Dublin’s Bernard Brogan celebrates after his side’s first goal as Kevin McLoughlin and goalkeeper David Clarke of Mayo look on dejected. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Keeping a clean sheet would go a long way to ensuring Sam Maguire goes west

Dublin’s Sinead Goldrick dejected after the TG4 Ladies Senior All-Ireland Championship Final at Croke Park. Photo: Inpho

Minority sports spend their time pushing against the consensus and then this happens

A despondent Liam McHale leaves the pitch after being sent  off in the 1996 All-Ireland final replay. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin looks back on a history of All-Ireland football final replays

Kilkenny’s JJ Delaney leaves the field as the sky turns dark after the All-Ireland hurling final replay between Kilkenny and Tipperary in 2014. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Teams, prize, venue may be identical, hardly anything else resembles All-Ireland final

Referee Conor Lane keeping Dublin’s Paul Flynn and Lee Keegan of Mayo apart. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal

Close your eyes and imagine Mayo had given away a three point lead in injury time

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly and Ciarán Kilkenny on the sideline in added time. It was one of the only times all day that Connolly had a chance to shoot at the posts without Lee Keegan stuck to his side. Photograph: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

It had never occurred to anyone that Mayo’s forwards would outscore the Dublin ones

Dublin’s James McCarthy with Aidan O’Shea of Mayo during the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final at Croke Park. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Two own goals and an eventual draw were all the ingredients few were expecting on Sunday

James McCarthy’s stellar early-season form was interrupted by injury and he clearly wasn’t back to his smooth-running best against Kerry. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin runs the rule over Jim Gavin’s all-conquering side

Mayo’s chances could come down to the performance of Aidan O’Shea in Sunday’s All-Ireland final. Photograph: Gerry McManus/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin looks at the 15 players looking to help county win a first title in 65 years

Kevin MacManamon: “What he has that others don’t is an instinct to run at defenders with ball in hand and a directness that can be irresistible at times.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Dublin forward will start his first All-Ireland final against Mayo after upping his work-rate

Colm Boyle wins a penalty for Mayo in the semi-final against Dublin last year. The same nagging doubt that has arisen before stalks Mayo once again: will their forwards get enough scores to beat the Dubs? Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Mayo’s path to victory at Croke Park looks to be obstructed by too many maybes

“Imagine living in a world where Mayo were All-Ireland champions. We would have to decommission the term marquee forward.” File photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Mayo as overlords. Mayo played by George Clooney. Everything we know will be wrong

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan reacts to a missed chance during the All-Ireland semi-final clash with Kerry. Photo: Inpho

Dublin team are just seven wins away from equaling a record held since 1933

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody after Tipperary’s All-Ireland win. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Brian Cody’s next move will be fascinating with pack closing in on Cats

Kilkenny’s Shane Prendergast and Cillian Buckley contest a high ball against John McGrath and Jason Forde of Tipperary. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

For once, Cody’s side has no reply to relentless shooting and workrate of Tipp

Tipperary’s John McGrath celebrates scoring his side’s second goal during the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final clash with Kilkenny. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin looks at the decisive minutes in Tipperary’s thrilling victory

James Barry in action in the  Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship quarter-final against Cork in  Semple Stadium in May. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Switched to ull back in panic move in 2014, James Barry has made spot his own

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody watches the teams at Croke Park: the Black Cats have not dazzled with their usual quality this summer. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Kilkenny always have work rate to win, but Mick Ryan has built team to take them down

Eamon O’Shea: his Tipperary team were involved in some classic games with Kilkenny. Photograph : Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Economics professor’s novel ideas stretched the tactical boundaries of the game

Dermot Connolly, who slotted the insurance score for Dublin, celebrates before the Hill 16 faithful at the end of a gripping semi-final at  Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Champions show remarkable composure to overhaul Kerry’s lead in gripping endgame

David Byrne and goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton fail to prevent Paul Geaney’s effort from going over the line for  Kerry’s second goal. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Champions show remarkable mettle to complete their comeback in an epic clash

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice puts it all on the line on Sunday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Despite leading Kerry to All-Ireland glory in 2014, defeat could end Fitzmaurice’s reign

Dublin manager Jim Gavin will expect his team to continue their winning ways against the Kingdom. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

The Lowdown: Malachy Clerkin previews Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park

The secretary general of the OCI, Dermot Henihan, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The OCI has confirmed two Irish Olympic boxers are facing disciplinary action for gambling during the Rio Games. Photograph: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

Olympic Council of Ireland confirms athletes were censured for breaching code of ethics

Kerry’s David Moran is tackled by Brian Fenton of Dublin during last year’s All-Ireland final at Croke Park.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

No amount of bluff can take from the true meaning of the occasion at Croke Park

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor is tackled by Brian Fox of Tipperary during Sunday’s All-Ireland senior football semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho.

