Irish basketball players at the launch of the 2012/2013 Basketball Ireland domestic season. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Early Doors

The Morning Score: Thursday

Here’s everything you need to know this morning – apart from the time of the next flight to Chicago.

1. #BALLYDOYLE Horse racing trainer Aidan O’Brien, his family, staff and horses have all escaped unharmed following a fire at Ballydoyle Stables overnight, RTÉ reports.

2. #CAPITAL ONE CUP Manchester United face a trip to Chelsea in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup. Wayne Rooney made his return from injury as goals from Anderson and Tom Cleverley gave United a 2-1 in their all-Premier League clash against Newcastle at Old Trafford.

New recruit Nuri Sahin scored a goal in either half as holders Liverpool came from behind to beat West Brom while Olivier Giroud finally ended a long wait for his first Arsenal goal as he opened the scoring in the Gunners’ 6-1 win against Coventry City.

3. #COYBIG The Republic of Ireland look set to be without Richard Dunne for next month’s World Cup qualification double-header against Germany and the Faroe Islands.

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni named a 23-man squad in Dublin yesterday but the injured Dunne and Manchester United’s rising star Robbie Brady have to make do with places on the standby list.

4. #REPLACEMENT REFS Thank God that’s over. The NFL and the Referees Association reached an agreement on Wednesday night to end the lockout which has blighted the opening weeks of the new American football season.

An impasse over pension terms saw replacement referees drafted in for the first three rounds of games, leading to a series of embarrassing officiating blunders before the league and the referees signed off on a new eight-year collective bargaining agreement.

5. #RYDER CUP It’s like Christmas Eve for golf fans as we get set for the tee-off of the 2012 Ryder Cup. Yesterday Rory McIlroy moved to downplay his status as world number one, saying that rankings will mean nothing once the players step out at Medinah Country Club on Friday morning.

You can read all of’s Ryder Cup coverage here.

6. #HURLING Mattie Kenny says that while Galway were “physically drained and mentally drained”,  motivating them for Sunday’s All-Ireland Hurling final replay against Kilkenny is not an issue.

“Myself as a coach you try to set up the team, talk about tactics, but ultimately it’s the players on the pitch,” the selector said. “They must show the desire to get on the ball, they must show the desire to make things happen.”

Read the interview here.

It doesn’t make sense to hang on to the mansion in Ireland, admits Rory McIlroy

‘It’s time to forget about the Euros and start again’ – Trapattoni