Kilkenny’s Cillian Buckley scores the winning point despite the efforts of Clare’s Cian Dillon during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A relegation play-off at Nowlan Park Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Terrific match goes to the wire in Nowlan Park before Cillian Buckley hits winner

TJ Reid is one of four Ballyhale Shamrocks players to return to the Kilkenny side for Sunday’s Division 1A releagtion play-off with Clare. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Four Ballyhale Shamrocks players among seven changes for relegation play-off

Killian Burke: starts for Cork against Wexford.  Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Killian Burke, Anthony Spillane and William Kearney called up by Jimmy Barry-Murphy

Kilkenny trainer Fr Tommy Maher with Ted Carroll, Fr Tommy Murphy and Eddie Keher.

Monsignor helped take game from raw state and made it a sport of supreme skill

John Evans: “If we’re ambitious we’ve got to be looking at trying to win a Connacht title. That’s a must  . . ” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Experienced manager’s team host Galway as they bid to maintain their promotion push

Henry Shefflin Press Conference where he announced his inter-county retirement. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Henry’s Shefflin’s farewell: The full transcript of that final media press conference

Kilkenny trainer Fr Tommy Maher with Ted Carroll, Fr Tommy Murphy and Eddie Keher. He was regarded as perhaps the most influential coach in the game. Photograph:

Led county to seven All-Ireland titles in 18 seasons at the helm

The GPA will be taking no further action against Clare after hurlers Davy O’Halloran and Nickey O’Connell complained about the disciplinary treatment they received from manager Davy Fitzgerald. Photograph: Inpho

GPA will offer support to hurlers Nickey O’Connell and Davy O’Halloran

Henry Shefflin addressing the assembled media: “Of course you’d love to keep going but I’m 36 not 26 and I knew that day was coming.” Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Decorated star only made up his mind watching Kilkenny play Clare last weekend

2011 final : John O’Keeffe and Shane McGrath get up close and personal  – Hard work had certainly brought out a formidable talent but Henry Shefflin had what all great players possess – the confidence and nerve to execute his skills under excruciating pressure

Executing his skills under excruciating pressure was what set the Kilkenny great apart

Derry manager Brian McIver: his side must beat Dublin and Cork and hope the teams immediately above them draw their match and lose their final fixtures on Sunday week.  Photograph: Inpho

Last year’s finalists have taken only one point out of 10 in Division One campaign

Waterford’s Maurice Shanahan tussles with Matthew O’Hanlon of Wexford during Waterford’s Allianz League Division 1A win. Photograph: Inpho

Accomplished display sees Derek McGrath’s men Bounce straight back from Division One B

Galway’s  Joe Canning: his recent return strengthens the side  but the balance of motivation – for Dublin, a possible return to Nowlan Park for a relegation play-off – favours a Dublin win. Photograph: Inpho

Allianz Football and Hurling League previews

Feargal McGill, the GAA’s head of games administration: “The problem was that five games weren’t enough so we had to look at more fixtures and the quarter-finals worked.” Photograph: Inpho

Despite proving controversial, the format has seen success on a number of fronts

Richie Hogan and Cillian Buckley will be rested for Kilkenny this weekend. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

All-Ireland champions definitely involved in relegation play-off Cillian Buckley also rested

Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Henry Shefflin and  Eoin Reid go for a high ball in the All-Ireland club final against Kilmallock. They scored five points between them. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Wides costly for Kilmallock as first-half Colin Fennelly goal proves key

Ballyhale captain TJ Reid and teammates celebrate their All-Ireland club success over Kilmallock at Croke Park. Photograph: Inpho

Joint manager Andy Moloney admits to wanting to be part of a set-up that equalled 1980s side

Gary Sice: one of several Corofin players with county experience. Photograph: Gerry McManus/Inpho.

Ulster side without injured Bradley as they go into final with Galway champions

Ballyhale’s Colin Fennelly in action against Kilcormac-Killoughey in the Leinster club final. He poses a potent threat in the wide expanses of Croke Park. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Star-studded Kilkenny champions no strangers to the demands of All-Ireland final day

 Pádraic Maher claims the sliotar ahead Tipperary team-mate  Ronan Maher and Kilkenny’s  Walter Walsh and Richie Hogan during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A match at  Semple Stadium. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Sparkling early exchanges give way to easy victory over All-Ireland champions

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea plays one of the many hand-passes in the recent Allianz Football League clash against Tyrone.   Photo: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho

Former FRC member says GAA needs to conduct annual review of how the game is played

All Star Peter Crowley comes into the Kerry half-back line for the visit of Donegal. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kerry make three changes for repeat of All-Ireland final aginst Donegal

David Gough: “I understand the GAA’s viewpoint. I completely understand it. There has been no fall-out between me and the powers-that-be in the GAA over it.” Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