Stephen Rochford’s side push into gear when need arises to drive into All-Ireland final

Conor Sweeney of Tipperary is tackled by  Mayo’s Seamus O’Shea and Brendan Harrison during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Big-name players stand up when needed as Stephen Rochford’s side earn final date

Burdened with second-class status, these footballers are one game from the final

Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer scores a goal past Galway goalkeeper Colm Callanan. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Tipperary and Galway deliver an absolute epic – yet it wasn’t even the game of weekend

Kilkenny’s Shane Prendergast under pressure from Michael Walsh and Patrick Curran of Waterford. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

‘When I look at Waterford I don’t see systems I see brilliant hurlers,’ says Kilkenny boss

Kilkenny’s Shane Prendergast under pressure from Michael Walsh and Patrick Curran of Waterford. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

‘When I look at Waterford I don’t see systems I see brilliant hurlers,’ says Kilkenny boss

Dan McCormack has  become a prominent player for Tipperary during this year’s Munster hurling championship. The county defeated Waterford in the provincial final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Manager’s willingness to change and bring in new talent might be enough to tip balance back

Hawkeye in use during last Sunday’s thrilling All-Ireland senior semi-final between Waterford and Kilkenny.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ironically, for the second time in three years a critical late decision went Kilkenny’s way

Shane Prendergast is the filling in the sandwich as he contests a high ball with team-mate Eoin Murphy and Waterford’s Shane Bennett. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Waterford reach heights but get reined in by the brutal reality that is Brian Cody’s team

Waterford manager Derek McGrath on the sideline at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Manager admits his side face daunting task in Thurles given Kilkenny’s record in replays

 Mayo’s Lee Keegan celebrates at the end of the game. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Smart gameplan helps Westerners book place in sixth All-Ireland semi-final in row

Peter Harte has been top scorer for Tyrone in four out of the last five football championship seasons, and has scored 3-7 so this year. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

The Ulster champions’ top-scorer has been the enterprise behind county’s return to top tier

Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan closes down Donegal’s  Frank McGlynn during the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

O’Sullivan key to a restructured defence that now concedes half as many goals as before

Diarmuid O’Connor returns after injury to bolster Mayo. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Ulster champions maybe favourites but the Connacht side have fight left in them

Conor Sweeney of Tipperary scores his side’s third goal. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Sunday at Croke Park was a joy to just bathe in the bliss of footballing improbability

Kerry’s David Moran launches a kick towards the Clare goal in the All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kingdom await either Dublin or Donegal in last four after Clare are routinely dismissed

 Darran O’Sullivan scores Kerry’s   second goal during the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against Clare at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kingdom run out 11-point winners as Clare fail to land big punches

Mark Collins of Cork challenges for the ball with with Ryan McHugh and Odhran Mac Niallais of Donegal during the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Round 4B Qualifier at  Croke Park. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Rory Gallagher’s side took their time to settle after hot start from Rebel County

Donegal’s Eamonn McGee gets to grips with Cork’s Paul Kerrigan in the All-Ireland semi-final in 2012. The Rebels went into a tailspin following the loss with many of their players retiring from intercounty football. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rebels have not beaten Division One team in championship since 2012 semi-final defeat

Goalkeeper Joe Hayes in action for Clare. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Goalkeeper faces Kerry in an All-Ireland quarter-final 15 years after he joined panel,

The All-Ireland football quarter-finals will go ahead as planned on Saturday August 6th. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Possible football quarter-final matchups will not result in fixture changes - the GAA insist

Jim Gavin with the 72-year-old biplane he will be flying at the Bray Air Display. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/Inpho

In his first one-on-one interview, Dublin’s Jim Gavin on how leadership skills honed in the military have helped him become one of(...)

