Dublin’s James McCarthy battles with Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea. Next summer brings the promise of more top-drawer clashes between the country’s top eight sides. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Best teams will face off more often next summer under the new format

Cora Staunton has scored 59-476 in her 66 championship games since her debut in 1996, starting every single championship game for Mayo  in that time. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

She's outscored opposition on six occasions since 2010, but Mayo keep leaking goals

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford after the game:  “It’s not any easier. It’s very difficult losing finals by one point, two points.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘There’ll be no victimisation here of anybody’ - manager defends Donal Vaughan

Dublin’s Dean Rock kicks the winning point. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

RTÉ reveal Sunday’s final was most watched show on Irish television so far in 2017

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton, and man of the match James McCarthy. Photographs: Inpho

This year's man of the match, and the favourite for Footballer of the Year turned things around

Jason Doherty of Mayo has his shot saved by Stephen Cluxton. Photograph:  Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Eamon Donoghue selects some of the main turning points in an enthralling contest

  Chris Barrett challenges PAddy Andrews at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Some outstanding performances but Mayo come up just short again

 David Meyler scored off the bench for Hull City on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images

Shane Long handed a rare start, as Brady and Ward play in Burnley’s Anfield draw

Diarmuid Connolly with Jim Gavin before coming on against Tyrone. Photograph: Inpho

Dublin remain unchanged from the team which hammered Tyrone in the semi-final

Patrick Greene with UFC champion Conor McGregor in 2016. Photograph: Instagram

Wild Geese: Patrick Greene, Greene Room, a PR and events company

Stephen Cluxton takes a short kickout to Michael Fitzsimons against Mayo in 2015. Photograph: Inpho

The Dublin keeper’s timing, cool head and precision kickouts set him as a class apart

On average five players outside of finalists make the XV, three is the least amount

As things stand, Bosnia Herzegovina will not qualify for a playoff, despite being in second place in their group. Photograph: PA

World Cup 2018: Ireland in danger of finishing worst of the nine second place teams

 A dejected Waterford’s manager Derek McGrath and selector Dan Shanahan after the defeat in Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘Disappointing to see the ball being passed from brush to brush on national television’

Joe McQuillan leaves the field with his assistants and umpires following the 2013 All-Ireland final. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Cavan referee is a controversial appointment given the 2013 post-match criticism of him

Dejected Waterford players and staff after their All-Ireland final defeat. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Déise manager fully aware of how difficult it will be for his young team to go one better

Joe Canning stoops to take a sideline cut during Galway’s win over Waterford. Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty

Joe Canning inspired Tribesmen to victory but Austin Gleeson had a day to forget

The 2017 team above the team who played in the 2005 All-Ireland final. Photographs: Inpho

Galway think they’ve solved their fullback and centre back problem as big men prevail

Offaly’s Niall McNamee  in action against Westmeath during this year’s Leinster championship. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

He made his debut in 2003 and led the line for Offaly for 14 years with little success

Roscommon’s David Murray and Mayo’s Donal Vaughan get to know each other. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Roscommon defender David Murray breaks down what Mayo, and Andy Moran, do well

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford is certainly not afraid of making big calls. Photograph: Inpho

Rochford files mixed bag of tactical success and failure over two year rollercoaster

Derek Kavanagh after the Munster Club SFC Final in 2011. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Two thirds of club players have considered quitting, CPA reveal after survey findings

Kerry’s Tadhg Morley has cemented his place in the Kerry team this year. Photograph: Inpho

Templenoe clubman made his name with the club and has gone from strength to strength

Mayo have played seven games already this summer. Photograph: Inpho

Mayo have the age and experience but Kerry have forward options to stretch them

Ciaran McKeever with Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney. Photograph: Inpho

Former captain made debut in 2003 and has been cornerstone of Armagh defence since

Kerry captain Johnny Buckley in action against Aidan O’Shea of Mayo in 2014. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kingdom have played three games this summer – their rivals have played seven

Waterford’s Austin Gleeson, at 22, is his county’s talisman. Photograph: Inpho

If the gifted youngster can improve his decision making Waterford can go all the way