David Gough’s rainbow wristband is more a reflection of an individual’s identity than a statement of political allegiance

Cork’s Colm O’Neill: has shown great resolve to work his way back from three heartbreaking cruciate injuries.  Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Three cruciate injuries later, the 2012 All Star is making up for lost time

Dublin manager Ger Cunningham wants improved home form in Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

County have lost two games from two in the stadium this year

Jim Gavin at yesterday’s launch of a new commercial deal. “We are not looking for a settled team. Most teams that we are playing are settled. We are trying new things.” Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Dublin manager says hooter would have benefited games and aided referees

  Colm O’Driscoll tackles Kerry’s Anthony Maher during his side’s 11-point win over their rivals. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

But given what transpired later in 2014, Brian Cuthbert urges caution

Tyrone’s Seán Cavannagh and Dublin’s Eoghan O’Gara will again do battle at Croke Park in their Division One encounter. Photograph: Inpho

Mickey Harte’s Tyrone look set up to frustrate Dublin

Dublin’s goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton: replaces Seán Currie at Croke Park for the Division One match against Tyrone. Photograph: Inpho

Jim Gavin makes six changes to the team beaten by All-Ireland champions Kerry

Jason Ryan has seen his Kildare side beaten despite dominating games in this year’s Allianz Football League Division Two. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

Manager believes it’s an overall problem with consistent delivery throughout matches

Shane O’Neill: will be back at headquarters for the Division One clash against Ger Cunningham’s league leaders Dublin. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Cork boss Brian Cuthbert selects Stephen O’Donoghue to start at centrefield

The 2015 GAA Annual Congress which  took place at the  Slieve Russell Hotel, Co Cavan.  Photo: Andrew Paton/Inpho

As a broad policy making body and a sounding board for members, it should still have a key role

GAA director general Paraic Duffy, outgoing president Liam O’Neill and new president Aogán Ó Fearghail. Photo: Inpho/Andrew Paton

One-on-one penalty in hurling endorsed as well as introduction of an advantage rule similar to football’s

New GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail addresses the GAA’s annual congress at the Slieve Russell Hotel, Co Cavan. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho

New GAA president takes office looking for consensus on fixtures and says there is no place for elites in the association

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor make his first start of the year as his side face Monaghan at MacHale Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dublin and Kerry’s clash in Killarney the highlight of the weekend's actions

Páraic Duffy addressing the GAA Congress: “Is broadcast policy impacting on attendances and club games? We’re showing two live games every Sunday.” Photo: Andrew Paton/Inpho

Director general fears televised games impacting on attendances and club games

“Our development officer when he goes into schools finds it a lot easier to talk about the games because he can say it’s on Sky, the same television station as Premier League football and that gives exposure to the games and their value.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Reservations remain about increased cost but profile of games is seen to have benefited

Kieran Donaghy makes his first Allianz League appearance of the campaign for Kerry against Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Cillian O’Connor and Seamus O’Shea boost Mayo for Monaghan test

Mary Immaculate College, Limerick  manager Eamonn Cregan with player Declan Hannon. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rows give clubs and counties added reason to regard third-level games as nuisance

Dublin’s Liam Rushe, Chris Chrummy and Colm Cronin battle for possession against Matthew Ruth and Brian Kennedy of Kilkenny. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ger Cunningham’s side follow up their win over Tipp with another fine display

AIB  has become the bank the eighth sponsor of the GAA’s All-Ireland football championship. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Deal with the GAA unvelied at Croke Park is believed to worth around €1.5m a year

O’Donovan Rossa’s Christopher McGuinness and Deaglin Murphy celebrate victory over Kilburn Gaels in the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Hurling Final at Croke. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Between recent national profile and years of development work the future’s brightening

Luke O’Farrell will line out at full forward for Cork against Clare at Páirc Uí Rinn. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Galway to hold late fitness tests on Fergal Moore and Pádraig Mannion

It’s unlikely the GAA in Croke Park feel inhibited about justifying the broadcasting deal so discussion should have been facilitated.

There is a sound argument in favour of the current broadcasting rights allocation

Dublin’s Danny Sutcliffe gets ahead of Tipperary’s Kieran Bergin during the Allianz Hurling League Dviaison One A clash at Parnell Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Goals from Eamonn Dillon and Liam Rushe help secure 12-point win

Tipperary’s Brendan Maher: “You have to look at each year as it is and 2015 is a new year for us and we are looking forward to games we have coming up.” Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Series of galling defeats to Kilkenny has not dimmed commitment or appetite

Kilkenny’s Paul Murphy Photograph: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

All Star corner back Paul Murphy tasked with filling JJ Delaney’s place

Jim Gavin accused Cork of defensive tactics. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Croke Park’s main worry though should be creating a more competitive championship