Tyrone players celebrate at the final whistle in Clones. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Tyrone, Dublin and Galway are champions after a day of provincial finals

Leinster GAA Senior Football Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 17/7/2016Dublin vs WestmeathWestmeath manager Tom CribbinMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Grealy

Battling Westmeath test Jim Gavin’s tactics more than most have done in Leinster

Jim Gavin: has led Dublin to two All-Irland titles, five Leinster titles and four successive national league titles.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Champions haven’t lost in 24 games and are aiming for a sixth successive provincial title

Aidan Walsh: has returned to help Cork footballers against Longford. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tricky assignments for Cork and Mayo

Waterford’s Michael Walsh closes down Tipperary’s James Barry. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INpho

Mick Ryan’s side inflict drubbing on rivals to march into last four of All-Ireland

Waterford Manager Derek McGrath  near the end of the Munster final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘Our unity and togetherness will be needed more than ever,’ says Derek McGrath

Michael “Brick” Walsh: “Brick is very competitive and he’d be quite content doing anything as long as it was driving the lads on.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Waterford manager’s brave decision to play Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh as attacker has paid off

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte is ready for the Ulster final. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho

Tyrone manager looking forward to county’s first Ulster final in six years, against Donegal

eter Harte scores Tyrone’s second goal against Cavan. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho

Cavan put up a good score but are no match in the end for Mickey Harte’s team in Clones

Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty gets his shot away as the Monaghan defence close on him during the Ulster SFC semi-final replay at Breffni Park. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho/Presseye/

Deserved win but determined Monaghan push them right to the wire

Donegal and Monaghan players scuffle at Breffni Park.  Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho

The sides don’t hate each other, but the temperature never drops below simmering point

 Galway’s manager Michael Donoghue shakes hands with Kilkenny boss  Brian Cody after the league encounter in March. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Seán Moran and Malachy Clerkin run the rule over a busy weekend of action

Westmeath’s Denis Corroon celebrates at the final whistle. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Second half purple patch by Tom Cribbin’s team enough to edge dull encounter

Dublin’s Paul Bealin  is tackled by Meath’s Trevor Giles and John McDermott in 1996. Photograph: Inpho

Twenty years ago the Leinster senior football championship was fiercely competitive

John Kavanagh: “I find it a bit strange that I’m still only ever asked on to defend the sport [MMA]. Nobody ever asks Katie Taylor why she likes punching girls in the head. It’s always just praise.” Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Memoir details journey from bullied Rathfarnham schoolboy to major figure in MMA

Rory McIlroy delivered a blow to Ireland’s hopes of an Olympic medal on June 22, 2016, when he said he would not be going to the Rio Games over fears of the Zika virus. “After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realise that my health and my family’s health comes before anything else,” the 27-year-old four-time major champion said in a statement. Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images

Golf at the Olympics has been nothing but a constant pebble in Rory McIlroy’s custom-made Nike Rors golf shoes

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte talks to his players after Sunday’s game. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho

‘We could have won the game and we could have lost. It had a draw written all over it’

Russian President Vladimir Putin won’t alter his approach based on any decisions made by the IAAF. Photograph: Grigory Dukor/Reuters

IAAF and IOC reaping what they sowed after ignoring the doping problem for decades

Cavan’s James McEnroe dives full length to try and stop Tyrone’s   Colm Cavanagh during the Ulster SFC semi-final at  St Tiernach’s Park in Clones. Photograph:  Andrew Paton/Inpho/Presseye

Forward’s second goal squares up matters after pulsating ding-dong encounter

Tipperary have a tendency to start slowly in the second half, something highlighted in their victory over Cork in the Munster quarter-final last month. Photograph: Inpho

But former star Eoin Kelly believes the Premier men will be too strong for Limerick

Former footballer Stan Collymore chats to police outside the train station in Lille city centre, France, as clashes took place between England fans and Russian hooligans at Euro 2016. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson the England trend-setter and Uefa ignore Wes Hoolahan

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Football action across all four provinces with six games down for decision

Dublin’s Eoghan O’Donnell in action against Kilkenny’s  TJ Reid during the  Leinster SHC semi-final at  O’Moore Park in  Portlaoise. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Enthralling first half contest is ended by scoring blitz just after break

“God knows, this group of players might never set foot in Croke Park again for an All-Ireland quarter-final. If people want to slate us for enjoying it, that’s just not being realistic,” says Seán Quigley. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

‘I’m not saying the Dublin players aren’t enjoying it. But it just wouldn’t be for me’

Waterford manager Derek McGrath during his side’s Munster SHC win over Clare. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

“The league was absolutely everything to us. Everything to us. We had built up to that game like it was an All-Ireland final”

Waterford manager Derek McGrath celebrates at the final whistle. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan /Inpho

Derek McGrath's side recovered from the hurt of the league final to beat Clare

John O’Loughlin of Laois is red carded in the first half. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side rarely troubled by 14-man Laois as they open their championship campaign

Malachy Clerkin: By and large, I’ve seen as much as I’ve wanted to of every major tournament since 1986. This time around, however, I have a small problem. A very small problem. That small problem is a 15 month old. Photograph: iStock

