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Wacky races in Scotland leave Hearts light years from Bhoys

The wacky, lopsided nature of the SPL is best illustrated by a league table which will, should Celtic beat Partick Thistle tonight and win the title, show a gap between the champions-elect and the chasing pack of 27 points.

Celtic are currently on 81 points, needing just one win to claim the title for the third season in a row. At the bottom, Hearts have just six points, while the team above them, St Mirren, has 27 which should be the title-winningmargin for Celtic.

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The Netherlands cricketers have apologised to Ireland days after they denied the Boys in Green a place in the Super 10 phase of the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. The unexpected apology came following the Netherlands' Group 1 defeat against Sri Lanka. Dismissed for just 39 runs, the Netherlands set a record for the lowest score in Twenty20 international history.

"I have to apologise to the Irish and the other Associates for this," said captain Peter Borren. "We are representing all of them."

They've yet to play South Africa, New Zealand and England.

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Following a hard winter, it's reassuring to spot signs of spring.

Buds on the hawthorn and horse chestnut opening, frogspawn in ponds and, of course, a rattling row between the Dublin and Meath county boards. The delicate matter of a venue for the Leinster U21 FC final has led to a war of words, with Meath chairman Conor Tormey protesting the choice of Portlaoise.

"We're not afraid to take on the Dubs anywhere," said the Meath boss. Dublin's Andy Kettle replies. "Mind games. Nobody's running scared." It'll soon be summer.

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Tiger Woods has won at Augusta National on four occasions.

But his participation in The Masters, the only major event he's never missed, is in doubt. Despite treatment, back pain, which has hampered him in recent tournaments, could rule him out.

With or without Tiger, attention will focus on a 35-year-old long regarded as a mere journeyman. Jimmy Walker has become one of just a few recent golfers to win three of eight tournaments at the start of a season. "I've worked really hard to be here," he says. "It's cool."

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Having evaluated more than 30 sites, David Beckham's advisers have opted for the Port of Miami for his new MLS franchise. Expected to cost more than €145m, the new stadium site has yet to be confirmed. "We have options," says Beckham. "We don't want to be an enemy of the people who are opposing the stadium."


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