Cork’s James Loughrey: “Look at Donegal: it takes a year or longer to master a defensive structure. You can’t just suddenly do it.” Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Cork defender says refining a good defensive system takes time and effort

Garth Brooks’s five  concerts scheduled for  Croke Park never went ahead last year. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘I think looking to have five concerts in a row was just too much and I think we got caught up in the exuberance of that’

Dublin’s Kevin McManamon and Odhran Mac Niallais of Donegal will renew battle at Croke Park in their Allianz League Division One clash. Photograph: Inpho

Croke Park are expecting something in the neighbourhood of 25,000 for Dublin v Donegal Division One clash

Gort manager Matt Murphy believes that the experience of playing an All-Ireland semi-final three years ago against Coolderry  will stand to his team. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Portora make different type of history as they face Kilmallock in their first ever semi-final

Tommy Walsh will makes his first start for Kerry since his return from Australia. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

GAA forced to move All-Ireland hurling club semi-finals due to a frozen Semple Stadium pitch

Ciarán O’Hanlon (right) is one of the three Queen’s University players deemed ineligible to play in the Sigerson Cup. Photograph: Inpho.

Belfast university likely to contest Higher Education Authority’s expulsion decision

Tyrone’s Seán Cavanagh: suffered a heavy blow to the head when playing against Monaghan at Healy Park. Photo: Inpho/Presseye

Pressurised diagnoses and casual comments go with the territory for medical officers

Kerry’s Pa Kilkenny and Adam Gallagher of Mayo hit the ground in their Allianz Football League Division 1 tussle in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

One of the most coveted defenders in the game accentuates the positive of a good start

Tommy Walsh finds his way blocked by Mayo’s Donal Vaughan as the All-Ireland champions lost to Mayo in Killarney. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tommy Walsh makes first appearance since return from Australia but picks up an injury

Alan Freeman celebrates scoring his Mayo’s first goal. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

A sequence of three scores before half-time was the platform for the Allianz League win

Last year’s Allianz Football League semi-final, when Cork suffered a 17-point turnaround against Dublin. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Dramatic loss to Dublin in Allianz League semi-final put season in tailspin

GAA president Liam O’Neill and director general Páraic Duffy at the launch of the director general’s annual report in Croke Park, Dublin. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Finding compromise between need for revenue and concerns of members is difficult

Páraic Duffy with the GAA president Liam O’Neill at the launch of the director general’s annual report at Croke Park. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Croke Park “let down” by decision not to licence Garth Brooks shows last summer

Dublin fans make their way past a group supporting the saging of the Garth Brooks concerts at Croke Park. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Annual report also stresses the need to exploit Croke Park commercially

Dublin players celebrate winning the Leinster Championship against Meath in July 2014. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dublin have won nine of last 10 Leinster titles, haven’t lost a match in province for five years

Dublin’s Michael Dara Macauley is sent off  late in normal time by referee David Gough during the O’Byrne Cup final against  Newbridge. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Former holders Kildare bow to the Leinster champions – but only after extra-time

John Prenty says that allowing the replacement of a player who has received two yellow cards would be a virtual incentive to foul. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

John Prenty criticises proposals of Hurling 2020 committee

Galway manager Kevin Walsh: will be hoping to build upon the county’s recent All-Ireland successes at U-21 level. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Kildare manager Jason Ryan: will be hoping to rebuild a winning mentality and create confidence in his young side, says former Lilywhite star, Dermot Earley. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

O’Byrne Cup holders seeking to complete a three-in-a-row in Parnell Park final

Last year’s Munster senior hurling final. Income from the championship rose 40 per cent. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

Overall income up 6.2 per cent on 2013 at €7,240,682

Kerry footballer Paul Geaney is the current UCC football captain.

A busy few weeks for the Cork university begins with chance of unique double

Gearóid McKiernan has already missed one game and is due to return to face Roscommon in his county’s league opener.

County have until tonight to challenge suspension for alleged sectarian abuse

St Vincent’s Diarmuid Connolly scores a goal against Castlebar Mitchels in the All-Ireland club football final in March 2014, having won the Leinster club title in the previous calendar year. Photograph: Cathal Noonan

Intercounty season can well afford to hand over a few dates to the club game

 Kevin McManamon with Mickey Burke of Meath. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Sean Moran - A Royal revival was halted by Jim Gavin’s team as both camps left content

Dublin’s Emmett Ó Conghaile: has impressed manager Jim Gavin during the O’Byrne Cup. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho
GAA Previews

Kildare’s Eoghan O’Flatherty lifts the O’Byrne Cup last year after his county beat Meath in the final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Competition boasts a peculiar history but now has its own niche in the football year

Rory Kavanagh of Donegal keeps possession despite the attentions of Kerry’s David Moran during last year’s All-Ireland final at Croke Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Experienced UCD officer says that under-21 championship and league schedules can be tweaked to ease pressure on young players

Former national hurling co-ordinator, and retired teacher, Paudie Butler continues to work as a coach.