‘Those 5pm games are going to be tricky with feeding time, dribbling time and crying time’

Bernard Brogan is part of a core of Dublin players that have backboned the county’s Leinster dominance. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All-Ireland football champions Dublin return to action in Kilkenny

The Donald has his say on the competitors: ‘Russians? Great vodka, great women’

Armagh manager Kieran McGeevney saw his side well beaten by Cavan. Photograph: Inpho

Cavan’s beating of Armagh the latest in an unusual string of one-sided fixtures

Cavan’s Martin Reilly wheels away after scoring a penalty in his side’s win over Armagh. Photograph: Inpho

Seanie Johnston enjoys fine return as Terry Hyland’s side send out a message to Tyrone

Cavan’s Sean Johnston. “I’m completely at ease with where I’m at in my career. I’m delighted to have got this opportunity to play again.” Photograph: Lorraine O’sullivan/Inpho

Experienced forward delighted to be donning Breffni blue in the championship again

Tipperary’s Kieran Bergin with Cork’s Brian Lawton in the Munster quarter-final. Photograph: Inpho/Ken Sutton

Rain was no excuse for a Cork performance that made it an easy win for the home side

Wexford’s Liam Óg McGovern is going nowhere with Dublin’s Oisin Gough lying on top of him at Croke Park on Saturday evening. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Dublin find it all too easy as depleted Wexford struggle to raise a gallop

Dublin’s David O’Callaghan is challanged by Eoin Conroy of Wexford Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Dublin advance with ease as Wexford unable to cope with Ger Cunnigham’s side or the weather

Mickey Harte’s Tyrone side will come up against a competent Derry on Sunday. Photo: Inpho

Although Mickey Harte’s team look stronger than ever Derry will hope for an upset

Wexford’s Ciaran Lyng will hope to help his side to a surprise victory over Kildare at Croke Park. Photo: Inpho

The attacking line of Ciaran Lyng, Ben Brosnan and PJ Banville fancy their chances

 Darren Sweetnam  playing for Cork in the national hurling league. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Munster player has made good progress at province since committing himself to oval ball

Rory McIlroy at the 12th hole during Friday’s second round at The K Club. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

As the rain stalks at The K Club, he hauls five birdies from frustrating second round

A county, a people: Mayo fans during the 2015 All-Ireland semi-final replay at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Malachy Clerkin asks are you ready for the Championship 2016 off, stuttering as it may be?

Michael Fennelly again played no part in Kilkenny’s league campaign. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Despite a long litany of injuries during his outstanding Kilkenny career, the inspirational midfielder has no intention of quittin(...)

No cocktail umbrellas or fine wines are needed in a match day pub. Just a location near the action, and porter

Clare’s Tony Kelly celebrates scoring a goal during the Allianz Hurling League Division One final replay at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Holders Waterford lose their title in the final seconds of a riveting replay

Clare manager  Davy Fitzgerald celebrates at the final whistle after victory over Waterford. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

“That will give us massive confidence going into the championship in June”

Tomás Ó Sé in action for Kerry in the 2010 Munster Championship. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Pundit says he meant that ‘they have a few scamps’

Clare’s Shane Golden and Waterford’s Tom Devine challenge for the sliotar during the Allianz Hurling League Division One Final replay at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Waterford had led game until last puck on dramatic final replay had dropped

Waterford corner-back Noel Connors admits to being mentally drained after Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League final draw with Clare. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Turning 26 today, the two-time All Star is a veteran among Waterford’s young guns

Wetmeath hurling manager Michael Ryan was surprised by the extent of his side’s victory over Offaly. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho.

After a win apiece on the opening weekend, Leinster round-robin places are in the balance

Laois’s Donie Kingston: “It’s a big thing to get them out of Croke Park and I think it should have been done before this year.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Winners of Wicklow-Laois clash will this year face the champions at Nowlan Park

Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh and Brian Cody at the launch of the Leinster championship. “It’s a good starting point for any team to be functional, I’d say,” said Cody. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

“He might just throw anything out there just for the sake of throwing it out?” says top Cat

Ireland celebrate Ronnie Whelan’s stunning winner against the USSR in 1988. Photograph: Getty

Stunning volley caps off exceptional Irish performance in Hannover draw at Euro 1988

Clare’s Seán and Podge Collins celebrate winning Allianz Football League Division Three Final on Saturday. Podge will be targeting a Division One Hurling title with Clare next Sunday. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Clare dual star has come back from a cruciate injury and looks as exciting as ever

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