The Cormac McAnallen Cup will be up for grabs in November. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland are looking to defend the Cormac McAnallen Cup they claimed in 2015

Colm Cavanagh: “I don’t think there’s any player at present that is anywhere near him . . . there is his ability to drop back and spot danger and then get forward.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho Ulster

Former Tyrone star Joe McMahon gives a unique insight into Mickey Harte’s team

Mayo’s Lee Keegan: he received a black card in March in the League against Tyrone, and another in the  qualifier win over Cork. Photograph: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Who are the most cynical team in Ireland in 2017? And what have the cards been for?

Donegal have announced manager Rory Gallagher has stepped down. Photograph: Inpho

Fermanagh native brought the county to two Ulster finals in his three seasons at the helm

Roscommon’s Enda Smith celebrates the Connacht final victory over Galway at Pearse Stadium. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Smith has thrived on added responsibility and Roscommon now seeing his full talents

Ger Cunningham’s tenure as Dublin manager has ended. Photograph: Inpho

‘Every decision that was made was always in the best interests of Dublin senior hurling’

Pairc Ui Chaoimh for the Cork Premier Intermediate hurling club championship match on Wednesday. Photograph: Inpho

GAA advise fans to avoid driving as cars won’t be permitted at stadium or around it

Kevin Feely catches a kickout against Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

In-form midfielder had a black card from last March rescinded so he is now free to play

Roscommon’s Enda Smith gets away from Galway’s Thomas Flynn during the Connacht final at Pearse Stadium. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Donegal need to emulate Tipperary and Roscommon's tactics to expose Tribesmen

Tipperary’s Michael Quinlivan has not been named to start against Armagh. Photograph: Inpho

All Star corner forward made his return in the win over Cavan but is not named in XV

Dundalk’s David McMillan celebrates scoring the first goal against Rosenborg. Photograph: Inpho

If both come through second round qualifiers they’ll meet in next round

Down’s Caolan Mooney scored 0-2 against Armagh in the Ulster SFC quarter-final.  Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho

Caolan Mooney will have a key role to play as Tyrone will ask new questions

Kevin McStay’s Roscommon take on Galway in Sunday’s Connacht SFC final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Rossies need to focus on their defence against Galway before turning to attack

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan runs out onto the pitch for the All-Ireland final replay. Photograph: Inpho

Westmeath and Dublin name their teams for Sunday’s Leinster semi-final in Croke Park

In the last two Leinster SFC finals just four contestable balls were kicked inside to John Heslin. He caught one and was quickly boxed up, winning a free. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Half way there? What have Westmeath learned from last two Leinster final defeats . . .

A security guard on match day at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Smaller bags permitted but may be subject to searches, fans urged not to bring bags at all

Celtic fans during the derby against Rangers in March. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Dundalk and Cork learn their fate in Champions and Europa League draws

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford will hope his team can respond against Derry in the qualifiers. Photograph: Inpho

Donegal look to recover from Tyrone beating with a home clash against Longford

Tadhg Furlong delivered another fine performance in the Lions’ 32-10 win over the New Zealand Maori. Photograph: David Davies/PA

How did the tourists rate individually in their key victory over the NZ Maori in Rotorua

Neil Collins is enjoying life in New York city.

Conquering the fashion industry in New York, and what’s gone wrong for the Rossies?

 Conor McGregor at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York for Michael Conlon’s pro debut last March. Photograph: Getty Images

It’s happening. Both fighters have confirmed that the fight is set for August 26th in Vegas

Kevin Feely in action against Laois in the Leinster quarter-final. Photograph: Inpho

Ronan Jones has all of Meath talking, but can he stop Feely and keep bombing in behind?