Former national co-ordinator Paudie Butler says that GAA needs all games to be nurtured

An artist’s impression of one of the new stands at the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Pedersen Focus

Money is part of overall financial package of €6.25m in grants to counties

DCU manager Niall Moyna, who agrees with Cathal Cregg’s claims that young players are being over-trained. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Previous attempt to scrap minor and U-21 for new level in between was shot down

Roscommon footballer Cathal Cregg  is strength and conditioning officer with Connacht GAA. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dr Niall Moyna echoes suggestion that county players be banned from Sigerson

Kerry’s Darren O’Sullivan and Jonny Cooper of Dublin during the National League game played in Killarney in 2013, the same time as Ireland played England in the Six Nations Championship.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The same clash in Killarney two years ago saw a disappointing crowd of 5,400

Ciaran Dorney gets a pass away during St Vincent’s Leinster Club Senior Football Championship Final victory over Rhode

All-Ireland champions strike early to leave overwhelmed Offaly opponents chasing dust

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly is the star of St Vincent’s attack  but he’s just one part of a formidable attacking  unit. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Offaly club face a huge task with All-Ireland champions standing in their way

Gary Sice is one of the experienced players on the Corofin team which takes on London’s Tír Conaill Gaels in the All-Ireland club SFC.

Portumna should have firepower to retain Galway hurling title

Ireland’s Six Nations decider against France in Paris was the most watched sports event on Irish television this year. Photograph: Inpho.

Soccer’s World Cup final also proves more popular than either GAA All-Ireland final

The players, past and present, who have been awarded scholarships, from left: Rob Lowe (Leitrim), Barry Cahill (Dublin), Tadhg Lowe (Roscommon), Donal Wrynn (Leitrim), Cathal Bellew (Louth), Anne Sinnott, executive dean at DCU Business School, Shane Carthy (St Vincent’s), Coman Goggins (Dublin), James McCarthy (Dublin), Chris Breen (Fermanagh), David O’Shaughnessy (Westmeath)and Eoin O’Connor (Louth). Photograph: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Report being done to identify problems elite athletes face in third-level education

Ipswich’s Stephen Hunt in action against   Charlton Athletic: his understandable comments sparked a firestorm of abuse.  Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Response to Stephen Hunt’s comments from likes of Joe Brolly a reminder of GAA faithful’s sensitivities

Former manager Anthony Daly gave ‘six epic seasons’ to Dublin, said John Costello. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

County CEO also doubts if club championships can be squeezed into calendar year

 Ciarán McLaughlin: has completed five-year term as Tyrone chairman and Roisín Jordan is set to take over the top job in the county. Photograph: Inpho

Roisín Jordan in line to take over from chairman Ciarán McLaughlin

Ballyhale Shamrocks vs Kilcormac/KillougheyBallyhale Shamrocks’ Henry Shefflin and Peter Healion of Kilcormac/Killoughey. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

They won a record eighth Leinster club championship beating Kilcormac-Killoughey

Kilkenny legend JJ Delaney has announced his hurling retirement at the age of just 32

Five Kilkenny hurlers with 38 All-Ireland medals between them have now retired in recent weeks

Stephen Hiney: won a National League medal in 2011 and a Leinster title (2013) during his long career with Dublin. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Forward says Ballyboden clubman’s decision to retire is a ‘massive loss’ to Dubs

The redvelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a a priority for the GAA before they consider a second stadium in Dublin.

GAAGO online streaming service isn’t expected to generate substantial revenue

GAA president Liam O’Neill stood by his projection that the GAA was on its way to having more members overseas than at home. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Liam O’Neill is right to emphasise the importance of participation – both at home and overseas

Cian O’Sullivan, Michael Darragh Macauley and Paul Flynn (right) with Liam O’Neill before the All Stars match in Boston. Photograph: Ray McManus /Sportsfile

GAA president disputes suggestion that National League has served its purpose

Dublin football manager Jim Gavin believes national league should be abolished and replaced in early season by the provincial championships – effectively detaching them from the All-Ireland series. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Dublin Gaelic football manager urges revamped All-Ireland championship based on ‘Champions League’ style format

Dublin manager Jim Gavin during a press conference ahead of the GAA GPA All Star Tour 2014 match on Saturday in Boston,  Massachusetts. Photograph: Sportsfile

On All Star trip to Boston, coach says counties would still have an early-season competition

Kerry’s James O’Donoghue gets by Anthony Thompson of Donegal during September’s All-Ireland football final at Croke Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Injury meant Kerry Footballer of the Year wasn’t able to train for much of last summer

Páraic Duffy: “They’re [Australians] very positive about wanting to come to Ireland next year”

With GAA and Australian Football League again in harmony games on threshold of new era

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