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Dublin: 11°C Friday 16 April 2021

The Morning Score: Tuesday

We’ve got semi-finals coming out of our ears, snooker players pinned up in the baulk end and a get-rich-quick scheme.

Kevin Nolan celebrates Jack Collison's goal for West Ham last night.
Kevin Nolan celebrates Jack Collison's goal for West Ham last night.
Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Every morning, brings you the stories, you need to know before your first cup of coffee.

1. #CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Play the music, but don’t try to sing it: Europe’s top club competition has reached its most exciting point of the season.

Adding a little more spice is the fact that the two favourites for the final lost their first leg ties and now must use home advantage to the max.

Tonight it’s Barcelona against everybody’s favourite villain, Chelsea. Roberto Di Matteo’s men will hope for a repeat of their first leg 1-0 win when they improbably kept Barca from scoring.

Pep Guardiola, however, says he has “no doubt” that his side, the reigning champions will win.

Much less glamour in the Premier League tonight, Aston Villa will host Bolton Wanderers in a relegation six-pointer. Here’s the preview.

2. #SETANTA Closer to home, the Setanta Cup played out its own final four last night and the final will see Derry and Belfast clubs contest the final.

Both finalists lost the second leg in normal time. Derry City, 3-0 up from the first game, fell 2-0 to Gary Twigg and Shamrock Rovers. It was the same scoreline for Sligo Rovers, they levelled the aggregate scoreline against Crusaders after 90 minutes. A Colin Yates penalty sealed the win for Crusaders in extra time.

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3. #HORSIES The final big festival of the season gets underway in Punchestown later today. Realt Dubh, Sizing Europe, and Sir Des Champs are amongst some of the big names amongst the field. Be sure to mark your card here, before throwing your money blindly behind the prettiest pony.

4. INJURY WORRY With the days having turned to hours before Ulster play their second ever Heineken Cup semi-final, Ulster are sweating over the fitness of Chris Henry (ankle) and Paul Marshall (elbow).

Pedrie Wannenburg and Paddy Wallace were also causes for concern after they followed Henry off early during the defeat to Leinster. They have been passed fit though, despite fears of a concussion to Paddy Wallace after his jaw felt the considerable force of a shoulder from Cian Healy.

Leinster have no such concerns ahead of their trip to France. Eoin O’Malley is the only man whose fitness is in doubt.

5. #SNOOKER LOOPY Belfast’s Mark Allen will face disciplinary proceedings after he roundly accused Chinese players of ‘cheating’ at the sport.

Chairman of World Snooker, Barry Hearn (who has a bit of previous with Allen) said: “Time and time again Mark seems unable to control himself in his public statements. Sometimes I am speechless.”

Allen has made steps to reign in his public output, he has closed his Twitter page. Read the full story here.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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