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The Punter: Twinkle-toes McConville to dance in New Year

By Bob Fenton

Armagh gaelic star Oisin McConville will be one of the celebrity dancers in RTE's Jigs 'n' Reels on New Years Eve.

Celebrity Jigs 'n' Reels returns for a fund-raising charity bonanza and this year's dancers are Après Match's Gary Cooke, Big Brother contestant Ray Shah, Showbiz expert Trevor Keegan and Oisin.

Fair City babe Hilda Fay, model agency boss Celia Holman Lee and ex-Pogues drummer Cait O'Riordain, provide the feminine touch to the fun-filled festivities.

And William Hill have got in on the act by quoting odds on who will win.

Cooke heads what should be a lively and interesting market at 5-2 followed by Shah at 3-1.

Comedian Cooke joined the Après Match team for the 1998 World Cup, and become synonymous for his brilliant impersonations of both Johnny Giles and Eamon Dunphy.

He is likely to take all the beating and the price looks good.

Tony Kenny of William Hill said: "Anyone who saw Michael Curruth's performances in last season's show will know that if your looking for a good laugh on New Year's Eve then this is show to watch. We don't know if Gary Cooke has two left feet or not, but we think if he performs in the guise of Eamon Dunphy, then he's a sure fire winner"

Live on RTE One December 31 Celebrity Jigs'n' Reels: (William Hill bet) 5-2 Gary Cooke; 3-1 Ray Shah; 4-1 Hilda Fay; 5-1 Oisin McConville; 8-1 Trevor Keegan; 9-1 Celia Holman Lee ; 9-1 Cait O'Riordain.

England spun into the dirt by Warne

England's hopes of salvaging some respect from the current Ashes series, simply goes from bad to worse.

Skittled for a shameful 159 in the first innings of the Fourth Test in Melbourne - losing eight wickets for 51 runs - tells its own horror story.

Of course it was anything but for Australia's Shane Warne who is determined to leave the world stage in typical style - spinning England into the dirt.

He has surpassed the landmark of 700 wickets just to confirm himself as the most successful bowler in history, ending the first day with 5-39, the 37th time he has taken a five-wicket haul.

Warne will quit the international scene at the end of the series but William Hill are not convinced and offer 10-1 that he will appear in England in 2009.

That however, is highly unlikely while the quote of 100-1 for him to turn out wearing the three lions, has about as much chance as Lempik Opik marrying Sian Lloyd.

William Hill Specials: What Will Shane Warne Do Next? 10-1 Start a Ashes test 2009; 16-1 To appear in the 2007 I'm a Celebrity; 50-1 Land a permanent role in either Neighbours, Home and Away or Cell Block H; 50-1 Become Aussie PM; 50-1 S Warne to be Knighted in 2006/07 New Years Honours list, 100-1 become a Weather forecaster, 100-1 Become a Hairdresser.

Which player will be the victim for Shane Warne's last wicket in the current Ashes Series: 7-2 Monty Panesar; 4-1 Steve Harmison; 11-2 Matthew Hoggard; 9-1 Chris Read; 10-1 Andrew Flintoff Sajid Mahmood; 12-1, Paul Collingwood, 12-1 Kevin Pietersen; 16-1 Ian Bell; 20-1 Jimmy Anderson, Alistair Cook, Liam Plunkett; 25-1 Jamie Dalrymple, Geraint Jones, Andrew Strauss.

United favourites to bag the 15,000th Premiership goal

Chelsea may not have been top of the Premiership on Christmas Day, but their late escape at Wigan on Saturday night, keeps them in line for the title - even though they drew 2-2 yesterday.

In fact the London Blues are 25-1 to win all four trophies in which they are involved or alternatively, 11-2 to win nothing.

The latter is very unlikely as they are virtually in a two-horse race for the title, are through to the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup and have a relatively easy task for a place in the last eight of the Champions League.

Chelsea are even money to take the Carling event but that is too short considering their nemesis Liverpool and Arsenal are still there.

Much will depend on the draw for the next stage.

Meanwhile, an interesting bet is 13-8 against Jose Mourinho (Hill's) being sent off or sent from the dugout before the end of the season.

It is 4-9 that he won't be, but that 13-8 is certainly worth taking in view of the Chelsea boss's volatility when it comes to questioning refereeing decisions from the touchline.

As the pressures mount, it is more and more likely that he will be red-carded somewhere.

Man United are the favourites to score the 15,000th Premiership goal which will arrive on Saturday.

The total stands at 14,977 spread over 5,755 games in the last 14 years, excluding yesterday's fixtures. Victor Chandler make United 7-1 favourites to strike the magical figure with Chelsea at 8-1 followed by Blackburn and Bolton (10-1); Everton (11-1); Man City, Wigan Spurs, Liverpool. Portsmouth and Newcastle (12-1); 14-1 M'bro, Watford; 16-1 Fulham, Reading; 33-1 bar.

Extrabet are more generous with their odds, making United 10-1 and Chelsea 12-1. Arsenal Liverpool, Everton and Spurs are also much bigger with this firm.

It is all a bit hit and miss and much will depend on the number of goals in yesterday's matches.

And it could well be that the goal will come in the Saturday's early kick-off match between Charlton and Aston Villa.

Belfast Telegraph


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