Tyrone’s Joe McMahon has announced his retirement. Photograph: Inpho

Comfortable lining out anywhere on the field, ‘Big Joe’ epitomised the Tyrone way

Dublin manager Jim Gavin watches his team take on the Dubs Blue Stars earlier this year. Photograph: Inpho

Round Towers club man has overseen Dublin’s domination of football in recent years

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan has been named in the starting team to play Kerry on Sunday in Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inphp

Kieran Donaghy on the bench as Kingdom prepare to end Dublin’s unbeaten run

Dublin’s Niall Scully made his mark in the O’Byrne Cup competition. He is cool and clever in his use of possession, hardworking and with pace to burn. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Both have given fresh talent its chance and that could prove pivotal come September

The iconic Hogan Bridge at Augusta National for the 2017 Masters tournament. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Masters in Augusta, Grand National at Aintree, and Dublin v Kerry take centre stage

Donegal’s Mark Anthony McGinley concedes a penalty for a foul on Cillian O’Connor of Mayo. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho

Next Saturday there’s the Division Three and Four finals, before D1 and Two on Sunday

Con O’Callaghan scored 2-5 against Longford. Photograph: Inpho

Cork and Offaly contest Munster and Leinster finals, Donegal looking good in Ulster

 Dave McIntyre (eir Sport commentator), Brian Quinn (Marketing and operations director), and Ger Gilroy (eir Sport presenter) at eir Sport’s launch of their new five year deal to broadcast live club championship games. Photograph: Inpho

There will be up to 30 additional games shown live, on top of existing TG4 coverage

New Zealand and England players after losing their winning records to Ireland. Photographs: Inpho

New Zealand Herald and the English press react to Ireland’s record-crushing victory

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones applauds supporters after the game at the Principality Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

Wales have their say on all things from ordinary Ireland, to Wayne Barnes and Lions

Lee Chin swapped his boots for a pair of ice skates to join NHL team the Vancouver Canucks for a week. Photograph: Inpho

‘Enough beer to shock an Irishman. Now, that’s something’ - Ice Hockey pundits

The Western Mail headline after Wales’ win over Ireland in the 2015 Six Nations.

From the ‘terrible eight’, to Gatland’s big omission, to Western Mail’s flora front page

The German press reaction to Bayern Munich’s humiliation of Arsenal. Photograph: Getty Images

German press address Arsène Wenger’s future and Wikipedia reference

Kieran Donaghy has been included in the Irish basketball 20-man squad. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former Footballer of the Year has been a standout performer for Tralee Warriors

Dublin and Mayo meet again in Saturday’s double header at Croke Park. Photograph: Inpho

Dublin/Mayo renew rivalries, Liverpool need three points and Katie Taylor is in action

GAA Congress have voted in favour of the ‘Super 8’. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘So out of touch, just shows championship isn’t only structural issue within the GAA’

Neither club or county players are backin the GAA’s ‘Super 8’ proposals. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Player view: Huge club calender problems not being addressed by ‘Super 8’ proposals

Kilkenny CBS will meet St Kieran’s College in this year’s senior schools final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kilkenny have won 10 of last 12 Leinster senior titles - schools’ dominance is reflective

Donegal and Roscommon was a lively first game for the new Dr Hyde Park playing surface. Photograph: Inpho

Honours even as Monaghan host near neighbours Cavan in low-scoring encounter

James White of the New England Patriots scores the game winning touchdown in overtime against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

Patriots turned around a 25 point deficit, here’s five other great sporting comebacks

Cavan’s Ciaran Brady with the returning Jack McCaffrey. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kerry and Donegal play out high scoring contest as Tyrone ease by Roscommon

Scotland’s Greig Laidlaw celebrates his team’s win over Ireland. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho

‘Nobody will be thinking about trophies, but Scotland have momentum - and history’

Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz meet again on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Photograph: William Cherry/Inpho

It’s a busy weekend of FA Cup, Australian Open, boxing, racing and golf action

Kerry’s Aidan O’Mahony has played his last game for the Kingdom. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

‘Ultimate pro the way he prepared himself for training and matches on and off the field’

 Munster are looking to continue their fine form and guarantee a home quarter-final at Thomond Park on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images

It’s a packed weekend of European rugby, soccer, GAA, NFL, racing and golf action

