I ALWAYS find that the wonderful world of sport really starts to come into its own at this time of year.

The clocks have gone forward, the nights are getting lighter and, while admittedly not this week, the weather is improving.

The weekend saw the beginning of the cricket season, which probably explains the weather, but we also had the Grand National and the Boat Race. Next weekend, we have the London Marathon.

Thursday sees the start of the Masters at Augusta, arguably the most prestigious tournament in the golfing calendar.

After that, the 17-day marathon that is the snooker world championship breaks off at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre.

A wide variety of sports and events to cater for just about every taste all falling within days of each other.

This time of year is also when the football and rugby seasons reach what is colloquially known as the business end.

On top of one of the most enthralling and open Premier League title races in the competition's history, the Champions League goes up a level with the decisive quarter-final second legs this week.

The FA Cup semi-finals also take place this weekend, matches that have fallen down the pecking order over the years but still hold much prestige.

In rugby, the Heineken Cup is reaching it conclusion, even if there is considerable uncertainty over what the competition will look like next season.

The Aviva Premiership comes to a head in the next few weeks and, with it, the fate of Worcester Warriors.

Their victory at Newcastle Falcons has given them a glimmer of hope of avoiding falling through the trap door into the Championship.

Saturday's visit of Exeter Chiefs to Sixways will either render that a flash in the pan or the continuation of the hoped-for great escape.

In all, it is a rich few weeks of sport.