry Murphy sent a warning shot his way – five weeks before the sides meet in the first round of the Leinster Championship.

2. #ANOTHER MAN DOWN Offaly manager, Gerry Cooney, is the latest casualty of a disappointing League campaign. Cooney reportedly stepped down at a meeting last night.

Cooney managed just one win in the League, against Val Andrews’ Cavan, who also resigned last week.

3. #EUROPA LEAGUE while its big brother, the Champions League provided some intriguing final four face-offs, the Europa League continues to throw up gloriously mad games.

The possibility of four Spanish teams contesting two European finals is still alive and well, but Athletic Bilbao will have to come from a goal down to make it happen. Marcelo Bielsa’s side fell 2-1 awat to Sporting Lisbon, the only non-Spanish club in the last four.

In Madrid, Atletico earned themselves a two-goal cushion to take into next week’s second leg. However, despite a 4-2 defeat, Valencia will remain confident of overturning the deficit at the Mestalla. All the details of those games are here.

4. #DOPE Riccardo Ricco has been landed with a whopping 12-year ban from cycling after being found guilty of doping yesterday.

In a familiar scene, Ricco continues to protest his innocence. It is the second time in four years that the Italian has been found guilty and banned.

5. #GET WELL SOON After Marco Tardelli appeared briefly at the Aviva Stadium yesterday, it’s being widely reported that the Italian has warned Richard Dunne that he will not travel to Euro 2012 unless he fully recovers from his shoulder injury.

However, Tardelli did not seem so harsh on the Honey Monster when encountered him.

He said; “I’ve spoken with (Dunne) and I think he will be with us, maybe also on 17 May. Richard Dunne is starting to prepare. I think it’s very important for us that he will be fit for the cup.”

6. #FULL STEAM AHEAD Ulster welcome Leinster to Ravenhill tonight and both provinces have named strong teams as they look to ramp up performance levels before next weekend’s Heineken Cup semi-finals.

Ulster also have the worry of a Rabodirect Pro12 play-off and will most likely to beat Leinster tonight and Munster in two weeks’ time to stand any chance of joining the eastern province in the knock-out phase.

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