World Featherweight champion Carl Frampton will fight Leo Santa Cruz in their rematch at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on January 28th. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The Belfast-born fighter is the first Irishman to win the award, and only the fifth European

 Senan Kilbride in his last appearance for Roscommon against Galway. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kevin McStay reflects on Roscommon attacker’s career - ‘a total team player’

Jose Aldo before his fight with Conor McGregor in December 2015. Photograph: Getty Images

‘It’d be nice to have the rematch, but it’s not something that would take away my peace’

Connacht head coach Pat Lam is set to leave the province at end of year. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Head coach led Connacht to the Pro12 title last year, in his third season at the helm

Ireland captain Paul O’ Connell lifts the Six Nations trophy at Murrayfield Stadium in 2015. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Would Ireland still have won championship in 2009, 2014 or in Murrayfield in 2015?

Shane Curran: the former St Brigid’s man is now manager of Pádraig Pearses who are seeking a first Roscommon senior title. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Irish Times journalist Eamon Donoghue’s inside view of his county final journey

Former Castlerea and Roscommon player Nigel Dineen. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kevin McStay is set to be the unchallenged 2017 Roscommon senior football manager

The ultimate footballing corner-back - Marc O Se. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho

There’ll be no Ó Sé on the Kerry team in 2017 as Marc walks away with five All-Irelands

Clare’s new joint senior hurling managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor. Photograph: Inpho

Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor have been confirmed as new joint-managers

Dublin’s John Small has impressed this year, but the absence of Jack McCaffrey is still felt. Photographs: Both Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Against their most familiar opponents Dublin will need others to create from nothing

Ireland’s last Six Nations triumph in 2015. Photograph: Inpho

It had been suggested that the competition would be added and remain free after 2021

 UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor will be the main event at UFC 205 in New York. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The featherweight champion will fight for the UFC lightweight belt in New York

Dublin’s Niamh Collins dejected after defeat. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cork won Sunday’s All-Ireland Ladies senior football final amid HawkEye controversy

Ephie Fitzgerald celebrates his side’s victory at Croke Park. Photograph: Sportsfile

‘The bottom line is that the scoreline says that Cork won the All-Ireland by a point’

Mayo’s Lee Keegan keeps close to Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly. Photograph: Inpho

Mayo stymied the Dublin forwards - but how? And will they be able to do it again?

Lee Chin is ‘a proud Wexford man’. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘You can imagine the type of player he is. Fit is an understatement. But he can play too’

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald looks set to depart his position. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

He asked players to meet on Monday night and decide on direction they wanted to take

A Galway GAA club claim they were told to stop speaking Irish by a referee. Photograph: LorraineO’Sullivan/Inpho

Club teams in the west of Galway are synonymous with the use of the Irish language

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor has a word with side line official Maurice Deegan during the final moments the drawn final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Laois native will have his hands full with the Mayo and Dublin rivalry at boiling point

Mayo’s Tom Parsons will wear the number nine jersey in Sunday’s All-Ireland final. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford has named his team to play Dublin in Sunday’s final

Dublin players surround Aidan O’Shea during last year’s All-Ireland semi-final. Photograph: INPHO

Depending on the time of the game, the Mayo talisman must be used in different roles

Dean Rock and Cillian O’Connor will play key roles in this year’s All-Ireland football final. Photographs: Inpho

Contributions of Dean Rock and Cillian O’Connor will be hugely significant in final

Roscommon’s joint manager Fergal O’Donnell, who has stepped down: “Our decision to depart now is made in the best interests of Roscommon football.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Nomination as sole manger to be put to clubs, as joint manager Fergal O’Donnell resigns

Roscommon joint manager Fergal O’Donnell has stepped down and will not be invovled in 2017. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Last year’s joint manager Fergal O’Donnell has stepped down, along with David Casey

Kilkenny’s forwards set the tempo with their intensity and desire. Photograph: Inpho

Cats defend from the front - return to those principles paid dividends in semi-final replay

Dublin’s James McCarthy is sent off by referee Conor Lane during this year’s league game against Donegal. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Conor Lane will referee his first senior final next month - between Dublin and Mayo

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